book cover of The Great God Pan / The Inmost Light

The Great God Pan / The Inmost Light

(1894)
A collection of stories by

 
 
Arthur Machen was a leading Welsh author of the 1890s. He is best known for his influential supernatural, fantasy, and horror fiction. He also is well known for his leading role in creating the legend of the Angels of Mons.

"The Great God Pan" is a novella written by Arthur Machen. The original story was published in 1890, and Machen revised and extended it in 1894. On publication it was widely denounced by the press as degenerate and horrific because of its decadent style and sexual content, although it has since garnered a reputation as a classic of horror. Machen's story was only one of many at the time to focus on Pan as a useful symbol for the power of nature and paganism.

The Plot: A woman in Wales has her mind destroyed by a scientist's attempt to enable her to see the god of nature Pan. Years later, a young woman named Helen Vaughan arrives on the London social scene, disturbing many young men and causing some to commit suicide; it transpires that she is the monstrous offspring of the god Pan and the woman in the experiment.

"The Inmost Light" (1894) - A scientist imprisons his wife's soul in a shining jewel, letting something else into her untenanted body, but the jewel is stolen before he can reverse this.



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