The Three Impostors or The Transmutations by Arthur Machen - The Three Impostors is an episodic novel by British horror fiction writer Arthur Machen, first published in 1895 in The Bodley Head's Keynote Series. Its importance was recognized in its later revival in paperback by Ballantine Books as the forty-eighth volume of the celebrated Ballantine Adult Fantasy series in June 1972. Publisher John Lane, wary of the atmosphere following the trial of Oscar Wilde, asked Machen to censor his manuscript. Barring the omission of one word, Machen refused to comply. The novel incorporates several inset weird tales and culminates in a final denouement of deadly horror, connected with a secret society devoted to debauched pagan rites. The three impostors of the title are members of this society who weave a web of deception in the streets of London—retailing the aforementioned weird tales in the process—as they search for a missing Roman coin commemorating an infamous orgy by the Emperor Tiberius and close in on their prey: "the young man with spectacles"