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Posts Tagged ‘E. Nesbit’

Great Ghost Stories

Posted by demonik on April 22, 2009

R. Chetwynd-Hayes and Stephen Jones (eds.) – Great Ghost Stories (Cemetery Dance, Carroll & Graf, 2004)

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Les Edwards

Foreword – Stephen Jones
Introduction – R. Chetwynd-Hayes

Amelia B. Edwards – The Four-Fifteen Express
Richard Middleton – On the Brighton Road
Ambrose Bierce – The Moonlit Road
G. B. S.- The Whittaker’s Ghost
S. Baring-Gould – The Leaden Ring
Sir Walter Scott – The Tapestried Chamber
Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu – Ghost Stories Of The Tiled House
F. Marion Crawford – The Dead Smile
Daniel Defoe – The Ghost of Dorothy Dingley
Anon – The Dead Man Of Varley Grange
E. Nesbit – John Charrington’s Wedding
Sydney J. Bounds – The Night Walkers
Amyas Northcote – Brickett Bottom
John Kendrick Bangs – The Water Ghost of Harrowby Hall
Stephen King – The Reaper’s Image
Jerome K. Jerome – Christmas Eve in the Blue Chamber
Steve Rasnic Tem – Housewarming
Ramsey Campbell – The Ferries
Tina Rath – The Fetch
Washington Irving – Guests From Gibbet Island
Garry Kilworth – The Tryst
Guy de Maupassant – An Apparition
Brian Lumley – Aunt Hester
Tony Richards – Our Lady Of The Shadows
R. Chetwynd-Hayes – She Walks on Dry Land

Can anyone see the sense in this? Take a series of everyman pocket paperbacks like The Fontana Book Of Great Ghost Stories, which, in their day were available in just about every newsagent and supermarket up and down the country, and like as not got several people on here reading the stuff. Make a random selection from volumes 17-20. Get Les Edwards to design you a terrific cover, fully in sympathy with the original series. Now, have the thing printed, making sure it’s as unnecessarily bulky as possible, and run off just enough copies so that it sells out prior to publication. Appealing to the “I’ve still got my factory sealed, never been opened, worth a bomb!” non-reading market is all very well, but it’s also driving another stake into the heart of what’s supposed to be ‘popular fiction’. Hope they won an award for it.

Anyway, here’s the Blurb:

Eerie atmospherics, a sense of foreboding, then the unease, a chill, a shudder, ghosts, terror — again and again, in the twenty-five superbly scary tales of this standout anthology, they’re conjured artfully, both by modern masters of the macabre, among them Stephen King, Garry Kilworth, Brian Lumley, Ramsey Campbell, and Tony Richards, and by literary greats like Ambrose Bierce, Washington Irving, Sir Water Scott, and J Sheridan Le Fanu. Culled from the renowned Fontana Book of Great Ghost Stories series, which was edited from 1972 to 1984 by horror fiction writer and erudite anthologist R Chetwynd-Hayes, these highly original, and often long-obscure tales reflect the enduring fascination in our literary tradition with phantoms, specters, ghouls, and wraiths. There’s a fetch (i.e., doppelganger) too — in Tina Rath’s nasty take on a violent husband, his shrinking wife, and a scheming woman. And behind Guy de Maupassant’s simply titled “An Apparition” lurks a tale that Chetwynd-Hayes places among the top ten most terrifying ghost stories ever written. From Daniel Defoe’s engaging period piece, “The Ghost of Dorothy Dingley,” set in 1665, to the subtle slice of contemporary ghostly life in Stephen King’s “The Reaper’s Image,” dread takes many fearsome guises in the three centuries of chilling fiction collected here, and solace lies only at the feet of a very dark angel.

Posted in R. Chetwynd-Hayes, Stephen Jones | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Peter Underwood – Thirteen Famous Ghost Stories

Posted by demonik on April 11, 2009

Peter Underwood (ed.) – Thirteen Famous Ghost Stories (J. M. Dent Everyman’s Library, 1977)

underwood13ghosts


Ambrose Bierce – The Damned Thing
A. J. Alan – The Dream
E. F. Benson – Caterpillars
Algernon Blackwood – Secret Worship
Charles Dickens – The Signalman
W. W. Jacobs – The Monkey’s Paw
M. R. James – Martin’s Close
Rudyard Kipling – They
Lord Lytton – The Haunted and the Haunters
Arthur Machen – Change
E. Nesbit – John Charrington’s Wedding
Vincent O’Sullivan – When I Was Dead
Edith Wharton – Afterward

