The Great God Pan
|Cover artist||Aubrey Beardsley|
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The Great God Pan is a horror and fantasy novella by Welsh writer Arthur Machen. Machen was inspired to write The Great God Pan by his experiences at the ruins of a pagan temple in Wales. What would become the first chapter of the novella was published in the magazine The Whirlwind in 1890. Machen later extended The Great God Pan and it was published as a book alongside another story, "The Inmost Light", in 1894. The novella begins with an experiment to allow a woman named Mary to see the supernatural world. This is followed by an account of a series of mysterious happenings and deaths over many years surrounding a woman named Helen Vaughan. At the end, the heroes confront Helen and force her to kill herself. She undergoes a series of supernatural transformations before dying and she is revealed to be the child of Mary and the god Pan.
On publication, it was widely denounced by the press as degenerate and horrific because of its implied sexual content, and the novella hurt Machen's reputation as an author. Beginning in the 1920s, Machen's work was critically re-evaluated and The Great God Pan has since garnered a reputation as a classic of horror. Literary critics have noted the influence of other nineteenth-century authors on The Great God Pan and offered differing opinions on whether or not it can be considered an example of Gothic fiction or science fiction. The novella has influenced the work of horror writers such as Bram Stoker, H. P. Lovecraft, and Stephen King, and has been adapted for the stage twice.
Clarke agrees, somewhat unwillingly, to bear witness to a strange experiment performed by his friend, Dr. Raymond. The ultimate goal of the doctor is to open the mind of someone so that he may experience the spiritual world, an experience he notes the ancients called "seeing the great god Pan". He performs the experiment, which involves minor brain surgery, on a young woman named Mary. She awakens from the operation awed and terrified but quickly becomes "a hopeless idiot".
Years later, Clarke learns of a beautiful but sinister girl named Helen Vaughan, who is reported to have caused a series of mysterious happenings in her town. She spends much of her time in the woods near her house, and takes other children on prolonged twilight rambles in the countryside that disturb the parents of the town. One day, a young boy stumbles across her "playing on the grass with a 'strange naked man,'"; the boy becomes hysterical and later, after seeing a Roman statue of a satyr's head, becomes permanently feeble-minded. Helen also forms an unusually close friendship with a neighbour girl, Rachel, whom she leads several times into the woods. On one occasion Rachel returns home distraught, half-naked and rambling. Shortly after explaining to her mother what happened to her (never revealed in the story), Rachel returns to the woods and disappears forever. Clarke relates these events in a book he is writing entitled Memoirs to Prove the Existence of the Devil.
Years later, Villiers happens across his old friend Herbert, who has become a vagrant since they last met. When asked how he has fallen so low, Herbert replies that he has been "corrupted body and soul" by his wife. After some investigation with Clarke and another character, Austin, it is revealed that Helen was Herbert's wife, and that a well-to-do man killed himself after seeing something that terrified him in Herbert and Helen's home. Herbert is later found dead.
Helen disappears for some time; according to rumor, she spent the time taking part in disturbing orgies somewhere in the Americas. She eventually returns to London under the pseudonym Mrs. Beaumont. Soon after, a group of stable, happy men in London commit suicide; the last person known to have been in the presence of each of them was Mrs. Beaumont, whom they are implied to have slept with. Villiers and Clarke, each learning of Mrs. Beaumont's true identity, band together and confront Helen in her house with a noose. They tell her that she must kill herself, or they will expose her. Helen has a very abnormal death, transforming between human and beast, male and female, and dividing and reuniting, before turning into a jelly-like substance and finally dying.
This is followed by a fragment of a document about the remains of a pillar honoring the Roman god Nodens. The inscription on the column reads "To the great god Nodens (the god of the Great Deep or Abyss), Flavius Senilis has erected this pillar on account of the marriage which he saw beneath the shade." The document says that historians are puzzled as to what the inscription refers to. The novella ends with a fragment of a letter from Dr. Raymond to Clarke, which reveals that Helen was the child of Mary, who died shortly after her daughter's birth. In the letter, Raymond informs Clarke that Mary became pregnant after his experiment caused her to see the god Pan, implying that Pan fathered Helen.
