The Rocking-Horse Winner
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Synopsis from the Centipede Press website:
In his short life, British writer D. H. Lawrence (1885-1930) established himself as the author of such pioneering and controversial novels as Lady Chatterley’s Lover and Women in Love. But throughout his career, Lawrence was attracted by the strange and fantastic, and this interest emerged in an array of stories that reflect many of the concerns of his mainstream fiction.
Several of Lawrence’s weird tales were commissioned by Lady Cynthia Asquith for her various anthologies, including The Ghost Book (1926). It was for this volume that Lawrence wrote his most famous horror story, “The Rocking-Horse Winner,” a grim tale of psychological terror and ambiguous supernaturalism. Asquith had rejected an earlier submission, “Glad Ghosts,” although this is also a powerful story in which a thinly disguised version of Lawrence himself appears as a character.
Many of Lawrence’s ghost stories feature complex love triangles. In “The Border Line,” the ghost of a first husband prevents his former wife from saving the life of her second husband. “The Lovely Lady” is the compelling story of a domineering woman who has sucked the life out of her dead son and is about to do the same to her still-living son.
Lawrence’s move to Taos, New Mexico, in 1922 inspired the bizarre novelette “The Woman Who Rode Away,” where a European woman becomes enmeshed in primitive rituals in the American Southwest. The story also hints of the revival of ancient gods.
The book is edited by S. T. Joshi, a leading authority on weird fiction and the author of Unutterable Horror: A History of Supernatural Fiction (2012).