Arthur Machen, Wales’ Master of Horror

Welsh people in media tend not to get a good deal. Even the work of Dylan Thomas is full of comical grotesques. When I was growing up, there weren’t many places where I could find inspiring Welsh characters: I think I remember Eastenders having one for a while when I was about 10, and then there was the comedy Welshman in Dad’s Army, followed by the equally comedy Welshman in Doctor Who episode Delta and the Bannermen.

Arthur Machen

The first Welsh literature I ever found was adopted Welshman Antal Szerb, whose Earl of Gwynmedrl The Pendragon Legend was the first Welsh literary character I ever admired. It was Szerb – a Hungarian who took a year out in London and wrote a gothic, Rosecrucian, conspiracy masterpiece that puts The DaVinci Code in the shade – who led me to meet someone who put me in the orbit of a writer called Arthur Machen.

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