Machen's lifelong fascination with occultism began after he read an article on alchemy in an edition of Charles Dickens's periodical Household Words belonging to his father, a clergyman. In his 1922 autobiography, Far Off Things, Machen wrote that The Great God Pan was inspired by the times he visited the Usk, a Welsh river, and the Welsh towns of Caerleon on the Usk and Caerwent as a boy; all of these places had been settled by the Romans. He wrote that "strange relics" were frequently found at Caerwent from the ruined temple of "Nodens, god of the depths". Machen visited the temple, which he described as a "lonely house between the dark forest and the silver river".
In writing the novella, he tried to "pass on the vague, indefinable sense of awe and mystery and terror that [he] had received" while visiting those ruins. Machen felt that he had "transliterated [the feeling] clumsily" in The Great God Pan, elaborating: "I translated awe, at worst awfulness, into evil; again, I say, one dreams with fire and works in clay." Dennis Denisoff said that Machen's decision to make Helen Vaughan the child of a Welsh woman and a pagan figure "parallels Machen's own authorial self-identity as one arising from not only his Welsh ancestry but also pagan myth."
What is now the first chapter of the novella was published in 1890 in a magazine called The Whirlwind, while what is now the third chapter of the book was published in the same magazine the following year as a standalone short story called "The City of Resurrections". Machen only viewed the two works as connected after they were finished. Once he decided the two stories were connected, Machen wrote the rest of The Great God Pan in a single evening save for its final chapter. Machen did not think of an ending for the tale for months, and in that time believed that the novella would remain unfinished forever. The last chapter was completed in June 1891. Machen sent the novella to the publisher Blackwood, who rejected it, deeming it a clever story that "shrink[s]...from the central idea." It was accepted by John Lane and published in 1894. When published as a book, The Great God Pan was accompanied by another Machen tale called "The Inmost Light" which also features a mad scientist and elements of science fiction. The book's cover was illustrated by Aubrey Beardsley.
Joe Sommerlad of The Independent views The Great God Pan as a work of Gothic horror. According to The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, the story is "typical of Victorian [science fiction] horror at about the time [science fiction] was beginning to shed its Gothic elements into a separate Horror/fantasy genre." Aaron Worth writes that The Great God Pan superficially resembles science fiction due to its depiction of Dr. Raymond as a mad scientist, but it cannot be seen as an example of the genre as it posits that occultism is superior to science. The novella has been classified as Decadent literature as well, as it features hallmarks of the genre such as "occultism, paganism, non-mainstream eroticism, sexual diversity, the femme fatale, violent and strange deaths, and the simultaneous investment in and disavowal of bourgeois identities." Pan has also been described as fantasy literature, Modernist literature, and a cautionary tale against men mistreating women the way that Raymond mistreated Mary.
Pan was an ancient Greek god primarily worshipped in Arcadia who was associated with shepherds and their flocks, and with nature. He was believed to lurk in caves, mountains, and other lonely, isolated locations. In some stories, he inflicted his enemies with sudden terror (i.e. panic). The phrase, "the great God Pan" comes from an ancient Greek folktale recorded in Plutarch's De defectu oraculorum (On the Decline of Oracles), which claims that a Greek sailor near the island of Paxi during the reign of Emperor Tiberius (ruled 14–37 AD) heard a voice cry out, "When you are arrived at Palodes, take care to make it known that the great God Pan is dead." Early Christian commentaries suggested that this event occurred at the same time as the death of Christ and that the "death" of Pan represented the transition from a pagan to a Christian world.
