Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Jacks, L P

(1860-1955) UK philosopher, academic and founder-editor of the Hibbert Journal. His fiction is idiosyncratic and often used to convey his philosophical ideas, frequently related to metaphysics. His bibliography is confusing because he often recycled stories through variant editions. His first volume, Mad Shepherds and Other Human Studies (coll 1910), is not fantasy. Similarly, Among the Idolmakers (coll 1911) seeks to demonstrate how humankind creates its own Mythology. All Men are Ghosts (coll 1913; cut 1917), while often identified as a Ghost-Story volume is a continuation of this philosophy, where LPJ provides a rational basis for supernatural occurrences. The sequence Panhandle and the Ghosts postulates that humans and Ghosts live in Alternate Worlds, with each perceiving the other as ghosts. In the title story, "All Men Are Ghosts", LPJ uses the Frame Story of spirits meeting in Heaven to relate an Arabian Fantasy, "The Hole in the Waterskin", as an Allegory to demonstrate the likelihood of Reincarnation. "The Magic Formula" – later the title story of a revised selection of stories from earlier volumes, The Magic Formula and Other Stories (coll 1927 US) – is a Time Fantasy. LPJ's stories have novelty value for their concepts. [MA]

other works: Philosophers in Trouble (coll 1916).

Lawrence Pearsall Jacks


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.