Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Dalby, Richard

(1949-2017) UK editor, anthologist, writer, bibliographer, literary consultant, antiquarian bookseller and collector of fantasy and Supernatural Fiction. His first anthology was a collection of Ghost Stories, The Sorceress in Stained Glass (anth 1971), for which he unearthed a previously unreprinted story by M R James. He compiled three volumes of ghost stories by women writers – The Virago Book of Ghost Stories (anth 1987), The Virago Book of Ghost Stories Volume II (anth 1991; vt Modern Ghost Stories by Eminent Women Writers 1992 US) and The Virago Book of Victorian Ghost Stories (anth 1988; vt Victorian Ghost Stories by Eminent Women Writers 1989 US) – and a series of six Christmas Anthologies in which the majority of the stories are ghost, fantasy or supernatural: Ghosts for Christmas (anth 1988), Chillers for Christmas (anth 1989), Mystery for Christmas (anth 1990), Crime for Christmas (anth 1991), Horror for Christmas (anth 1992; vt Mistletoe Mayhem 1993 US) and Shivers for Christmas (anth 1995). Other anthologies include Dracula's Brood (1987), being stories written by friends and contemporaries of Bram Stoker, Ghosts and Scholars (anth 1987), with Rosemary Pardoe (featuring stories by the James Gang), Tales of Witchcraft (1991) and Vampire Stories (anth 1992), with a foreword by Peter Cushing. Returning to his first love, RD edited three anthologies in the Mammoth series: The Mammoth Book of Ghost Stories (anth 1990; cut vt The Giant Book of Ghost Stories 2 1994), The Mammoth Book of Ghost Stories 2 (anth 1991; vt The Giant Book of Ghost Stories 1993), with a foreword by Christopher Lee, and The Mammoth Book of Victorian and Edwardian Ghost Stories (anth 1995). As a writer and bibliographer RD produced Bram Stoker: A Bibliography of First Editions (1983), The Golden Age of Children's Book Illustration (1991), featuring biographies and illustrations from over 50 artists who worked between 1860 and 1930, and The Dervish of Windsor Castle: A Biography of Arminius Vambery (1979) with Lory Alder, a biography of the famous Hungarian linguist, traveller and explorer Arminius Vambery (a friend of the Prince of Wales [Edward VII] and Bram Stoker; it was probably Vambery who told Stoker about Dracula, Vlad the Impaler and Vampire folklore). RD has also used his immense knowledge and love of the genre to compile a number of collections of long out-of-print ghost-story writers, including The Best Ghost Stories of H. Russell Wakefield (coll 1978) and The Collected Ghost Stories of E.F. Benson (coll 1992) (see E F Benson). In 1993 he co-founded, with Kat and David Tibet, the Ghost Story Press, to bring back into print forgotten ghost-story classics. For this enterprise he has compiled and introduced Flaxman Low, Psychic Detective (coll 1899; 1993) by Kate and Hesketh Prichard (see E & H Heron), Fear Walks the Night (omni 1993), assembling the three volumes containing the complete ghost stories of Frederick Cowles (1900-1949), Tales of the Grotesque (coll 1934; 1994) by L A Lewis (1899-1961), Tales of the Supernatural (coll 1894; 1994) by James Platt (1861-1910) and The Death-Mask and Other Ghosts coll (1920; 1995) by Mrs H D Everett (see Theo Douglas). He has edited and introduced numerous Small-Press publications, including the third in the British Fantasy Society's Masters of Fantasy series, M.R. James (1987), and has contributed innumerable articles and entries for various encyclopedias (including this one), books and magazines. [JF]

Richard Dalby


This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.