14 February, 2009
Neil Gordon Kinnock, Baron Kinnock is a British politician. He was a Member of Parliament (MP) from 1970 to 1995, and was Leader of the Opposition and Labour Party leader from 1983 to 1992, when he resigned after the 1992 general election defeat.
He subsequently served as a UK Commissioner of the European Commission from 1995 until 2004, and is now Chairman of the British Council and President of Cardiff University.
Kinnock, an only child, was born in Tredegar, Wales. His father was a coal miner who suffered from dermatitis and had to find work as a labourer and his mother was a district nurse. In 1953 Kinnock went to the Lewis School, Pengam from where he won a place to University College of South Wales and Monmouthshire, obtaining a degree in industrial relations and history in 1965. A year later, Kinnock obtained a postgraduate diploma in education and between August 1966 and May 1970 Kinnock worked as a tutor for a Workers' Educational Association (WEA).
Thabo Mvuyelwa Mbeki is a South African politician who served almost two terms as the second democratically elected President of South Africa from 14 June 1999 to 24 September 2008. On 20 September 2008, he announced his resignation after being recalled by the African National Congress's National Executive Committee. following a conclusion by Judge Nicholson of improper interference in the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), including the prosecution of Jacob Zuma for corruption. On 12 January 2009, the Supreme Court of Appeal unanimously overturned Judge Nicholson’s judgment, but the resignation stood.
Thabo Mbeki was the executive face of governement in South Africa from 1994. Not rated as a statesman domestically, his government was characterised by centralising power and a mixed legacy of poor delivery, corruption, nepotism, good economic growth, and successful foreign policy (excluding Zimbabwe).
Economically he managed a world beating 4.5% average growth. Mbeki created employment in the middle sectors of the economy and oversaw a fast growing black middle class with the implementation of BEE. This growth exacibated the demand for trained professionals strained by emigration due to violent crime, but failled to address unemployment amongst the unskilled bulk of the population. He attracted the bulk of Africa’s Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and made South Africa the focal point of African growth. He was the architect of NEPAD whose aim is to develop an integrated socio-economic development framework for Africa. He also and oversaw the successful building of economic bridges to BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) nations with the eventual formation of the India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) Dialogue Forum to "further political consultation and co-ordination as well as strengthening sectoral co-operation, and economic relations".
His domestic policy allowed the economy to flourish at the expense of cross-class employment. Education and health care became more broadly accessible, and were accompanied by an alarming drop in standards. Safety generally improved except for uncontrolled violent crime. His focus on being an African Prime Minister and failure to surround himself with better people led him into the same trap as General Louis Botha whose foreign acclaim did little to alleviate the resentment of his domestic failings. This, and his failure to continue the progress made under Nelson Mandela in nation-building, his obsession with racist rhetoric, conspiracy eventually cumulated in the failure to anticipate and deal adequately with the 2008 Xenophobia Attacks.
Mbeki's international acclaim is well deserved. He had many successes in resolving difficult and complex issues on the African continent including Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the Ivory Coast, and some important peace agreements. He oversaw the transition from the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) to the African Union (AU). His 'quiet diplomacy' in Zimbabwe is blamed for protracting the survival of Robert Mugabe's regime, but may yet yield longer-term stability at the cost of thousands of lives and intense economic pressure on Zimbabwe's neighbours. He became a vocal leader of the Non-Aligned Movement in the United Nations and while leveraging South Africa's seat on the Security Council, aggitating for reform of the Security Council.
Mbeki was slammed worldwide on his HIV/AIDS stance. His questioning of the link between HIV/AIDS and poverty and the AIDS rate in Africa was widely misunderstood as a challenge of the viral theory of AIDS. His fate was not helped by Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang and the overhaul of the pharmaceutical industry in South Africa. The delay in distributing Anti-Retro Virals (ARVs) is attributed to South Africa having one of the highest HIV/AIDS infection and death rates in the world.
Pierre Mac Orlan, sometimes written MacOrlan was a French novelist and songwriter.
