Tag Archives: Hodgson

Hodgson Panels at NecronomiCON this August!


I’m pleased to announce that I will be on TWO panels of interest to Hodgson fans at this August’s NecronomiCON in Providence, RI!

They are:

WILLIAM HOPE HODGSON: LOVECRAFT’S ‘COSMIC’ PREDECESSOR

A discussion about Hodgson’s life and work. I’ll be talking about WHH along with other weird fiction scholars.

and:

OCCULT DETECTIVES

A review of this unique genre covering many of the classic characters as well as new ones. I’ll be representing WHH’s Carnacki at this one.

NecronomiCON is a convention devoted to the work of H.P. Lovecraft as well as weird fiction in general.  I encourage all to attend and especially to come to these two Hodgson panels! For more information, visit:
http://necronomicon-providence.com/welcome/

 

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New Book on Hodgson Available


Laurent Quievy writes to tell us his new book about Hodgson is now available!

Called “Qui suis-je? Hodgson”, it is a new French publication about our favorite writer. So once again the French appreciate a writer of weird literature before we do here in America. Although there are collections of articles about Hodgson (including the new Hippocampus Press collection due out soon), there has not been a full-length book study of Hodgson.

Unfortunately, I cannot read French but I hope that an English translation will be forthcoming soon.  You can read more about it at this like: http://williamhopehodgson.wifeo.com/

Laurent also sent along this flyer. Perhaps someone kind reader of this blog could translate the highlights of this text?
WHH flyer

 

 

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A Plethora of Hodgson


As it’s Hodgson’s birthday week, I’d like to remind everyone of the WHH related books I currently have available. (I will be doing a post later this week of non-Gafford Hodgson books as well!)

As previously reported, the second issue of SARGASSO: The Journal of William Hope Hodgson Studies is now available. It contains essays, fiction, art and poetry about and inspired by Hodgson. There’s a lot of great stuff here and I think that Mark Valentine’s photo-essay about Borth is one of the major highlights of the issue. You can order it here: http://www.amazon.com/Sargasso-Journal-William-Hodgson-Studies/dp/0692323325/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1415724226&sr=8-1&keywords=sam+gafford

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It is also available in Kindle.

The first issue of SARGASSO is currently available in Kindle here: http://www.amazon.com/Sargasso-Sam-Gafford-ebook/dp/B00G7WH5JE/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1415724226&sr=8-3&keywords=sam+gafford

sargasso cover

I am currently considering doing a second edition of this first issue which would be available through Amazon. The first issue only had a print run of 100 copies and has been sold out for some time. If you’d be interested in this reprint, please let me know by leaving a comment below.

The all-new anthology, CARNACKI: THE NEW ADVENTURES is also still available through Amazon! This collection holds new stories about everyone’s favorite Ghost-Finder by writers such as William Meikle, Amy Marshall, Josh Reynolds, Jim Beard, Buck Weiss and more! This book can be ordered here: http://www.amazon.com/Carnacki-The-Adventures-Sam-Gafford/dp/0615943004/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1415724226&sr=8-4

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00067]

Lastly, a collection of my essays about Hodgson including many of the posts from this blog is still available. I selected these to give new readers an introduction to Hodgson and his work. It is available here: http://www.amazon.com/Hodgson-Collection-Essays-Sam-Gafford/dp/0615858724/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1415724226&sr=8-5&keywords=sam+gafford

WHH

Your patronage is deeply and humbly appreciated. Sales from these books will help fund my future publications including THE COMPLETE POETRY OF WILLIAM HOPE HODGSON, CARNACKI: THE LOST TALES and THE COMPLETE CARNACKI. Thank you for your continued support. Together we help keep WHH’s memory and work alive.

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A WHH Birthday Tribute


It’s birthday week for Hodgson starting today! His actually birthday is on the 15th (Saturday) but we’re not the only ones celebrating this event!

