Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Irwin, Margaret

(1889-1967) UK writer, best-known for historical fiction. Two of her novels contributed significantly to the remarkable flowering of UK fantasy in the decade following the end of WWI. Still She Wished for Company (1924; vt Who Will Remember? US) is a subtly bittersweet Timeslip romance in which an occultist's attempts to clarify a haunting vision, using his sister as a medium, draw the heroine out of the present to a phantom existence in 1779. These Mortals (1925) tells of Melusine, reared in isolation in her father's magical palace, whose romantic illusions about the world of men are rudely shattered by exposure to its routine hypocrisies. Madame Fears the Dark: Seven Stories and a Play (coll 1935) contains two dark timeslip romances, "The Book" and "The Curate and the Rake", the sardonic "Monsieur Seeks a Wife", whose account of a man's marriage to a Witch-wife is carefully ambiguous, and "The Earlier Service", a fine weird tale featuring a Black Mass. Three of these items were reprinted with other materials (including one fantasy) in Bloodstock and Other Stories (coll 1953). [BS]

Margaret Irwin


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.