Arthur Machen

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Arthur Machen

Monmouthshire, Wales
Death 15 Dec 1947 (aged 84)
Beaconsfield, South Bucks District, Buckinghamshire, England
Burial Amersham, Chiltern District, Buckinghamshire, England
Memorial ID 8755748 · View Source
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British author, noted for his supernatural tales. Arthur Llewellyn Jones was born in the rectory at Llandewi Fach near Caerleon-on-Usk in Monmouthshire, South Wales, the only child of the Rev. John Edward Jones and his Scottish wife, Janet Robina Machen. The name rhymes with "blacken". Arthur was educated at Hereford Cathedral School, but was unable to go to University as his father could not afford the fees. He tried for a career in medicine but, in 1880, failed the preliminary examinations of the Royal College of Surgeons. The following year, he moved to London and worked as a tutor, a publishers' clerk, and a cataloguer of occult books, whilst subsisting on a diet of dried bread, tea and tobacco. In the same year, he published his first work, an epic poem named "Elusinia", in an edition of one hundred copies, of which only three are known to survive. Several more works followed in that decade, notably "The Anatomy of Tobacco" and several translations from the Italian. In 1887, he married Amelia Hogg, from Worthing in Sussex. Arthur Machen's greatest works date from the 1890s, notably "The Great God Pan" (1894), "The Three Imposters" (1895) and "The Hill of Dreams", which was written in 1897 but remained unpublished for ten years. Jerome K. Jerome wrote of Machen's work of this period: "For the ability to create an atmosphere of nameless terror, I can think of no author, living or dead, who comes near him." In 1899, after many years of illness, Amelia died of cancer. Arthur Machen attempted to take his mind off his grief by joining the Order of the Golden Dawn, along with Crowley and Yeats, but found that its teachings were less than fulfilling, and left it to join the Shakespearian touring company of Sir Frank Benson, where he played only minor roles but met an actress named Dorothie Purefoy Hudleston, who was the daughter of a Colonel in the Indian Army. Arthur and Dorothie married in 1903, and went on to have one son and one daughter. From 1910 to 1925, Arthur Machen worked as a reporter for the London Evening News. He did not enjoy journalism, but this period saw the appearance of his best-known story, "The Bowmen", which appeared in the paper on the 29th. September 1914, shortly after the Battle of Mons. The tale of how St. George and the archers of Agincourt appeared on the battlefield to aid the British Army was believed by many to be a true account. Although Machen's work went out of fashion in Great Britain during the 1920's, he remained something of a cult in the United States, but was forced through a lack of funds to leave London for a house named "Lynwood" in Amersham, about 26 miles North-West of the capital, where he continued to write essays, reviews and stories. In "Who's Who", he gave as his only recreation, "Dog and Duck", which was, presumably, the local tavern. Dorothie was buried on April 3rd. 1947 (the date of her death is unknown) and Arthur was interred on the 17th. December of the same year, two days after he died at St. Joseph's Nursing Home in Beaconsfield. In order to find his grave, follow the footpath Eastwards from behind St. Mary's Church, along the River Misbourne. The cemetery soon appears on the North. Follow the central path as far East as you can go, until you reach a grassy slope; then turn left (North). Machen's grave is marked by the tall tombstone, facing East, immediately in front of the slope.

Bio by: Iain MacFarlaine

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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Iain MacFarlaine
  • Added: 14 May 2004
  • Find A Grave Memorial 8755748
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Arthur Machen (3 Mar 1863–15 Dec 1947), Find A Grave Memorial no. 8755748, citing St. Mary the Virgin Churchyard, Amersham, Chiltern District, Buckinghamshire, England ; Maintained by Find A Grave .