Michael Bukowski will be featuring artwork based on Hodgson’s creatures all this week on his blog, Yog-Blogsoth (which, I think, is probably the coolest name ever for a blog!).  Every day will be a different creature and he’s started the week off with what is probably Hodgson’s most famous creature: the Swine! Here’s a sneak peak:

swine

Be sure to check his blog every day this week for a new Hodgson creature!

 

 

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COMING SOON: THE COMPLETE POETRY OF WILLIAM HOPE HODGSON


William Hope Hodgson (1877-1918)

William Hope Hodgson (1877-1918)

I’m happy to announce that Phillip Ellis and I are collaborating on assembling the first ever COMPLETE POETRY OF WILLIAM HOPE HODGSON!  This will include the entire contents of the two volumes of verse posthumously published by WHH’s widow in 1920 as well as the poems which Jane Frank published in her collection, THE LOST POETRY OF WILLIAM HOPE HODGSON (2005).

Together, these collections present the entirety of Hodgson’s poetry. Never before has this material been available in one edition! Due to the scarcity of the 1920 volumes, many have never seen these poems before. Jane Frank has kindly given her permission to the reprinting of the material that had been in the Sam Moskowitz collection which only appeared previously in her 2005 anthology.

In addition, this book will contain all of the known criticism about Hodgson’s poetry. The ground-breaking articles by Phillip Ellis and Jane Frank will be reprinted as well as new material and introduction.

Work is continuing on the design and layout of the book and I am hopeful for a November, 2014, release!  Keep watching this space for updates!

 

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Carnacki in Sweden!


9789163732386From good friend Martin Andersson comes news that a new edition of CARNACKI, THE GHOST FINDER appeared in Sweden last year.  It was published by GML Forlag which is apparently a small press over there.  You can check it out and order it here:
http://www.gmlforlag.se/p/alla-bocker-sorterade-pa-titel/carnacki-spokdetektiven.html

The brief description translates as:

This book contains six fictional stories about spökdetektiven Thomas Carnacki, written by author William Hope Hodgson (1877-1918); short stories set in a gasupplyst, Edwardian England, and in which Carnacki solves mysteries and fights demons and monsters from an unseen world with the help of, among other things holy water, hårcirklar, the unknown grimoire of Sigsand and an electric pentacle.

My guess is that “spökdetektiven” means “ghost detective” or some such derivation.  I’ve no idea what “hårcirklar” means.

Proving once again that Hodgson and Carnacki have world wide appeal!  This is great to see and stay tuned for some exciting news about upcoming WHH and Carnacki publications that I hope to announce very soon.

 

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Major Hodgson Donation Announced!


WHHJane Frank has just confirmed that she and her husband are making a major donation of William Hope Hodgson material!  The donation consists of the Franks’ WHH archive of original typescripts, offprints, correspondence, photographs and ephemera (formerly known as the Sam Moskowitz collection).

It is being donated to the University of California, Riverside, where it will become part of the Eaton Collection of Science Fiction and Fantasy in the UC Riverside Libraries’  Special Collections & University Archives.  A formal announcement will be forthcoming from UC Riverside.

A special reception and panel discussion about Hodgson is planned to commemorate this event and will be held on April 16, 2014, at the Library.

In her email to me regarding the donation, Jane stated that it had always been their intention to donate the material to a college or university and that one of their primary goals when buying the collection at the Moskowitz auction was to keep it whole and complete.  This will mark the first collection of Hodgson material available to the general public for research and edification.

On a personal note, I am beyond thrilled that the Franks have made this amazingly generous donation.  For so long, it has been difficult to do scholarly work on Hodgson due to the lack of primary sources.  It is my fervent hope that this will become the leading repository for Hodgson material and that other scholars and collectors will follow suit by donating even more material.

