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IN-PRINT TITLE INFORMATION
THE ASH-TREE PRESS OCCULT DETECTIVES LIBRARY
THE EXPERIENCES OF FLAXMAN LOW
by Kate and Hesketh Prichard
edited, with an Introduction,
by Jack Adrian
1-55310-050-6; xxi + 154pp
Published 28 February 2003
Cdn$56.00 / US$41.50 / £26.00 (Postage Code A)
In 1951, Ellery Queen published 'Queen's Quorum': a listing of what, in the authors' opinion, were the 106 most important books published in the field of the mystery/crime story since 1845. Hesketh Vernon Hesketh-Prichard, one of the co-creators of the first 'psychic detective', Flaxman Low, takes his place on this list; but for another creation, the backwoods detective November Joe. Low does not receive a mention; instead, the first 'ghost breaker' (to use Queen's own term) in detective fiction is noted as being William Hope Hodgson's Carnacki the ghost-finder, who did not appear on the scene in bookform until 1913, some fifteen years after Flaxman Low debuted in the pages of Pearson's Magazine in 1898.
Low was the joint creation of Hesketh-Prichard and his mother, Kate, who published the tales under the pen name 'E. and H. Heron'. Six stories appeared in Pearson's in 1898, and a further six followed in 1899, whereupon the tales were collected together in bookform and published complete later that year. In the introduction to the first story, the authors asked 'Have ghosts any existence outside our own fancy and emotion?', and wrote that Low 'approached] the elucidation of so-called supernatural problems on the lines of natural law'. Just as Sherlock Holmes was the court of last appeal for those who had exhausted more official channels, so Flaxman Low is the last hope for those unfortunate people who are faced with a mystery that seems beyond all natural laws, and which imperils not only their bodies, but in some cases their very souls.
CONTENTS: Introduction by Jack Adrian; The Story of the Spaniards, Hammersmith; The Story of Medhans Lea; The Story of the Moor Road; The Story of Baelbrow; The Story of the Grey House; The Story of Yand Manor House; The Story of Sevens Hall; The Story of Saddler's Croft; The Story of No. 1 Karma Crescent; The Story of Konnor Old House; The Story of Crowsedge; The Story of Mr Flaxman Low; Sources and Acknowledgments.
Jacket artwork is by Deborah McMillion-Nering. Limited to 500 copies.
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