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Robert Aickman Biography

(1914–81), We Are for the Dark, Dark Entries, Powers of Darkness, Sub Rosa

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British writer, born and educated in London. He played an important part in the founding of the Inland Waterways Association after the Second World War. From the publication of We Are for the Dark (1951; with Elizabeth Jane Howard), he became increasingly recognized as a fine exponent of the ghost story. On his title pages, Aickman described his work as ‘strange stories’. His collections include Dark Entries (1964), Powers of Darkness (1966), Sub Rosa (1968), Cold Hand in Mine (1976), Tales of Love and Death (1977), Intrusions (1980), Night Voices (1985), and The Wine-Dark Sea (1988). In his subtle autobiography, The Attempted Rescue (1966), Aickman alluded to the coercions of class and family and how they had affected his life. These themes appear frequently in his fiction; from ‘The Trains’ (1951) and ‘Ringing the Changes’ (1955) to ‘Pages from a Young Girl's Journal’ (1973) and ‘The Stains’ (1980), Aickman consistently represented an invasive ‘strangeness’ of the world as an analogue of the psychic distress of modern man.

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