Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Grant, Joan

Pseudonym of UK writer and occult theorist Joan Marshall Kelsey (1907-1989), whose books give off a powerful sense of otherness, whether or not they actually incorporate elements of fantasy or (more likely) Supernatural Fiction. Her first novel, Winged Pharaoh (1937), is fantasy only if lectures on Theosophy – delivered to the protagonist as part of her ongoing education in being a priestess and a pharaoh at the same time – render any text fantastical; Egypt is viewed as a successor to Atlantis. Further novels by JG intensified a sense that she herself, under whatever name or Reincarnation, was their main character, usually through the exercise of "far memory", whether the setting was Renaissance Italy, as in Life as Carola (1939), or in a (less ancient) Egypt in the Ra-Ab Hotep sequence – Eyes of Horus (1942) and Lord of the Horizon (1943) – or slightly forward again in the 2nd-century Greece depicted in Return to Elysium (1947). [JC]

other works: Redskin Morning and Other Stories (coll 1944); Scarlet Feather (1945); The Laird and the Lady (1949; vt Castle Cloud 1971 US); So Moses Was Born (1952); much nonfiction concerning "far memory".

Joan Marshall Kelsey


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.