Sunday, May 31, 2015

A. Merritt Art Gallery-Three Lines of Old French

"Three Lines of Old French" by A. Merritt in
All-Story Weekly, August 9, 1919

"Three Lines of Old French" is another of A. Merritt's fantasies about crossing over or passing through boundaries. It is an unusual story in that it is set in France during the Great War, which had ended not even a year before the story was published. I don't know of very many tales of fantasy, science fiction, or weird fiction that are set during the war and on the front lines. Maybe the war was too horrible to treat it in what many would consider non-serious genres of fiction. The cover story is "The Curse of Capistrano" by Johnson McCully. The cover art is unsigned and the artist is unknown.

"Three Lines of Old French" is too short for publication as a novel. Nonetheless, it took up all of one volume in a short-lived series called Bizarre. This is the cover of Bizarre #1 from 1937. 

The story was reprinted again in Famous Fantastic Mysteries for May-June 1940. The artist was Frank R. Paul.

The interior art was by Virgil Finlay. You might remember this image from my article called "Weird Tales and World War I" dated November 11, 2011, here.

In Observance of Memorial Day.

Captions copyright 2015 Terence E. Hanley


  1. Nice! Don't recall having seen this Finlay elsewhere.

  2. Howard,

    Virgil Finlay was of course a very prolific illustrator. You can find his illustrations for stories by A. Merritt, Francis Stevens, and scores of other authors in The Book of Virgil Finlay (1976), Virgil Finlay's Strange Science (1992), Virgil Finlay's Women of the Ages (1992), Virgil Finlay's Phantasms (1993), and Virgil Finlay's Far Beyond (1994). Thanks for reading and thanks for writing.