Robert W. Chambers (1865-1933) studied art in Paris in the late 80's and early 90's, where his work was displayed at the Salon. However, shortly after returning to America, he decided to spend his time in writing. He became popular as the writer of a number of romantic novels, but is now best known as the author of "The King In Yellow". This is a collection of the first half of this work of short stories which have an eerie, other-worldly feel to it; but the stories in the second half are essentially love stories, strongly coloured by the author's life as an artist in France.
Only the first half of the collection of stories is presented here: the earlier stories are all coloured by the background presence of a play, "The King In Yellow" itself, which corrupts those who read it, and opens them to horrible experiences and to visions of a ghastly other world, lit by dark stars and distorted skies. This half of the collection is completed by a few very short pieces and two rather strange and beautiful stories of love and time, loneliness and death. (summary by Peter Yearsley)