Collection: Arthur Machen

Arthur Machen, baptized Arthur Llewellyn Jones-Machen, was a Welsh writer in the 19th and 20th centuries. He received a classical education as a boy; however, he couldn’t afford to attend university, so he lived a life of relative poverty as he attempted to work in several professions before finding literary success.

In 1897, Machen married his first wife, Amelia Hogg, who introduced him to A. E. White, who became close friends with Machen and helped him break into literary circles. Soon after, Machen also began receiving legacies from distant relatives, which allowed him to devote more time to writing.

While he wrote fiction and nonfiction, Machen is best known for his supernatural and horror stories, which were inspired by Celtic, Roman, and medieval history as well as his own childhood in Wales. His books were popular, though his success fell after some unfortunate events—including a scandal from Oscar Wilde that hurt the reputation of the genres Machen wrote and the death of his first wife, and he was eventually forced to take on a full-time journalist position to provide for his family. This trend of success followed by poverty repeated throughout the years until an appeal was launched, naming Machen as a distinguished man of letters, which allowed him to finally live in some amount of comfort until his death in 1947.

Arthur Machen