“The Lusitania Waits”

Well, this week’s discussion over at the Deep Ones group on LibraryThing, was a story I nominated.

I almost feel like I should apologize, but the group seemed to like it better than I did it. I nominated it, of course, because it is a piece of fantastical fiction set during World War One.

Review: “The Lusitania Waits”, Alfred Noyes, 1918. 

Alfred Noyes is not a name generally associated with weird fiction, but he did write some ghost stories. However, he was a popular poet, his most famous work being “The Highwayman”.

Our story starts out with three old skippers, all in their seventies and retired for five years, meeting, as usual, at the White Horse Inn. Sure, the war has given them something to talk about, but Captain Kendrick, now a parish councilor, likes to talk about the newest edition of the Gazette, a weekly newspaper run by Macpherson.

Commenting on Macpherson, Kendrick remarks,

‘There’s a rumor that he’s a freethinker. He says that Christianity has been proved a failure by the war.’

This was the story’s high point for me: a contemporary example that World War One weakened European Christianity.

Continue reading