Friday, March 18, 2011
FFB: FEAR AND TREMBLING, quite possibly edited by Alfred Hitchcock (Dell 1948)
The 1963 reprint I have (which, in a typical Dell confusion move, is entitled AH Presents: F&T on the title page).
The original, mapback Dell edition.
...then again, no reason this one and its companions early on couldn't be ghosted. But, with the anthologies starting in the next decade after the advent of the Alfred Hitchcock Presents: television series, someone was always careful to credit the actual editor, with Hitchcock's thanks for the Invaluable Assistance of (usually Robert Arthur, after the first volumes, till Arthur's death), but these other 1940s anthos also have no such credit: Suspense (Dell, 1945), Bar the Doors (Dell, 1946) and The Fireside Book of Suspense (Simon and Schuster, 1947), which last "Zybahn" at the fine Casual Debris blog notes is essentially a hardcover expansion of Suspense (but see Updates below, and the comments) (here's his Bar the Doors review--see the original Dell mapback covers, front and back, below).
* 7 • The Forms of Fear (Fear and Trembling) • essay by Alfred Hitchcock
* 9 • Cassius • (1931) • novelette by Henry S. Whitehead [Strange Tales of Mystery and Terror, November 1931, (Nov 1931, ed. Harry Bates, publ. The Clayton Magazines, Inc., $0.25, 144pp, pulp magazine)]
* 47 • The Tarn • (1923) • shortstory by Hugh Walpole
* 61 • Little Memento • (1938) • shortstory by John Collier
* 67 • Oh, Whistle, and I'll Come to You, My Lad • (1904) • novelette by M. R. James
* 88 • One Summer Night • (1906) • shortstory by Ambrose Bierce [Cosmopolitan, March 1906]
* 90 • Telling • (1927) • shortstory by Elizabeth Bowen
* 98 • The Jar • (1944) • shortstory by Ray Bradbury [Weird Tales, November 1944, (Nov 1944, ed. Dorothy McIlwraith, publ. Weird Tales, $0.15, 96pp, Pulp, magazine) Cover: Matt Fox]
* 114 • The Bad Lands • (1920) • shortstory by John Metcalfe
* 126 • Ghost Hunt • (1948) • shortstory by H. Russell Wakefield [as by H. R. Wakefield] [Weird Tales, March 1948]
* 132 • Skule Skerry • (1928) • shortstory by John Buchan [The Runagates Club, (1928, John Buchan, publ. Houghton Mifflin, $2.50, viii+306pp, hc, coll)]
* 147 • The Red Room • (1896) • shortstory by H. G. Wells
* 157 • The Sack of Emeralds • (1919) • shortstory by Lord Dunsany [Tales of Three Hemispheres, (Nov 1919, Lord Dunsany, publ. J. W. Luce, $1.75, 147pp, hc, coll)]
* 161 • The Night Reveals • novelette by Cornell Woolrich [as by William Irish]
So, this anthology features a number of stories Hitchcock himself might well've read himself in his relative youth, with the most recent stories (the Bradbury, the Wakefield, the Collier, the Woolrich/Irish) all quite possibly drawn to his attention as possibilities for adaptation one way or another...and certainly they seem like the kind of stories he might like for that purpose. Suspense, the radio series, did their rather famous adaptation of "Ghost Hunt" in 1949--it was first published in the clangorous Weird Tales 25th anniversary issue. And it's a solid mix of chestnuts (which M.R. James story have you seen everywhere?) and such eventual chestnuts as "The Jar" with items that are too often overlooked today (such as the Bowen or even the Woolrich).
Here's the contents of the first Hitchcock (mapback) Dell antho, courtesy a(n oddly now deleted page of) Vault of Evil:
The Quality of Suspense - Alfred Hitchcock
Leiningen versus the Ants - Carl Stephenson
The Liquer Glass - Phyllis Bottome
Flood on the Goodwins - A. D. Divine
R.M.S. Titanic - Hanson Baldwin
Blue Murder - Wilbur Daniel Steele
The House of Ecstasy - Ralph Milne Farley
Fire in the Galley Stove - Capt. William Outerson
The Lady or the Tiger - Frank Stockton
An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge - Ambrose Bierce
The Second Step - Margery Sharp
The Blue Paper - Albert Payson Terhune
The Baby in the Icebox - James M. Cain
The Room on the Fourth Floor - Ralph Straus
Elementals - Stephen Vincent Benet
And, in further discovery (at least for me in my belated way), the first of the YA anthologies attributed to Hitchcock for Random House, AH's Haunted Houseful (1961), is ghost-edited not by Arthur, but by Muriel Fuller...and one can definitely tell the difference...as pleasant as this anthology is, it isn't nearly as sharply-edited nor as likely to appeal to both young and adult readers as the Arthur anthologies...contents courtesy AlfredSpace:
"Let's Haunt A House" by Manly Wade Wellman,
"The Wastwych Secret" by Constance Savery,
"Jimmy Takes Vanishing Lessons" by Walter R. Brooks,
"The Mystery Of Rabbit Run" by Jack Bechdolt,
"The Forgotten Island" by Elizabeth Coatsworth,
"The Water Ghost Of Harrowby Hall" by John Kendrick Bangs,
"The Red-Headed League" by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle,
"The Treasure In The Cave" by Mark Twain (a long excerpt from Tom Sawyer),
"The Mystery In Four-And-A-Half Street" by Donald [Culross] & Louise Peattie.
Please see George Kelley's blog for the rest of this week's "Forgotten" books, and I'll be hosting the links list next week, with Patti Abbott returning the week after next from her prowling (hobbling?) the unsuspecting streets of Gotham...
Updates: Thanks to Jerry House, for noting that I'd completely missed another 1940s "AH" antho, Hold Your Breath (Dell, 1947), even though "Zybahn" lists it, and Jerry notes that there were some substitutions in the process of expanding Suspense for the Fireside Book; BV Lawson also notes that whoever was choosing these stories was demonstrating extraordinary taste, and that I'll agree with...I can believe that the mix of old AH favorites like John Buchan and new adaptation-ready items (Hitchcock hadn't yet done Rear Window from Woolrich's story, but he would) make it possible AH edited these, at least in part, but I share Jerry's suspicion that they are probably just yet another "celebrity editor" from the film-world set of ghost jobs, and the Zane Gray Western Magazine editor for Dell, Don Ward, might well be a likely choice. No thanks whatsoever to Blogspot, which is fighting with both my webbrowsers and not letting me comment on my own blog (other Bs, koff, blogs are OK)...but I might've just thought of a way around that...