The Undying Monster - A Tale of the Fifth Dimension - Jessie Douglas Kerruish

British Library Tales of the Weird

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The Undying Monster - A Tale of the Fifth Dimension - Jessie Douglas Kerruish, intro by Mike Ashley / From the British Library's "Tales of the Weird" series / ISBN 9780712354936 / 300-page paperback

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'Where grow pines and firs amain, Under Stars, sans heat or rain, Chief of Hammand, ‘ware thy Bane!'

So goes the ancient rhyme of the Hammands, a family hounded for centuries by a ferocious beast whose visitations wreak death and disorder. Now, in the wake of the First World War, siblings Oliver and Swanhild are the last of the Hammands, safe again at their ancestral home in the South Downs – until Oliver is beset by a creature in the pines by night. Desperate to dispel the curse, the siblings call on the occult detective Luna Bartendale to help unearth the dark origins of the Undying Monster and unshackle them from a savage doom.

First published in 1922, this cult novel is a heady brew of black magic lore, Norse mythology and weird mysteries spilling out of an eldritch ‘fifth dimension’ – complete with the first female occult detective to appear in an English novel, the ‘White Witch‘ Luna Bartendale.

Jessie Douglas Kerruish (1884–1949) was an English author of strange and fantastical novels and short stories. She lived most of her life in Hove, where she wrote her most famous work The Undying Monster, which was adapted for film in 1942.

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