Machen's 'A Double Return' was one of a number of pieces first published in the 'St James Gazette», in the year 1890. This was the year in which he turned away from tales set in the past, and began to write more racy fiction set in his own time. «A Double Return» was the most successful of these pieces; Oscar Wilde, then at the height of his own success, predicted that it would «flutter the dovecotes». Even today readers may find this a very adult, perhaps a shocking, story.
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