Pallinghurst Barrow - Grant Allen (1892)

Publication Year: 
1892

First published in the Illustrated London News (Christmas Number 1892).

From a Chris Bennett Facebook post about Pallinghurst Barrow:

"Soma--the fine old crusted remedy of our Aryan ancestor….Drink that off. It's a powerful narcotic--Cannabis Indica." - ALLEN, Grant. PALLINGHURST BARROW, 1892.

Cannabis in tincture form acts as a deus ex machina for the key event in the story: the protagonist is given a dose to quiet his nerves after talk of ghosts and spirits inhabiting the barrow near the house a group of people are spending the evening in the British countryside. This precipitates him leaving to walk on the barrow where he encounters ghosts of Neanderthal ancestors. They are about to kill him when he is rescued by a young girl whom he met at the gathering. It's a massive hallucination in the form of a ghost story, the author never making it clear which it is.

One illustration shows his friend holding the cannabis tincture bottle which he has just poured into a glass of water being held by the protagonist, who is staring into it, about to drink it.. Caption: "Soma--the fine old crusted remedy of our Aryan ancestor….Drink
that off. It's a powerful narcotic--Cannabis Indica."

In addition, there is a printed line at the top of the title-page: "The effects of a medicinal dose of Cannabis Indica on a Victorian country house guest…."

ShareThis