Title Ringstones, And Other Curious Tales.
Book Condition Fine copy in a fine dustjacket (as new).
Publisher Tartarus Press: North Yorkshire. 2011.
190578435X / 9781905784356
Seller ID 29577
Collects the five supernatural stories first published in book form in 1951. The first Tartarus Press edition was in 2000.
''writing name of UK writer John William Wall (1910-1989), who was a career diplomat 1933-66. His writing career occupied less than five years, during which period he published the three short books that established his reputation as a subtle, literate teller of tales, conscious of the darker and less acceptable implications that underlie much popular literature. The title story of his first collection, RINGSTONES AND OTHER CURIOUS TALES (1951), is told through a frame story, a device he used more than once to transform horror into Fairytale. Two students worry about the contents of a manuscript one of them has received from Daphne Hazel, an old schoolfriend now hired to care for some children at a remote manor house, and whose experiences with the eldest child are deeply distressing: the lad indulges in sadomasochistic practices, casts a Glamour upon her so that she cannot escape the region, may be an avatar of the Elder Gods, and may almost have managed to lure her into Faerie. A vein of sexual implication runs through all of Sarban's work, and in a story like ''The Khan'' - which appears in his second collection, The Doll Maker and Other Tales of the Uncanny (1953) - hits a pitch of eloquent perversity not then commonly encountered. An Englishwoman in Persia, tied to a bad marriage, runs away into the woods, where she comes across a welcoming castle; there she is bathed and perfumed and prepared for the coming of the Khan, who is in fact a bear. Whatever drove John Wall into his brief floruit as Sarban clearly did not last; no new stories surfaced after 1953'' (John Clute & Chris Bell/Enyclopedia of Fantasy).