The writings of Lucy lane Clifford (who also wrote as Mrs W K Clifford) were for almost a century completely lost to obscurity, but during her lifetime this extraordinary woman was a friend and confidant of Henry James, Rudyard Kipling, Thomas Hardy and other luminaries of the day. This collection contains possibly her best works. Her writings, originally penned as cautionary didactic tales for Victorian children, present themselves as a cycle of unique fables of existential dread and alienation, worthy (at their best) of a Kafka or Borges. Ranging from paeans to autism ('Wooden Tony' or 'The Paper Fish') or surreal horror ('The New Mother') this collection asks for Mrs Clifford to be reappraised as a precursor to 20th century and 21st century literature. This collection has been augmented with collages by artist D M Mitchell to show the link to such allegorical artists as Leonora Carrington, Max Ernst and Toyen.