(1917-1984) UK writer noted for his long series of Cornish novels and reminiscences. After an early career as a reporter, he turned to writing in 1941. His first story collection, Worlds Without End (coll 1945), reflects the loss of identity and displacement-of-self experienced as a result of World War II; its horrors are as much psychological as supernatural, with a delight in the inexplicable. In later years DVB's fiction mellowed, focusing on more traditional Ghost Stories, usually with a Cornish setting. His Supernatural Fictions, generally dark and introspective, are scattered throughout his UK story collections; August W Derleth assembled a selection of them for Arkham House, The Face in the Mirror (coll 1971 US). DVB also established himself as an anthologist, producing a regular series of homely ghost stories. [MA]
other works: The Secret Place (coll 1977), mostly nonfantasy but with a strong evocation of place.
as editor: One and All (anth 1951), Haunted Cornwall (anth 1973), Stories of the Night (anth 1976), Stories of the Macabre (anth 1976), Stories of Horror and Suspense (anth 1977), Stories of the Occult (anth 1976), Stories of the Supernatural (anth 1979), Stories of Fear (anth 1980), Cornish Ghost Stories (anth 1981), Ghosts in Country Houses (anth 1981), When Churchyards Yawn (anth 1982), Ghosts in Country Villages (anth 1983), Stories of Haunted Inns (anth 1983), Phantom Lovers (anth 1984), Haunted Travellers (anth 1985).
Denys Val Baker