His novel Quai des Brumes was the source for Marcel Carné's 1938 film of the same name, starring Jean Gabin. He was also a prolific writer of chansons, many of which were recorded and popularized by French singers such as Juliette Gréco, Monique Morelli, Catherine Sauvage, and Germaine Montero.
Born in Peronne in northern France, Mac Orlan lived in Rouen and Paris as a young man, working at a variety of jobs and learning to play the accordion. In his twenties, he travelled widely in Europe, before returning to Paris and becoming a noted figure in Bohemian art circles. In particular, his song performances were a regular feature at the Lapin Agile cabaret. During this period, he was part of a broad circle of writers and painters including Max Jacob, Guillaume Apollinaire, Maurice Utrillo and Francis Carco.
He fought in the war against Germany until wounded in 1916, following which he worked as a war correspondent. In later years, he lived as a writer at Saint Cyr-sur-Morin, outside Paris. In the late 1920s, he became an influential critic of film and photography, writing important essays about the work of Eugene Atget, Germaine Krull and others.
In addition to Quai des Brumes, his many novels included A Bord de l’Etoile Matutine, translated into English by Malcolm Cowley as On Board the Morning Star. Among the popular chansons written by Mac Orlan are "Fille de Londres", "Le Pont du Nord" and "Nelly".
Escarpit Robert was an academic, journalist and writer French.
He spent his childhood and adolescence in Gironde. At eighteen, he must pursue their studies. He made English, by necessity rather than interest. Normalien, Associate English, Doctor of Humane Letters. It advocates the SFIO in the time of the Popular Front. He is a professor in the School of Arcachon (Gironde) from 1943 to 1945. Professor Emeritus, a specialist in English literature, he is the author of fifty books, divided between literary and sociological essays and novels. Involved in the Resistance, he will participate in 1945, fighting in the Médoc with the Brigade Carnot.
After the war, he was Secretary General and Director of the French Institute of Latin America to Mexico. He taught English, then a professor of comparative literature at the Faculty of Arts de Bordeaux (1951 - 1970) and creator of the Center of Sociology of the literature in 1960 (later Institute of Literature and artistic techniques of mass: ILTAM) . Banknotes of the World, literary critic for many magazines, founder of the journalism IUT de Bordeaux (1970 - 1975). He was President of the University of Bordeaux III (1975 - 1978). Meanwhile, he directed from 1958 the laboratory of information science and communication, attached to the CNRS. He was the author of tickets that each day appear on the front page of the World as well as numerous books, both scholarly and sometimes humorous.
He was editor of the Canard Enchainé during the Algerian war. Traveling companion of the PCF, Escarpit Robert became the Aquitaine Regional Council (1986 - 1992) and municipal adviser on lists of the PCF. Co-founder of "Friends Franco-Albanian" and director of "Albania", he maintained until after the Stalinist regime in Tirana. He was a columnist for the Morning in 1983, then South-West Sunday.
Author of a Summary of English Literature (1953), Sociology of Literature (1958), the book of Revolution (1965) he received in 1960 the price of humor to paint fresh. He has published several novels, including Jeune Homme et la nuit (1980), a serious and lyrical, and a beautiful day to die (1992).
In 1953, with the approval of the Director of the company of "Bateaux Mouches" in Paris, Robert Escarpit wrote a biography of Jean-Sébastien Mouche, which he is both the collaborator of Baron Haussmann, the inventor of boats and the creator of a corps of inspectors of the specialized police intelligence, "cookies".
Roland Topor was a French illustrator, painter, writer and filmmaker, known for the surreal nature of his work. He was of Polish Jewish origin and spent the early years of his life in Savoy where his family hid him from the Nazi peril.
Roland Topor wrote the novel The Tenant (Le Locataire chimérique, 1964), which was adapted to film by Roman Polanski in 1976. The Tenant is the story of a Parisian of Polish descent, a chilling exploration of alienation and identity, asking disturbing questions about how we define ourselves. The later novel Joko's Anniversary (1969), another fable about loss of identity, is a vicious satire on social conformity.
