Best Ghost Stories of J. S. LeFanu

Best Ghost Stories of J. S. LeFanu

by J. Sheridan LeFanu

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Overview

Joseph Sheridan LeFanu (1814–1873) is regarded by many critics as the greatest master of the English ghost story. A product of the decaying Anglo-Irish culture of the early and middle nineteenth century, he sums up in his work better than any of his contemporaries the fears and dreads that may haunt the sensitive individual.
The reasons for his preeminence are many. He was a remarkable craftsman, whose work has been admired by critics as varied as V. S. Pritchett and H. P. Lovecraft, Henry James and M. R. James. More imaginative and more perceptive than his contemporaries who worked in the same form, he achieved depths and dimensions of terror that still remain otherwise unexplored. And although he was Victorian in his dates, he was in many respects un-Victorian in his writing: his ideas looked both backward to the great supernatural tradition of Romantic fiction and forward to the modern age.
LeFanu's work, unfortunately, has not been as well known generally as it should be. A few of his better stories have appeared often enough in anthologies, but much of his very best work has lain hidden, because of its inaccessibility. His contemporaries were more interested in his detective novels (including the unmatchable "Uncle Silas") and his realistic novels than in his supernatural work, with the result that many of his stories were neither reprinted in England nor ever printed at all in America.
The present collection contains such favorites as "Carmilla," "The Familiar," "Green Tea," and "Schalken the Painter," as well as much otherwise unobtainable work. There is, for example, the magnificent nouvelle "The Haunted Baronet," (reprinted for the first time from the fabulously rare "Chronicles of Golden Friars," which survives in perhaps less than a dozen sets), material from "The Purcell Papers," the practically unknown essay-story "An Authentic Narrative of a Haunted House," and nine other first-rate stories.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780486204154
Publisher: Dover Publications
Publication date: 06/01/1964
Series: Dover Books on Literature and Drama
Pages: 512
Sales rank: 1,034,788
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x (d)

Customer Reviews

Best Ghost Stories of J. S. LeFanu 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Eric_J_Guignard 6 days ago
Love these stories, to revisit Sheridan LeFanu. Beautifully written, ornate, imaginative, and horrific, all penned over a century ago, and still engrossing today.
tymfos on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a creepy, interesting collection of Victorian ghost stories. Actually, some of them I would call horror more than ghost stories. LeFanu did some interesting things with elements now familiar to readers. I guess in his time, he was quite revolutionary. He created quite a chilling atmosphere in his stories.It appears that he liked to connect his stories, and even re-use elements. Several are set in the same village; several are case histories from a particular doctor who delves into the supernatural; and the better part of one chapter of the novella The Haunted Baronet uses a significant portion of an earlier short story, with little change in plot -- though the names are changed (to protect the innocent?). Two of the stories seem to show the same haunting from two different points of view (one, a horror story mostly about how the haunting got started; another, the experiences of later residents of the haunted house.)It didn't keep me on the edge of my sleep, or cause me to lose sleep (more than I normally miss, anyway), but it was a nice, creepy read for Halloween season.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love this book. Scary but satisfying. I recommend this book greatly.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Careful what are they