The Man Whom the Trees Loved

The Man Whom the Trees Loved

By

4
(3 Reviews)
The Man Whom the Trees Loved by Algernon Blackwood

Published:

1912

Pages:

77

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2,924

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The Man Whom the Trees Loved

By

4
(3 Reviews)
An exquisitely wrought and truly imaginative conception.

Book Excerpt

hange. But, for peace' sake, some meeting-place was desirable, and he found it thus.

It was her one fault in his eyes, this religious mania carried over from her upbringing, and it did no serious harm. Great emotion could shake it sometimes out of her. She clung to it because her father taught it her and not because she had thought it out for herself. Indeed, like many women, she never really thought at all, but merely reflected the images of others' thinking which she had learned to see. So, wise in his knowledge of human nature, old David Bittacy accepted the pain of being obliged to keep a portion of his inner life shut off from the woman he deeply loved. He regarded her little biblical phrases as oddities that still clung to a rather fine, big soul--like horns and little useless things some animals have not yet lost in the course of evolution while they have outgrown their use.

"My dear, what is it? You frightened me!" She asked it suddenly, sitting up so abruptly that her cap dropped sidew

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(1912) Horror (Supernatural) / Occult (Possession)


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Plot bullets

A man loves, seems to understand and perhaps even commune with the living trees.
His sympathy for the trees is supported by an artist who is best know for his nature and especially tree studies.
This mans love of trees seems to become an obsession over time and alienates him from his wife and others.
Has the situation become mutual? Has he become: The Man Whom the Trees Loved.

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4
I really liked this story. It wasn't so much a horror as a type of dark fantasy/weird fiction/awe fiction. This book therefore isn't meant to frighten you only, but to inspire within you a sense of awe: of terror and of wonder at the same time. Blackwood ingeniously interweaves the two as you adopt the wife's or the husband's view point.

It's relatively short so give it a shot.
Algernon Blackwood (1869-1951) was a prolific short story writer and novelist and had a huge impact on many different authors, one being H. P. Lovecraft himself who heaped praise on the man, especially his story The Willows. Interestingly, Blackwood was a strong critic of Lovecraft’s work (see Mike Ashley’s biography of Blackwood for confirmation).

The Man Whom The Trees Loved is a fantasy novella and this reviewer is hard pressed to call it a horror story. At the most it is more akin to dark fantasy, yet still an interesting read about a woman trying to save her husband’s soul from his enchantment with the forest that borders their home.