Gregory Pendennis Library Of Black Sorcery

Fortean Times #256 (Dec. 2009): Wheatley!

Posted by demonik on November 21, 2009

David Stton (ed.) – Fortean Times #256 (Dec. 2009)

Yep, something of a mini-Wheatley special! Even the editorial by David Sutton et al is mainly devoted to “Britain’s Occult Uncle”‘s scary A Letter To Posterity. Best of all, lead feature, Dennis And All His Works is by Phil Baker himself and serves as an intriguing taster for the biography as the five pages of text concern themselves with the interesting stuff, namely the Black Magic novels and Wheatley’s commendable WWII exploits as a deception planner and propagandist. Mr. Baker suggests that Wheatley wasn’t quite the expert on black sorcery he made himself out to be (i gather he’s far more explicit in the biog), but most modern Occultists, however loathe they are to admit it, probably got into the game via a dogeared copy of The Devil Rides Out. In passing, Mr. Baker also detects the Wheatley influence on June Johns’ Black Magic Today and Sandra Shulman’s The Degenerates, both “published by iconic paperback imprint New English Library which also published Richard Allen’s Skinhead books.” Considering the little space at his disposal, Mr. Baker works in plenty of tantalising snippets including the true identity of ‘Conky Bill, and the revelation that Wheatley & chums perpetrated a ‘Linda Lovecraft’ style scam in the Daily Mail when they introduced glamourous socialite Ermintrude Wraxwell to the gossip column (“next day, offers started coming in from agents and film companies. Had we named a real girl, we could have made a fortune from her.”). Even the flame girl covers get a paragraph! Also, from nowhere, Curtain Of Fear and Such Power Is Dangerous have abseiled to near the top of my wants list although, admittedly, perhaps not for the reasons DW would’ve wished.

Somebody up there likes us because as an added bonus, there’s another six pager, this one by Stewart T. Stanyard, celebrating fiftieth anniversary of Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone.

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