Although The Monkey's Paw was included in the collection of Twenty Great American Stories, the fact is and stubbornly remains that W.W. Jacobs was born an English rather than American writer. William Wymark Jacobs was born in Wapping, London, England in 1863 and remained with us until 1943.
While Jacobs is best known for his horror story The Monkey's Paw, his body of larger work is known for its humor. His father worked as a dockhand and wharf manager on the South Devon Wharf. Jacobs seems to draw heavily upon his father's experiences working at the docks and his stories often feature the adventures of wayward seamen and mariners working themselves in and out of precarious predicaments.
W.W. Jacobs has become one of my favorite short story writers. If you are an enthusiastic reader of short stories I encourage you to explore more deeply into his short story collections. His stories are consistently well written and often of optimal length with most stories taking about fifteen minutes to read.
On this page you will find an exhaustive listing of his short stories. He is also a featured writer in our gallery of favorite Short Story Collections and Gothic Literature Study Guide. Enjoy reading his works and many other spooky tales in our Gothic, Ghost, Horror & Weird Library and Halloween Stories