Episode 36: The Cigarette Case by Oliver Onions

Oliver Onions

Oliver Onions was born in Bradford, Yorkshire, England in 1873 and died in Aberystwyth in Wales in 1961, His father was a bank cashier. When he was a young man he was an amateur boxer. 

He didn’t like the surname Onions and changed it legally to George Oliver but still published his stories under the name Oliver Onions. Onions is in fact a Welsh name, being from the Welsh Ab Einion.

Onions trained as an artist and worked as an illustrator. His most famous ghost story is The Beckoning Fair One. He is reckoned as one of the best writers of ghost stories. He has a very conversational lyrical style and the characters in his story come out via the tone of their voice.

The Cigarette Case is a neat little story with a lovely twist in the end. We probably guess what’s going to happen, but it’s very well done.

I particularly like Loder’s asides to other members of the circle, such as Marsham the romantic and Smith the sceptic.

I was reminded by this story of An Adventure which is the reportedly true tale of two English ladies having a time slip experience in France at the Paris of Versailles in the early 20th Century.

The Cigarette Case was published in 1911 in the collection Widdershins and I believe An Ad venture was published in 1910, so it is not impossible that the tale of two English ladies in France who mysteriously disappear was inspired by An Adventure.

I’ll put a link toAn Adventure here

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Music

Beginning music is Some Come Back by the marvellous Heartwood Institute and end sequence is Bad Encounter by Myuu

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