Rapture and rebellion!
A grail quest and a boy’s public school torment.
Written between 1899 and 1908 but unpublished until 1922, The Secret Glory is said to have influenced John Betjeman and is mentioned in his autobiographical blank-verse Summoned by Bells.
Ambrose Meyrick becomes a model pupil following a sadistic beating at his public school, Lupton. He works hard at his classics and even plays rocker with relish. Memories of country walks with his father, the stories of Ilar Sant and an unforgettable visit to Mr Cradock are never far from his mind. He lives two eager lives, the outer school life and a deeper inner life in which he sees everything transfigured into a radiant glory.
Arthur Machen, 1863-1947, is remembered as an author of supernatural and horror fiction. Following its publication in 1894, The Great God Pan was denounced for its sexual and horrific content, but more recently Stephen King has described the novella as “maybe the best (horror story) in the English language”, and it was an influence on Guillermo del Toro’s 2006 film Pan’s Labyrinth.
Born Arthur Llewelyn Jones in Caerleon, Gwent, Machen was an author, journalist and actor. Descending from a long line of Anglican clergymen Machen’s mystical and spiritual beliefs, combined with his interest in the medieval, led him to create his own particular fusion of literature and legend.