Sadly, I cannot attend the panel on April 16th but I strongly encourage any readers who can to make the trip!  It will be the event of a lifetime!

see http://eaton.ucr.edu/ for more about the Eaton Collection

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HODGSON’S PUBLISHERS


It can be difficult to keep track of all of Hodgson’s different publishers.  Unlike some writers, he was published by more than one company.  This is, perhaps, a sign of his inability to create an audience and sell high numbers of books.  In his biography of Hodgson, noted scholar Sam Moskowitz often makes reference to WHH’s disappointment over his low sales.  It is likely because of this that WHH didn’t write any more novels and took to the more lucrative field of short stories.

I’ve compiled a short list of Hodgson’s publishers and their editions.  Due to the lack of manuscripts, the first editions of each work is generally considered to be the primary text.  The reasoning behind this is that theoretically Hodgson would have edited and/or revised each work before publication.  We cannot speculate, however, on how much (or little) in-house editors may have changed his texts.

(Note: This list only goes up to the Arkham House editions.  For later editions, that information is covered in the bibliography compiled by S.T. Joshi and myself along with others that will hopefully see print from Hippocampus Press as part of a collection of Hodgson essays in 2014.)

CHAPMAN & HALL

THE BOATS OF THE “GLEN CARRIG” (1907)

THE HOUSE ON THE BORDERLAND (1908)

STANLEY PAUL & CO.

THE GHOST PIRATES (1909)

GEORGE BELL & SONS

THE NIGHT LAND (1912)

EVELEIGH NASH

THE NIGHT LAND (1912)

CARNACKI, THE GHOST FINDER (1913)

MEN OF THE DEEP WATERS (1914)

LUCK OF THE STRONG (1916)

CAPTAIN GAULT (1917)

MCBRIDE & SONS

CAPTAIN GAULT (1918)

SELWYN & BLOUNT

THE CALLING OF THE SEA (1920)

THE VOICE OF THE OCEAN (1921)

HOLDEN & HARDINGHAM

THE BOATS OF THE “GLEN CARRIG” (1920)

THE GHOST PIRATES (1920)

THE LUCK OF THE STRONG (1920)

THE HOUSE ON THE BORDERLAND (1921)

THE NIGHT LAND (1921)

CARNACKI, THE GHOST-FINDER (1921)

MEN OF THE DEEP WATERS (1921)

CAPTAIN GAULT (1921)

ARKHAM HOUSE

THE HOUSE ON THE BORDERLAND AND OTHER NOVELS (1946)

CARNACKI, THE GHOST-FINDER (1947)

DEEP WATERS (1967)

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The Life of William Hope Hodgson–Part 8


Today we present the final part of R. Alain Everts essay about the life of William Hope Hodgson.  This section deals with WHH’s service in WWI and death.  It is probably the most heartbreaking part of the entire essay as it recalls WHH’s service, death and aftermath.  What is curious, to me, is WHH’s mother’s letter to her daughter (WHH’s sister) announcing his death.  Full of heartache though it is, not once is WHH’s widow mentioned.  I have often wondered about the relationship between Hodgson’s wife and family and, if this is anything to go on, it was obviously a strained one.  Consider also that his widow soon went back to her own family after his death rather than staying with his.  Still, upon Betty’s death, she did give WHH’s sister, Lissie, control over Hodgson’s literary estate.  So, in the end, like all family relationships, it was complicated.

(I thank you for reading these parts and hope that the essay has interested you and will spur further debate and research into Hodgson’s life.–Sam Gafford)

awhhSOME FACTS IN THE CASE OF WILLIAM HOPE HODGSON:

MASTER OF PHANTASY

by R. Alain Everts

At the beginning of World War I, Hope and Betty were still living in Sanary.  In Europe, though, war clouds were gathering and finally on 28 June 1914, Archduke Francis Ferdinand was assassinated at Sarajevo, followed on 28 July by a declaration of war—Austro-Hungary against Serbia, Germany against Russia on 1 August and against France on 3 August—and the following day, England declared war on Germany.