He died on April 16, 1997.
John Champlin Gardner, Jr. was a well-known and controversial American novelist and university professor, best known for his novel Grendel, a retelling of the Beowulf myth.
Gardner was born in Batavia, New York. His father was a lay preacher and dairy farmer, and his mother taught English at a local school. Both parents were fond of Shakespeare and often recited literature together. As a child, Gardner attended public school and worked on his father's farm, where, in April of 1945, his younger brother Gilbert was killed in an accident with a cultipacker. Gardner, who was driving the tractor during the fatal accident, carried guilt for his brother's death throughout his life, suffering nightmares and flashbacks. The incident informed much of Gardner's fiction and criticism — most directly in the 1977 short story "Redemption," which included a fictionalized recounting of the accident.
Gardner began his university education at DePauw University, but received his undergraduate degree from Washington University in St. Louis in 1955. He received his M.A. from the University of Iowa.
Gardner's most popular novels are: The Sunlight Dialogues, about a brooding, disenchanted policeman who is asked to engage a madman fluent in classical mythology; Grendel, a retelling of the Beowulf legend from the monster's point of view; and October Light, about an aging and embittered brother and sister living and feuding together in rural Vermont. This last novel won the National Book Critics' Circle Award in 1976. Each book features brutish, isolated figures struggling for integrity and understanding in an unforgiving society.
Gardner was a lifelong teacher of fiction writing. He was a favorite at the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference. His two books on the craft of writing fiction—The Art of Fiction and On Becoming a Novelist—are considered classics. He was famously obsessive with his work, and acquired a reputation for advanced craft, smooth rhythms, and careful attention to the continuity of the fictive dream. At one level or another, his books nearly always touched on the redemptive power of art.
In 1978, Gardner's book of literary criticism, On Moral Fiction, sparked a controversy that excited the mainstream media, vaulting Gardner into the spotlight with an interview on The Dick Cavett Show (May 16, 1978) and a cover story on The New York Times Magazine (July, 1979). His judgments of contemporary authors—including such luminaries of American fiction as John Updike and John Barth—which could be termed either direct, courageous, or unflattering, depending on one's perspective, harmed his relations with many in the publishing industry. Gardner claimed that lingering animosity from critics of this book led to the lukewarm critical reception of his final novel, Mickelsson's Ghosts. What was unfortunately lost in the furor over On Moral Fiction was Gardner's compelling thesis, perhaps the most clear articulation of his normative fictional philosophy: that fiction should be moral. Gardner meant "moral" not in the sense of narrow religious or cultural "morality," but rather that fiction should aspire to discover those human values that are universally sustaining. Gardner felt that few contemporary authors were "moral" in this sense, but instead indulged in "winking, mugging despair" (to quote his assessment of Thomas Pynchon) or trendy nihilism in which Gardner felt they did not honestly believe. Gore Vidal found the book, as well as Gardner's novels, sanctimonious and pedantic, and he called Gardner the "late apostle to the lowbrows, a sort of Christian evangelical who saw Heaven as a paradigmatic American university."
In 1977, Gardner published The Life and Times of Chaucer. In a review in the October 1977 issue of Speculum, Sumner J. Ferris pointed to several passages that were allegedly lifted either in whole or in part from work by other authors without proper citation. Ferris charitably suggested that Gardner had published the book too hastily, but on April 10, 1978, reviewer Peter Prescott, writing in Newsweek, cited the Speculum article and accused Gardner of plagiarism, insinuations that were met by Gardner "with a sigh."
On December 10, 1977, Gardner was hospitalized with colon cancer. He remained in Johns Hopkins Hospital for about a month and a half.
He died on September 14, 1982 in a motorcycle crash near Susquehanna, Pennsylvania.
Gardner is buried next to his brother Gilbert in Batavia's Grandview Cemetery.
