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Great Ghost Stories by Joseph Lewis French

Great Ghost Stories by Joseph Lewis French

Why You Should Read Great Ghost Stories by Joseph Lewis French

Great Ghost Stories by Joseph Lewis French

A fun and spooky introduction to the best of the supernatural genre

Do you like stories that make you shiver and thrill? Do you enjoy reading about haunted houses, cursed objects, vengeful spirits, and mysterious phenomena? Do you want to discover some of the greatest writers of the supernatural genre? If so, you should read Great Ghost Stories by Joseph Lewis French, a collection of 12 classic tales that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Great Ghost Stories by Joseph Lewis French is a book that was first published in 1927 by Dodd, Mead and Company. It features stories by some of the most famous and influential authors of the genre, such as Edgar Allan Poe, Thomas Hardy, Théophile Gautier, and M.R. James. It also includes stories by some lesser-known but equally talented writers, such as Fitz-James O’Brien, Amelia B. Edwards, and Erckmann-Chatrian. The stories range from the Gothic to the modern, from the realistic to the fantastic, from the scary to the humorous.

In this article, we will tell you why you should read Great Ghost Stories by Joseph Lewis French. We will give you an overview of the book and its editor. We will also give you a summary and a review of each story in the book. We will also provide you with some tips and tricks on how to enjoy the book more. And finally, we will answer some frequently asked questions about the book and its genre.

So grab your flashlight and your blanket, and get ready to explore Great Ghost Stories by Joseph Lewis French!

Joseph Lewis French

An Overview of Great Ghost Stories by Joseph Lewis French

Great Ghost Stories by Joseph Lewis French is a book that contains 12 short stories that are related to the theme of ghosts and the supernatural. The book is divided into two parts: The Old World and The New World. The first part contains stories that are set in Europe or have European origins. The second part contains stories that are set in America or have American influences.

The book was edited by Joseph Lewis French, an American author who was born in 1858 and died in 1936. He was a prolific writer who wrote over 40 books in various genres, such as history, biography, fiction, poetry, and criticism. He was also a journalist who worked for several newspapers and magazines. He was especially interested in the supernatural genre and edited several anthologies of ghost stories, such as Masterpieces of Mystery (1920), The Best Psychic Stories (1920), The Lock and Key Library (1926), and Famous Modern Ghost Stories (1927).

French selected the stories for Great Ghost Stories based on his personal taste and judgment. He wrote in his introduction: “The present collection has been made with an eye to excellence in the art of story-telling — which is after all what we seek in any fiction — rather than to classification.” He also wrote: “The aim has been to cover somewhat more adequately than has been done hitherto by any similar anthology a field in literature too long neglected.”

French did not include any original stories in his collection. He only reprinted stories that had been previously published elsewhere. He did not make any changes or edits to the stories, except for minor corrections or adaptations. He also did not provide any biographical or critical information about the authors or their works. He only gave a brief introduction to each story, highlighting its main features or themes.

French did not claim any credit or authority for his collection. He wrote: “The editor’s part has been merely that of intelligent arrangement — he hopes — with possibly here and there a touch of elucidation.” He also wrote: “He has no theories to advance — except one which may be expressed in a few words: To those who love a good ghost story there is no need of apology.”

A Summary and Review of Each Story in Great Ghost Stories by Joseph Lewis French

Great Ghost Stories by Joseph Lewis French contains 12 stories that vary in length, style, tone, and theme. Some are long and complex; others are short and simple. Some are serious and dark; others are light-hearted and funny. Some are realistic and plausible; others are fantastic and improbable.

Here is a summary and review of each story in the book:

The House and the Brain by Lord Edward Bulwer-Lytton

This story is about a man who decides to spend a night in a haunted house in London. He is accompanied by his servant and his dog. He soon discovers that the house is full of strange noises, sights, smells, sensations, and phenomena. He also finds out that the house is controlled by a powerful and evil brain that resides in a secret chamber. He tries to resist the brain’s influence and to escape from the house.

