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The Novel of the Black Seal

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Author: Arthur Machen
Published: 1895
Language: English
Wordcount: 16,749 / 45 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 78.2
LoC Category: PR
Downloads: 3,188
Added to site: 2006.06.26 13842

A man gradually uncovers the secrets of a race of pre-humans hiding in the Welsh hills, and the true nature of a hybrid, idiot child fathered by one of them.

Show Excerpt

back. Beneath was traced a number of uncouth characters, shaped somewhat like wedges or daggers, as strange and outlandish as the Hebrew alphabet.

'Now the seal,' said Professor Gregg, and he handed me the black stone, a thing about two inches long, and something like an old-fashioned tobacco-stopper, much enlarged.

I held it up to the light, and saw to my surprise the characters on the paper repeated on the seal.

'Yes,' said the professor, 'they are the same. And the marks on the limestone rock were made fifteen years ago, with some red substance. And the characters on the seal are four thousand years old at least. Perhaps much more.'

'Is it a hoax?' I said.

'No, I anticipated that. I was not to be led to give my life to a practical joke. I have tested the matter very carefully. Only one person besides myself knows of the mere existence of that black seal. Besides, there are other reasons which I cannot enter into now.'

'But what does it all mean?' I said. 'I cannot

Reader Reviews

Average Rating of 4.5 from 2 reviews: *****
Lisa Carr

A fairly creepy story of a professor who acquires a black stone incised with 60 characters that exist in no language. His investigations lead him to barren English hillsides and very old legends.
The story suffers from being told second- and third-hand and things only being hinted at, but it managed to hold my interest.


Another great story from Arthur Machen.



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