Arthur Machen was a writer and journalist. He was educated at Hereford Cathedral School until the age of seventeen, however was unable to secure a place at a university. Machen eventually made the move to London where he studied short-hand; hoping for a career in journalism. Following a period of serious poverty in the city he secured a modest independent income and published some of his best early stories. These were clearly influenced by other late nineteenth century gothic writers, for instance Poe and Stevenson. Machen had a particular interest in Arthurian mythology and pre-Christian and Celtic religions which stimulated him to write a stream of supernatural tales, including ‘The Great God Pan’.