Sveinbjörn Beinteinsson, a native of Iceland, was instrumental in helping to gain recognition by the Icelandic government for the pre-Christian Norse religion. The Íslenska Ásatrúarfélagið ("Icelandic fellowship of Æsir faith"), which he founded in 1972, and for which he acted as goði (priest), was officially recognised as a religious body in 1973.
Sveinbjörn lived his entire life in West Iceland. From 1944 on, he was a sheep farmer while also pursuing literary interests on the side. He published a book of rímur in 1945, a textbook on the verse forms of rímur in 1953, two volumes of his own verse in 1957 and 1976, and edited several anthologies.
Sveinbjörn was regarded with much respect and affection amongst Ásatrú. Not only was he a well known rímur singer, or kvæðamaður, in Iceland, he also gained an audience and followers in Europe and North America. He sometimes performed at rock concerts and is the opening act in the film Rokk í Reykjavík, directed by Friðrik Þór Friðriksson. Sveinbjörn can be heard performing Ásatrú marriage rites for Genesis and Paula P-Orridge (now Alaura O'Dell) on Psychic TV's LP Live in Reykjavik and on the double LP entitled Those who do not. Additionally, former Psychic TV member David Tibet (né David Michael Bunting) released a CD of Sveinbjörn performing his own rímur and reciting the traditional Poetic Edda under the title Current 93 presents Sveinbjörn 'Edda' in two editions through the now defunct record company World Serpent Distribution. He died on December 23, 1993.
Fiorello Henry La Guardia was Mayor of New York for three terms from 1934 to 1945. He was popularly known as "the Little Flower," the translation of his Italian first name, Fiorello, and, most likely, a reference to his short stature. A Republican, he was a popular mayor and a strong supporter of the New Deal. La Guardia led New York's recovery during the Great Depression and became a national figure, serving as President Roosevelt's director of civilian defense during the run-up to the United States joining the Second World War.
La Guardia was born in Greenwich Village to an Italian lapsed-Catholic father, Achille La Guardia, from Foggia, and an Italian mother of Jewish origin from Trieste, Irene Coen Luzzato; he was raised an Episcopalian. His middle name Enrico was changed to Henry (the English form of Enrico) when he was a child. He lived in Prescott, Arizona, his mother's hometown, after his father was discharged from his bandmaster position in the U.S. Army in 1898. La Guardia served in U.S. consulates in Budapest, Trieste, and Rijeka (1901–1906). Fiorello returned to the U.S. to continue his education at New York University. During this time, he worked for New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children and as an interpreter for the U.S. Bureau of Immigration at the Ellis Island immigrant station (1907–1910).
He became Deputy Attorney General of New York in 1914. In 1916, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, where he had a reputation as a fiery and devoted reformer. In Congress, La Guardia represented then-Italian East Harlem almost continuously until 1933. According to his biographer-historian Howard Zinn, there were two brief interruptions, one to fly with U.S. forces in Italy during World War I, and the other to serve during 1920 and 1921 as president of the New York City Board of Aldermen.
La Guardia briefly served in the armed forces from 1917–1919, commanding a unit of the United States Army Air Service on the Italian-Austrian front in World War I, rising to the rank of major.
La Guardia won a seat in Congress again in 1922 and served in the House until March 3, 1933. Extending his record as a reformer, La Guardia sponsored labor legislation and railed against immigration quotas. In 1929, he ran for mayor of New York, but was overwhelmingly defeated by the incumbent Jimmy Walker. In 1932, along with Senator George Norris (R-NE), La Guardia sponsored the pro-union Norris-La Guardia Act. In 1932, he was defeated for re-election to the House by James J. Lanzetta, the Democratic candidate.
La Guardia was elected mayor of New York City on an anti-corruption Fusion ticket during the Great Depression, which united him in an uneasy alliance with New York's Jewish population and liberal bluebloods (WASPs). These included the architect and historian Isaac Newton Phelps-Stokes whose patrician manners La Guardia detested. Surprisingly, the two men became friends. Phelps-Stokes had nursed his wife during the last five years of her life, during which she was paralyzed and speechless due to a series of strokes. On learning of Phelps-Stokes's experience, so like his own, La Guardia ceased bickering and the two developed genuine affection.
