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Paperback The House by the Churchyard Book

ISBN: 1840225742

ISBN13: 9781840225747

The House by the Churchyard

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

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...

Customer Reviews

3 ratings

House by the Churchyard

Another classic from the foremost Irish author of horror, Sheridan Le Fanu. Good turnaround.

Farce meets gothic trappings in small Irish town

I bought this book expecting it to be full of gothic and mystery elements, having read other LeFanu. I have read LeFanu's ghost stories, and the novels "Uncle Silas," and "Wylder's Hand." "Uncle Silas" is a suspense classic. "Wylder's Hand" is less of a page-turner, but has interesting characters in the mystery. Think of Dicken's "Mystery of Edwin Drood" with Wilkie Collins's dominant female characters. "House by the Churchyard" starts with graves, re-opened crypts, and mystery. LeFanu promptly drops it to pile farce upon farce. Much of the book relates how the residents of this small town wage "war" on each other, similar to "Lucia and Mapp." Set in the 1700s, in a small town near Dublin, featuring officers in the local regiment, the book brings high and low characters together. There is a wealthy spinster whose charities are ill-considered. There is a mysterious stranger who has moved to town, who is surrounded by further shadows. Chapter 11 is frequently taken and printed as a ghost story--in the context of the book, the story is an extended example of how servants chatter. We have lovers, competing small-town doctors, fortune-hunters, nubile and not-so-nubile heiresses, a professional blackmailer, debtors, rapscallions, timid lovers, a priest, an unworldly pastor, an amateur blackmailer, and some nice rabbitty little wives who are under the thumbs of their "lord and master" husbands. There is a hilarious duel-gone-wrong and drowning that never really happens. The introduction suggests that LeFanu wrote "House by the Churchyard" out of nostalgia for the town he lived in as a youth. I think that this book is better characterized as English humor, a la "Three Men in a Boat," than as English horror. It is very readable. I'm about half-way through, and I have found that the humor/horror ratio is about 80/20. I suppose there are still plenty of chapters in which to pack his murder mysteries towards the end. "House by the Churchyard"--It's a wild read, for fans of Dickens, Collins, even "Lucia" novels.

one of the gretest horor story writers ever

hello, as one other great writer M. R. James wrote of joseph sheridan le fanu he stands absolutely in first rank as a writer of ghost storys I share that same verdict after reading many of his storys this book had some very god storys in it I recommend it to those that like ghost storys and like to be scared where when you are home all alone it is late at night and as you read the ghost storys you get cold chills that run through your body as you begin to think what was that bump, or creak that came from don the hall as you shiver continuing to ead the story and wonder if something is comming toward u :) enjoy the book and get more from this author and wilkie collins and edgar allen poe
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