Posted in *Dent* | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Richard Dalby – Virago Book Of Ghost Stories 2006

Posted by demonik on April 11, 2009

Richard Dalby (ed.) – The Virago Book Of Ghost Stories (Virago, 2006)


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Cover illustration: Tina Mansuwan at CIA

Inside cover blurb:
Bringing together vintage tales from the outstandingly successful Virago anthologies The Virago Book of Ghost Storied (Volumes I and II) and Victorian Ghost Stories, comes this chilling new omnibus.
Lost loves, past enmities and unwanted memories mingle with the inexplicable as unquiet souls return to repay kindnesses, settle scores and haunt the imagination.
Featuring some of the finest writers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, these stories gather to haunt and horrify — an irresistible read for those with a taste for being spooked.

Preface – Richard Dalby

Charlotte Bronte – Napoleon And The Spectre
Elizabeth Gaskell – The Old Nurse’s Story
Amelia B. Edwards – The Story Of Salome
Mrs Henry Wood – Reality Or Delusion?
Charlotte Riddell – The Old House In Vauxhall Walk
Margaret Oliphant – The Open Door
Ella D’Arcy – The Villa Lucienne
Mary E. Wilkins (Freeman) – The Vacant Lot
E. Nesbit – The Violet Car
Edith Wharton -The Eyes
May Sinclair – The Token
Richmal Crompton – Rosalind
Margery H. Lawrence – The Haunted Saucepan
Margaret Irwin – The Book
F. M. Mayor – Miss De Mannering Of Asham
Ann Bridge – The Station Road
Stella Gibbons – Roaring Tower
Elizabeth Bowen – The Happy Autumn Fields
Rosemary Timperley – The Mistress in Black
Celia Fremlin – Don’t Tell Cissie
Antonia Fraser – Who’s Been Sitting In My Car
Ruth Rendell – The Haunting Of Shawley Rectory
A. S. Byatt – The July Ghost
A. L. Barker – The Dream Of Fair Women
Penelope Lively – Black Dog
Rosemary Pardoe – The Chauffeur
Lisa St. Aubin De Teran – Diamond Jim
Angela Carter – Ashputtle
Elizabeth Fancett – The Ghost Of Calagou
Joan Aikin – The Traitor
Dorothy K. Haynes – Redundant

Notes on the authors

Posted in Richard Dalby | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Deborah Shine – Haunting Ghost Stories

Posted by demonik on April 2, 2009

Deborah Shine (ed.) – Haunting Ghost Stories: Illustrations by Reg Gray (Octopus, 1980)


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A spine-chilling collection of stories by the masters of horror and suspense.

Walter De La Mare – The Riddle
Stanley W. Fisher – The Sybarite
Roger F. Dunkley – Echoes In The Sand
Oliver Onions – The Mortal
Michelle Maurious – Fame
H. Brinsmead-Hungerford – Giovanni Paolo’s Land
H. G. Wells – The Red Room
Paul Dorrell – Lonely Boy
Colin Thiele – The Phantom Horses
Michael Joseph – The Yellow Cat
Stanley W. Fisher – A Little House Of Their Own
E. F. Benson – Expiation
John Gordon – Kroger’s Choice
Saki – Laura
Paul Dorrell – Tea And Empathy
M. R. James – The Haunted Doll’s House
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – The Brown Hand
W. W. Jacobs – The Well
Robert Arthur – The Haunted Trailer
Walter De La Mare – Bad Company
Lucy M. Boston – Many Coloured Glass
Ambrose Bierce – The Stranger
Edgar Allan Poe – The Tell-Tale Heart
H. R. Wakefield – The Gorge Of The Churels
E. Nesbit – Man-Size In Marble
Brian Alderson – The Wooing Of Cherry Basnett
Ambrose Bierce – A Tough Tussle
W. W. Jacobs – The Monkey’s Paw
Glenn Chandler – The Late Departure
H. R. Wakefield – Damp Sheets
Sorche Nic Leodhas – The Battle With The Bogles
Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch – A Pair Of Hands

