Tales of Mystery and Horror (Crises, vol 1)

Maurice Level

These brutal, pitiless, but fascinating stories can be compared among contemporary works of fiction, only to Thomas Burke’s Limehouse Nights, and should inevitably arouse the same admiration that Mr Burke’s book created upon its publication three years ago. There are twenty-six tales stories of human passion from which the conventional glass has been stripped by the hand of a master; of terrible crimes, of fine sacrifices, of jealousy driving to madness, of haunting fears, of passionate love – there are no fundamental emotions that Level has not used which telling effect as the mainsprings of his stories. He has written them with an artistry which redeems them from sordidness and sensationalism, and which has made him famous in this own country as “a new master of the terrible”.

Translated from the French by Alys Eyre Macklin

With an introduction by Henry B. Irving

Edited, with an afterword, by Jean-Luc Buard

Maurice Level (1875-1926) is a unique writer. He is probably the only French horror fiction writer to be more famous in the English-speaking world than in his own country and language, where only a handful of connoisseurs are aware of his work. He owes this singular fate to an English woman of letters, Alys Eyre Macklin, his publisher, translator and friend. Thanks to her translating Maurice Level’s tales in 1920, Crises, Tales of Mystery and Horror, the fame of the French conteur survives in English to this day.

With Ten Uncollected Tales