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Marjorie Bowen (1) (1885–1952)

Author of The Bishop of Hell and Other Stories

For other authors named Marjorie Bowen, see the disambiguation page.

Marjorie Bowen (1) has been aliased into Joseph Shearing.

122+ Works 1,019 Members 26 Reviews 1 Favorited

About the Author

Image credit: Courtesy of the NYPL Digital Gallery (image use requires permission from the New York Public Library)


Works by Marjorie Bowen

Works have been aliased into Joseph Shearing.

Black Magic (1974) 77 copies
The Viper of Milan (1906) 62 copies
I Will Maintain (1910) 61 copies
Dickon (1929) 45 copies
For God and the King (1911) 41 copies
The Crown Derby Plate (2008) 37 copies
Defender of the Faith (1911) 37 copies
The Glen O' Weeping (1907) 22 copies
The Queen's Caprice (1933) 20 copies
Prince and Heretic (1914) 20 copies
The Poisoners (1953) 17 copies
The King's Favourite (1953) 15 copies
Dark Rosaleen (1932) 9 copies
A Knight of Spain (2018) 8 copies
The carnival of Florence (1925) 7 copies
God and the Wedding Dress (2015) 6 copies
This Shining Woman (2016) 6 copies
The Burning Glass (2018) 5 copies
Mr Misfortunate (2017) 5 copies
Mistress Nell Gwyn (1926) 5 copies
The Cheats (1920) 4 copies
The Quest of Glory (2015) 4 copies
Eugenie (2016) 3 copies
God's Playthings (2019) 3 copies
Patriotic Lady (1970) 3 copies
Kings-at-Arms (2017) 3 copies
The Leopard and the Lily (2013) 3 copies
Cambric Tea 3 copies
A Moment's Madness (1908) 2 copies
Withering fires (1935) 2 copies
The devil snar'd (1932) 2 copies
Crowns and Sceptres (1937) 2 copies
Because of These Things (2009) 2 copies
Five People (2018) 2 copies
Lovers' Knots (2019) 2 copies
Pale Rose (1977) 2 copies
The Gilt Mask 2 copies
No Way Home 1 copy
Jacqueline 1 copy
Ferriby (2015) 1 copy
The shadow on Mockways (1932) 1 copy
Roccoco 1 copy
Nightmare 1 copy
Violante 1 copy

Associated Works

Works have been aliased into Joseph Shearing.

The Fireside Book of Christmas Stories (1944) — Contributor — 275 copies
The Big Book of Christmas Mysteries (2013) — Contributor — 266 copies
Silent Nights: Christmas Mysteries (2015) — Contributor — 227 copies
The Omnibus of Crime (1929) — Contributor — 205 copies
The Mammoth Book of Modern Ghost Stories (2007) — Contributor — 130 copies
Tales of Witchcraft (1991) — Contributor — 108 copies
Murder for Christmas, Vol. 2 (1982) — Contributor — 83 copies
Weird Woods: Tales from the Haunted Forests of Britain (2020) — Contributor — 81 copies
Mistletoe & Mayhem: Horrific Tales For The Holidays (1992) — Contributor — 78 copies
Spirits of the Season: Christmas Hauntings (2018) — Contributor — 66 copies
The Uncanny Reader: Stories from the Shadows (2015) — Contributor — 66 copies
Ghost Stories and Other Horrid Tales (1997) — Contributor — 62 copies
The Fontana Book of Great Ghost Stories (1964) — Contributor — 60 copies
Chill Tidings: Dark Tales of the Christmas Season (2020) — Contributor — 60 copies
65 Great Tales of the Supernatural (1979) — Contributor — 59 copies
Dark: Stories of Madness, Murder and the Supernatural (2000) — Contributor — 56 copies
Mystery for Christmas (1990) — Contributor — 49 copies
Ghosts for Christmas (1988) — Contributor — 45 copies
Realms of Darkness (1985) — Contributor — 43 copies
Women of the Weird: Eerie Stories by the Gentle Sex (1976) — Contributor — 41 copies
The Oxford Book of Historical Stories (1994) — Contributor — 40 copies
The Young Oxford Book of Ghost Stories (1994) — Contributor — 37 copies
Great Short Stories of Detection, Mystery, and Horror (1928) — Contributor — 31 copies
The Night Side: Masterpieces of the Strange and Terrible (1947) — Contributor — 27 copies
Mortal Echoes: Encounters With the End (2018) — Contributor — 22 copies
Night chills : stories of suspense and horror (1975) — Contributor — 21 copies
The Night Wire: and Other Tales of Weird Media (2022) — Contributor — 20 copies
The World's Best One Hundred Detective Stories, Volume 2 (1929) — Contributor — 17 copies
The Fireside Book of Ghost Stories (1947) — Contributor — 15 copies
The Cold Embrace: Weird Stories by Women (2016) — Contributor — 14 copies
Shapes of the Supernatural (1969) — Contributor — 11 copies
A wave of fear: A classic horror anthology (1973) — Contributor — 11 copies
The Ash-Tree Press Annual Macabre 2001 (2001) — Contributor — 10 copies
The 7th Fontana Book of Great Horror Stories (1972) — Contributor — 10 copies
Alfred Hitchcock's Fatal Attractions (1983) — Contributor — 7 copies
The Eighteenth Fontana Book of Great Ghost Stories (1982) — Contributor — 7 copies
The Big book of detective stories — Contributor — 4 copies
The great weird stories (1977) — Contributor — 4 copies
The Sixteenth Fontana Book of Great Ghost Stories (1980) — Contributor — 3 copies
Murder for Christmas [audio abridgement] (1989) — Contributor — 1 copy
The Big Book for Girls — Contributor — 1 copy


