Friday, October 28, 2016

FFB: Helen Hoke anthologies

If anyone gave Robert Arthur a run for the prize of most eclectic anthologist of the macabre for young readers, it was Helen Hoke...other editors produced a number of anthologies, but I don't think anyone was more prolific in this way than Hoke, whose editorial career spanned from the 1930s through the mid-1980s, and I mostly enjoyed her volumes published in the mid '70s...and she drew on a fine mix of chestnuts and more obscure selections...and she was unafraid to draw on all sorts of sources, rather than hewing exclusively to the magazines and collections devoted primarily to fantasy and horror fiction. (Certainly Peter Haining and Hugh Lamb were highly productive and wide-ranging, among others, but not aiming their books expressly at younger readers.) She released her first YA horror anthology in 1958, but became hugely productive in this wise in the latter '70s.

Take a look on the remit of these volumes, among her later entries:

  • Terrors, Torments and Traumas ed. Helen Hoke (Nashville: Thomas Nelson 0-8407-6600-9, 1978, $6.95, 160pp, hc)  Anthology of horror stories for young adults. British edition: NEL 1978.
    • 9 · About This Book · Helen Hoke · in
    • 11 · Green Fingers · R. C. Cook · ss The 3rd Fontana Book of Great Horror Stories, ed. Christine Bernard, Fontana 1968
    • 26 · Keeping His Promise · Algernon Blackwood · ss The Empty House, Eveleigh Nash 1906
    • 40 · The Voyage of the Deborah Pratt · Miriam Allen deFord · ss F&SF Apr 1963
    • 49 · Earth to Earth · Robert Graves · ss Punch Feb 1955
    • 53 · “Dear Ghost...” · Fielden Hughes · ss The Fourth Ghost Book, ed. James Turner, Barrie & Rockliff 1965
    • 69 · Mrs. Amworth · E. F. Benson · ss Hutchinson’s Magazine Jun 1922
    • 83 · On the Brighton Road · Richard Middleton · ss The Ghost Ship, Unwin 1912
    • 87 · The CRIB Circuit · Miriam Allen deFord · ss F&SF Nov 1969
    • 104 · Changeling · Ray Bradbury · ss Super Science Stories Jul 1949
    • 112 · The Man Who Liked Dickens · Evelyn Waugh · ss Hearst’s International Sep 1933
    • 124 · Robert · Stanley Ellin · ss Sleuth Mystery Magazine Oct 1958
    • 139 · The Knock at the Manor Gate · Franz Kafka · vi The Great Wall of China 1946
    • 141 · Message for Margie · Christine Campbell Thomson · ss The Fifth Pan Book of Horror Stories, ed. Herbert van Thal, London: Pan 1964
    • 150 · W.S. · L. P. Hartley · ss World Review Jan 1952

  • Demons Within & Other Disturbing Tales ed. Helen Hoke (Taplinger 0-8008-2156-4, Feb ’78, $8.95, hc)
    • 9 · About This Book · Helen Hoke · in
    • 13 · George and Alice and Isabel · William Trevor · ss The Ninth Ghost Book, ed. Rosemary Timperley, Barrie & Rockliff 1973
    • 29 · Gone Is Gone · Joan Fleming · ss The (London) Evening Standard Apr 23 1953
    • 35 · The Margenes · Miriam Allen deFord · ss If Feb 1956
    • 42 · Mummy to the Rescue · Angus Wilson · ss Such Darling Dodos and Other Stories, Secker & Warburg 1950
    • 49 · Miss Cornelius · William F. Harvey · ss The Beast With Five Fingers, J.M. Dent 1928
    • 69 · The Middle Toe of the Right Foot · Ambrose Bierce · ss San Francisco Examiner Aug 17 1890
    • 78 · The Phantom of the Screen · Lawrie Wyman · ss The Fifth Ghost Book, ed. Rosemary Timperley, Barrie & Rockliff 1969
    • 85 · The Book · Margaret Irwin · ss The London Mercury Sep 1930
    • 102 · The Man Who Collected Poe · Robert Bloch · ss Famous Fantastic Mysteries Oct 1951
    • 117 · The Squaw · Bram Stoker · ss Holly Leaves Dec 2 1893
    • 130 · The Small World of Lewis Stillman · William F. Nolan · ss Fantastic Universe Aug 1957, as “Small World”
    • 143 · The Attic Express · Alex Hamilton · ss The Fourth Pan Book of Horror Stories, ed. Herbert van Thal, London: Pan 1963
    • 161 · Mr. George · August Derleth · nv Weird Tales Mar 1947, as by Stephen Grendon
    • 188 · I Used to Live Here Once · Jean Rhys · vi Sleep It Off, Lady 1976

Meanwhile, her first YA anthology was one of those I was very happy to discover:

  • Publication: Witches! Witches! Witches! 
  • Editors: Helen Hoke
  • Year: 1958-00-00

And her next would arrive eight years plenty of time for me to discover it in the early/mid '70s:
  • Publication: Spooks, Spooks, Spooks
  • Editors: Helen Hoke
  • Year: 1966-00-00

A rather slight gathering of nostalgia, for the Hallowe'en season, on this morning where I have some physical labor ahead, and treating with an ill pet over the last several days...and atop all else, my Apple laptop isn't playing nice with Blogger at the moment.  But Hoke did a fine job, and should be recalled, at very least in this season. 

For more of today's books, please see Patti Abbott's blog.

And, from an earlier consideration on this blog of Hoke's career:

Helen Hoke might've been the most prolific producer of anthologies, particularly for young readers, among this handful, but not by much. She did have a long (and trans-Atlantic) career as a writer and editor, as her 1990 New York Times obituary notes, 

In the late 1930's, Ms. Hoke inaugurated and managed children's book departments at several publishing houses, including Henry Holt, Reynal & Hitchcock and Julian Messer. In the 1940's, Ms. Hoke, whose first marriage, to John Hoke, had ended in divorce, married Franklin Watts, founder the New York publishing company that bears his name. She became the company's vice president and director of international projects.

She would go on to collaborate on at least one book each with one of her sons and one of her grandsons. And she didn't restrict herself too much...along with such titles as Monsters Monsters Monsters and Jokes Jokes Jokes, she also offered both Nurses Nurses Nurses and Doctors Doctors Doctors, which mixed short stories with essays and autobiographical excerpts.

But it was her horror and humor anthologies and compilations that I remember, particularly the former...she relied to some extent on chestnuts, but intelligently arrayed, and for young readers, this isn't the worst strategy. 

...and so, I missed the preponderance of her work in the horror and fantasy fields, having left behind the younger-readers' sections of libraries by 1976, but I do remember the early volumes well, with their often rather uninspired covers, but usually interesting content...


Rick Robinson said...

I had no idea she edited so many anthologies. I remember seeing some of the covers, but probably, due to the subject matter - never liking horror or scary - paid attention to the editor. I did read one of them, though, one of the triple word ones, can't recall which.

George said...

I've seen these anthologies but passed on them. Next time, I'm buying!