The Oxford Book of English Ghost Stories Oxford Books of Prose E–book/E–pub

  • Paperback
  • 504
  • The Oxford Book of English Ghost Stories Oxford Books of Prose
  • Michael Cox
  • English
  • 12 January 2020
  • 9780192840851

Michael Cox À 4 Free read

Summary The Oxford Book of English Ghost Stories Oxford Books of Prose The Oxford Book of English Ghost Stories Oxford Books of Prose Free read Þ 104 Michael Cox À 4 Free read Sing a pleasurable fear of the doings of the dead As the first volume to present the full range and vitality of the ghost fiction tradition this selection of forty two stories written between 1829 and 1968 demonstrates the tradition's historical development as well as its major themes and characteristics Though the genre reached its peak in the nineteenth century it enjoyed a second flowering between the two World War. I enjoyed 90% of these stories Smee and On The Brighton Road I never tire of rereading

Summary The Oxford Book of English Ghost Stories Oxford Books of Prose

The Oxford Book of English Ghost Stories Oxford Books of Prose

Summary The Oxford Book of English Ghost Stories Oxford Books of Prose The Oxford Book of English Ghost Stories Oxford Books of Prose Free read Þ 104 Michael Cox À 4 Free read S and even now still attracts dedicated practitioners and readers The anthology includes stories by Walter Scott M R James Bram Stoker Rudyard Kipling Edith Wharton Somerset Maugham T H White and many others Stressing the important contribution women writers have made to the genre the collection also offers eight stories by women ranging from Amelia Edward's The Phantom Ghost 1864 to Elizabeth Bowen's Hand in Glove 19. Great collection of ghost stories some well known some not

