Ramsey Campbell

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John Ramsey Campbell (born 4 January 1946 in Liverpool) is an English horror fiction author.

Since he first came to prominence in the mid-1960s, critics have cited Campbell as one of the leading writers in his field: T. E. D. Klein has written that "Campbell reigns supreme in the field today"[1], while S. T. Joshi stated, "future generations will regard him as the leading horror writer of our generation, every bit the equal of Lovecraft or Blackwood."[2]

Contents

Overview

Campbell's childhood and adolescence were marked by the rift between his parents and his mother's developing schizophrenia, an experience he has discussed in detail in the introduction and afterword to the restored text of The Face That Must Die.[3] Although both parents lived in the same house, Campbell states, "I didn't see my father face to face for nearly twenty years, and that was when he was dying."

His early work was greatly influenced by the work of H. P. Lovecraft. His first collection, The Inhabitant of the Lake and Less Welcome Tenants, is a volume of Cthulhu Mythos stories published by Arkham House in 1964. At the suggestion of August Derleth, he rewrote many of his earliest stories, which he had originally set in the Massachusetts locales of Arkham, Dunwich and Innsmouth, and relocated them to English settings in and around the fictional Gloucestershire city of Brichester, near the River Severn, creating his own Severn Valley milieu for Lovecraftian horrors. [4] Brichester was deeply influenced by Campbell's native Liverpool, and much of his later work is set in the real locales of Liverpool and Merseyside. In particular, his 2005 novel Secret Stories (published in the U.S. in an abridged edition[5] as Secret Story (2006)) both exemplifies and satirizes Liverpudlian speech, characters, humor, and culture.

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