Madam Crowl's Ghost and Other Tales of Mystery [NOOK Book]


Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, who died just fifty years ago, was in his own
particular vein one of the best story-tellers of the nineteenth
century; and the present volume contains a collection of forgotten
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Madam Crowl's Ghost and Other Tales of Mystery

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Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, who died just fifty years ago, was in his own
particular vein one of the best story-tellers of the nineteenth
century; and the present volume contains a collection of forgotten
tales by him, and of tales not previously known to be his.

There have always been readers and lovers of Le Fanu's works, though
not so many as those writings deserve. To these I know that the
addition which I bring to their stock will be welcome. But the larger
public, which knows not this Joseph, may be glad to be told what they
are to expect in his stories.

He stands absolutely in the first rank as a writer of ghost stories.
That is my deliberate verdict, after reading all the supernatural
tales I have been able to get hold of. Nobody sets the scene better
than he, nobody touches in the effective detail more deftly. I do not
think it is merely the fact of my being past middle age that leads me
to regard the leisureliness of his style as a merit; for I am by no
means inappreciative of the more modern efforts in this branch of
fiction. No, it has to be recognized, I am sure, that the ghost-story
is in itself a slightly old-fashioned form; it needs some
deliberateness in the telling: we listen to it the more readily if the
narrator poses as elderly, or throws back his experience to "some
thirty years ago."

I digress. Ghost stories and tales of mystery are what this volume
contains, and, in order to lure the reader on, I have placed the most
striking and sensational of them at the beginning of it. These are
also the most recent in date; for, as was natural, Le Fanu made
improvements in the proportions and in the conception of his short
stories as time went on. If the reader likes _Squire Toby's Will and
Madam Crowl's Ghost_, as I think he must, he will go on to the earlier
stories and find in them the same excellent qualities, only slightly
overlaid by the mannerisms of the forties and fifties.

I hope he will then inquire what other work of Le Fanu's is
accessible. To aid him in his search, I have put together in an
epilogue or appendix what I know of the order and character of Le
Fanu's novels and tales.

I need only add that the stories in this volume have been gleaned from
extinct periodicals. They are the result of a fairly long
investigation, but I am sure that some anonymous tales by my author
must have eluded me, and I shall be very grateful to any one who will
notify me of any that he is fortunate enough to find.
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940013750753
  • Publisher: WDS Publishing
  • Publication date: 1/16/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 216 KB

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    Highly Recommended - you must check it out!!

    Le Fanu has an exceptional talent to convey a certain mood to the reader, whether it is a sense of serene and melancholy enjoyment in the beautiful scenery of Ireland, or a horrific suspense coming from the preternatural occurrences described in his stories.
    This collection of short stories doesn't only cause one a great deal of pleasure, but also immerses one into the culture, language and superstitions of the land that the writer comes from, and the fact that most of the places mentioned in this work can be traced on a map of today's Ireland only gives a more real feel to all one reads in this collection.
    The picturesqueness of stories such as "Dickon the Devil", "The Child That Went With the Fairies" or "Sir Dominick's Bargain", and the horrific experience of "Some Strange Disturbances in Aungier Street" makes this a definitive re-read for me.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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