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Summary The Oxford Book of English Ghost Stories Oxford Books of Prose The Oxford Book of English Ghost Stories Oxford Books of Prose Free read Þ 104 Michael Cox À 4 Free read With their evocative settings amid mists and shadows in ruinous houses on lonely roads and wild moorlands in abandoned churches and over grown gardens ghost stories have long exercised a universal fascination Responding to people's overwhelming attraction to anything frightening this marvelous anthology of some of the very best English ghost stories combines a serious literary purpose with the simple intention of arou. Note May 4 2020 When I read short story collections intermittently over a long period of time my reactions are similarly written piecemeal while they re fresh in my mind That gives the reviews a choppy and often repetitive uality Recently I had to condense and rearrange one of these into a unified whole because of Goodreads length limit and I was so pleased with the result that I decided to give every one of these a similar edit Accordingly I ve now edited this oneThis anthology collects 42 stories written between 1829 and 1968 Where stories by American writers are included they mostly have British settingscharacters and all follow the formal features of the English tradition Oxford Univ Press of course is noted for the literary uality of its anthologies and this one didn t disappoint on that score In keeping with the scholarly bent of the publisher the editors provide a good short introduction to the fictional ghost story with particular reference to the British Isles where as they note this sub genre has flowered fully than in any other country Not surprisingly the roster of contributors reads like a roll call of significant writers active in this area over a 140 year span Individual stories were selected with an eye to the needs both of the seasoned fan and the reader new to ghostly fiction so both some familiar to the former classics and many less widely known works were included Almost all of them are set in England including one by an American Edith Wharton s really outstanding Mr Jones though Oliver Onions The Cigarette Case is set in Provence That one is a very different type of story than his better known The Beckoning Fair One but in its different way eually effective uality writing however was a must for inclusion While the editors had a preference for malevolent ghosts not all the stories feature these and the endings may be happy or tragic or may feature a grim kind of poetic justice where vengeful spirits are involved Where lethal effects are involved they tend to be from fear or suicide grisly gore and violence isn t characteristic of this tradition The Victim has a gory part but there it s the description of a human murderer disposing of his victim s body that s grisly Ghostly manifestations in these stories range from an unnatural inability of candles to stay lit in a particular room to much overt phenomenaSir Walter Scott s The Tapestried Chamber is the first selection here the arrangement is chronological except for T H White s story which was written in the 1930s but is arranged by the 1981 date of its posthumous publication as the first example of the kind of story in style and substance that shaped the tradition which followed The editors mentioned Daniel Defoe s much earlier True Relation of the Apparition of One Mrs Veal which I ve read in the introduction but had good reason not to include it a didactic unemotional discussion of the afterlife in good Neoclassical style it s not what the modern reader is typically looking for in this medium outside of historical interest Like many of the other classics here I d read this one elsewhere Other old acuaintances are Francis Marion Crawford s The Upper Berth Stoker s The Judge s House not a place you d want to visit except in a story W W Jacobs The Monkey s Paw The Lost Ghost by Mary E Wilkins Freeman identified here as Mary E Wilkins M R James Oh Whistle and I ll Come to You My Lad and Richard Middleton s On the Brighton Road Most of these I think I ve already commented on or at least mentioned in reviews of the anthologies where I first read themMy reading here was strictly of tales I hadn t already read Some of these were by authors I ve read before though sometimes not much of and others I was encountering for the first time like Sir Arthur uiller Couch whose The Roll Call of the Reef was excellent To comment closely on most of the stories would reuire spoilers since the effect of many of them depends heavily on the surprise of the denouement Most of them were at least good and enjoyable and some especially stood out as polished gems great stories of their type others in the latter group include Le Fanu s Suire Toby s Will The Empty House by Algernon Blackwood who s a writer I usually think is overrated but this is one of his better works an outstanding study of fear E Nesbit s Man Size in Marble A N L Munby s An Encounter in the Mist E F Benson s The Confession of Charles Linkworth Walter De La Mare s Bad Company L P Hartley s A Visitor From Down Under A M Burrage s Smee H Russell Wakefield s Old Man s Beard and Mary Elizabeth Braddon s The Shadow in the Corner Elizabeth Bowen s Hand in Glove which has certain affinities to Henry James A Romance of Certain Old Clothes one of his better works and Simon Raven s The Bottle of 1912 were also eminently satisfying though each in a very different way E G Swain s Bone to His Bone and Arthur Gray s The True History of Anthony Ffryar show the felicitous influence of M R James with their references to old books and records and antiuarian flavor The casual use of the n word for blacks at one point by a character in Thomas Burke s The Hollow Man 1935 a story where the animation of the revenant is due to African tribal magic is irritating but as in the works of Twain and Faulkner it realistically represents the actual speech of the time and place and that story is one of the most original in the book Others that are particularly original are May Sinclair s The Victim and A E Coppard s Ahoy Sailor Boy both of which use unorthodox theological premises but which are nevertheless well written and manage to make some good points IMO not all of the selections are clearly identifiable as a ghost story as such Maugham s The Taipan set in China seems to be a tale about a grim precognition and the uncanny events of William Fryer Harvey s The Clock aren t explained as caused by a ghost nor explained at all which is the source of the effect here But they re both good stories nonethelessRobert Aickman s The Cicerones didn t work for me it effectively built an atmosphere of unexplained menace and creepiness but here the lack of explanation made it to hard for me to suspend disbelief or find any real meaning or satisfaction in the story IMO Ringing the Changes would have been a better choice for a story to represent this author The other three stories I didn t get into were all by writers new to me I was disappointed with Charles Williams Et in Sempiternum Pereant knowing of his status as an Inkling I expected much from it but the premise did not for me achieve a suspension of disbelief and the extreme interiority of the style I found reminiscent of Henry James at his worst Not being able to read Latin I got nothing out of the title or the concluding lines in Latin Williams would no doubt say with some justification that this only reflects a lamentable gap in my education but it s a gap shared by a lot of modern readers who no longer have the classical background writers of his generation could presuppose A Wicked Voice by Vernon Lee whose real name was Violet Paget a tale of one composer haunted by the malevolent ghost of another is technically well crafted but the intense focus on music and the narrator s musical likes and dislikes lost a lot for me as a tone deaf person Readers who aren t tone deaf might well like it if they can tolerate Lee s fulsome verbose style here the latter isn t usually a problem for me but even I found this one a bit heavy sledding And I personally didn t care for V S Pritchett s A Story of Don JuanAfter setting this book aside as finished I realized I never did read the Henry James selection The Friends of the Friends That s a conseuence of reading stories in an anthology out of order However it s not a terrible conseuence my past experience with James work leads me suspect that I may not have missed much and I feel that I did certainly read enough of the book to review and rate it and to classify it as read And virtually all the tales here are well worthwhile for ghost story fans