Another anthology aimed at a young audience which can be enjoyed by all ages. Clung onto a copy of this for years, eventually got rid of it along with most of the young adult books i’d acquired, regretted it ever since. Found this copy in a cardboard box full of old plugs, a computer mouse and a moth-eaten dayglo pink fright wig (i was tempted but didn’t have the £3 to stump up) at the local flea market on Sunday for 50p! With all the books and mags flying around just now, it will probably be a while until i get around to a rematch, but with the likes of John Gordon, Lucy Boston and Robert Arthur fighting it out with acknowledged classics and welcome, less obvious selections from Wakefield and Benson you can hardly go wrong. Minus point for the unnecessary childish doodles repeated on the inside covers (would have been just the thing to put me off the book as a kid), ‘specially after they’d done so well with the skull photo, but otherwise a dead commendable collection!

Posted in *Octopus*, Deborah Shine | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Jack Adrian – Strange Tales from the Strand

Posted by demonik on February 11, 2009

Jack Adrian (ed.) – Strange Tales from the Strand (Oxford University Press, 1991)

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Mick Brownfield

Julian Symons – Foreword
Jack Adrian – Introduction

Graham Greene – All But Empty (March 1947)
J. B. Harris-Burland – Lord Beden’s Motor (Dec. 1901)
Hugh Walpole – The Tarn (Dec. 1923)
Rina Ramsay – Resurgam ( Aug. 1915)
F. Tennyson Jesse – The Railway Carriage (Nov. 1931)
Beverley Nichols – The Bell (Aug. 1946)
W. W. Jacobs – His Brother’s Keeper (Dec. 1922)
Sapper – Touch And Go (Feb. 1926)
W. L. George – Waxworks (July 1922)
B. L. Jacot – White Spectre (Jan. 1950)
D. H. Lawrence – ‘Tickets, Please!’ (Apr 1919)
Villiers de l’Isle-Adam – A Torture By Hope (June 1891)
L. T. Meade – A Horrible Fright (Oct. 1894)
H. Greenhough Smith – The Case Of Roger Carboyne (Sept. 1892)
Ianthe Jerrold – The Orchestra Of Death (Dec 1918)
C. J. Cutcliffe Hyne – The Lizard (June 1898)
L. G. Moberly – Inexplicable (Dec. 1917)
L. de Giberne Sieveking – The Prophetic Camera (The English Review, Nov. 1922)
Henry A. Hering – Cavalanci’s Curse (March 1899)
H. G. Wells – The Queer Story Of Brownlow’s Newspaper (Ladies Home Journal, Feb. 1932)
Edgar Wallace – The Black Grippe (March 1920)
Morley Roberts – The Fog (Oct. 1908)
Grant Allen – The Thames Valley Catastrophe (Dec. 1897)
Martin Swayne – A Sense Of The Future (Aug 1924)
Arthur Conan Doyle – The Silver Mirror (Aug. 1908)
E. Bland (Edith Nesbit) – The Haunted House (Dec. 1913)
Arthur Conan Doyle – How It Happened (Sept. 1913)
Edith Nesbit – The Power of Darkness (April 1905)
Arthur Conan Doyle – The Horror of the Heights (Nov 1913)

Posted in *Oxford*, Jack Adrian | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Stephen Jones – Mammoth Vampire Stories By Women

Posted by demonik on June 21, 2008

Stephen Jones (ed.) – The Mammoth Book of Vampire Stories by Women (Robinson, 2001)

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Ingrid Pitt – Introduction: My life Among The Undead

Anne Rice – The Master Of Rampling Gate
Poppy Z. Brite – Homewrecker
Mary A. Turzillo – When Gretchen Was Human
Tanya Huff – The Vengeful Spirit Of Lake Nepeakea
Nancy Kilpatrick – La Diente
Tina Rath – Miss Massingbird And The Vampire
Freda Warrington – The Raven Bound
Nancy A. Collins – Vampire King And The Goth Chicks
Storm Constantine – Just His Type
Elizabeth Hand – Prince Of Flowers
Louise Cooper – Services Rendered
Janet Berliner – Aftermath
Yvonne Navarro – One Among Millions
Mary E. Wilkins-Freeman – Luella Miller
Lisa Tuttle – Sangre
Chelsea Quinn Yarbo – A Question Of Patronage
Ingrid Pitt – Hisako San
Kathryn Ptacek – Butternut And Blood
Wendy Webb – Sleeping Cities
E. Nesbit – The Haunted House
Roberta Lannes – Turkish Delight
Tanith Lee – Venus Rising On Water
Gemma Files – Year Zero
Mary E. Braddon – Good Lady Ducayne
Melanie Tem – Lunch At Charon’s
Elizabeth Massie – Forever, Amen
Ellen Kushner – Night Laughter
Christa Faust – Bootleg
Gala Blau – Outfangtheif
Pat Cadigan – My Brother’s Keeper
Caitlin R. Keirnan – So Runs The World Away
Gwyneth Jones – A North Light
Connie Willis – Jack
Jane Yolen – Vampyr

