Somewhat over a year ago, I started the Dark Tales Sleuth blog to record my progress tracking down the sources of unattributed stories in the 1856 three volume anthology, Evening Tales for the Winter. I’ve been working on the project on and off since then, and yesterday I wrapped up what I could discover about Volume Two!
Of the last four stories in Volume Two, two were non-supernatural crime or adventure tales, one was arguably a ghost story, and the last a gothic demon tale. I’ve already featured Charles Macfarlane’s “Hungarian Robbers” in my Classic Crime series, so no more needs to be said about that.
“The Lonely Man of the Ocean” is a tale of survival at sea, from The Monthly Magazine and British Register. The author of “The Lonely Man” published at least two other stories in The Monthly Magazine, including the fun pirate adventure tale, “The Demon Ship.” My post includes a link to that story, as well, which I heartily recommend.
“The Wreckers of St. Agnes,” about a murdered shipwreck victim’s revenge on the Cornish wreckers responsible for his death, also comes from The Monthly Magazine, author unknown. I also uncovered a slightly modified version of the story, published forty six years later in The New York Times, under the title “The Wrecker’s Wager,” and signed “B”.
And finally, “The Haunted Forest” is a gothic tale of temptation, trickery, and a demon lover. I rather like it, and it’s a great shame that I couldn’t discover anything about the tale, at all. My post does include a link to my clean PDF transcription of the story, for easier reading.
Here’s the complete Table of Contents and Attributions for Volume Two. If anyone can help fill in the holes here (or answer my remaining questions for Volume One), please do drop me a message or comment.
For completeness, I’ll do a Table of Contents and Attribution page for Volume Three as well, though none of those stories are supernatural (or very interesting), so I won’t cover it in-depth. Stay tuned.