Being of Italian descent and growing up in a time when crime and criminals were prevalent in New York, La Guardia loathed the gangsters who brought a negative stereotype and shame to the Italian community. When he was elected to his first term in 1933, the first thing he did after being sworn in was to pick up the phone and order the chief of police to arrest mob boss Lucky Luciano on whatever charges could be found. La Guardia then went after the gangsters with a vengeance, stating in a radio address to the people of New York in his high-pitched, squeaky voice, "Let's drive the bums out of town." In 1934, La Guardia went on a search-and-destroy mission looking for mob boss Frank Costello's slot machines, which La Guardia executed with gusto, rounding up thousands of the "one armed bandits," swinging a sledgehammer and dumping them off a barge into the water for the newspapers and media. In 1936, La Guardia had special prosecutor Thomas E. Dewey, a future Republican presidential candidate, single out Lucky Luciano for prosecution. Dewey led a successful investigation into Luciano's lucrative prostitution operation, eventually sending Luciano to jail with a 30-50 year sentence.
La Guardia was hardly an orthodox Republican. He also ran as the nominee of the American Labor Party, a union-dominated anti-Tammany grouping that supported Franklin Delano Roosevelt for President beginning in 1936. La Guardia supported Roosevelt, chairing the Independent Committee for Roosevelt and Wallace with Senator Norris during the 1940 presidential election.
La Guardia was the city's first Italian-American mayor, but was not a typical Italian New Yorker. He was a Republican Episcopalian who had grown up in Arizona, and had an Istrian Jewish mother and a Roman Catholic-turned-atheist Italian father. He reportedly spoke seven languages, including Hebrew, Croatian, German, Hungarian, Italian, and Yiddish.
La Guardia's fans credit him for, among other things, restoring the economic lifeblood of New York City during and after the Great Depression. His massive public works programs administered by his Parks Commissioner Robert Moses employed thousands of unemployed New Yorkers, and his constant lobbying for federal government funds allowed New York to develop its economic infrastructure. He is remembered for reading the newspaper comics on WNYC radio during a 1945 newspaper strike, and pushing to have a commercial airport (Floyd Bennett Field, and later LaGuardia Airport) within city limits. Responding to popular disdain for the sometimes corrupt City Council, La Guardia successfully proposed a reformed 1938 City Charter that created a powerful new New York City Board of Estimate, similar to a corporate board of directors.
He was an outspoken and early critic of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime. In a public address in 1934, La Guardia warned, "Part of Hitler's program is the complete annihilation of the Jews in Germany." In 1937, speaking before the Women's Division of the American Jewish Congress, La Guardia called for the creation of a special pavilion at the upcoming New York World's Fair "a chamber of horrors" for "that brown-shirted fanatic."
In 1941, during the run-up to American involvement in World War II, President Roosevelt appointed La Guardia as the director of the new Office of Civilian Defense (OCD). The OCD was responsible for preparing for the protection of the civilian population in case America was attacked. It was also responsible for the maintenance of public morale, promoting volunteer service, and co-ordination with other federal departments to ensure they were serving the needs of a country in war. La Guardia remained Mayor of New York during this appointment, but after the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 he was succeeded at the OCD by a full-time director, James M. Landis.
La Guardia was the director general for the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) in 1946.
He died of pancreatic cancer at his home in the Riverdale section of the Bronx at the age of 64 and is interred at Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx.
Arthur Machen was a leading Welsh author of the 1890s. He is best known for his influential supernatural, fantasy, and horror fiction. He also is well known for his leading role in creating the legend of the Angels of Mons.
