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Hales, C L

Entry updated 2 January 2023. Tagged: Author.

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Working name of UK author Charles Laurence Hales (1873-?   ), a barrister-at-law whose occasional diversions included the proto-Cosy Catastrophe children's novel The Wooden Heads (1924 Chatterbox; 1926), about a family menaced by strange wooden-seeming beings in a London mysteriously emptied of people by some quirk of the Fourth Dimension. The household members maintain their stiff-upper-lip routine of work, school and home – carefully leaving coins on counters when shopping – but gradually slide into opportunism even as the Wooden Heads seek to engulf them. The serial version collected in the annual compilation Chatterbox (anth 1924) eventually impressed the young Lawrence Watt-Evans, whose modern Horror novel The Nightmare People (1990) was partially inspired by Hales's archaic but involving creation. [DR]

Charles Laurence Hales

born 1 April 1873


  • The Wooden Heads (London: Wells Gardner, Darton and Co, 1926) [first appeared 1924 Chatterbox in 35 instalments: illus/E S Farmer: hb/]


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