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Flora MAYORRosemary TIMPERLEYA. N. L. MUNBYW.J. WINTLEChristopher
WOODFORDE

FROM ANOTHER WORLD

& Other Ghost Stories

by ROSEMARY TIMPERLEY

With a Foreword by Richard Dalby

& an Introduction by Rosemary Timperley

rosemary timperley, from another world, the sundial press
When Roald Dahl was asked to select a group of the best literary ghost stories for television adaptation in 1958, and later for his only anthology in 1983, he found the job unusually difficult:
  'The first batch of fifty or so stories I read were so bad it was difficult to finish them. They were trivial, poorly written and not in the least spooky. Spookiness is, after all, the real purpose of the ghost story. It should give you the creeps and disturb your thoughts. The stories I was reading did none of this. Some of the worst ones were written by the most famous writers... Then suddenly a bright star flashed across the murky sky. I had found a good one. The end of it gave me the shivers. It was called 'Harry' by Rosemary Timperley. That bucked me up and I went on with my labours... After I had read altogether some three hundred published stories, I had succeeded in discovering seven good ones.'
  These were by Amelia B. Edwards, Mrs (Margaret) Oliphant, Edith Wharton, Clemence Dane, Mary Treadgold, and two by Rosemary Timperley: 'Harry', and. 'Christmas Meeting'. With both these tales, she was the only writer to appear twice in Roald Dahl's Book of Ghost Stories (1983).
 
Rosemary Kenyon Timperley was born in Crouch End (North London) on 20 March 1920, daughter of teacher Emily Mary (Lethen) and architect George Kenyon Timperley. She was educated at Hornsea High School and Kings College (London) where she qualified for a History Honours B.A. degree in 1941.
  During the war and up to 1949, she taught English and history at a school in Essex, and also found time to work as a hospital nurse, police canteen assistant, waitress and artist's model, which all supplied rich background material for her later stories. While entertaining her pupils with her natural gifts of imaginative story-telling, she began contributing short fiction pieces to several magazines and newspapers.
 During the 1950s Rosemary Timperley worked full-time with the editorial staff of the popular magazine Reveille, writing historical and other features, editing readers' letters and running a personal advice column.
  Several of her earliest supernatural tales appeared in both Reveille and the weekly Truth magazine in the long-running 'Queer Story' series. Three of these, all from 1952 numbers of Truth (kindly supplied by Richard Simms, who has researched and located many dozens of long-forgotten Timperley tales in Truth, Reveille, and the London Evening News) appear in the present volume.
Timperley finally achieved her first hardback publication with 'Christmas Meeting’ and ‘Harry’ in Cynthia Asquith's bestselling anthologies The Second Ghost Book (1952) and The Third Ghost Book (1955) respectively, in the distinguished company of L.P. Hartley, Elizabeth Bowen, Lord Dunsany, Robert Aickman, and many other great genre names.
  The excellent response to these two fine tales encouraged the publisher James Barrie to request Rosemary Timperley to write three longer supernatural stories which then appeared together in her first book, The Listening Child (1956), dedicated to 'James Barrie, whose kindness and encouragement caused this book to be written’. The memorable title-story is now reprinted here for the first time.

*     *     *     *     *
Although Rosemary Timperley was an enormously prolific novelist and short story writer, she always combined quantity with undeniable quality, much appreciated by countless readers and admirers of her work. Her work is certainly overdue for rediscovery today.

This new selection contains twenty-two of Timperley's best stories:
HARRY, FROM ANOTHER WORLD, THE NOBODIES, THE LISTENING CHILD, THE EVER-BURIED, LOST PATHWAYS, THE ARTIST'S MODEL, THE MISTRESS IN BLACK, DREAMS ARE MORE THAN SHADOWS, VOICES IN THE NIGHT, WHAT HAPPENED TO SALLY?, THE TALL WOMAN, TO KEEP HIM COMPANY, WALK ON THE WATER, LITTLE GIRL LOST, THE SOUND OF THE SAW, THE WRONG GHOST, PROOF POSITIVE, MANDRAGORA, LITTLE BOY HAUNTED, STELLA, CHRISTMAS MEETING.

Price: £17.50   Limited edition Hardback   ISBN-13: 978-1-908

Book Dimensions: 210 × 148 mm   Publication Date: October 2014

Further details to follow.



"As a little child I was first consciously introduced to ghosts when my aunt read aloud to me Dickens' A Christmas Carol. Marley's ghost interested me, but I was unalarmed as I didn't believe in him. I thought privately that I could invent that sort of thing myself if I had a mind to.
  For years I regarded ghost stories as fascinating but no more credible than, say, Cinderella or The Little Mermaid—beloved favourites, but one did suspend belief.
  Even when I found Walter de la Mare's The Listeners, fell in love with it, recited it in the bath or to long-suffering human listeners, I still didn't really believe a word of it.
  But I always stayed interested in ghosts and, in spite of my scepticism, enjoyed writing ghost stories, pleasantly giving myself the willies and earning some unghostly money at the same time.
  As a teacher, I found that the children loved having ghost stories read to them, and their cries, gasps, shivers and "Cor, Miss ! Smashing ! Read us another!" was fun for everyone.
  This sceptic's paradise of mine continued until I was over forty, and then something happened. I had a long illness, involv­ing months in hospital. The drugs I had to take and the claustro­phobic, almost witchlike atmosphere of an all-female ward, had an effect on my mind—and I heard Voices.
  No need for details. Teresa of Avila, Joan of Arc, Emily Bronte, Evelyn Waugh and others have already described this experience to perfection. Indeed, schizophrenia is not such a rare condition. Many people go through it at some time or other when they have been under stress and "escape" from so-called normality. But the point is that, whatever the medical explanation, I really did hear those Voices, which doctors call "auditory hallucinations". I realised with shock and terror that there were such things as spirits in the air about us, and that I'd been playing ignorantly with ghost-fire for all of my previous life....
From Rosemary Timperley's INTRODUCTION

Read MANDRAGORA a story from the new collection
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