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The Angels of Mons

Arthur Machen

Book Overview: 

The Angels of Mons is a popular legend about a group of angels who supposedly protected members of the British army in the Battle of Mons at the outset of World War I. The story is fictitious, developed through a combination of a patriotic short story by Arthur Machen, rumors, mass hysteria and urban legend, claimed visions after the battle and also possibly deliberately seeded propaganda. (Summary by Wikipedia)

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .ed the machine which brought them into the story.

In "The Bowmen" my imagined soldier saw "a long line of shapes, with a shining about them." And Mr. A.P. Sinnett, writing in the May issue of The Occult Review, reporting what he had heard, states that "those who could see said they saw 'a row of shining beings' between the two armies." Now I conjecture that the word "shining" is the link between my tale and the derivative from it. In the popular view shining and benevolent supernatural beings are angels, and so, I believe, the Bowmen of my story have become "the Angels of Mons." In this shape they have been received with respect and credence everywhere, or almost everywhere.

And here, I conjecture, we have the key to the large popularity of the delusion—as I think it. We have long ceased in England to take much interest in saints, and in the recent revival of the cultus of St. George, the saint is little more than a patriotic . . . Read More

Community Reviews

This was a reread. An it was as enjoyable as the first time.

[G. P. Putnam’s Sons] (1915). HB. 77 Pages. Purchased from ‘cryptocellus’.

Somewhat entertaining but well shy of the author’s brilliant best.

Machen’s Introduction oozes consternation.

He long struggled with credulous fools who lightly seized upon a minor, frivolous, fictional work as an account of b

The stories are, in author’s own words, an indifferent piece of work, but the life one of them took is fascinating!

Four very short World War I stories from the Welsh writer with an interest in the mystical.

The highlight of this brief collection is "The Bowmen", which gave birth to an enduring myth about British soldiers being aided by angelic warriors in the battlefield. The other three stories, however, are equ

Een heel andere Arthur Machen dan ik was gewend, aangezien het dit keer om eerstewereldoorlogsverhalen ging, geschreven in WO I zelf. Wel komen er bovennatuurlijke verschijnselen en verschijningen in voor. Het is vreemd hoe Machen in deze verhalen de oorlog zowel als heroïsch strijdveld weergeeft me

Interesting collection of WWI stories by Machen. Contains a fascinating introduction by Machen explaining how his simple story The Bowmen grew into a legend of the war.

Easily the best way to read Machens WW1 stories!

If you have read stories such as 'The Bowman' and 'The Monstance' before, then this is still worth reading, purely for Machens preface giving his slightly amusing take on the 'Angels of Mons' controversy. There is even a short piece by someone called '

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