Collection: Robert Aickman

Robert Aickman (1914–1981) was the son of an architect and grandson of the Victorian Gothic novelist Richard Marsh (author of the occult bestseller The Beetle). He did not attend university and subsisted on a small family income in London, working variously as a literary agent, editor, and theater and art critic. A prominent advocate for preserving and restoring England’s extensive network of canals, he was cofounder, in 1946, of the influential Inland Waterways Association. Above all, Aickman wanted to be an author, and he realized this desire with an extensive oeuvre of quasi-supernatural tales. In addition to eight collections of “strange stories,” as he dubbed them (the first, We Are For the Dark, included stories written by the novelist Elizabeth Jane Howard), his writing includes a short novel, The Late Breakfasters (1965), a posthumously published novella, The Model (1987), and various unpublished fiction, dramatic, and nonfiction works. He published two memoirs, The Attempted Rescue and The River Runs Uphill, and two popular nonfiction books about the inland waterways. Aickman won the World Fantasy Award in 1975 for his story “Pages from a Young Girl’s Journal” and edited eight volumes of The Fontana Book of Great Ghost Stories, writing introductions for six. He died of cancer in 1981.
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