THE HAUNTED AND THE HAUNTERS; OR, THE HOUSE AND THE BRAIN. London and Glasgow: Gowans & Gray, Ltd., 1905. Small octavo, pp. [1-5] 6-57 [58: blank] [59: ad] [60: blank], original chromolithographed parchment paper wrappers. First edition. Issued as "Gowans International Library Number 1." The first separate book publication of this famous supernatural tale. It was first published in BLACKWOOD'S MAGAZINE in 1859 and first appeared in book form in TALES FROM BLACKWOOD [FIRST SERIES], Volume X (n.d. 1860). The Gowans text is the long version of the story, which is usually reprinted in its short form as "The House and the Brain." The shorter version, revised and cut by Bulwer-Lytton (perhaps because he wished to use his theory of the supernatural at greater length in his novel A STRANGE STORY ), "lacks both coherence and conclusion. The fuller version is both a wonderful ghost story and a well-wrought example of Bulwer-Lytton's theory of the supernatural ... Bulwer Lytton's story developed from his study of spiritualism, which he had begun six years earlier, and of mesmerism, which he had undertaken thirteen years before that. Thus, 'The Haunted and the Haunters' represents nearly twenty years' study of paranormal phenomena ... On the one hand, it is a chilling tale of ghosts and terror; on the other, Bulwer-Lytton's main purpose in telling the story was to illustrate his theory 'that the supernatural is Impossible, and that what is called supernatural is only a something in the laws of nature of which we have been hitherto ignorant.' For Bulwer-Lytton, however, the laws of nature include 'the power that in the old days was called Magic' -- a power of the human will that can affect mental and physical reality and produce the apparently supernatural" - Survey of Modern Fantasy Literature II, pp. 698-700. Bulwer-Lytton's story "implies a whole cosmos in which a physical force called Will has asserted itself against divine Idea and become the first principle behind all events and phenomena. The protagonist encounters a strangely palpable and almost invisible power, which turns out -- in the briefer and more familiar revised version of the story -- to be the volitional energy of some apparently long-dead man. This terrible man of the past has so trained and developed his will that it can operate as an active, malignant principle even beyond the bounds of his life-span. Whether Bulwer is here hinting at animal magnetism and Balzacian odic fluids or at something like Schopenhauer's impersonal cosmic Will, the universe has in any case been reduced to a battleground of opposing wills. The will that thereby concentrated and focuses its force most completely can magnetize Mejnour's 'all-pervading and invisible fluid' and so impose itself throughout space and time." - Christensen, Edward Bulwer-Lytton: The Fiction of New Regions, p. 176. "Edward Bulwer-Lytton is probably best known in fantasy for his ghost story, 'The Haunted and the Haunters; or, the House and the Brain,' an archetypal Victorian haunted house story -- though it is profound in its assessment and investigation of the haunting, and remarkably effective in its creation of atmosphere ... Bulwer-Lytton was sensationally popular in his day and had a strong influence on other writers. His occult works, along with those of J. Sheridan Le Fanu, form the basis of modern supernatural fiction." - Clute and Grant (eds), The Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997), p. 249. "The Haunted and the Haunters" is "the only one of Bulwer-Lytton's contributions to supernatural fiction likely to be read in the future. In it, his genuine ability to evoke moods of mystery and horror stands out. First published in BLACKWOOD'S MAGAZINE, it has since been widely anthologized and remains a classic, perhaps the best haunted house story ever written. Its direct influence ranges from 'No. 252 Rue M. le Prince' in Ralph Adams Cram's BLACK SPIRITS AND WHITE (1895) to Richard Matheson's HELL HOUSE (1971). Whatever the fate of his novels, this tale will keep Bulwer-Lytton's name alive." - Sullivan (ed), The Penguin Encyclopedia of Horror and the Supernatural, p. 63. Bleiler, The Guide to Supernatural Fiction 306. Bleiler (1978), p. 34. Reginald 09377. Sadleir 409. Not in Wolfe. Slight spine roll, wrappers lightly chipped along top edge and a bit darkened (a fault common to this type of paper), a very good copy of a very fragile book. (#172943).
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