Another big announcement to start off the week right. This is one that’s been in the wings for a little while now, but only just came together today. Valancourt Books, a fine (and, surprisingly, local) purveyor of rare Gothic and other excellent literature, just acquired the rights to reissue J.B. Priestley’s 1927 novel Benighted. And they’ve tapped yours truly to write the introduction!
Benighted is the novel from which the 1932 film The Old Dark House, one of my all-time favorite movies and my number one favorite of Universal’s many classic films of the era, was adapted. It’s been out of print and hard to track down for ages, and I only managed to scare up a copy to read myself for the first time in the last year, and I was surprised not only to like it, and to find in it much of what I loved about The Old Dark House, but also to find unexpected elements of existential dread and an undercurrent of what could almost be deemed cosmic horror. It’s a book that means a lot to me, and one that I’ve been waiting to see reissued pretty much since I first heard about it, and I am absolutely thrilled and honored for it to be my first introduction. I’ll have more to say about it as things develop, but for now have a gander at this gorgeous cover to the first edition which, if we’re very lucky, the folks at Valancourt may have snagged to grace this reissue as well: