A nice little book of strange stories primarily of a melancholy nature. Many of the longer stories reminded me of an earthbound Clark Ashton Smith. There is a great deal about regret here but also some pure whimsy. The centerpiece, which appears at the end of the book (think about that for a second), is The Orchid of Asia which could easily have appeared in Weird Tales. Tartarus calls it a novella but it is a slim read for a novella.
The introduction by the editor, S.T. Joshi, seems a bit dashed off, but in a few pages is enlightening about the late Ms. Underwood who in her time was a brilliant multilingual translator and writer. This little volume collects all her “weird” fiction for the first time. It contains a bibliography of Underwood’s known published works, of all things.
A pleasant diversion, or entertainment if you will, once again beautifully produced by Tartarus Press with, of course, a lovely wood cut of an orchid on the dust jacket.
I’m quite fond of this little book.