Back F. Marion Crawford, “For the Blood Is the Life”

F. Marion Crawford (1854–1909)
From American Fantastic Tales: Terror and the Uncanny from Poe to the Pulps

Two drawings by American illustrator Walter Appleton Clark (1876–1906) for the original magazine publication of “For the Blood Is the Life” (Collier’s, December 15, 1905).

F. Marion Crawford was one of the best-selling American authors of the late nineteenth century. In twenty-eight years he published forty-four novels, most of them historical fiction or cosmopolitan romances and nearly all of them commercial successes. Yet today his novels are completely forgotten—and he would be as well, if not for the handful of Gothic horror stories collected after his death as Wandering Ghosts.

Crawford’s supernatural tales—including “The Screaming Skull,” “The Upper Berth,” and “The Doll’s Ghost”—have been reprinted in numerous anthologies of classic horror fiction over the past century. The Library of America collection American Fantastic Tales: Terror and the Uncanny from Poe to Now includes “For the Blood Is the Life,” which features a wraithlike phantom that is . . . well, let’s just say it isn’t exactly a ghost. We present it here in full—with an introduction explaining why fellow novelist Henry James detested his friend Marion Crawford.

Read “For the Blood Is the Life” by F. Marion Crawford

Library of America
Curator

A champion of America’s great writers and timeless works, Library of America guides readers in finding and exploring the exceptional writing that reflects the nation’s history and culture.

Learn More
Publisher

From poetry, novels, and memoirs to journalism, crime writing, and science fiction, the more than 300 volumes published by Library of America are widely recognized as America’s literary canon.


Browse our books Subscribe
Non-Profit

With contributions from donors, Library of America preserves and celebrates a vital part of our cultural heritage for generations to come.

Support our mission