Arthur Machen, 1863-1947, was a writer of fiction, and much more. He is most widely remembered today as the author of the 1914 story: The Bowmen, which gave rise to the legend of the Angels of Mons, of supernatural beings who fought alongside British soldiers in their hour of greatest need. His other fiction, novels and short stories written between the late 1880s and the 1930s, frequently sound notes of the fantastic and the surreal, playing most often around the edge where the familiar world may suddenly fall into abeyance. Machen's fiction reveals a man who was at war with the stifling scientific materialism which was the dominant world-view of his time, and this is echoed in his non-fiction works, which include literary criticism, cultural history, and spiritual polemic, all of which justify his memory as 'the apostle of wonder'.
The Friends of Arthur Machen is a fellowship dedicated to celebrating Machen and his work. Activities include regular publications and both formal and informal gatherings. The current membership of The Friends is very diverse, reflecting the currents which have drawn it together. Within the fellowship you will encounter interest in mysticism, in the occult, in both paganism and Christianity, in the decadence of the 1890s, in the mysterious landscapes of Gwent and London. This great diversity is reunited by what members share: a love of good reading and good living. What unites us most is admiration for a writer who has qualities and insights which are not found elsewhere. Most members are English speaking, but membership is truly worldwide. The only necessary qualification for membership is an enthusiasm for Machen's work.