10 books like The Hill of Dreams

By Arthur Machen,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like The Hill of Dreams. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Dreamers of Decadence

By Philippe Jullian, Robert Baldick (translator),

Book cover of Dreamers of Decadence

This bejeweled guide to Fin de Siècle art and aesthetics is like a moonlit walk in one of King Ludwig II fairytale castles, populated by androgynous chimeras, drowned princes, and erotic vampires carrying John the Baptist’s head on a platter designed by Moreau. As fabulous and tragic as the author, whose drag mode was that of a convincing English Spinster, Philipe Jullian was born to write this book which has influenced my work since I bought it aged 18, with not a clue about life. For over 40 years I have endeavored to keep a torch burning for the extraordinary decorative aesthetics of the author. Few books are as complete as Dreamers of Decadence for not only does Jullian explore the artists of that curious oeuvre, he also introduces the best of the literature as well as the movement’s strange obsessions and themes, each chapter revealing new facets of the…

Dreamers of Decadence

By Philippe Jullian, Robert Baldick (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dreamers of Decadence as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

There have been few movements in the history of Western art as strange as that of the Decadents of the last quarter of the 19th Century. While public attention was preoccupied with the Impressionists, many painters were reacting in a totally different...and more imaginative way...to the grim horrors of the new industrial society around them. The roots of the Decadents, as these artists came to call themselves, were to be found in the poetic visions of the English Pre-Raphaelites of the 1850s. Their first great Continental exponent was a brilliant and neglected painter of the fantastic, Gustave Moreau; their most…


Our Lady of the Flowers

By Jean Genet,

Book cover of Our Lady of the Flowers

The fact that this queer masterpiece was written entirely in the solitude of a prison cell is only the first of many awe-inspiring truths about the book and its author. The drag queen Divine, a pimp named Darling Daintyfoot and Our Lady populate the book (published in 1943) offering a glimpse into a voluptuous Parisian fringe world. It was the thrilling—at times disturbing—story that first drew me in as a budding writer, but ultimately it was my realization that a book can be at once highly artful and literary as well as deeply erotic. It opened up a new freedom that I draw on every day as a novelist. 

Our Lady of the Flowers

By Jean Genet,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Our Lady of the Flowers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Jean Genet's masterpiece, composed entirely in the solitude of his prison cell. With an introduction by Jean-Paul Sartre.

Jean Genet's first, and arguably greatest, novel was written while he was in prison. As Sartre recounts in his introduction, Genet penned this work on the brown paper which inmates were supposed to use to fold bags as a form of occupational therapy. The masterpiece he managed to produce under those difficult conditions is a lyrical portrait of the criminal underground of Paris and the thieves, murderers and pimps who occupied it. Genet approached this world through his protagonist, Divine, a male…


A Dictionary of Fairies

By Katharine M. Briggs,

Book cover of A Dictionary of Fairies: Hobgoblins, Brownies, Bogies, and Other Supernatural Creatures

There is a world of difference between the fairies of folk-lore and the ‘airy-fairy’s’ to use one of Katherine Brigg’s descriptions that infest popular media. Disney’s depiction of Peter Pan & Tinkerbelle as ordinary kids who happen to have wings bears no relation to the fairies of folklore. The moment a fairy character is absorbed into capitalist entertainment, their magic is lost. The unsurpassable fairy lore of Katherine Briggs 1898-1980, takes up an entire shelf on my bookcase and includes The Anatomy of Puck, The Fairies in Tradition and Literature, The Vanishing People, and A Dictionary of Fairies. The one-time president of the English Folklore Society, her books are so authoritative and imaginative, they bring to life the incredible inhabitants of the otherworldly realm. All the best books on the subject were written before 1970, the later ones tending to be cribbed from Briggs and that other great…

A Dictionary of Fairies

By Katharine M. Briggs,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Dictionary of Fairies as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Come Hither, Vol. 1

By Walter De La Mare (editor),

Book cover of Come Hither, Vol. 1: A Collection of Rhymes and Poems for the Young of All Ages

Rather than saying that he edited Come Hither, the poet, and author, Walter De La Mare (1873-1956) describes himself as having ‘made’ the anthology. Given the enticing notes to the poems and the selection of verses more than validates De La Mare’s assertion. Indeed the anthology of poetry is like a house designed to the finest detail by Mr. De La Mare, who might be considered the Poe of Poetry, as his verses tended towards the odd, ghostly and ineffable.

He was one of the last of the romantic school and Come Hither reflects his taste, Walter De La Mare is long out of fashion like many of the verses on offer, but that is what makes it all the sweeter, from the speech of The Wandering Spectre by unknown to my very favorite poem Tom O’ Bedlam (another marvel by ‘anon’) to more recognized names, such as William…

Come Hither, Vol. 1

By Walter De La Mare (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Come Hither, Vol. 1 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important, and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it. This work was reproduced from the original artifact, and remains as true to the original work as possible. Therefore, you will see the original copyright references, library stamps (as most of these works have been housed in our most important libraries around the world), and other notations in the work.

This work is in the public domain in the United States of America, and possibly other nations. Within the United States, you may freely copy and…


Against Nature (A Rebours)

By Joris Karl Huysmans, John Howard (translator),

Book cover of Against Nature (A Rebours)

This is my recommended therapy against the expected and mundane, a complete inversion of values from late nineteenth-century France. Against Nature (from the French A Rebours) is a refreshingly plotless decadent novel about an aristocratic aesthete, Jean Des Esseintes, who, having grown disgusted with society, retreats into his house to contemplate higher things. These include a tortoise which he plates in gold and encrusts with jewels to highlight the colours on a Persian rug. This book made me want to give up wearing socks.

Against Nature (A Rebours)

By Joris Karl Huysmans, John Howard (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Against Nature (A Rebours) as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Against Nature (A Rebours)By Joris-Karl Huysmans, John Howard (Translated by)


The White People and Other Weird Stories

By Arthur Machen,

Book cover of The White People and Other Weird Stories

“I wanted to be alone in my room and glad over it all to myself.” In the framing story, two Victorian gents struggle to decipher the hidden meanings of a teenage girl’s diary they have recently uncovered. Partially written in a secret language, that could equally derive from folklore sayings or teen slang, the contents appear to hint at an inauguration into pagan rituals and witchcraft in the nearby woods. A unique attempt to conjure a dark magic out of the missing memories of childhood, this novella explores both the excitement and peril of keeping your first secrets. “I was afraid something had happened to me…”

The White People and Other Weird Stories

By Arthur Machen,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The White People and Other Weird Stories as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Machen's weird tales of the creepy and fantastic finally come to Penguin Classics. With an introduction from S.T. Joshi, editor of American Supernatural Tales, The White People and Other Weird Stories is the perfect introduction to the father of weird fiction. The title story "The White People" is an exercise in the bizarre leaving the reader disoriented and on edge. From the first page, Machen turns even fundamental truths upside-down, as his character Ambrose explains, "there have been those who have sounded the very depths of sin, who all their lives have never done an 'ill deed'" setting the stage…


Jade

By Rose Montague,

Book cover of Jade

Jade is a being of mysterious power who has traits of shifter, witch, fae, and others. She serves the police force in Winston, in a world in which supernatural beings are everywhere, but are discriminated against. She must solve a mystery and fight to protect herself and her friends. I enjoyed this story. I think you will enjoy it if you like fantasy.

