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The Man Behind The Glass Paperback – January 19, 2015
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About the Author
Greg Howes is a genealogist, writer and historical researcher based in Carmarthenshire, South West Wales, UK. Greg has lived in Carmarthenshire for the last twenty five years, though originates from Thame in Oxfordshire, England, UK. Greg’s work as a researcher has seen him present (and research for) family history programmes on television for both the BBC and ITV channels. He has taught family history (and horticulture, in his younger days) and featured on national and local radio stations answering questions and giving advice on family history and the historical landscape. He has written many articles for various magazines on subjects as diverse as local history, dating and archiving old photographs, and the history of woodland and ancient trees in the landscape. Greg’s is also keen photographic art and design. He has recently released a book featuring some of his work entitled, The Dark Room, which includes fifty (mainly) black and white images of his designs. His other pastimes include walking, watching motorcycle speedway and reading. His favourite authors include - Arthur Conan Doyle, Arthur Machen, Peter Ackroyd, David Gemell, Jack London, Charles Dickens, Bernard Cornwall, Algernon Blackwood, Henry Mayhew, Mary Stewart, Jack Vance, Robin Hobb, Oliver Rackham, Marion Zimmer Bradley, H.P Lovecraft, Bram Stoker, Sheridan La Fanu and Conn Iggulden.
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It follows the exploits of a Victorian photographer (with the memorable name Septimus Blackwood) who – true to the nature of his time period – has merged science with mysticism, hoping that photographic technology will help him connect with the Other Side. Creeping ever closer to family secrets which are buried in London’s seedy underbelly, Blackwood finds himself locked into a dangerous mission with physical and metaphysical perils at every corner. Driven to understand his past, he imperils his future, and descends ever further into a spider’s web of intrigue, hauntings, and secrecy which threatens to consume him body, soul, and mind.
Written engagingly and at an active pace, the novel brings us face to face with genuine philosophical questions of identity, life after death, fate, and free will. The story probes into the nature of individuality through supernatural metaphors in a manner that will remind readers of classic horror of the high-minded works of Dickens, Machen, Blackwood, Collins, Le Fanu, Riddell, Oliphant and Edwards. But Howe is not making a mere pastiche of the Victorian Gothic: he knowingly or unknowingly plugs into the traditions of Edwardian science fiction – Wells, Conan Doyle, Shiel, etc. – and more contemporary masters – Gaiman, Bradburry, Campbell, etc. – by blending adventure and horror into the literary tradition of the carnivalesque, where fiction intentionally holds a funhouse mirror to society, caricaturing its flaws to a purposeful effect. The result is a compelling novel filled with action and mystery, but written with a higher mission of analyzing human psychology and society and turning the camera lens on the reader.