W.W. Jacobs

Easton Press W.W. Jacobs books

The Monkey's Paw & Other Tales of Mystery and The Macabre - Horror Classics - 2006

Writer W. W. Jacobs

W. W. Jacobs, whose full name is William Wymark Jacobs, was a prolific English writer best known for his mastery of the short story genre, particularly for his classic horror story, The Monkey's Paw. He was born on September 8, 1863, in London, England, and he passed away on September 1, 1943. Jacobs came from a working-class family, and his early experiences heavily influenced his later writings. His father worked as a wharf manager, exposing Jacobs to the maritime world, which later became a recurring theme in many of his stories. Despite facing financial difficulties, Jacobs displayed a passion for literature from an early age.

He began his career in the world of journalism, working as a clerk in the civil service and writing articles for various London publications. However, his true talent lay in crafting short stories that often featured a combination of humor, irony, and elements of the supernatural. W. W. Jacobs gained widespread recognition with the publication of The Monkey's Paw in 1902. This short story, which delves into the consequences of tempting fate and making wishes, has become a classic of horror literature. Its enduring popularity is a testament to Jacobs' ability to blend suspense and supernatural elements with keen observations of human nature.

Aside from The Monkey's Paw, Jacobs wrote numerous other short stories, many of which were published in magazines and anthologies. His stories often depicted everyday life, seafaring adventures, and the humorous and sometimes tragic aspects of the human condition. In addition to his short stories, Jacobs authored several novels, though none achieved the same level of success as his shorter works. His literary output waned in the latter part of his career, but his impact on the short story genre persisted, influencing later writers in the fields of horror and humor.

W. W. Jacobs's legacy rests primarily on his contributions to short fiction, and his influence continues to be felt in the world of horror literature. His ability to engage readers with clever storytelling and to evoke a wide range of emotions in a concise format solidifies his place as a notable figure in the history of English literature.

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