- “The Watcher by the Threshold”
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- The Watcher by the Threshold by John Buchan - Free Ebook
Black Cloth. Condition: Very Good. Dust Jacket Condition: No dj. First Edition. Not the pictorial publishers cloth though, a contemporary black cloth binding with gilt spine titling and no publisher's colophon. Does not appear to be a library copy, as no labels, stamps or inscriptions are evident. Then again, the text block is in decent condition, with minor dustiness, the odd foxing freckle and corner fold, so why do away with the pictorial cloth and rebind in plain black?
An enigma not out of keeping with the laid-in press cutting, which refers to a copy of the same title being discovered at a charity booksale with a Buchan letter laid in - referring to a character Mr Sandiman as being fictitious, yet no such character featured in any of Buchan's prior works. We emphasise there is no link between this copy and the copy referred to in the clipping, other than that they both turned up in Edinburgh.
Either way, the text block IS the true first state, with correctly dated adverts. Size: 12mo. Seller Inventory L More information about this seller Contact this seller 7. Published by Blackwood, London About this Item: Blackwood, London, Buchan's most celebrated horror collection in a very rare early edition.
This is a copy of the second impression. In every other respect this is identical with the first, being in dark blue cloth with lettering in white and illustration to front cover in black, brown and white. A very clean copy with no marks to the text and hinges still sound. No ownership inscriptions. Just slight rubbing to corners and head and tail of spine but without any loss. After this impression the book was never reprinted in the original format and was only reissued by Blackwood in their shilling edition in Copies of the true first sell for 2 or 3 times as much, in inferior condition to the present copy.
A rare book at a reasonable price. More information about this seller Contact this seller 8. Published by William Blackwood and Sons From: Neverland Books Waalre, Netherlands. About this Item: William Blackwood and Sons, The book is reasonably firmly bound in the publisher's original illustrated blue cloth, which is slightly rubbed, bumped and marked, with fading to the spine and some minor loss of cloth to the top of the spine.
The text block is age toned and a little foxed, with a neatly written name to the front pastedown. Buchan's superb collection of weird and supernatural stories, uncommon as a first edition and this copy with the minor bibliographic interest of the rogue catalogue to the rear. Seller Inventory ABE More information about this seller Contact this seller 9. About this Item: William Blackwood and Sons , More information about this seller Contact this seller Red hardback cloth cover. G: in good condition without dust jacket.
Spine faded. Cover partially faded and marked. Fore-edge foxed. Seller Inventory jb Published by Ash-Tree Press About this Item: Ash-Tree Press, Condition: Near Fine. I had never heard of Joseph Campbell before this. I also looked into the "Christ and the Demonaic" print above the bed, and found mostly references to the casting out of the demons into swine from that one poor fellow.
I too felt the presence was not Lucifer, but rather a trapped demon from the early 'holy ground' experience, and the only reason he overtook Ladlaw was due to his late-May illness, which by early August was better but the deed had been accomplished by then, the unsettling terror intact.
By October, he was sleep deprived and exhausted, but the daytime persona was relaxed and almost charming, while the dusk-to-dawn fellow was beside himself, literally! It was quite an image that house staff could make out a being leaving Ladlaw's side in the first hour of dawn. Interesting how it could come and go at will, but within set boundaries of time. It seemed in control, but other factors controlled it as well. Like the presence of the wife relieving his strain, as Theodora in the story of Justinian.
I finally gave up trying to find the Italian artist who might have been responsible for the 'shadow print' but alas, my research uncovered nothing. The main insights from that, for me, were that depending upon which Biblical story there might have been two demons or one; and that none of them seemed to reference a "figure on the left side" of the possessed. Buchan appears to have invented that, together with the corresponding bust of Justinian on Ladlaw's left.
As an aside, I must say you are doing more research on your reading than the typical reader I encounter, and I also rejoice in the serendipity synchronicity of crossing themes and references.
“The Watcher by the Threshold”
I'm interested in the YouTube link but it's blocked at work so shall have to make my way back to it sometime from home. Due respect granted. Might also tap into Buchan's historical biography of Sir Walter Scott Or the sacrifice of Isaac in the drawing room for that matter? Maybe just to illustrate the mindset of Ladlaw.
It did parallel The Wendigo where the vulnerable bring upon their own demise in part by setting but in part by their level of belief. I am unfamiliar with Calvinism, although have heard of it. Lesson learned … watch what you decorate your homes with people! The various influences pagan, Christian, Roman point to something else overarching all of these.
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Partly that's why I find the Secret Journey explanation plausible, it accounts for those differences by pointing to the reader or audience or "possessed" as the source for the various conflicting details. I think you could almost use Lovecraft as an example of that sort of structure and plot. Here, at story's end, we're not left with a delineated monster or a single shape of weirdness or menace. At the end of this story, we have a tenebrous thicket of possibilities. I did read this story on time, but didn't get to sit down and record my thoughts until, as it were, all my thoughts had been expressed already, and more elegantly than I could manage.
One thing I might suggest. The introduction to the book I read this in Folio Society's "Short Stories" talked about the strong sense of place that Buchan can create, and how this is utilised in his Weird stories. I wonder if his experiences of hunting contributed to this sensitivity to place? I'd agree his hunting experience is likely to have influenced his sense of place.
I also read of his family's emphasis upon stories and faery nature if I recall, from both a parent and a grandparent seem significant. Buchan seemed to utilise his appreciation for the Scottish landscape in all his writings, and it's an aspect of his stories I like in particular. Perhaps if this had been my first exposure to Buchan, I would not have judged the short story so harshly, but it is easier to admire a story with a likeable fellow at the vortex.
Enough of a difference, though, to encourage the seeking out of more works by Buchan. Lots to choose from, this prolific writer had little down time. I might have to reread both of these options again first though, since the pace of the spy story pulled me through it so quickly, that I had little opportunity to linger in the rich descriptions of the many settings.
Now that the plot is concluded, I can pay more attention to the characters and their environment during the reread. The same likely for this short story. A second reading will reveal more, and third, yet more Discussions like these by TDO help outline what to watch for. Sometimes it's not just an opportunity for opinion, but to sharpen observation skills.
I have a pared down list of the btrbyd and popped on to highlight HPL's ATMOMadness showing that I'd read it , and suddenly spied 39Steps on the same list, so sought it out immediately to see how long an audiobook version would take, and after only a few minutes, was hooked. Located the text and it was finished almost before it started. Flubbed up my intentions, but worked out just fine. Grove might be next as it's mentioned in the gothic group, with plenty of comments followed by the other three I have within my ebook.
I regularly think I don't re-read enough, for now I am faced with having to choose between reading something new or re-reading and typically I choose something new. So little reading time at this stage in my life, hopefully not a permanent state of affairs. I have a small but growing list of books I must re-read. This group is one of the incentives that I use for re-reads, and our recent "Mountains of Madness" discussion is a case in point.
Group: The Weird Tradition members 15, messages. About This topic is not marked as primarily about any work, author or other topic. Group: The Weird Tradition members 15, messages About This topic is not marked as primarily about any work, author or other topic. The Man of the Crowd Illustrated.
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Wilkie Collins. The Premature Burial. The Drunkard's Dream.
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The Watcher by the Threshold by John Buchan - Free Ebook
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