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Margaret Gabrielle Vere Campbell (1885-11-01)1 November 1885 Hayling Island, Hampshire, England
Marjorie Bowen, Joseph Shearing, George Preedy, Robert Paye
Zefferino Emilio Constanza
(m. 1912; died 1916)
Arthur L. Long
Margaret Gabrielle Vere Long (née Campbell; 1 November 1885 - 23 December 1952), who used the pseudonym Marjorie Bowen, was a British author who wrote historical romances, supernatural horror stories, popular history and biography.
Bowen was born in 1885 on Hayling Island in Hampshire. She had a difficult childhood; her alcoholic father Vere Douglas Campbell left the family at an early stage and was eventually found dead on a London street. She and her sister grew up in poverty with a less than affectionate mother. Bowen studied at the Slade School of Fine Art and later in Paris. Her first fiction was a violent historical novel, The Viper of Milan (written when she was 16), set in medieval Italy.The Viper of Milan was rejected by several publishers, who considered it inappropriate for a young woman to have written such a novel. It went on to become a best-seller when eventually published. After this, Bowen's prolific writings were the chief financial support for her family.
She was married twice: first, from 1912 to 1916, to a Sicilian, Zefferino Emilio Constanza, who died of tuberculosis, and then to Arthur L. Long. Bowen had four children; a son and a daughter (who died in infancy) with Constanza, and two sons with Long.
In 1938, Bowen was one of the signatories to a petition organised by the National Peace Council, calling for an international peace conference in an effort to avert war in Europe.
In an interview for Twentieth Century Authors, she listed her hobbies as "painting, needlework and reading".
Her cousin was the artist Nora Molly Campbell 1888-1971.
Bowen died on 23 December 1952 at the St Charles Hospital in Kensington, London after suffering serious concussion as a result of a fall in her bedroom.
Her total output numbers over 150 volumes with the bulk of her work under the 'Bowen' pseudonym. She also wrote under the names Joseph Shearing, George R. Preedy, John Winch, Robert Paye and Margaret Campbell. After The Viper of Milan (1906), she produced a steady stream of writings until the day of her death.Bowen's work under her own name was primarily historical novels. Bowen crafted a trilogy of historical novels about King William III. The novels are I Will Maintain (1910), Defender of the Faith (1911), and God and the King (1911) . The 1909 novel Black Magic is a Gothic horror novel about a medieval witch." Bowen also wrote non-fiction history books aimed at a popular readership.
Under the pseudonym "Joseph Shearing", Bowen wrote several mystery novels inspired by true-life crimes. For instance, For Her to See (1947, AKA So Evil My Love) is a fictionalised version of the Charles Bravo murder. The Shearing novels were especially popular in the United States, Moss Rose, The Golden Violet and Forget-Me-Not achieving both critical and commercial success, being championed by reviewers such as Phil Stong. Until the late 1940s, the true identity of Shearing was not known to the general public, and some speculated it was the pseudonym of F. Tennyson Jesse. Under the "George R. Preedy" pseudonym, she wrote two non-supernatural horror novels, Dr. Chaos and The Devil Snar'd. Her last, posthumous, novel was The Man with the Scales (1954); it is about a man obsessed with revenge, and contains supernatural elements reminiscent of E. T. A. Hoffmann. Many of these stories were published as Berkley Medallion Books. Several of her books were adapted as films. Bowen's supernatural short fiction was gathered in three collections: The Last Bouquet (1933), The Bishop of Hell, (1949) (featuring an introduction by Michael Sadleir) and the posthumous Kecksies, edited for Arkham House in the late 1940s, but not actually published until 1976.
Bowen's books are much sought after by aficionados of gothic horror and received praise from critics. Graham Greene stated in his Paris Review interview (Autumn 1953), "I chose Marjorie Bowen [as a major influence] because as I have told you, I don't think that the books that one reads as an adult influence one as a writer...But books such as Marjorie Bowen's, read at a young age, do influence one considerably." Horror reviewer Robert Hadji described Bowen as "one of the great supernatural writers of this century".Fritz Leiber referred to "Marjorie Bowen's brilliant Black Magic".Jessica Amanda Salmonson, discussing The Last Bouquet, described Bowen's prose as "stylish and moody, dramatic to the highest degree" and stated "what in other hands is merely tacky or gross is, from Marjorie Bowen, a superior art, chilling and seductive".Sally Benson in The New Yorker, discussing the "Joseph Shearing" books: "Mr Shearing is a painstaking researcher, a superb writer, a careful technician, and a master of horror. There is no one else quite like him". Reviewing The Crime of Laura SarelleWill Cuppy stated "Those who want a good workout of the more perilous emotions will do well to read Mr. Shearing's impressive tale of love, death and doom... Join the Shearing cult and meet one of the most malevolent females in song or story". In an article about women writers, the Australian newspaper The Courier-Mail described Bowen as "one of the best of our modern novelists".Sheldon Jaffery stated that Bowen's "weird fiction ranks favorably with such distaff portrayers of the supernatural as Mary Wilkins-Freeman, Edith Wharton and Lady Cynthia Asquith." By contrast, Colin Wilson's view of Bowen's work was negative: in a review of A Sort of Life by Grahame Greene, Wilson dismissed Bowen as a writer of "bad adventure stories".
