002 The Great Return by Arthur Machen
At the heart of his unique literary landscape, the adventurous reader may discover The Great Return, a short novella, which embodies perfectly Arthur Machen’s skill in depicting the ecstatic.
It is 1915. The quagmire of the First World War is daily news for Britons. Loved ones depart over the Channel forever to vanish in the trenches. For the first time in human history, London is under threat of aerial attack. It is a bleak and fearsome time. But there is talk of a miracle in the wilds of Wales. In this time of butchery, how can it be that a man forgives the unrighteousness of his neighbor? How can it be that a tubercular young woman is returned from the gates of death? Is this truly twentieth century Wales or ancient Judea? Perhaps it is both in the same instant.
Under the guise of an unnamed narrator, Machen lays before us this jigsaw puzzle. He guides us from the despairing black streets of London to a newly transfigured world in the west of Wales. There he investigates the impossible. Yet, its glimmers are everywhere—on the faces of those who beheld it, in the flowers of the field…
Essentially, The Great Return is a drama of theology. It is a mystery-play of faith in a world of men fallen below nature.
The Great Return (1915): the original novella with annotations
The Sangraal, Parts I-III (1907): A series of essays by Machen
Introduction by Ben Dolan / Afterword by poet Joshua Alan Sturgill / The Village of the Three Saints, a new essay on location and hagiography / Additional ancillary material
Published December 2017
5×8 Softcover, 172 Pages
Limited to 150 copies
5×8 Hardcover, 172 Pages
Limited to 50 copies
Purchase – The Great Return (Softcover)
Purchase – The Great Return (Hardcover)