Arthur Machen

The Three Impostors

Two flâneurs in Victorian London get caught up with the members of a secret society and their search for a rare Roman coin.

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Two idlers in London are sauntering in the streets when they pick up a coin dropped by a fleeing man. They keep meeting three persons, each time in a different disguise, who recount lurid tales. They seem to be looking for a spectacled man who regrets working with them, and has run away with a valuable coin …

This novel is a Gothic horror classic, and takes the form of an episodic novel, with each chapter containing a story recounted by one of the three impostors. It contains “Novel of the Black Seal” and “Novel of the White Powder,” popular stories which have been widely anthologized.