The Haunted Orchard


Richard Le Gallienne

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Tonight, for our final episode of this year’s spooky sleep story series, we’ll read “The Haunted Orchard” written by British author Richard Le Gallienne and published in 1912.

Born Richard Thomas Gallienne, the author changed his last name to “Le Gallienne” after college when he began working in an accountant’s office. Soon after he attended a lecture by Oscar Wilde, Le Gallienne abandoned his job to become a professional writer and poet. Five years later, he met Wilde, they had a brief affair and a longer friendship.

Le Gallienne married three times and had two children including famous and successful stage actress and director Eva Le Gallienne. After becoming a resident of the United States, he eventually settled in the French Riviera in the 1940s. During the war he refused to write propaganda for the local German and Italian authorities and, with no income, once collapsed in the street owing to hunger. He persevered, however, and continued to write into his 70s.