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A new, annotated edition of the 1921 novel by British master of the supernatural and weird, Oliver Onions, author of The Collected Ghost Stories, Widdershins ('The Beckoning Fair One', 'Rooum'), A Case In Camera, The Poor Man's Tapestry (winner of the 1946 James Tait Black Memorial Prize) and The Story of Ragged Robyn.

Novelist Derwent ('Derry') Rose, 45, is afflicted with an unnatural curse: following a literary squabble with a competing author, he's begun growing younger. But he's not rejuvenating at the same speed one ages; the 'ailment' comes in fits and starts and he's convinced he must cure himself before he arrives back at age 16:

"Only one man was not going to think, write, and die to-morrow. He was going to be different from all men who had gone before him. Because of something that had happened to him, he was going to blazon his name, not in that circular cemetery of dead books, but across the whole width of the heavens outside."

Two dissimilar women compete to free Rose from the clutches of inverted time. The first is mature and liberated artist Julia Oliphant, for whom a youthful Rose posed as a life-model before being struck by his disorder. She still feels youthful and confident enough to take on any competition - including a younger generation of flappers:

"Girls nowadays do have an awfully easy time!... You've only got to look at their clothes. We dressed down to our toes and up to our ears, and that meant we had to take a good deal of trouble about things. We had to make a little go a long way, so to speak -- talk, and smile, and be amusing, and think what we said. If we didn't we were soon left out in the cold. But girls nowadays simply powder their shoulder blades and dress to their knees more or less, and that's all. Lots of 'em never open their mouths except to eat. They don't do anything; they get there by undoing something... "

The second is 17-year-old Jennie Aird; pure, impressionable and irresistible - at least impossible for Derwent Rose to resist:

"It was while we were in that pigeon-place... They look like rows and rows of little square holes, where the pigeons used to live I mean, but when you put your hand in they're quite big inside, all scooped out, lots of room for both pigeons and all their eggs. And one row hooks round inside one way and the other the other. I discovered that when I put my hand in, and I turned round to tell Derry. And do you know, Uncle George, he's got such a funny name for that place. He calls it the Tower of Oblivion."

Set in London and France's Brittany resorts during the roaring 1920s, The Tower of Oblivion turns time into a fluid substance, leading the reader from one glamorous location to another encircled by the friends of Sir George Coverham, another writer and the book's perplexed but compassionate narrator.

For "Mr Facing-Both-Ways" the stakes couldn't be higher. As Coverham points out to him:

"You were born in '75. Now, in 1920, we'll say you're eighteen. It's taken you forty-five years to live to eighteen, and if you're to live to forty-five again it will have taken you -- how long? -- seventy-two years. It will then be getting on for 1950. Jennie was born in 1903. You're now forty-five to her seventeen. If this thing comes off you'll be in the early forties together. But at the same time you'll be over seventy. Look at it, Derry -- look at it."

"Grim King of Ghosts... ! What in the name of the falling light was one to make of it all?"

Also includes a new cover design by Elisa Bowman, in homage to Oliver Onions's own dust jacket design for the Hodder & Stoughton first edition.

* Foreword written by Chris Bell
* Active table of contents
* New author biographical note, researched from multiple sources
* Detailed Oliver Onions bibliography
* 230+ endnotes, including French-English translations.
* Typographical corrections.

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