The Works of Sydney Fowler Wright 1874 - 1965

S. Fowler Wright's Short Stories

by S. Fowler Wright

This version 1996.
First published 1949
I.S.B.N. 1 900848 007
Copyright © FWB 1996 (stories, photo & list).
Copyright © B. Stableford Esq., 1996 (Foreword).

Internet : http //

Correspondence : FWB, P.O. Box 3, Ludlow, Salop. SY8 4ZZ. Emgland

Printed by Saddler Print, Lye, West Midlands, Great Britain


Compiler's Note

Dear Reader,

        For those who wish to learn more of this prolific, diverse and now almost forgotten poet we have been working on a project to identify, list, trace and computer archive his work.

        To facilitate this two lists are being compiled:

        The 'Collector's List' - a complete list of the English Language editions. (312 to date).

        The 'Reader's List' - in Appendix 1. - The main editions to display his diversity.

        The 'Reader's List' is grouped under the menu headings of a, made to order, CD-ROM being prepared to both archive and make available his works - particularly the unpublished:

        'Song of Arthur'.        - the completion of his life's Arthurian work.

        'Cortez'.        - 'For God & Spain'. A classic historical novel.

        'Paradiso'.        - Completing publication of his translation of Dante's Divine Comedy.

Together with material of interest to anyone who wishes to either trace editions or study the author.

        More importantly, together with this book, it is a vehicle to expose the gaps in our lists - in the hope that missing articles, poems, magazines, titles, books, play scripts, ghosted work, films and even M.S. pages may come to our knowledge.

        Over 5,750,000 words are so far computerised - materially every significant, known book (Resources have not so far allowed consideration of foreign language editions).

        In the case of the extensive poetry that he edited - where available to us - we have only included the prefaces, contents lists, and S.FW's poetry together with publishers' announcements - for copyright reasons. Providing much of interest to reader and student alike.

        A great deal of S.FW's poetry, and his extensive editorial work, was published in magazines; particularly the 'Empire Poetry Leagues' quarterly - 'Poetry' - later 'Poetry and the Play' - (1917-1932). None are currently available to us. Although some are lodged at the Bodlian, Liverpool and Leeds public libraries. Sadly, The British Library lost their collection in the war.

        However the B.L.does have the 'Books of Today' monthly review magazines, that he edited. Here his work was sometimes unattributed or as by Anthony Wingrave - because of the prolific nature of the sophisticated and informed reviews - of books and films - required each month. We have the Christmas 1940 edition only (Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov. 1940 and Jan., Feb., Mar., Apr., May, Jun., Jul. 1941 are sought - or at least sought in a binding that allows copying).

        G. K. Chesterton's 'G.K's Weekly' may also be a source of articles and poetry.

        We would also like to trace a print or memorabilia of the two films made of his work: So far we have press cuttings and the official 'stills'.

        'Deluge' - RKO Radio - 1933. Directed by Felix E. Feist. (Last KBS/Admiral production).

        'Three Witnesses' - Universal - Twickenham production - 1935 Directed by Leslie Hiscott.

        Although we would like to acquire material to extend the computerisation - simply having access to it would enable the lists to be progressed.

        To assist contact we have established a World Wide Web page on the Internet on which to keep up-to-date information of our progress.


        Alternatively please contact:

                FWB, P.O. Box 3, Ludlow, Salop. SY8 4ZZ, U.K.

        In any case we hope that you enjoy the reading . . .

S. Fowler Wright Foreword

One who is a friend, a man of no mean literary judgement, and who has been kind to some things which I have written, recently surprised me not merely by saying he could not read a fantasy of which I was the author, but that he could not understand anyone writing such books if capable of other and (inferentially) better work.

        Was this judgement sound?

        Every work of imagination widens the frontiers of reality. It may have no objective reality, but precisely to that extent it adds to creation's sum. Men were; beyond that they built imaginations of things which were not. They may not have imagined facts; but it was a fact that they imagined things which had not been, and may never be.

        A foolish criticism of Ivanhoe (foolish alike whether correct or not) is that it represents a scene which has little historical basis. But it would be wiser to say that (being vivid as it is) the more it be a work of baseless imagination the more admirable it is.

        It is the contemporary habit to give first place to novels which portray men and events truly, observation rather than imagination being their inspiration. There is no need to depreciate such work, but they are only of the highest rank if it be better to crawl than to soar.

        To recognise this is not to assert that every fantastic tale is of high literary merit. It may be a sounder proposition that it is such in proportion to the verisimilitude which it attains. Beyond that, all serious works of imagination will contain a philosophy of life, and, the more they are without basis of mundane fact, the more clearly will that philosophy appear.

        For these and other reasons, having written works of imagination of many kinds, both in prose and verse, among which fantasy has not bulked prominently, I am disposed, without claiming any absolute value for such works, to place them relatively not last but first.

        The tales published here include all I have written of this order, of less than volume length, during the past thirty years, which I regard as worth reprinting. And to some of these I am less than sure of how accurately the description can be applied.

        I have written some things (such as The World Below) which have been pure phantasy; and these tales, when first published, were so regarded. But some of what appeared to be their wildest imagination, such as the instantaneous destruction of a city by scientific devilry, have become fact; and others certainly will.

S. Fowler Wright

South Kensington

January, 1951

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