Robert Chambers: The King in Yellow (New Edition)
The King in Yellow is a book of short stories by American writer Robert Chambers. The first half of the book features highly esteemed weird stories, and the book is described by S.T. Joshi as a classic in the field of the supernatural. There are ten stories, the first four of which, "The Repairer of Reputations", "The Mask", "In the Court of the Dragon" and "The Yellow Sign", mention The King in Yellow, a forbidden play which induces despair or madness in those who read it. These stories are macabre in tone, centering, in keeping with the other tales, on characters that are often artists or decadents. The first and fourth stories, "The Repairer of Reputations" and "The Yellow Sign", are set in an imagined future 1920s America, whereas the second and third stories, "The Mask" and "In the Court of the Dragon", are set in Paris. These stories are haunted by the theme: "Have you found the Yellow Sign?" The weird and macabre character gradually fades away during the remaining stories, and the last three are written in the romantic fiction style common to Chambers' later work. They are all linked to the preceding stories by their Parisian setting and artistic protagonists.