Blurb

Collected here for the first time are 34 strange and erotic tales of vampires, created by some of supernatural fiction’s greatest mistresses of the macabre. From the classic stories of Edith Nesbit, Mary E. Wilkins-Freeman and Mary Elizabeth Braddon, to modern incarnations by such acclaimed writers as Poppy Z. Brite, Nancy Kilpatrick, Tanith Lee, Caitlin R. Kiernan and Pat Cadigan, these blood-drinkers and soul-stealers range from the sexual to the sanguinary, from the tormented good to the unspeakably evil. Among these children of the night you will encounter Chelsea Quinn Yarbro’s Byronic vampire Saint-Germain, Nancy A. Collins’ undead heroine Sonja Blue, Tanya Huff’s vampiric detective Vicki Nelson and Freda Warrington’s age-old lovers Karl and Charlotte. Featuring the only vampire short story written by Anne Rice, the undisputed queen of vampire literature, and boasting an autobiographical introduction and original tale by Ingrid Pitt, the star of Hammer Films’ The Vampire Lovers and Countess Dracula, this is one anthology from which every vampire fan will want to drink deeply.

Posted in *Constable/Robinson*, Stephen Jones | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Richard Dalby – Virago Book of Ghost Stories

Posted by demonik on September 1, 2007

Richard Dalby (ed.) – The Virago Book of Ghost Stories (Virago, 1987)

Richard Dalby – Preface
Jennifer Uglow – Introduction

Edith Wharton -The Eyes
E. Nesbit – The Violet Car
Henrietta D. Everett – The Crimson Blind
May Sinclair – The Token
Ellen Glasgow – The Shadowy Third
Marjory E. Lambe – The Return
Margery H. Lawrence – The Haunted Saucepan
Mary Webb – Mr. Tallent’s Ghost
Enid Bagnold – The Amorous Ghost
Marjorie Bowen – The Accident
Marjorie Bowen – A Persistent Woman
Phyllis Bottome – The Waiting-Room
Catherine Wells – The Ghost
Eleanor Scott – ‘Will Ye No’ Come Back Again?’
E. M. Delafield – Sophy Mason Comes Back
Hester Gorst – The Doll’s House
Edith Olivier – The Night Nurse’s Story
Winifred Holtby – The Voice of God
Cynthia Asquith – The Follower
F. M. Mayor – Miss De Mannering Of Asham
Stella Gibbons – Roaring Tower
D. K. Broster – Juggernaut
Elizabeth Bowen – The Happy Autumn Fields
Pamela Hansford Johnson – The Empty Schoolroom
Elizabeth Jane Howard – Three Miles Up
Rose Macaulay – Whitewash
Elizabeth Taylor – Poor Girl
Elizabeth Jenkins – On No Account, My Love
Rosemary Timperley – The Mistress in Black
Norah Lofts – A Curious Experience
Fay Weldon – Breakages
Elizabeth Walter – Dual Control
Sara Maitland – Lady With Unicorn
Lisa St. Aubin De Teran – Diamond Jim
Angela Carter – Ashputtle

Notes on the Authors

A real change of pace – I’ve been on a diet of Not At Night‘s and Charles Birkin for a fortnight – but this is a truly special collection. No surprise to see Lady Cynthia Asquith’s groundbreaking Ghost Book‘s so well represented, but I certainly wasn’t expecting three (admittedly, non-sadistic: Asquith’s own The Follower would have suited the series admirably) from Birkin’s Creeps to make the cut. I was a little disappointed to see that Marjory Bowen was represented by two 150 word vignettes … until I read them: The Accident, in particular, is terrific, an E.C. strip in microcosm.
It’s very difficult to pick a ‘best’ from such a strong, varied selection, but if pushed, I’d probably opt for Elizabeth Jane Howard’s Three Miles Up which has one of the most jaw-dropping finales in this -or any other – form of literature.
Mind you, I could’ve done without Whitewash and A Curious Experience, and I’m still trying to figure out how Lady With Unicorn sneaked in …

