“It is only fair to warn the reader that not all the stories in this volume are intended to cause amusement. Of the ‘Nightmares,’ some are purely fantastic, while others represent possible, though not probable, horrors. ‘Zahatopolk’ is designed to be completely serious. The last story, ‘Faith and Mountains,’ may strike some readers as fantastic, but, if so, they must have led sheltered lives, as appears from the following:
‘Taking its cue from the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II of England this year, the National Pickle Association started a search for an American girl with the name of Elizabeth Pickle to be ruler of Pickledom during 1953. —The Peanut Journal and Nut World.’ (Quoted from the Observer, June 28, 1953.)
I wish Elizabeth Pickle all success!
(Bertrand Russell, preface to Nightmares of Eminent Persons and Other Stories)