She is evil because when I stopped by her office for a chat, she forced
me to look at four large cartons of books recently "weeded" from the university's literature and criticism shelves, forced me, I tell you, with the magic words, "They're free. Take as many as you want."
Many (not all) were by little-known writers and critics of the 1890s-1920s. I knew of George Moore, of course, and also recognized the seagoing novelist William McFee
, because I had been given one of his tramp-steamer novels, In the First Watch
(1946), as a kid. Here was a book of his magazine pieces, Swallowing the Anchor
And the rest of my finds:
• Pierre and His People: Tales of the Far North
(1894) by a Canadian, Gilbert Parker, who turns out to have been a British propagandist, working in secret to bring the United States into World War One
(1919) by George Moore
, the Irish novelist and poet.
• Light Freights
(1901) by W.W. Jacobs
, best known for one of the most chilling short stories of all time, "The Monkey's Paw," but chiefly a writer of sea stories.
• The Phantom Future
(1897), by Henry Seton Merriman, which Wikipedia says was the pen name of one Hugh Scott
, a popular novelist at the turn of the last century.
One box also held a six-volume collection of the poems of Algernon Swinburne
, the Decadent
and somewhat small-p pagan poet of the Victorian era.
But someone had already spoken for them: the very Catholic Irish-American literature professor, a great admirer of Cardinal Newman
, etc. Given Swinburne's heretical and fairly erotic writing -- lots of sex and death -- you might say he was an original Goth -- is this a window into Professor X's secret kinky side?