Some tasters/ spoilers:

Cynthia Asquith – The Follower:Mrs. Meade is plagued by a Hyde-like figure who she first encounters leering and gesticulating at her outside Baker Street Station. Soon he has taken to following her, and with each meeting her terror mounts. He is seen gloating over the body of a little girl who’s been run down, then, as a taxi-driver, he nearly brings about the death of his passenger – Mrs. Meade – by driving the cab into railings. She recovers, but is sent to a nursing home to recover. She’s not the only patient …

Hester Gorst – The Dolls House: The narrator buys a Georgian Dolls house at an auction immediatly and begins to suffer from nightmares in which he becomes “A rake … coming home very late and very drunk”, ascending the staircase of the original for his recent purchase. It becomes apparent that his dream-self is one some terrible errand, and he convinces himself that this is the murder of a woman. Best friend Jack offers to spend the night with him to see what he gets up to when he’s asleep …

Elizabeth Walter – Dual Control: Told entirely in dialiogue – and a very hostile exchange it is too – between Eric, a ruthless businessman on the make, and his alcoholic wife, Freda, as they drive to and from the Bradey’s party, having knocked down a girl on the way. The girl, Giselle, arrived at the same party, seemingly none the worse for wear, but as they drive home they encounter her again at the scene of the accident, blood pouring from a terrible wound ….

Edith Bagnold – The Amorous Ghost: While his wife is away, two of the maids hand in their notice after discovering a woman’s underclothes in the master’s room. That night, he watches transfixed as a figure half-materialises in a chair with her back to him, slowly slipping out of her clothes. It’s with great relief he hears his wife return, undress and slip into bed beside him. It must be freezing outside because she’s cold enough to chill the entire room ….

Stella Gibbons – Roaring Tower: Clara’s parents disapprove of her lover, and pack her off to Aunt Julia in Cornwall to recuperate. Clara is instrumental in releasing the trapped spirit of a ghostly bear, imprisoned in a pit at the base of the roaring tower, so named after the tormented creature’s bellows for assistance.

Marjory E. Lambe – The Return: A murderer returns to the house of his victim, an old miser who once employed him and who he surprised while he was counting his treasure. The skinflint’s spectre (or his guilty conscience) provide his undoing. When he is recognised in The White Horse and Bessie the barmaid raises the alarm, the old boy’s son decides to look over the house. The burglar, when faced with the unexpected visitor, sees “the white hair … streaked with blood, the skin yellow across the skeleton face … the bloodless lips … drawn back into a grin of pure triumph.”

Marjorie Bowen – The Accident: Murchinson and Bargrave are involved in a car smash. When Murchinson sees the ‘grey whisp’ that is his enemy emerging from the wreckage, he gloats: “So you were killed, you silly fool!”

Pamela Hansford Johnson – The Empty Schoolroom: Maud remains behind with M. Fournier and Marie during the school holidays and encounters the sobbing ghost of an ugly girl in a dunces cap. She had been mistreated and humiliated by the embittered headmistress and now it is time to exact revenge …

Marjorie Bowen – A Persistent Woman:After yet another blazing row, Temple decides to leave his wife, Sarah. She clings to him with a greater tennacity than either would have thought her capable.

Margery H. Lawrence – The Haunted Saucepan: London, around St. James’ Palace. Anybody who eats anything prepared in the saucepan suffers the most horrible pains consistent with the pangs suffered by those poisoned with arsenic. Connor,Trevanion and a borrowed dog conceal themselves in the kitchen overnight to catch who or what has been setting it on the boil. The denouement is predictable, but the story has some wonderfully atmospheric touches and Strutt, the butler, is a trip.

Fay Weldon – Breakages: Poltergeist activity in the unhappy household of the vicar and his “barren” wife. David’s prize possessions are forever being broken and mended by Dierdre, who prays that he won’t notice the cracks. When he does, the ensuing flare-up is enough to decide her to pluck up the courage and leave, especially as it is now known that his impotence has been responsible for their childlessness. When she goes, her room destroys itself. David remarries. The second time is as joyless as the first.

Posted in *Virago*, Richard Dalby | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »