W.W. Jacobs - The Lady of the Barge

THE LADY OF THE BARGE by W.W. Jacobs is the only book that remains with me from my parents’ bookshelf of my infancy in the late 1940s / early 1950s.

What famous story is contained within its pages? Please write to me at something about that story that is personal to you.  Then it will become an ‘eligible entry’. To become an ‘eligible entry’, is my decision alone.  But I shall inform you whether or not you have succeeded to become an ‘eligible entry’.

On 1 December 2011 or thereabouts, I shall pick from a hat at random an ‘eligible entry’ to win this WONDERFUL book below (as new, and signed by its editor Dan Ghetu):

[My scanning of above dust jacket in necessarily two sections – and my apologies for not managing its exact contiguity. (Its artwork is by Santiago Caruso).]


I won this book myself in a competition, but as I have already received a contributor’s copy (with a story in this anthology), I’ve decided to ‘re-competition’ it.


Concurrent competition for the WEIRDMONGER book:


Filed under Uncategorized


  1. Caroline Callaghan

    Hi Des – nice competition! Can I ask, is there a required word count for entries (min and/or max)? Only I feel I could write quite a bit about what that particular tale means to me. Thanks —- Caroline C

  2. Hi, Caroline, No required word count – max or min.

    With permission, I may publish some of the ‘eligible entries’ on this website. des

  3. The eligible entry I pulled from a hat at random was that of Philip Fritz in USA.

    Congratulations to him.

  4. Any entrant who would like their Monkey’s Paw entry published in these comments, please let me know.

  5. Caroline Callaghan’s entry below (posted here at her request):

    The story in question is W.W. Jacobs’ “The Monkey’s Paw”, which is the
    story which made me realise that horror literature was about much more
    than scary monsters.

    Picture, if you will, a shy, rather lonely girl aged 10. She’d
    recently tragically lost her big sister, her childhood world had
    suddenly come crashing down around her, and she needed some kind of
    means of escape from real life. That girl was me.

    I walked into my local WH Smiths one day looking for a good “monster”
    book to read. Scanning the horror shelves (there were lots of books on
    them in those days) my eyes alighted on The Pan Book of Horror Volume
    7, with it’s zombie cover. I couldn’t resist!

    Inside those covers I found “The Monkey’s Paw”. It resonated with me
    in a way that no other horror story had done up until that point.
    There I was wishing my sister back to life again; and there was the
    warning in this story that wishing someone back from the dead wasn’t
    really a good thing to do. It was the first time I’d realised that a
    horror story could be both frightening and poignant; to convey a
    message rather than simply to scare. And it was all the more powerful
    to me *because* of the message it conveyed.

    So that’s why I credit that particular story with the start of my love
    of horror, and why it holds a very special place in my heart.

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