Friday, 21 June 2013

Randalls Round by Eleanor Scott, reviewed by Harsh Grewal

Randalls Round (Oleander Press, pb, 176pp) collects several well-written tales of horror and suspense. They were written by Helen M. Leys, under the pseudonym Eleanor Scott. They were first published over eighty years ago and feature highly articulate posh people being scared – or worse. The stories were apparently inspired by the author’s dreams, though one suspects the sexual aspects of the dreams have been somewhat diluted.

The author isn’t as fascinatingly keyed-up as Poe, nor as brilliantly off her rocker as Lovecraft, and there is generally little to distinguish her from other writers in the genre, but the last two tales, with female protagonists, are interesting. Honor Yorke and Annis Breck are smart and cool, shrewd, with a dislike of girls who get giddy and terrified and scream for help. It’s a shame there isn’t more like this here from an author who was herself an emancipated Oxford woman.

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