The King in Yellow by Robert W. Chambers (Heathen Edition)

The King in Yellow

Spine #1
Robert W. Chambers
First Edition
Heathen Edition
December 15, 2017
January 26, 2024
Heathen Genera
Victorian Grit
Paperback ISBN
Hardcover ISBN

“What is it?” I asked.

The King in Yellow.

I was dumbfounded. Who had placed it there? I had long ago decided that I should never open that book, and nothing on earth could have persuaded me to buy it. Fearful lest curiosity might tempt me to open it, I had never even looked at it in bookstores. If I ever had any curiosity to read it, the awful tragedy of young Castaigne, whom I knew, prevented me from exploring its wicked pages. I had always refused to listen to any description of it, and indeed, nobody ever ventured to discuss the second part aloud, so I had absolutely no knowledge of what those leaves might reveal. I stared at the poisonous mottled binding as I would at a snake.

“Don’t touch it...”

Robert William Chambers (1865-1933) was an American illustrator and writer, best known for The King in Yellow, his influential and odd collection of ten macabre and French short stories first published in 1895. The title refers to a fictional play featured in four of the stories, and to a mysterious and malevolent supernatural entity within that play who may very well exist outside of it. It is whispered that the play leaves only insanity and sorrow in its wake; it tempts those who read it, bringing upon them hallucinations and madness . . .


Influencing the works of H.P. Lovecraft, Raymond Chandler, George R.R. Martin, Neil Gaiman, and Nic Pizzolato (creator and writer of HBO’s True Detective), and described by critics as a classic in the field of the supernatural, The King in Yellow — with its dashes of fantasy, mystery, mythology, romance, and science fiction — is a staple of the early gothic and Victorian horror genres.

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"Very genuine is the strain of horror . . . really achieves notable heights of cosmic fear."
H.P. Lovecraft
The King in Yellow Poster

The King in Yellow Poster