Machen was born Arthur Llewelyn Jones, in Caerleon (now part of Newport), Monmouthshire, though he usually referred to the county by its Welsh name Gwent. His father, John Edward Jones, became vicar of the tiny church of Llandewi Fach, near Caerleon, and his son was brought up at the rectory there. His father had adopted his wife's maiden name, Machen, to inherit a legacy, legally becoming "Jones-Machen", and his son was baptized under this name, and he later used a shortened version of his full name, Arthur Machen, as a pen-name.
Machen's love of the beautiful landscape of Monmouthshire with its associations with Celtic, Roman, and medieval history made a powerful impression on him which is at the heart of many of his works.
At the age of eleven, Machen boarded at Hereford Cathedral School, where he received an excellent classical education. Family poverty ruled out attendance at university, and Machen was sent to London, where he sat exams to attend medical school but failed to get in. Machen, however, showed literary promise, publishing in 1881 a long poem "Eleusinia" on the subject of the Eleusinian Mysteries. Returning to London, he lived in relative poverty, attempting to work as a journalist, as a publisher's clerk, and as a children’s tutor while writing in the evening and going on long rambling walks across London.
In 1884, he published his second work, the pastiche The Anatomy of Tobacco, and secured work with the publisher and bookseller George Redway as a cataloguer and magazine editor. This led to further work as a translator from French, translating the Heptameron of Marguerite de Navarre, Le Moyen de Parvenir (Fantastic Tales) of Béroalde de Verville, and the Memoirs of Casanova. Machen's translations in a spirited English style became standard ones for many years.
In 1887, Machen married Amy Hogg, an unconventional music teacher with a passion for the theatre, who had literary friends in London's Bohemian circles. Hogg had introduced Machen to the writer and occultist A. E. Waite, who was to become one of Machen's closest friends. Machen also made the acquaintance of other literary figures, such as M. P. Shiel and Edgar Jepson. Soon after his marriage, Machen began to receive a series of legacies from Scottish relatives that allowed him to gradually devote more time to writing.
Around 1890 Machen began to publish in literary magazines, writing stories influenced by the works of Robert Louis Stevenson, some of which used gothic or fantastic themes. This led to his first major success, "The Great God Pan". It was published in 1894 by John Lane in the noted Keynotes Series, which was part of the growing aesthetic movement of the time. Machen’s story was widely denounced for its sexual and horrific content and subsequently sold well, going into a second edition.
Machen next produced The Three Impostors, a novel composed of a number of interwoven tales, in 1895. The novel and the stories within it were eventually to be regarded as among Machen’s best works.
However, following the scandal surrounding Oscar Wilde later that year, Machen’s association with works of decadent horror made it difficult for him to find a publisher for new works. Thus, though he would write some of his greatest works over the next few years, some were published much later. These included The Hill of Dreams, Hieroglyphics, A Fragment of Life, the story "The White People", and the stories which make up Ornaments in Jade.
In 1899, Machen’s wife Amy died of cancer after a long period of illness. This had a devastating effect on Machen. He only gradually recovered from his loss over the next year, partially through his close friendship with A. E. Waite. It was through Waite’s influence that Machen joined at this time the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, though Machen’s interest in the organization was not a lasting one.
Machen’s recovery was further helped by his sudden change of career, becoming an actor in 1901 and a member of Frank Benson’s company of travelling players, a profession which took him round the country. This led in 1903 to a second marriage, to Dorothie Purefoy Hudleston, which brought Machen much happiness. Machen managed to find a publisher in 1902 for his earlier written work Hieroglyphics, an analysis of the nature of literature, which concluded that true literature must convey ecstasy. In 1906 Machen’s literary career began once more to flourish as the book The House of Souls collected his most notable works of the nineties and brought them to a new audience. He also published a satirical work, Dr Stiggins: His Views and Principles, generally considered one of his weakest works.
