Ash-Tree Press
P.O. Box 1360, Ashcroft, British Columbia, Canada V0K 1A0
Tel: (250) 453-2045; Fax: (250) 453-2075


by H. R. Wakefield
with an Introduction
by Barbara Roden

ISBN: 1-899562-45-1; xxii + 267pp
Published 27 April 1998 in an edition of 500 copies

Originally published in Great Britain in 1940, The Clock Strikes Twelve was H.R. Wakefield’s first collection of original supernatural stories since 1929’s Old Man’s Beard, and was to be the last book the author had published in Britain during his lifetime. Originally consisting of fourteen stories, the book contained some of Wakefield’s most memorable supernatural tales, such as ‘Lucky’s Grove’, ‘From Outer Darkness’, ‘The First Sheaf’, and ‘Farewell Performance’.

The volume had only limited success in its original incarnation; but in 1946 it was reprinted by America’s legendary Arkham House, in an edition which contained a further four stories and a fascinating introduction by the author, ‘Why I Write Ghost Stories’. ‘There is, I believe, something there,’ said Wakefield about the possibility of ghosts, ‘but I shall never know what; and, rest assured, neither will you.’

The Ash-Tree Press edition of The Clock Strikes Twelve contains all eighteen stories from the two earlier editions, plus the author’s own introduction. It also contains a further three stories which have never been collected with Wakefield’s weird fiction, making this an essential volume of stories for any lover of the classic supernatural tale.

Barbara Roden’s introduction to this new volume, the fourth in the Ash-Tree Press series which will collect all of Wakefield’s supernatural fiction, covers the eventful decade of the 1930s, which saw many changes for the author in both his personal and professional lives. Creatively, it was Wakefield’s most prolific period; he could not have known that after publication of The Clock Strikes Twelve, he would have only one other book published during his lifetime. This new volume includes a further previously unpublished photograph of the author.

Jacket art by Paul Lowe.

Contents: Introduction by Barbara Roden; [THE CLOCK STRIKES TWELVE]: ‘Why I Write Ghost Stories’; ‘Into Outer Darkness’; ‘The Alley’; ‘Jay Walkers’; ‘Ingredient X’; ‘"I Recognised the Voice"’; ‘Farewell Performance’; ‘Not Quite Cricket’; ‘In Collaboration’; ‘A Stitch in Time’; ‘Lucky’s Grove’; ‘Red Feathers’; ‘Happy Ending?’; ‘The First Sheaf’; ‘Masrur’; ‘A Fishing Story’; ‘Used Car’; ‘Death of a Poacher’; ‘Knock! Knock! Who’s There?’; [WEIRD TALES]: ‘From the Vasty Deep’; ‘Out of the Wrack I Rise’; ‘A Black Solitude’.

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