Gustavus Adolphus II (1594-1632) : elected King of Sweden, of the Goths and Vandals (1988)
Twilight and Other Supernatural Romances (1998) - published by Ash-Tree Press
Collected Twilight Stories (2010) - published by Oxford City Press
''Namby-Pamby Men''. John Bull, 2 September 1933
''Have a Good Daughter!''. John Bull, 9 December 1933
As Joseph Shearing
Forget-me-Not (1932) aka Lucile Clery (USA 1930) and The Strange Cast of Lucile Clery (USA) (1942)
Album Leaf (1933) aka The Spider in the Cup (USA 1934)
Moss Rose (1934)
The Angel of the Assassination (1935) - Non-fiction (biography of Charlotte Corday)
The Golden Violet. The story of a lady novelist. (1936) Reprinted as Night's Dark Secret by Margaret Campbell, (1975)
The Lady and the Arsenic: The life and death of a romantic: Marie Cappelle, Madam Lafarge (1937) - Non-fiction
Orange Blossoms (1938) - short stories
Blanche Fury (1939)
Aunt Beardie. 1940
The Crime of Laura Sarelle (1941)
The Spectral Bride also known as The Fetch (1942)
Airing in a Closed Carriage (1943)
The Abode of Love (1944)
For Her to See. (1947) aka So Evil My Love (USA, 1947) - adapted as the film So Evil My Love (1948)
Within the Bubble (1950) aka The Heiress of Frascati (USA, 1966)
To Bed at Noon (1951)
As George Preedy
General Crack (1928)
The Rocklitz (UK) aka The Prince's Darling (USA) (1930)
Bagatelle and some other Diversions - Short Stories (1930)
Tumult in the North 1930
The Pavilion of Honour 1932
Violante: Circe and Ermine 1932
Double Dallilay aka Queen's Caprice (USA) (1933)
Dr. Chaos and the Devil Snar'd (1933)
The Knot Garden: Some Old Fancies Re-Set (1933)
The Autobiography of Cornelius Blake, 1773-1810, of Ditton See, Cambridgeshire (1934)
Laurell'd Captains (1935)
The Poisoners (1936)
My Tattered Loving (1937, reprinted in 1971 as The King's Favourite by MB)
Painted Angel (1938)
Child of chequer'd fortune : The life, loves and battles of Maurice de Saxe, Marechal de France (1939) - Non-fiction
Dove in the Mulberry Tree (1939)
The Fair Young Widow 1939
Black Man - White Maiden (1941)
Findernes' Flowers (1941)
Lyndley Waters (1942)
Lady in a Veil (1943)
The Fourth Chamber (1944)
Nightcap and Plume (1945)
No Way Home (1947)
The Sacked City (1949)
Julia Ballantyne (1952)
As Robert Paye
The Devil's Jig (1930)
Julia Roseingrave (1933) - supernatural fiction involving witchcraft
^ abcRobert Hadji, "Marjorie Bowen" in Jack Sullivan (ed) (1986) The Penguin Encyclopedia of Horror and the Supernatural: pp. 50-51.
^ abcdefgh"Long, Mrs. Gabrielle Margaret Vere (Campbell)", in Stanley J. Kunitz and Howard Haycraft, Twentieth Century Authors, A Biographical Dictionary of Modern Literature, (Third Edition). New York, The H.W. Wilson Company, 1950, (pp. 845-6)
^National Petition for A New Peace Conference,(23 November 1938) National Peace Council. (p. 8).
^F. Seymour Smith, What Shall I Read Next? A Personal Selection of Twentieth Century English Books. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2010. ISBN0521064929, (p.95)
^Black Magic: A Tale of the Rise and Fall of Antichrist (1909) is a Gothic novel uniting historical and supernatural elements..." George M Johnson, Late-Victorian and Edwardian British Novelists. Detroit; Gale Research, 1995. ISBN9780810357143 (p.45).
^Jane W. Stedman, "Shearing, Joseph" in Twentieth Century Crime and Mystery Writers, edited by James Vinson and D.L. Kirkpatrick. St. James Press, 1985. ISBN0-312-82418-1 (pp. 797-801).
^ abcd"Shearing, Joseph", in Stanley J. Kunitz and Howard Haycraft, Twentieth Century Authors, A Biographical Dictionary of Modern Literature, (Third Edition). New York, The H.W. Wilson Company, 1950, (pp. 845-6)
^Neil Wilson, Shadows in the Attic : A Guide to British Supernatural Fiction, 1820-1950. Boston Spa, British Library, 2000. ISBN0712310746 (p. 97).
^Edward Wagenknecht. Seven Masters of Supernatural Fiction. New York: Greenwood Press, 1991 (p. 165, 180).