Hope hastened back to London shortly after being witness to the arrival of the first Indian contingent in France—Betty went off to Borth to stay with Lissie and Mrs. Hodgson.  In London, Hope joined the Officer Training Corps of the University of London.  In July 1915 William Hope Hodgson, athletic but ageing, was commissioned to the rank of Lieutenant at the age of 37 years, 8 months, in the 171st Battery of the Royal Field Artillery, part of the New Army Division.  Hope was sent to Salisbury Plain for maneuvering with large field pieces, and to train soldiers in the handling of the horses trained to pull field pieces.  In June of 1916, Hope, an excellent horseman, was thrown accidentally from his horse and suffered a broken jaw and concussion, resulting in his being gazetted out of the army’s R.F.A.—and he was sent home to Borth to be with his family and Betty.

He slowly mended and finally recovered—but for the rest of his brief life, he would suffer slightly from the effects of the concussion—and most likely his disorientation contributed to his tragic death.  Hope had wanted very much to accompany his division to France.  Attempting to re-enlist for active duty, he finally did succeed in passing the medical board, and on 18 March 1917, while the 171st fought at Ypres, Hope was recommissioned into the R.F.A., part of the 11th Brigade, and he first saw action at Ypres in October of 1917.

The year 1917 was called “The Year of Confusion”—and justly so—the terrible price of the war had decimated most of Europe.

According to the War Diary of the 84th Batter (1914-1919) Lt. W. Hope Hodgson, a subaltern, joined the 84th on 10 October 1917.  That day the Battery had just captured Steenbeke, Poelcapelle and Widjen, and had that day relieved a forward battery south of Rugby Dump.

On 12 March, 1918 the Brigade took over positions at Brombeck, and on 20 March, sustained heavy gas shelling and high velocity shelling at the Tourelle Crossroads nearby.  On 30 March, they were relieved by Belgian Artillery, and on 2 April the Battery marched to the Ploegsteert area to relieve Australian Artillery.  This was to be the scene of the final act of Hodgson’s valiant life.

The Battery took a position at Le Touquet Berthe.  The Front was quite silent for a time—and for the first time there were no casualties in action.  On 9 March the Germans attacked south of the Armentieres and penetrated allied lines for some distance and forced the British to move further north from Steenbeke.  On the dawn of the follwing day, the Battery had undergone heavy night shelling and all communications were cut.  The Germans advanced and the front section of the Battery had to retreat, leaving behind their guns, which they blew up.  The Germans circled behind Hope’s Batter and approached to within 200 yards forcing the whole detachment to fall back.

On the day of 10 April 1918, the Germans launched a big attach, and apparently this put Hodgson in hospital briefly.  On the night of 16 April the Battery withdrew, and a Forward Observation Post was set up.  The man who volunteered for the Forward Observing Office the next day—17 April—on Mont Kemmel, was none other than W. Hope Hodgson.  The details surrounding the tragic death of Hope can now be clarified after nearly 55 years—and in clarifying them some errors regarding his death have been corrected.  His Commanding Officer filled in the details—on Thursday, 18 April, he sent Hodgson with another N.C.O. on Forward Observation.  On 19 April, Hope was heard from once and then there was silence from him for the remainder of the day.  That day, 19 April, William Hope Hodgson was reported missing in action to his C.O.  The following day, under continuous fire, the C.O. went to check himself to determine the fate of his F.O.O.’s.  He eventually found a French officer who showed him a helmet with the name Lt. W. Hope Hodgson on it—and reported that a British Artillery Officer and a Signaler had suffered a direct hit by a German artillery shell on 19 April and had both been blown nearly completely apart.  What little remained was buried on the spot—at the foot of the eastern slop of Mont Kemmel in Belgium.  During this period, the C.O. was under continuous fire, and upon his return to base, he confirmed the death of Lt. W. Hope Hodgson, and it was entered on 23 April.  The official report was forwarded to England, and most likely it specified that Hodgson was killed the previous week, since it was recorded on the official register in London, and the death certificate rolls, as 17 April.  On 24 April the Germans attacked the right flank of the 84th Battery and the following day they launched another large attack.  During all this confusion, it is not difficult to see how an error came to be made.  In fact the C.O.’s memory for details after 55 years proves to be quite accurate, for on 17 April, no F.O.O.’s were sent out according to the official diary of the Brigade.

