Thursday, 21 June 2007

Arthur Machen – Master of Holy Terrors

An evening chaired by Lionel Fanthorpe celebrating Machen's life and work.

Thursday 5 July 2007

The Boardroom, Central Building, University of Wales Caerleon, Newport [Map Here]

IWA Gwent Branch and Academi. Part of Celf Caerleon Arts Festival.

6.30 pm (cost £5.00 to include a glass of wine)

“I shall always esteem it as the greatest piece of fortune that has fallen to me, that I was born in that noble, fallen Caerleon-on-Usk, in the heart of Gwent.” Arthur Machen

Arthur Machen (1863-1947) joined together tales of unspeakable fears and wonders with Roman Isca, Victorian London, the Holy Grail, and the Gwent countryside. He has been read worldwide and has been admired by many including Oscar Wilde, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Iain Sinclair, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Sir John Betjeman, Alan Moore, and Jorge Luis Borges. Now in the 60th anniversary of his death a sculpture is being erected to honour him and a distinguished panel featuring award winning writers: Simon Clark, Catherine Fisher, and Tim Lebbon join to explore Machen’s world of terror and wonder. Find out why they and Stephen King, Clive Barker and HP Lovecraft consider Machen to be amongst the greatest writers of tales of supernatural horror and fantasy.

  • Hear why Machen wrote what has been called the most decadent book in the English language, The Hill of Dreams.
  • Learn how Machen was the first novelist to place the Holy Grail in a modern setting – almost 100 years before Dan Brown.
  • Discover the truth behind the Bowmen and the Angels of Mons; did they slay thousands of Germans in World War One?
  • How is Machen’s The Great God Pan connected to Oscar winner Pan’s Labyrinth?

Find out more about Machen and the sculpture at The Friends of Arthur Machen and Celf Caerleon Arts Festival 2007 - .

[The event will be followed in the best Machen tradition by a visit to local taverns.]


Rev. Lionel Fanthorpe is an ordained Anglican priest, Fortean expert and entertainer. He has worked as a journalist, teacher, television presenter, author and lecturer. He has written 250 books. He is president of the the Association for the Scientific Study of Anomalous Phenomena and the British UFO Research Association.

Simon Clark is an award winning horror novelist from Doncaster. In 2001 he won British Fantasy awards for The Night of the Triffids, a sequel to John Wyndham’s novel, and for best short story, "Goblin City Lights" and he has been shortlisted for many more including a World Fantasy Award. His twenty books include Blood Crazy, Darker, Vampyrrhic, The Fall, and the Doctor Who novella The Dalek Factor. He collaborated on the Machen inspired Exorcising Angels (2003) with Tim Lebbon. Website

Catherine Fisher is an award winning children’s writer and poet who lives in Newport. She has been translated into seventeen languages and her nineteen novels include the children’s fantasy series Book of the Crow, as well as Darkhenge, Snow-walker, and The Oracle Betrayed, which was a finalist for the Whitbread Children's Book Award, while The Candle won the Tir-Na-n'Og Award 2002. She has been nominated and won many others. Her novel Belin's Hill set in Caerleon was influenced by Machen.Website

Tim Lebbon is a Newport raised award winner writer of horror and dark fantasy and now lives locally. Author of more than twenty books which include Dead Man's Hand, Pieces of Hate, and Berserk, the fantasy Noreela series, and the Hellboy novel Unnatural Selection. He has won two British Fantasy Awards, a Bram Stoker Award, and a Tombstone Award. His award winning novella White is soon to be a major movie written and directed by Stephen Susco (The Grudge). He collaborated on the Machen inspired Exorcising Angels (2003) with Simon Clark. Website

Gwilym Games is from Newport and is editor of Machenalia, one of the journals of the Friends of Arthur Machen, finalists for a World Fantasy Award in 2006. A recognised expert on Machen he has been responsible for the organisation of the Arthur Machen commemorative sculpture 2007 in collaboration with Celf Caerleon Arts Festival.

Supported by Academi and University of Wales, Newport, sculpture funded partialy by Principalty Medical Ltd.