No, it’s not some sort of cult devoted to Carnacki (although maybe it should be!). Today’s post reveals the original, published order of the Carnacki stories which isn’t the order in which they appear in the collections.
We cannot be sure exactly when Hodgson wrote the Carnacki stories. Obviously, it was before the first appearance in 1910. Internal evidence would suggest that they were from a period when WHH had greater control of his style and also as a result of a desire to create a ‘serial’ character for the magazines.
Today, that might seem somewhat counterproductive. However, in the publishing world of the early 20th century, more profit could be made by having a character appear in a series of stories that would run regularly in the magazines. It was that market, rather than book publishing, that often paid more. As an estimate, I would probably place these as being written around 1907 but, again, that is purely an estimate and could be incorrect.
In any event, here is the order in which the Carnacki stories were originally published:
1. “The Gateway of the Monster” (The Idler, January, 1910)
2. “The House Among the Laurels” (The Idler, February, 1910)
3. “The Whistling Room” (The Idler, March, 1910)
4. “The Horse Invisible” (The Idler, April, 1910)
5. “The Searcher of the End House” (The Idler, May, 1910)
6. “The Thing Invisible” (The New Magazine, January, 1912)
7. “The Haunted Jarvee” (The Empire Magazine, March, 1929)
8. “The Hog” (Weird Tales, January, 1947)9. “The Find” (Carnacki, the Ghost-Finder, Mycroft & Moran, 1947) We don’t know why the Idler neglected to carry the other two stories which we can only assume were completed with the rest. Perhaps the sales had not been strong enough. Sam Moskowitz notes that the magazine did not survive the end of 1910. In any event, it is interesting to note that the order between the original published stories is different from that of the collected version. Perhaps Hodgson himself rearranged the order for the collection. At this point, we cannot say. Perhaps one of the readers of this blog can shed some light on this question?