RAVENS' BROOD by E F BENSON
First edition, first printing published in 1934 by Arthur Barker, London.
Description: Book; VG+ 320pp, Original blue cloth with gilt stamped titles to the spine. Corners are square with the lightest wear to the spine tips, boards are wonderfully clean with light patch of fading to spine. Light foxing to ep's and fpd otherwise very tightly bound, the pages are flush and crisp with no inscriptions. Charming New York Bookseller sticker to the rear pd.
Wrapper: VG+ Superb wrapper design by Hookway Cowles depicting the Druidic Stone circle the story centres on with couples leaping over the fires in an ancient fertility dance. The superb design has been blocked in red and black on a sage green background, light chipping to the hinge corners and along extremities here and there, the spine has dulled a shade, unclipped price of 7'6 still present.
Without doubt this is what has come to be defined as 'Folk Horror', Set in a Cornish Village in the 1870s, this bleak, feverish and claustrophobic novel centres on a farming family besieged by devilry both within (a heady mix of rampant alcoholism and witchcraft) and from Folkloric Supernatural forces outside the tumbledown cottage in which they survive. Then there is Midsummer's Eve, the Druidic Stone Circle, ancient fertility rites, Witchcraft, Black Magic Sacrifice, Dying Cattle, Failing Crops and reincarnated Witches as Great Brown Owls which watch over the doomed house. All this swirls round like a liquid banshee inside a glass of rough Whisky, it was never going to end well..... This was Benson's last Supernatural Novel. Covered by Barron, Wilson and Reginald, Bleiler misses it from his opus. If 'The Wicker Man', 'Blood on Satan's Claw' and 'The Witchfinder General' are your thing, Benson wrote this in 1934, well ahead of it's time. Extremely scarce and desirable edition.