The ghost story from the Middle Ages to the twentieth century

Helen Conrad-O'Briain & Julie Anne Stevens, editors

Hardback €49.50
Catalogue Price: €55.00
ISBN: 978-1-84682-239-1
October 2010. 288pp.

A descendant of the fireside tale, the short story has never neglected the uncanny. Indeed the development of the literary ghost story helped to make short fiction what it is today: a genre of the intuited rather than the known, compressed and fleeting in its nature. These studies of the literary ghost story cast a light on its subjects and its methods. Beginning with the ghost story of popular report and following the form into print as the local expands to the global, these essays trace the movement from the almost palpable manifestations of traditional ghosts to the psychological terrors of the modern form. Whether in the Usher or the Old Library Bram Stoker knew so well, the scholars of Trinity still pursue the haunted moment and ask, ‘Is a ghost there if no one sees it?’

In this study of the ghostly genre, writers examined include both the familiar and the not-so expected; the works of, among others, M.R. James, Robert Aickman, Sheridan Le Fanu, Oscar Wilde, Robert Louis Stevenson, Henry James, Edith Wharton, Shirley Jackson, Edgar Allan Poe and Chuck Palahniuk, all feature.

Contributors: Peter Marshall, Andrew J. Power, Helen Conrad-O’Briain, Darryl Jones, Jarlath Killeen, Elizabeth McCarthy, Nicholas Allen, Anne Markey, Julie Anne Stevens, Jenny McDonnell, Melanie Otto, Dara Downey, Stephen Matterson, Ann Patten, Bernice M. Murphy, Jane Suzanne Carroll, Philip Coleman.

Helen Conrad-O’Briain lectures at Trinity College, Dublin. Julie Anne Stevens lectures at St Patrick’s College, Dublin City University.