Jade

By Rose Montague,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Jade as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Meet Jade Smith, a magical mutt with a mission. A detective partnered with a shifter named Rolfe, she’s on the case to solve a slew of murders: Vamps are killing humans, and nobody knows why. When London Jane, the most powerful vamp in town, is implicated in the murders, Jade knows something isn’t right. Together with Jill, the Winter Queen of Faerie, Jade and Jane take their investigation underground. On the run, with nowhere to hide, they uncover a secret that could destroy Faerie, as well as the human realm. Will Jade stop the killer in time? Or will she…


The Time of the Ghost

By Diana Wynne Jones,

Book cover of The Time of the Ghost

“Perhaps if I ask myself questions, my memory will come back?” The story opens with a now grown-up girl returning to her childhood home, only to realise on route that she is a ghost. But why did she die so young? Her mission must be to go back in time and warn her younger self of impending danger, however when she reaches her destination she can’t remember which of four sisters she is, as they all seem annoying. And what exactly is the disaster she is trying to avert? Could it be related to the pagan rituals the sisters are conducting to Monigan, the creepy doll they keep in the garden shed? What do you think? A thoughtful timeslip tale about trying to make sense of your childhood self.

The Time of the Ghost

By Diana Wynne Jones,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Time of the Ghost as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Can a ghost from the future save a life in the past? A chilling tale of dark forces and revenge...

The ghost turns up one summer day, alone in a world she once knew, among people who were once her family. She knows she is one of four sisters, but which one? She can be sure of only one thing - that there's been an accident.
As she struggles to find her identity, she becomes aware of a malevolent force stirring around her. Something terrible is about to happen. One of the sisters will die - unless the ghost can…


Doctors Wear Scarlet

By Simon Raven,

Book cover of Doctors Wear Scarlet

Simon Raven had a marked fascination for the supernatural that first manifested in an early novel Doctors Wear Scarlet, which was cited by Karl Edward Wagner (himself an award-winning American writer, poet, editor and publisher of horror and writer of numerous dark fantasy and horror stories), as one of the thirteen best supernatural novels. The story is set against Raven’s customary background of academia and University life and has a distinctly macabre and spine-chilling theme. It starts harmlessly enough with a young man’s infatuation for a beautiful Greek girl, but Chriseis is no ordinary holiday love affair; three friends track down their missing companion across the Aegean, where it becomes increasingly obvious that their relationship is strange to say the least. Despite dispatching Chriseis in the remote mountains of Crete and not without cost to themselves, the missing scholar is returned to his University – but the curse of…

Doctors Wear Scarlet

By Simon Raven,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Doctors Wear Scarlet as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Richard Fountain, a promising young Cambridge scholar, went to the island of Crete to study ancient rites and pagan rituals before suddenly and inexplicably breaking off all contact with the outside world. Disturbing rumors have filtered their way back to England, whisperings of blasphemous rituals and obscene orgies, hints of terrible crimes and wanton murder . . .

Three of Richard’s friends travel to Greece to find him and bring him back. Following a grim progression of ominous clues, they will arrive at last at an abandoned fortress high in the wild and desolate White Mountains, where they will discover…


The Rostikov Legacy

By Charlotte E. English,

Book cover of The Rostikov Legacy

Charlotte English’s Malykant Mystery series is a rarity. Not only are the mysteries engaging, but the setting is unusual (a wintery Russian-type city) and the main character is the priest-assassin of the God of Death! Konrad Savast swore himself to the God’s service after his sister’s violent death, vowing to track down and kill those who had violated natural law through the act of murder. Savast’s devotion to his God and his duty will appeal to Pagans of every tradition. While tragic, the stories are never gruesome. Short enough to read in a single sitting, and lots of fun.

The Rostikov Legacy

By Charlotte E. English,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Rostikov Legacy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Detective. Judge. Executioner.

In an icy, Victorianesque world, a harsh god rules, and He has one law: a life for a life.

Konrad Savast is the Malykant: detective, judge and executioner in one. It's kill and be killed in Konrad's world, and his unhappy duty to mete out his Master's implacable justice.

The body of an aristocrat lies in the mist-shrouded reaches of the Bone Forest. Her killer has signed their own death warrant; but first, Konrad must learn who could have wanted the delightful Lady Rostikova dead...

With a pair of bloodthirsty ghosts to assist him, Konrad will hunt…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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