The Black Mass 10: The Witch Of The Willows by Lord Dunsany

Join us on Fri­day at a lit­tle after 12 noon or 4pm Pacif­ic time (8pm and mid­night in the UK) for anoth­er episode in the land­mark radio dra­ma series The Black Mass, cre­at­ed by the late Erik Bauers­feld and his col­leagues at the Paci­fi­ca radio sta­tion KPFA in Berke­ley, Cal­i­for­nia, over fifty years ago. In 30 chill­ing tales of mys­tery, imag­i­na­tion and the human mind, The Black Mass brings you some of literature’s most haunt­ing sto­ries, by mas­ters of the craft — many of whom are best-known in oth­er fields.

Note that the episode will not start until the track play­ing at the top of the hour has fin­ished, so the actu­al start time of the episode will be a few min­utes after the hour.

Today: 10: “The Witch Of The Wil­lows” by Lord Dunsany

Edward John More­ton Drax Plun­kett, 18th Baron of Dun­sany (24 July 1878 – 25 Octo­ber 1957), was an Anglo-Irish writer and drama­tist whose work, main­ly fan­ta­sy, appeared under the name Lord Dun­sany.

More than 90 books were pub­lished in his life­time. Both orig­i­nal work and com­pi­la­tions have con­tin­ued to appear. Dun­sany’s œuvre includes many hun­dred pub­lished short sto­ries, as well as plays, nov­els and essays. He gained great fame with his ear­ly short sto­ries and plays, and in the 1910s was seen one of the great liv­ing writ­ers of the Eng­lish-speak­ing world; he is known best today for his 1924 fan­ta­sy nov­els The King of Elfland’s Daugh­ter and The Gods of Pegā­na, where he devised his own fic­tion­al pan­theon and laid the ground­work for the fan­ta­sy genre.

He was the inven­tor of an asym­met­ric ver­sion of chess called Dun­sany’s chess. Born and raised in Lon­don to the sec­ond-old­est title (cre­at­ed 1439) in the Irish peer­age, Dun­sany lived much of his life at what may be Ire­land’s longest inhab­it­ed house, Dun­sany Cas­tle near Tara. He worked with W. B. Yeats and Lady Gre­go­ry, received an hon­orary doc­tor­ate from Trin­i­ty Col­lege, Dublin, was chess and pis­tol-shoot­ing cham­pi­on of Ire­land, and trav­elled and hunt­ed exten­sive­ly. He died in Dublin from appendicitis.

The Black Mass art­work was cre­at­ed by Ter­ry Lightfoot.