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Archive for the ‘Vernon Lee’ Category

So we’re finished with the Marjorie Bowen collection, and I was pleased to find two very good stories and two pretty good ones. As these things go, that’s an excellent rate of success.

Now, which author shall I review next? I have six books from the Wordsworth collection to choose from. I decided that the next author should be male, but oddly enough, out of the seven books that I have, six were written by women. Women did indeed write a lot of ghost stories in this period, but I don’t like most of them. I find that women tended to write sentimental, romantic stories through which wispy, beautiful, forlorn ghosts drift. MR James and I strongly disapprove of this kind of thing.

There are, of course, female authors who wrote good ghost stories. Bowen, for example, did not shy away from horror, and wrote some pretty grim stuff. Edith Nesbit, better known for her children’s fiction, wrote some great stories; a collection of hers is one of the upcoming six books. Violet Paget, under the pen name Vernon Lee, wrote her share of soppy stuff, but also a nearly perfect Jamesean piece, which I will write about at more length in the future.

At any rate, we’re going to be reading a lot of stories written by women over the next few months; I am sure that we will come across more than a few excellent ones.

That said, for the next book, I’ve selected the only one written by a man. A Night on the Moor & Other Tales of Dread by R. Murray Gilchrist (the R stands for Robert).

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