Hope’s Commanding Officer telegraphed directly to Hope’s mother in Borth, and she wrote instantly to Mary in Canada—

Lisswood, 2 May,

            My precious child, you must be brave as we are trying to be, But oh, we are heartbroken—my dearly beloved Hope, I cannot soften it, dearest, is dead.  He was killed by a shell on April 17th, a week after he did so marvelously what I told you he did in the last (letter).  You must be brave, my darling.  Lissie is suffering dreadfully as you will know—she has had so much to do for and with him.  Write her a word of comfort.

                        Your loving, heartbroken Mother.

                                    I wish I could have written more.

The London Times on that date simply reported—

Second Lieutenant W. Hope Hodgson, RFA, killed in action on April 17, was the second son of the late Rev. Samuel Hodgson, and the author of “The Boats of the ‘Glen Carrig’”, “The Night Land”, “Men of the Deep Waters” and other books.  His early days were spent in the merchant service, where he gathered his material for many of his thrilling sea stories.  He was a notable athlete, a fine boxer, a strong swimmer, and an all-round good sportsman.  He was awarded the Royal Humane Society’s medal for saving life at sea.  At the outbreak of the war Lieutenant Hodgson was living in Sanary, on the south coast of France.  He returned to England, joined the University of London Officer Training Corps. and got his commission in the RFA in 1915.  As the result of a serious accident in camp, he was gazetted out of the Army in 1916; but he never rested until he passed the medical board as fit, and obtained another commission in March 1917, in the RFA.  He saw much active service round Ypres during last October.

His Commanding Officer writes:–

“I cannot express my deep sympathy for you in your great bereavement.  I feel it most terribly myself, and so do all the other officers and men of the battery.  He was the life and soul of the mess—always so willing and cherry.  Of his courage I can give no praise that is high enough.  He was always volunteering for any dangerous duty, and it was owing to his entire lack of fear that he probably met his death on April 17.  He had performed wonders of gallantry only a few days before, and it is a miracle that he survived that day.  I myself am deeply grieved, having lost a real, true friend and a splendid officer.”

Hope’s obituary notices appeared in many newspapers throughout the world—among them The Cambrian News; The Writer (Boston), which stated “He had a large reading public in America, and many of his short stories were published in the principle magazines of both America and England”; The Dominion (New Zealand); The Boston Evening Transcript; The Daily Dispatch; The Blackburn Weekly Telegraph, and others too numerous to mention.

Thus did die one of the finest and most extraordinary authors in the genre of the phantasy novel and the short story of horror.  Thus did William Hope Hodgson join the ranks of the fine authors slaughtered in World War I: Saki (H.H. Munro), Isaac Rosenberg, Wilfred Owen, Charles Hamilton Sorley, Edward Thomas and many others.  On the Tyne Cot Memorial in the British cemetery at Passchenacle, mid-way between Ypres and Roulers in Belgium is graven, “Hodgson—11 Army Brigade, RFA, Killed on April 17, 1918, age 40.”

After the tragedy and the War, Hope’s mother and Lissie continued to reside in Broth, until the former’s death at age 81 on 25 April, 1933—long an invalid due to heart trouble and minor strokes, an illness that seemed to be inherent in the Hodgson family. This early hereditary incapacitation due to heart trouble of mainly the male members of the family seems to have spared Hope who was cut down before he could live to suffer the fate of most of his brothers.

Betty returned to her people in Cheshire and on 23 July 1943, she passed away at the home of her sister, not quite 65 years old, of a brain tumor.  Chad had possibly been killed in World War I—in any case he dropped totally from sight, as did Hillyard, who disappeared in Australia during the 1920s.  Save for Lissie, who died in Barnstaple, Devonshire, on 9 May 1959, the remaining family members lived in America and Canada and there they died, far from England’s soil, as their brother had died.

