Blackwood, Algernon (Henry) (1869–1951)
British author famous for his brilliant stories on occult
themes. He was born March 14, 1869, in Kent, England. At the
age of 17 his interest in the mystical and occult was first aroused
after reading a translation of the Yoga Sutrus of Patanjali. In
1890 he immigrated to Canada at the age of 20 and had a varied
career in Canada and the United States. He worked as a
journalist, a dairy farmer, a hotel proprietor, and an actor
among other occupations, suffering intense poverty until for a
time he became secretary to James Speyer, a millionaire banker.
He returned to Britain in 1899, where he wrote most of his
well-known occult stories. ‘‘The Willows’’ (1907) is considered
by many as the finest supernatural tale in English. In 1900 he
became a member of the famous occult society, the Hermetic
Order of the Golden Dawn. Blackwood was something of a
mystic, particularly responsive to wild natural scenery, and believed
that humons possessed latent occult faculties. He died in
December 1951 at the age of 82.
Sources
Ashley, Mike. Algernon Blackwood A Bio-Bibliography. Westport,
Conn. Greenwood, 1987.
Blackwood, Algernon. Best Ghost Stories of Algernon Blackwood.
Edited by E. F. Bleiler. New York Dover Publications,
1973.
———. Episodes before Thirty. New York E. P. Dutton, 1924.
———. The Human Chord. London Macmillan, 1910.
———. Tales of the Supernatural. Woodbridge, England Boydell
Press, 1983.
———. Tales of Terror and Darkness. London; New York
Spring Books, 1977. Distributed by Transatlantic Arts.
———. The Willows, and Other Queer Tales. 1934.
Sullivan, Jack, ed. The Penguin Encyclopedia of Horror and the
Supernatural. New York Viking, 1986.

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