The Haunted Orchard, by Richard le Gallienne

Richard le Gallienne

Sometimes I think it would be fun to set up an entire podcast site dedicated to ghost stories, but since I want to keep the content of the BSFP as broad as possible I’m forced to ration them. Or perhaps I should establish a “Ghost Story Sunday” or some such rotation? That’s something to think about. The Internet makes it all possible…

While I had not been acquainted with Richard le Gallienne before discovering his “Haunted Orchard,”  I have since learned that he was a successful author of novels and essays, and that he penned a much-admired English-language verse translation of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam in 1897. I myself particularly admire this bit, which could prove useful in debates with (unarmed) religious fanatics:

And do you think that unto such as you;
A maggot-minded, starved, fanatic crew:
God gave the secret, and denied it me?–
Well, well, what matters it! Believe that, too.

He also appears to have led an interesting life, which, in his dotage, included some dramatic encounters with the German occupation forces, who – along with nearly the whole of Europe – also occupied his house in Menton on the French Riviera, just kilometres from the Italian border. You can read about the harrowing incident here

The Haunted Orchard, by Richard le Gallienne {18:36}

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