This story had particular resonance with Victorian literary audiences. In 1844, Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote her poem "The Dead Pan", an adaption of Plutarch's story which insisted that proper Christian literature should abandon Greek mythology, with each stanza ending in the words "Pan, Pan is dead." As a member of the Decadent movement, Machen sought to subvert traditional themes and transgress literary boundaries, an agenda which made Pan a particularly appealing figure. The title of The Great God Pan appears to have been specifically derived from the Browning's later poem "A Musical Instrument" (1862), in which the first line of every stanza ends with the words "the great god Pan". Machen's use of Pan in the novella may have also been influenced by Robert Louis Stevenson's essay "Pan's Pipes" (1878) and Algernon Charles Swinburne's poem "A Nympholept" (1894), in which Pan is portrayed as the "emblem of the delicious combination of ecstasy and terror."
In a review of the novella for Black Gate, Matthew David Surridge hypothesized that Machen took inspiration from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1818) in his portrayal of Dr. Raymond as a mad scientist akin to Victor Frankenstein. The works of Robert Louis Stevenson, especially his 1886 novella Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, were among Machen's most significant influences when writing The Great God Pan. Critic John Gawsworth also sees Machen's novella as reminiscent of the horror stories of Edgar Allan Poe and Sheridan Le Fanu. Aaron Worth noted similitude between the death of Helen Vaughan and the theories of alchemist Thomas Vaughan, who is the character's namesake and Helen's disintegration recalls the alchemical concept of the prima materia. John C. Tibbetts observes similarities between Helen Vaughan and Ayesha, the sexually liberated demonic priestess from H. Rider Haggard's She: A History of Adventure (1886). Machen wrote that several critics felt that Joris-Karl Huysmans's novels À rebours (1884) and Là-bas (1891) had inspired The Great God Pan, though he did not read either book until after Pan was published. Upon reading the two novels, Machen concluded that "my critics had not read them either."
The other theonym used in the text to describe the divine entity is Nodens, a Welsh Celtic god typically assumed to be either associated with the hunt or the sea. Besides the inspiration of the text being of Machen's visit to Usk and henceforth being the de facto inspiration of the story, Nodens in this work is emphasised as the "lord of the deep".
The novella is characteristic of a late nineteenth-century interest in paganism in general and Pan in particular that is found in the works of Florence Farr and Kenneth Grahame. According to the British scholar of modern literature Roger Luckhurst, Raymond expresses a typical Neoplatonist view of reality in which the true object of study is the revelation of a "higher, hidden spiritual world". He is therefore "an occultist rather than a materialist scientist." Neoplatonism is also commonly regarded as the last school of pagan philosophy and Raymond's views therefore relate back to the recurring theme of the death of Pan.
Author Theodora Goss sees The Great God Pan as equating paganism with irrationality and what Carl Jung would call the collective unconscious. Black Gates's Matthew David Surridge believes that the story associates paganism with sex and femininity, while portraying Helen as a female Antichrist, a view shared by James Goho in Journeys into Darkness: Critical Essays on Gothic Horror (2014). Surridge adds "from another perspective: [Helen] is the undoing of progress. Rather than proceeding from paganism to Christianity, as orthodox Victorian belief imagined the progress of history, she is a reversal of time, the revenge of the atavistic." In keeping with this idea, Surridge sees Mary's name as a reference to Mary, mother of Jesus and Helen's name as a reference to the pagan figure Helen of Troy. Goho interprets the story as Machen's warning against the abandonment of "true religion" and the embrace of paganism.
At one point in the novella, a Latin creed is recited: "Et Diabolus Incarnatus Est. Et Homo Factus Est." ("And the Devil was made incarnate. And was made man.") Luckhurst identifies this as a blasphemous rewriting of the Nicene Creed, a early Christian creed which includes the line: "By the power of the Holy Spirit he [Jesus] became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man." Goho writes that the portrayal of Pan in the novella draws on the mythology of Lucifer and depictions of Pan as "the fetish for evil and suffering and the danger and dread of the wilderness," rather than depictions of Pan as a playful and harmless god. Surridge sees the book's references to Satan and Nodens as implying that Satan, Nodens and Pan are the same being, while Goho connects the novella to the fact that early Christians associated Pan with the devil.
