House by the Churchyard

ISBN-10: 1840225742

ISBN-13: 9781840225747

Edition: N/A

List price: $6.99
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Description: Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu is best known today as one of the Victorian period's leading exponents of supernatural fiction, and was described by M.R. James as standing 'absolutely in the first rank as a writer of ghost stories'.The House by the Churchyard is perhaps his best novel in this genre. Set in the village of Chapelizod, near Dublin, in the 1760s the story opens with the accidental disinterment of an old skull in the churchyard, and an eerie late-night funeral. This discovery relates to murders, both recent and historical whose repercussions disrupt the complacent pace of village affairs and change the lives of many of its notable characters forever. Charm and chilling darkness abound in equal measure in one of the greatest novels of a Victorian master of mystery.

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Book details

List price: $6.99
Publisher: Wordsworth Editions, Limited
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 560
Size: 5.08" wide x 7.80" long x 1.10" tall
Weight: 0.462
Language: English

The greatest author of supernatural fiction during the nineteenth century was undoubtedly J. Sheridan Le Fanu. Le Fanu was born in Dublin and, as with so many other English popular fiction authors of his time, entered the genre of fiction by way of journalism, working on such publications as the Evening Mail and the Dublin University Magazine. Le Fanu came from a middle-class background; his family was of Huguenot descent. He graduated from Trinity College and married in 1844. After his wife died in 1858, until his own death, Le Fanu was known as a recluse, creating his ghost fiction late at night in bed. Probably he began writing ghost fiction in 1838; his earliest supernatural story is often cited as being either "The Ghost and the Bone-Setter" or the "Fortunes of Sir Robert Ardagh," both of which were later collected in the anthology entitled The Purcell Papers (1880). Writing most effectively in the short story form, Le Fanu's tales such as "Carmilla" (a vampire story that is thought possibly to have influenced Bram Stoker's Dracula) and the problematic "Green Tea" are considered by many literary scholars to be classics of the supernatural genre. His lengthy Gothic novels, such as Uncle Silas (1864), though less highly regarded than his shorter fiction, are nonetheless wonderfully atmospheric. Le Fanu's particular brand of literary horror tends toward the refined, subtle fright rather than the graphic sensationalism of Matthew Gregory Lewis. His work influenced other prominent horror fiction authors, including M. R. James.

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