The Only Known Recording of Arthur Machen

Arthur Machen (1863-1947) left a broad body of work. In addition to his superlative tales of the outré (The Great God Pan, The Hill of Dreams, “The White People,” et. al.), Machen was a prolific Fleet Street journalist. Given the length and breadth of his career it is somewhat surprising that almost no recordings of him exist. In 1934 he wrote to friend Montgomery Evans, “nor do I imagine that the B.B.C. has heard of me.”

He did eventually record at least one program for the BBC in March of 1937. A three-and-a-half minute fragment of the broadcast survives. It may be the only surviving record of Machen’s voice. On the program he discusses Charles Dickens, of whom he was a great admirer. It is a remarkable treasure for anyone who loves Machen as I do. Listen here.


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