The Great God Pan's implied sexuality caused a scandal upon its original release and hurt Machen's reputation as an author. Reviewing the novella for the magazine Literary News, Richard Henry Stoddard criticised the story as "too morbid to be the production of a healthy mind". The art critic Harry Quilter's review of the book, titled "The Gospel of Intensity", and published in The Contemporary Review in June 1895, was even more harsh. Quilter declared: "'The Great God Pan' is, I have no hesitation in saying, a perfectly abominable story, in which the author has spared no endeavor to suggest loathsomeness and horror which he describes as beyond the reach of words." Quilter warned that Machen's books were a dangerous threat to the entire British public and that they would destroy readers' sanities and senses of morality. Quilter went on to attack the story's publisher, John Lane, as well as Machen himself: "Why should he be allowed, for the sake of a few miserable pounds, to cast into our midst these monstrous creations of his diseased brain?" Quilter added that works of fiction like Machen's should be unanimously condemned by literary critics and newspapers: "If the Press was so disposed it could stamp out such art and fiction in a few months: And that disposition must be acquired, must even be enforced." He was particularly harsh in his denunciation of sexual ambiguity and polymorphous androgyny in the book. He expressed revulsion at Machen's description of Helen's sex changing immediately before her death and concluded his review with a comment of distaste regarding the "nasty little naked figure of dubious sex and humanity with which Mr. Aubrey Beardsley has prefaced the story". A positive appraisal of the novella came from Oscar Wilde, who called it "un succès fou."
Machen's literary reputation was re-evaluated in the 1920s and The Great God Pan has since attained the reputation of a horror masterpiece. In "Supernatural Horror in Literature" (1926; revised 1933), H. P. Lovecraft praised the story, saying: "No one could begin to describe the cumulative suspense and ultimate horror with which every paragraph abounds"; he added that "the sensitive reader" reaches the end with "an appreciative shudder". Lovecraft also noted, however, that "melodrama is undeniably present, and coincidence is stretched to a length which appears absurd upon analysis". Bennett Cerf described the story as a "masterpiece". Brian Stableford stated that The Great God Pan is "the archetypal Decadent horror story" and described the story as "highly original". Stephen King referred to it as "one of the best horror stories ever written. Maybe the best in the English language." King also praised Pan for being "more reader-friendly" than Lovecraft's fiction. The Washington Post's Elizabeth Hand deemed it "one of the greatest supernatural tales ever written". Black Gate's Matthew David Surridge said that The Great God Pan is "a fascinating, troubling story, and, for all its influence, not like much else than I can think of. It’s not simple, and yet it’s effective, more so than can easily be explained."
Some commentary on The Great God Pan has focused on its portrayal of women. Surridge sees the novella as expressing a fear of women even though the ultimate source of horror in the story is a male deity. The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction says that Helen's "metamorphosis...remains one of the most dramatically horrible and misogynistic in fiction". Helen never speaks in the book; according to Victoria Margree and Bryony Randall in Victorian Gothic: An Edinburgh Companion, "The silence of the central female character is part of the text's misogyny, but also part of its narrative effect." Margree and Randall also view Helen's fate as a punishment for her sexual impropriety. Dennis Denisoff connects Machen's tendency to make his empowered female characters "sexually monstrous" to his criticisms of authors who discussed the subject of women's rights. James Machin defends Machen and The Great God Pan from charges from misogyny on the grounds that the male protagonist of Machen's story "The Novel of the White Powder" (1895) disintegrates in a manner reminiscent of Helen Vaughan and on the grounds that Machen married Amy Hogg, a woman who defied the sexual boundaries of her time.
