I remembered Camilla's agonized scream and the awful words echoing through the dim streets of Carcosa. They were the last lines in the first act, and I dared not think of what followed-dared not, even in the spring sunshine, there in my own room, surrounded with familiar objects, reassured by the bustle from the street and the voices of the servants in the hallway outside. For those poisoned words had dropped slowly into my heart, as death-sweat drops upon a bed-sheet and is absorbed.
The elusive, mysterious play 'The King in Yellow,' weaves through several of the stories in this collection, which blends a variety of genres showcasing Chambers' vast literary talent.
Highly acclaimed at the time of publication in 1895, and for many years afterward, The King in Yellow became the touchstone and inspiration of many generations of writers, including H. P. Lovecraft, Stephen King, Karl Edward Wagner, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Robert Heinlein, and many others.
It was Chambers' ability to integrate dread suspense, while alluding to supernatural events, that became influential in defining the tone of 20th century horror and fantasy, and helped define a literary movement often referred to as Weird Fiction.