This writer, Arthur Machen, known now to few is, more than anyone else, the “cause” of the legend of the Angel of Mons. There are many in Mons who claim that angels really did intercede in the battle of Mons. However, the facts as I, and the one other expert I know of on the subject, David Clarke (The Angel of Mons), are that the legend had its origin in a story that appeared in the newspaper, the Evening Standard. “The Bowmen”, by Arthur Machen, tells a story that came to be thought of as an account of angels stepping in to save an army from defeat. He does not name a time, a place, or who the combatants were. Word of mouth and other means led it to be thought of as a truthful account of what happened at Mons.
In a later time, Orson Wells and the Mercury Theater’s presentation of the War of the Worlds had a similar effect, though the response by the public and the repudiation of the truth of that event were immediate.
In fact, the legend of the Angel of Mons encouraged the British people, believing as they did, that God and the angels were on their side. More about Machen next week. My apologies to him. Do you know about Arthur Machen? There is a web site called Friends of Arthur Machen. Let us talk about him and his writings.