Funny, absurd, satirical, and disturbing—these stories are Horace Walpole's most original, yet least known writings
These short tales can claim to be the first surrealist writings in English—and remain some of the strangest fiction in all literature. They were originally published in 1785 in an edition of six copies, all of which Walpole kept for himself. An extra story is included, which was preserved only in manuscript. Truly bizarre, Walpole's stories defy the fictional conventions of his day, beginning with an often-imitated mock preface explaining that the stories were "undoubtedly written a little before the creation of the world, and have ever since been preserved, by oral tradition, in the mountains of Crampcraggiri, an uninhabited island, not yet discovered."