"A striking contribution to the literature of darkness." - Humbert Wolfe
"A disturbing study of spiritual domination . . . subtle and terrifying." - Daily Telegraph
"Mr. Onions is an inspired writer . . . A poet of prose." - John Betjeman
When Peter Byles's father dies shortly before the boy's thirteenth birthday, the young orphan is sent to live at the Victorian Gothic mansion of his father's friend, Dr. Kornelius Voyt. Peter arrives at the dreary house, surprised to find that he sees nothing of the enigmatic Voyt, instead passing his time in lessons with a young German tutor. But it soon becomes clear to Peter that these lessons are only preparations for something much more sinister that Voyt intends to teach him. Voyt, unable either to hear or speak, has learned to compensate for his disability by developing extraordinary powers of the mind, powers which allow him to communicate telepathically, control the wills of others, and even inflict pain on those who anger him. Voyt has a terrifying vision of the world's future, and he is determined to use Peter as a pawn in his inscrutable plans. . . .
Best known today for his ghost stories, Oliver Onions (1873-1961) was also a masterful novelist, and all his talents are on display in The Hand of Kornelius Voyt (1939), which, as Mark Valentine writes in the new introduction to this edition, "is a formidable achievement in sustaining an atmosphere of uncanny dread." This edition, the first in nearly fifty years, reprints the unabridged text of the rare first edition and features a reproduction of the original dust jacket illustration.show more