Read by Ghizela Rowe, Christopher Ragland & Eric Meyers (Unabridged: 2hrs 57mins)
Edward Page Mitchell was born in Bath, Maine on 24th March 1852 into a wealthy family. When he was eight the family moved to a house on New York’s Fifth Avenue.
In 1863 he witnessed the Draft Riots and in the aftermath Mitchell's father moved the family to Tar River, North Carolina. It was there, at the age of fourteen, that his letters were first published in the local newspaper The Bath Times.
In 1872, at age twenty, whilst on a train journey to Bath, Maine, a hot cinder from the engine's smokestack flew in through the window blinding his left eye. After several weeks, while doctors attempted to restore his sight his uninjured right eye underwent sympathetic blindness. He was now completely blind. His burnt left eye eventually regained its sight, but his uninjured right eye remained blind and was later removed surgically and replaced with a prosthetic glass eye. While recovering from this surgery, Mitchell wrote his famed story ‘The Tachypomp’.
He became a journalist for the Daily Advertiser in Boston, where his mentor was Edward Everett Hale, now also recognized as an early pioneer of science fiction.
Mitchell’s influence on science fiction writing is incredible, pre-dating many major themes. He wrote about a man made invisible (‘The Crystal Man’, 1881), a time-travel machine (‘The Clock that Went Backward’), about faster-than-light travel (‘The Tachypomp’, 1874), a thinking computer and a cyborg (‘The Ablest Man in the World’, 1879), matter transmission or teleportation (‘The Man without a Body’, 1877), superior mutants (‘Old Squids and Little Speller’) and mind transfer (‘Exchanging Their Souls’, 1877). Add to this other stories which predicted travel by pneumatic tube, electrical heating, newspapers printed at home, food-pellet concentrates, international broadcasts, and suspended animation through cryogenics amount to talents that are not as publicly lauded as they should be.
He had a lifelong interest in the supernatural and paranormal—several early newspaper pieces are factual investigations of alleged hauntings and usually he determined they had rational explanations.
In 1874, Mitchell married Annie Sewall Welch and they had four children.
In 1903, Mitchell became editor-in-chief of the New York Sun, then the Nation’s leading newspaper.
In 1912, following Annie’s death, he married Ada M. Burroughs and produced a fifth son. Mitchell remained a popular and respected figure in American journalism and writing up to his death.
Edward Page Mitchell died of a cerebral hemorrhage in New London, Connecticut on 22nd January 1927. He was 76.
In this compilation -
1 - Edward Page Mitchell - A Short Story Collection - An Introduction
2 - The Clock That Went Backward by Edward Page Mitchell
3 - The Tachypomp by Edward Page Mitchell
4 - The Man Without a Body by Edward Page Mitchell
5 - The Devilish Rat by Edward Page Mitchell
6 - The Crystal Man by Edward Page Mitchell