Machen also was at this time investigating Celtic Christianity, the Holy Grail and King Arthur. Publishing his views in Lord Alfred Douglas’s The Academy, for which he wrote regularly, Machen concluded that the legends of the Grail actually were based on dim recollections of the rites of the Celtic Church. These ideas also featured strongly in the novel The Secret Glory, which he wrote at this time, marking the first use of the idea in fiction of the Grail surviving into modern times in some form, an idea much utilised ever since as by Charles Williams (UK writer), Dan Brown and in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. In 1907, The Hill of Dreams, generally considered Machen’s masterpiece, was finally published, though it was not recognized much at the time.
The next few years saw Machen continue with acting in various companies and with journalistic work, but he was finding it increasingly hard to earn a living and his legacies were long exhausted. Machen was also attending literary gatherings like the New Bohemians and the Square Club.
Finally Machen accepted a full-time journalist’s job at Alfred Harmsworth’s Evening News in 1910. In February 1912 his son Hilary was born, followed by a daughter Janet in 1917. The coming of war in 1914 saw Machen return to public prominence for the first time in twenty years due to the publication of "The Bowmen" and the subsequent publicity surrounding the "Angels of Mons" episode. He published a series of stories capitalizing on this success, most of which were morale-boosting propaganda, but the most notable, The Great Return (1915), and the novella The Terror (1917), were more accomplished. He also published a series of autobiographical articles during the war, later published as Far Off Things. During the war years Machen also met and championed the work of a fellow Welshman, Caradoc Evans.
In general, though, Machen thoroughly disliked work at the newspaper, and it was only the need to earn money for his family which kept him at it. The money came in useful, allowing him to move in 1919 to a bigger house with a garden, in St John's Wood, which became a noted location for literary gatherings attended by friends like the painter Augustus John, Wyndham Lewis, and Jerome K. Jerome. Machen’s dismissal from the Evening News in 1921 came as a relief in one sense, though it caused financial problems. Machen, however, was recognized as a great Fleet Street character by his contemporaries, and he remained in demand as an essay writer for much of the twenties.
The year 1922 also saw a revival in Machen’s literary fortunes. The Secret Glory was finally published, as was his autobiography Far Off Things, and new editions of Machen’s Casanova, The House of Souls and The Hill of Dreams all came out. Machen’s works had now found a new audience and publishers in America, and a series of requests for republications of books started to come in. Vincent Starrett, James Branch Cabell, and Carl Van Vechten were American Machen devotees who helped in this process.
A sign of his rising fortunes were shown by publication in 1923 of a collected edition of his works and a bibliography. That year also saw the publication of a recently completed second volume of autobiography, Things Near and Far—the final volume, The London Adventure, being published in 1924. Machen’s earlier works suddenly started becoming much sought after collectors items at this time, a position they have held ever since. In 1924 he issued a collection of bad reviews of his own work, with very little commentary, under the title Precious Balms. In this period of prosperity Machen's home saw many visitors and social gatherings and Machen made new friends such as Oliver Stonor.
By 1926 the boom in republication was mostly over, and Machen’s income dropped. He continued republishing earlier works in collected editions, as well as writing essays and articles for various magazines and newspapers and contributing forewords and introductions to both his and other writers' works, but produced little new fiction. In 1927, he became a manuscript reader for the publisher Ernest Benn, which brought in a much-needed regular income until 1933.
In 1929, Machen and his family moved away from London to Amersham in Buckinghamshire, but they still faced financial hardship. He received some recognition for his literary work when he received a Civil List pension of one hundred pounds in 1932, but the loss of work from Benns a year later made things difficult once more. A few more collections of Machen’s shorter works were published in the thirties, partially as a result of the championing of Machen by John Gawsworth, who also began work on a biography of Machen that was only published in 2005 thanks to The Friends of Arthur Machen.
Machen’s financial difficulties were only finally ended by the literary appeal launched in 1943 for his eightieth birthday. The initial names on the appeal show the general recognition of Machen’s stature as a distinguished man of letters, as they included Max Beerbohm, T. S. Eliot, Bernard Shaw, Walter de la Mare, Algernon Blackwood, and John Masefield. The success of the appeal allowed Machen to live the last few years of his life, until his death on December 15, 1947, in relative comfort.