A pair of parodies of Pan were published in 1895 – Arthur Rickett's "A Yellow Creeper" and Arthur Sykes's "The Great Pan-Demon". Both suggest that Machen is an author of "limited imagination," with the latter depicting him as a mad scientist unleashing degenerate literature on an unsuspecting public. The Great God Pan was brought to the stage in 2008 by the WildClaw Theatre Company in Chicago. It was adapted and directed by WildClaw artistic director Charley Sherman. The novella Helen's Story (2013) by Rosanne Rabinowitz retells the story of The Great God Pan from Helen Vaughan's point of view. Helen's Story was written from a feminist perspective and nominated for a Shirley Jackson Award. The Great God Pan was adapted into a chamber opera by composer Ross Crean. Unusually for a composer, Crean wrote the opera's libretto himself. A recording of the work was released in 2017. The production saw its world premiere by Chicago Fringe Opera in 2018. According to the Chicago Tribune's John von Rhein, Chicago Fringe Opera's staging of The Great God Pan portrays Helen Vaughan as both a symbol of gender equality and an evil femme fatale.
Black Gate's Matthew David Surridge said that The Great God Pan influenced Bram Stoker's Dracula (1897) as both works feature "an introductory sequence featuring a horrified Englishman in a non-English setting; then a variety of seemingly-unconnected events in London, the metropole at the heart of Empire; then the discovery that all those events are in fact inspired by one malign and supernatural intelligence, that the rational contemporary capital is threatened by the irrational and archaic; then an equivocal conclusion. The fear of sex, women, foreignness." John C. Tibbetts notes that both Helen Vaughan in The Great God Pan and Lucy Westenra in Dracula are "demon women of voracious and malignant sexuality". Theodora Goss also notes similarities between the death of Helen Vaughan in Machen's novella and Lucy's death in Dracula. Tibbetts also notes that Machen's portrayal of Helen Vaughan as demonic and hyper-sexual may have influenced a similar character, The Woman of Songs, in Richard Marsh's The Beetle (1897).
The Great God Pan was highly influential on the circle of writers around H. P. Lovecraft. The structure of Machen's story influenced the structure of Lovecraft's "The Call of Cthulhu" (1928). Pan's depiction of a monstrous half-human hybrid inspired the plot of Lovecraft’s "The Dunwich Horror" (1929), which refers to Machen’s novella by name. According to Lovecraft scholar Robert M. Price, "'The Dunwich Horror' is in every sense an homage to Machen and even a pastiche. There is little in Lovecraft's wonderful story that does not come directly out of Machen's fiction." Pan also inspired Lovecraft to create his character Nodens who appears most prominently in The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath (1943).
Clark Ashton Smith was inspired by The Great God Pan to write his story "The Nameless Offspring" (1931), which also features a monstrous child born of a human and a supernatural entity. It has been suggested that Michael Arlen's novel Hell! Said the Duchess (1934) is a parody of The Great God Pan, as Arlen was influenced by Machen's work. The Great God Pan influenced Peter Straub's novel Ghost Story (1979) in its depiction of a shapeshifting monster who terrifies those it encounters. Straub himself frequently credited The Great God Pan as having been a major influence on his work.
According to film historians Keith McDonald and Roger Clark, Mexican film director Guillermo del Toro's portrayal of the faun in his 2006 dark fantasy film Pan's Labyrinth was inspired by the "ambivalent and possibly dangerous" portrayals of Pan in late Victorian and early Edwardian novels, including Machen's The Great God Pan and Pan's Garden (1912) by Algernon Blackwood. Del Toro deliberately chose to imitate the darker, more sinister fauns of Machen and Blackwood rather than the "sweetly domesticated figure" of Mr. Tumnus from C. S. Lewis's The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (1950). The original title of the film in Spanish is El Laberinto del Fauno (The Labyrinth of the Faun), but the English title Pan's Labyrinth emphasizes the connection between del Toro's film and the body of late nineteenth-century writings about Pan, including The Great God Pan.
Stephen King wrote that his novella N. from his story collection Just After Sunset (2008) is "a riff on Arthur Machen's The Great God Pan.... Mine isn't anywhere near [as] good [as the original], but I loved the chance to put neurotic behavior—obsessive/compulsive disorder—together with the idea of a monster-filled macroverse." King has also cited Machen's novella as an influence on his novel Revival (2014). Similar to Pan, Revival features an experiment on a young woman's brain which allows her to see into another world.
- Machen 1922, pp. 19–20.
