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.

‘The ghost story is as weird and wonderful as it is culturally diverse, symbolically significant and specifically personal. No one ghost is the same as another, and each person’s reactions to a visitation are just as individual … the aim of this book was to “reflect the deep professional interest in the genre [of the ghost story], whether short story, novella or novel.” This aim the collection achieves in style … this collection includes discussions of American, English and Irish stories and so offers good geographical coverage of the ghost story, as well as authors and time periods’, Janine Hatter, Supernatural Studies (2015).

‘These eighteen essays, the proceedings, of what must have an enjoyable – cherchez le fantôme – 2008 conference in Trinity, are dedicated to the Trinity alumnus and father of the modern ghost, or ‘gothic’ short story, Sheridan le Fanu … the essays cover two millennia of ghosts and the paranormal … essays on Henry James, Poe, Wharton, R.L. Stevenson and many others complete this paranormal literary enquiry', Caitríona MacKernan, Books Ireland (April 2011).

‘Features discussions of several prominent ghost-story writers as well as those far less visible. The articles offer innovative insights into well-read and oft-critiqued works, suggesting new readings and challenging some entrenched interpretations … For the most part the contributions are clear, articulate and tightly written … overall, the collection is full of interesting tidbits and snapshots of the spectral world as well as solidly engaging literary interpretation and analysis … The Ghost Story is an eclectic collection that gives voice to the enduring popular fascination with the uncanny and the creepy … a well-written and engaging collection … the work as a whole offers a tantalizing glimpse of a whole other world of ghostly stories', Larissa Tracy, Óenach: FMRSI Reviews (2011).

'... one of the chief appeals of this collection: its considerable breadth, in both historical focus and thematic treatment. Several figures keep coming back, like revenants, to the individual essays gathered together here; Edgar Allen Poe, Henry James, M.R. James and Sheridan Le Fanu ... the ghost story is, as M.R. James once remarked, a narrow plot, and many writers are necessarily connected to many others in the genre. The present volume provides a lively and thought-provoking reminder of this fact', Oliver Tearle, English Studies (May 2013).