The Ship of Ishtar, a universally hailed classic of the fantasy novel by A. Merritt.
Abraham Grace Merritt (January 20, 1884-August 21, 1943) — known by his byline, A. Merritt — was an American editor and author of works of fantastic fiction. Merritt's writings were heavily influenced by H. Rider Haggard and Gertrude Barrows Bennett (writing as Francis Stevens), with Merritt having “emulated Bennett's earlier style and themes.” Merritt's stories typically revolve around conventional pulp magazine themes: lost civilizations, hideous monsters, etc. His heroes are gallant Irishmen or Scandinavians, his villains treacherous Germans or Russians (in accordance with the politics of the time) and his heroines often virginal, mysterious and scantily clad. What sets Merritt apart from the typical pulp author, however, is his lush, florid prose style and his exhaustive, at times exhausting, penchant for adjective-laden detail. Merritt's fondness for micro-description nicely complements the pointillistic style of Bok's illustrations, and often serves to highlight and radicalize the inherent fetishistic tendencies of pulp Sci Fi.