- Surridge, Matthew David (October 30, 2012). "Arthur Machen and 'The Great God Pan'". Black Gate. Archived from the original on July 29, 2018. Retrieved July 28, 2018.
- Sommerlad, Joe (March 2, 2018). "St. David's Day: Celebrating Arthur Machen, the forgotten Welsh horror writer admired by Stephen King". The Independent. Archived from the original on July 29, 2018. Retrieved July 29, 2018.
- Machen 1922, p. 19.
- Machen 1922, p. 123.
- Denisoff 1922, p. 6.
- Machen 2006, pp. 5–6.
- Stableford, Brian, (1998). "Machen, Arthur (Llewellyn)". St. James Guide to Horror, Ghost and Gothic Writers, ed. David Pringle. London: St. James Press. ISBN 1558622063.
- Machen 2018, p. xiii.
- "Machen, Arthur". The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. April 27, 2018. Archived from the original on July 29, 2018. Retrieved July 29, 2018.
- Machen 2018, pp. xiii–xiv.
- Denisoff 2018, p. 4.
- Myman, Francesca (July 10, 2016). "Peter Straub: Interior Darkness". Locus. Archived from the original on February 1, 2018. Retrieved August 18, 2018.
- Goho 2014, p. 61.
- Luckhurst 2005, p. 278.
- Plutarch, Moralia, De defectu oraculorum 17
- Claveria, Alesha (2015). "The Great God Pan/Brown: Shared Origins and Theme of a Victorian Horror Classic and Eugene O'Neill's Masked Play". The Eugene O'Neill Review. Archived from the original on July 31, 2018. Retrieved July 30, 2018.
- Luckhurst 2005, pp. 278–279.
- Luckhurst 2005, p. 279.
- Machen 2018, p. ix.
- Machen 2018, p. xiv.
- Machin 2018, p. 148.
- Tibbetts 2016, p. 214.
- Denisoff 2018, p. 2.
- Goho 2014, p. 62.
- Machen 2018, p. xvii.
- Myman, Francesca (June 18, 2018). "Theodora Goss: Monstrous Voices". Locus. Archived from the original on August 10, 2018. Retrieved August 10, 2018.
- Goho 2014, p. 63.
- Richard Henry Stoddard, "Review of "The Great God Pan"", in: Colavito, Jason, ed. A Hideous Bit of Morbidity: An Anthology of Horror Criticism from the Enlightenment to World War I. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2008. p. 228-230) ISBN 978-0-7864-3968-3
- Machin 2018, pp. 140–141.
- Harry Quilter, "The Gospel of Intensity", in Colavito, ed. A Hideous Bit of Morbidity: An Anthology of Horror Criticism from the Enlightenment to World War I. Jefferson,NC: McFarland, 2008. (p. 230-254). ISBN 978-0-7864-3968-3
- Machin 2018, pp. 141–142.
- Machin 2018, p. 141.
- Machin 2018, p. 142.
- "Arthur Machen, celebrated English author of such masterpieces as "The Great God Pan" and "The Hill of Dreams"..." Bennett Cerf, "Trade Winds", The Saturday Review of Literature, March 20, 1943, (p. 26).
- King, Stephen, "Self-Interview Archived 2009-02-01 at the Wayback Machine.", 10:50 am, September 4, 2008. StephenKing.com. Retrieved April 24, 2017.]
- Hand, Elizabeth (November 10, 2014). "Book review: 'Revival,' by Stephen King". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on July 29, 2018. Retrieved July 28, 2018.
- Smith 2012, p. 225.
- Denisoff 2018, p. 6.
- Machin, p. 150.
- Denisoff 2018, p. 7.
- The Great God Pan. WildClaw Theatre. Retrieved October 18, 2016.
- "Rosanne Rabinowitz ... in her Shirley Jackson award nominated novella Helen's Story, which examined the decidedly problematic story of Helen Vaughan and The Great God Pan from a feminist viewpoint ..." Rucker, Lynda E.(Nov.–Dec. 2014). Black Static Magazine. p. 7.
