1941


18
YEARS

DENT LIFE

“Because of a misunderstanding

(which he never accepted)

Bernard Ellis gave me notice to leave

after I had been there about three years…”

“I still have the note,

in the familiar green ink…”

‘For a number of reasons,

but mainly in your own interests, 

it has been decided to dispense with your services…’ 

“I went to see Ernest Bozman,

one of the chief directors.”

E. F. Bozman was one of the editors of the Everyman Encyclopedia.

“He immediately found me a position in the publishing office...”

No Common Task
pp.34-35

Underwood later publishes with Dents

a selection of his own favourite ghost stories.

An early favourite was The Signal-Man (1866),

by Charles Dickens - one of the earliest members

of the Ghost Club.

In the story,

the railway man of the title tells of a ghost

that has been haunting him...

Each spectral appearance

precedes a tragic event

on the railway where he works.

The first accident

involves a terrible collision between two trains
.

Dickens was influenced by real events

- the Clayton Tunnel Crash of 1861,

which occured due to a signal failure...

Clayton Tunnel

In 1865

Dickens had been on a train that derailed

at Staplehurst in Kent.

Five years to the day after the accident,

Dickens dies.

It is while working at the publishing office

that Underwood meets Joyce...

…and they soon become romantically involved.

However their romance is soon interrupted...

...when Underwood receives a telephone call early the following year...