Common Knowledge

Legal name
Campbell, Gabrielle Margaret Vere (birth name)
Long, Mrs. Arthur
Date of death
UK (birth)
Hayling Island, Hampshire, England, UK
Place of death
London, England, UK
Places of residence
London, England, UK
Slade School
horror writer
children's book author
short story writer
Short biography
Marjorie Bowen was the principal pen name of Margaret Gabrielle Vere Long, née Campbell. She was born on Hayling Island, Hampshire, England, and had a difficult childhood. The family moved constantly to escape debt. Her father was an alcoholic who disappeared and was later found dead on the streets of London. Marjorie did not go to school, but was self-educated in libraries and museums. She published her first novel, The Viper of Milan: A Romance of Lombardy, in 1906 at age 21, and thereafter was the breadwinner for an ungrateful family. Under this financial pressure, she produced more than 150 books using half a dozen pseudonyms, most of them historical fiction, Gothic novels, romance novels, and crime stories. She also wrote history, children's books, biographies, short stories, literary criticism, and tales of the supernatural. Her writing was widely admired by other authors, including Graham Greene. She was married twice: her first marriage took her to Italy, where she lived during the years of World War I. She wrote an autobiography, The Debate Continues (1939).



THE DEEP ONES: "Kecksies" by Marjorie Bowen in The Weird Tradition (June 2021)


Very good plot and well developed characters. The 'secret' is really well done! Holds the interest of the reader even after more than a century...
aravind_aar | 1 other review | Nov 21, 2021 |
An excellent collection of tales by an early twentieth century writer. Ms. Bowen was also a historical novelist, and she set all but two of these stories in the past. She had a gift for creating people who were often more frightening than the supernatural element.

The best tales, to my taste, were: "The Fair Hair of Ambrosine," a grim tale of fate; "The Crown Derby Plate," which showed a deliciously nasty sense of humor; "Elsie's Lonely Afternoon," a Katherine Mansfield-ish tale with a nasty twist; "The Bishop of Hell," with the most despicable of her rakehell villains; "The Scoured Silk," a tale that any reader of true crime stores knows is not impossible; and "Kecksie," a masterpiece so enjoyably depraved that I was surprised she could publish it even in the 1920s.… (more)
Coach_of_Alva | 4 other reviews | Jan 10, 2020 |
I’m a big fan of the Wordsworth Tales of Mystery & the Supernatural series, but the Marjorie Bowen anthology, The Bishop of Hell & Other Stories, is one entry in the series that I really struggled to get through. Most of these twelve stories are predictable, pedestrian tales, of little style, substance, or atmosphere. As I was reading, each story had an air of familiarity in some way or other. It was an odd feeling; and then each time I suddenly realized that Bowen is repeating herself with her thematic strokes: multiple stories of self-fulfilling prophecy, of unhappy marriages, of womanizing cads, of murderous revenge; and a pair of stories that both begin by basically saying that “this strange tale that follows needed to be stitched together from various sources...”. It’s just a bit off-putting, and perhaps an indication that the author did not have a lot of fresh ideas and therefore lifted from her prior work. Ultimately it says that the weird fiction genre was not a strong suit in her literary output.

While most of the stories barely moved the needle for me, there were a few that were compelling: (1) “Elsie’s Lonely Room” - A sad story about a little girl’s miserable life, with an even sadder gut-punch ending; (2) “The Adventure of Mr John Proudie” - Strange visitors one night intrude on the mundane life of a meek apothecary, who then witnesses some ghastly occurrences. The story is actually rather tame, but it is suspenseful and well-paced, and titling it an “adventure” playfully underscores just how unremarkable Mr John Proudie’s life actually was. (3) “The Scoured Silk” - an excellent horror story in which young Elisa Minden, soon to be wed to the older Humphrey Orford, becomes frightened and suspicious as her fiancé displays some unusual quirks, particularly with regard to his first wife, who died under mysterious circumstances some twenty years earlier.
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ghr4 | 4 other reviews | Feb 8, 2019 |
Like with the other novels I’ve read by this author, “Black Magic” features numerous quality scenes with a good plot, but at times the narrative reads too slow, plus the way the syntax is mixed-up to make the dialogue more authentic is irritating. At times it’s hard to understand.

On the whole, though, this is an enjoyable read, with high suspense, good characterisation, and vivid descriptive passages. The horror and supernatural elements are handled well, though some scenes are tame compared to today’s standards.

So not a classic, but certainly worth reading.
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PhilSyphe | 1 other review | Nov 22, 2018 |



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