- "Ross Crean The Great God Pan: An Opera in Two Acts". rosscrean.com. Archived from the original on July 29, 2018. Retrieved July 30, 2018.
- von Rhein, John (March 14, 2018). "Chicago Fringe Opera's bare-bones staging of 'Great God Pan' brings more spills than chills". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on July 31, 2018. Retrieved July 30, 2018.
- Price, Robert M. (1996). The Dunwich Cycle: Where the Old Gods Wait. Hayward, CA: Chaosium. pp. ix–x.
- Cardin 2016, p. 401.
- Tyson 2016, p. 129.
- "'Pan' ... has suggested to me an idea so hellish that I am almost afraid to work it out in story form ...[a woman] gives birth to a child and dies. The child is so monstrous that no one is permitted to see it." Clark Ashton Smith, Letter to H.P. Lovecraft, c. January 27, 1931. In Selected Letters of Clark Ashton Smith, edited by Scott Connors and David E. Schultz. Sauk City, Wis.: Arkham House, 2003. pp. 145–46. ISBN 9780870541827.
- "Hell! Said the Duchess ... was probably conceived as a parodic version of Arthur Machen's classic Decadent fantasy 'The Great God Pan'." Stableford, Brian (1998). "Arlen, Michael". St. James Guide to Horror, Ghost and Gothic Writers, ed. David Pringle. Detroit: St. James Press. ISBN 1558622063.
- Wilson, Neil (2000). Shadows in the Attic: A Guide to British Supernatural Fiction, 1820–1950. London: British Library. pp. 35–6. ISBN 0712310746.
- Bosky, Bernadette (1988). "Peter Straub: From Academe to Shadowland". In Schweitzer, Darrell. Discovering Modern Horror Fiction II. San Bernardino: Borgo Press. p. 8. ISBN 9781587150081. Retrieved April 8, 2013.
- McDonald & Clark 2014, p. 45.
- McDonald & Clark 2014, pp. 44–45.
- McDonald & Clark 2014, p. 44.
- Cardin, Matt (2017), Horror Literature through History: An Encyclopedia of the Stories that Speak to Our Deepest Fears: Volume 1, Santa Barbara, California: Greenwood, ISBN 978-1-4408-4756-1
- Denisoff, Dennis (2018), Decadent and Occult Works by Arthur Machen, Salisbury House, Station Road, Cambridge, CB1 2LA: The Modern Humanities Research Association, ISBN 978-1-78188-216-0
- Goho, James (2014), Journeys into Darkness: Critical Essays on Gothic Horror, Oxford World's Classics, 4501 Forbes Boulevard, Suite 200, Lanham, Maryland 20706: Rowman & Littlefield, ISBN 978-1-4422-3146-7
- Luckhurst, Roger (2005), Late Victorian Gothic Tales, Oxford World's Classics, Great Calrendon Street, Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-199-53887-4
- Machen, Arthur (1922), Far Off Things, New York: Alfred A. Knopf
- Machen, Arthur (2018), The Great God Pan and Other Horror Stories, Great Calrendon Street, Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-881316-3
- Machen, Arthur (2006), The Great God Pan and the Hill of Dreams, Mineola, New York: Dover Publications, ISBN 978-0-486-44345-4
- Machin, James (2018), Weird Fiction in Britain 1880–1939, Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Gothic, ISBN 978-3-319-90526-6
- McDonald, Keith; Clark, Roger (2014), Guillermo Del Toro: Film as Alchemic Art, New York, New York: Bloomsbury Publishing, ISBN 978-1-4411-2449-4
- Smith, Andrew; Hughes, William (2012), Victorian Gothic: An Edinburgh Companion, 22 George Square, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, ISBN 978-0-7486-5497-0
- Tibbetts, John C. (2016), The Gothic Worlds of Peter Straub, Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, ISBN 978-1-4766-2733-5
- Tyson, Donald (2016), The 13 Gates of the Necronomicon: A Workbook of Magic, Woodbury, Minnesota: Llewellyn Publications
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