Algernon Blackwood

Algernon Blackwood

English horror­story writer Algernon Blackwood (1869-1951)

English writer of ghost stories and supernatural fiction. Among his thirty-odd books, Blackwood wrote a series of stories and short novels published as John Silence, Physician Extraordinary (1908), which featured a "psychic detective" who combined the skills of a Sherlock Holmes and a psychic medium. Blackwood also wrote light fantasy and juvenile books.

The son of a preacher, Blackwood had a life-long interest in the supernatural, the occult, and spiritualism, and firmly believed that
humans possess latent psychic powers. The autobiography Episodes Before Thirty (1923) tells of his lean years as a journalist in New York. In the late 1940s, Blackwood had a television program on the BBC on which he read . . . ghost stories!

At age 21 and then living in Toronto, Algernon Blackwood made application to become a Fellow of the Theosophical Society on February 2, 1891. During WWI, Algernon Blackwood took up spying while reporting to John Buchan, author of The Thirty Nine Steps. After the war, during the Roaring Twenties, Blackwood studied with Gurdjieff and Ouspensky. Ouspensky set up a self-supporting community at Lyne Place, near London, which flourished for many years. Among the men and women who studied with him were J.D .Beresford, Algernon Blackwood, A.R.Orage, Christopher Isherwood, and Aldous Huxley.