***

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The Life of William Hope Hodgson–Part 7


We come now to an interesting part of Hodgson’s life as chronicled by R. Alain Everts: his marriage.  WHH did not marry until 1913 when he was 35 years old and his new bride was the same age.  This would be somewhat unusual at that time and raises more questions than it answers.  Was there something about Hodgson that did not make him good ‘marriage material’?  We will probably never know but this portion of the essay does give us much to consider.

(As always, this article is being reprinted for the sake of encouraging and promoting knowledge and scholarship about WHH.  No copyright infringement is implied or intended.)

SOME FACTS IN THE CASE OF WILLIAM HOPE HODGSON: MASTER OF PHANTASY

by R. Alain Everts

Mrs. Bessie Hodgson, wife of William Hope Hodgson.  Date undetermined.

Mrs. Bessie Hodgson, wife of William Hope Hodgson. Date undetermined.

MARRIAGE

In London, Hope moved in literary circles, and he either met or looked up one of his old acquaintances from Technical School days–the plain looking Bessie Gertrude Farnworth (called “Betty” by everyone).  She was one of the editors of “Woman’s Weekly”, Northcliffe Press, when Hope met and married her in London–Hope of course was quite popular with women–who found him attractive, witty and sociable–but his major drawbacks were his fits of temper, and like all of the Hodgson boys, he was spoiled.  In any case, they met and fell in love– up until now Hope had declined marriage with several girls due to his precarious financial state, now somewhat stabilized by his out-put of sea stories.

Bessie G. Farnworth was one of several children of Richard Dobson Farnworth of Cheadle Hulme–and her family was stalked by tragedy–one boy had been drowned in a foot of water in a freak accident crossing the heath; another brother, Gilbert K. Farnworth was killed in action in 1915; while the father was injured fatally trying to repair the roof of the house.  The final tragedy in the Franworth family was the tragic and premature death of Hope. However, when they married on 26 February, 1913 in the borough of Kensington in London, Hope and Betty were expecting a long and happy life together.  They were both 35 years old–Betty was born in Cheadle Hulme on 14 November 1877 and had attended Blackburn High School where Hope’s brothers and sisters also studied; and later the Technical School.  After they married, Betty gave up her post with “Woman’s Weekly”, and the two newlyweds traveled to the south of France where Hope planned to settle and to continue with his writing career.

About March 1913 they moved to France where they planned to live permanently–the inexpensive and healthy life on the Mediterranean attracted the Hodgson pair.  They arrive in Sanary, a small vacation resort town, 40 miles east of Marseilles.  Here was the ideal spot for Hope and Betty to settle for peace, quiet, love and creativity.  Shortly after arriving, Hope wrote to his sister Mary in Canada–

Mary Dear,

How the years have passed.  It must be four or five since last I had a letter from you, or you one from me.  Thank you, dear old Girl, for your kind wishes for Betty and me.  Betty is one of the Farnworth girls, who used to sketch me at the Technical School.  We met again in Town; and now she’s Mrs. Hope.  We are the same age, only a day between us.  She is not at all good-looking; but we are very happy.  I gave her your love, and she sends love to you and yours.  How are you?  You will be glad to know my new book has gone into a second edition.  Give all kind wishes to your husband from me.  So much love to you and the kidds (sic).

Your bruder (sic) Hope.

Villa Mimosas, Sanary, Var, May 1913

The bride and groom stayed at the villa “Les Mimosas” located at the foot of the hill which stood the Church Notre Dame de Pitie–only a few hundred feet from the port of Sanary and the downtown area–directly in front of the villa was the Mediterranean across the literal roadside–and a short walk from the front door was the Grande Jetee of Sanary. Truely this was paradise.

The Hodgson’s stayed at the villa Mimosa for less than a year, moving up the beach road to another and very similar villa called Chalet Mathilde, where they also rented an entire floor.

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