This story is one of the most famous and influential ghost stories ever written. It was first published in 1859 in Blackwood’s Magazine. It was later revised and expanded by the author in 1868 and published as a separate book. It was also adapted into several films, radio plays, and comic books.

The story is a masterpiece of Gothic horror and psychological suspense. It combines elements of science fiction, occultism, and mystery. It creates a terrifying atmosphere of dread and danger. It also explores themes such as free will, rationality, morality, and identity.

The story is well-written and well-structured. It has a clear and engaging narration. It has a strong and believable protagonist. It has a clever and original plot. It has a surprising and satisfying ending.

The story is highly recommended for fans of classic ghost stories and horror fiction. It is also recommended for fans of science fiction and mystery fiction. It is not recommended for people who are easily scared or disturbed by graphic descriptions of violence or gore.

The Roll-Call of the Reef by Arthur Quiller-Couch

This story is about a young man who joins a smuggling crew in Cornwall. He is assigned to guard a cargo of brandy on a rocky reef. He meets a mysterious old man who tells him the legend of the reef. He says that the reef is haunted by the ghosts of the sailors who died there in a shipwreck. He also says that every year, on the anniversary of the wreck, the ghosts reenact the tragedy and call out their names.

This story is a classic example of a Cornish ghost story. It was first published in 1891 in Noughts and Crosses: Stories, Studies and Sketches. It was later included in several anthologies of ghost stories, such as The Oxford Book of English Ghost Stories (1986).

The story is a blend of romance, adventure, and horror. It captures the spirit and culture of Cornwall. It depicts the life and customs of the smugglers and the fishermen. It also portrays the beauty and danger of the sea and the coast.

The story is well-written and well-paced. It has a vivid and poetic language. It has a sympathetic and heroic protagonist. It has a simple and effective plot. It has a tragic and moving ending.

The story is recommended for fans of classic ghost stories and historical fiction. It is also recommended for fans of romance and adventure fiction. It is not recommended for people who are sensitive or sentimental about death or loss.

The Open Door by Margaret Oliphant

This story is about a father who tries to cure his son’s illness by moving to an old country house in Scotland. He soon notices that his son is troubled by a strange sound that comes from an open door in the garden wall. He investigates the source of the sound and finds out that it is connected to a tragic event that happened in the past. He also meets a mysterious woman who claims to be the guardian of the door.

This story is one of the most popular and acclaimed ghost stories by Margaret Oliphant, a Scottish author who wrote over 120 books in various genres, such as novels, short stories, biographies, histories, and essays. She was born in 1828 and died in 1897. She was known for her realistic and insightful portrayal of domestic life and social issues.

The story was first published in 1885 in Blackwood’s Magazine. It was later included in several anthologies of ghost stories, such as The Virago Book of Victorian Ghost Stories (1988).

The story is a subtle and sophisticated example of psychological horror. It explores themes such as family, love, guilt, grief, forgiveness, and redemption. It also examines the nature and meaning of ghosts and hauntings.

The story is well-written and well-crafted. It has a smooth and elegant style. It has a complex and interesting protagonist. It has a rich and detailed setting. It has a suspenseful and emotional plot. It has an ambiguous and thought-provoking ending.

The Familiar by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu

This story is about a man who is haunted by a mysterious figure that follows him everywhere. He calls it the Familiar. He tries to escape from it, but it always finds him. He also tries to understand its origin and purpose, but it remains a mystery. He becomes obsessed and paranoid, and his life falls apart.

This story is one of the most famous and influential ghost stories by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, an Irish author who wrote over 20 books in various genres, such as novels, short stories, poetry, and journalism. He was born in 1814 and died in 1873. He was known for his mastery of the supernatural genre and his creation of the first vampire story, Carmilla (1872).

The story was first published in 1872 in All the Year Round, a weekly magazine edited by Charles Dickens. It was later included in several anthologies of ghost stories, such as The Oxford Book of English Ghost Stories (1986).

The story is a brilliant example of psychological horror and Gothic fiction. It combines elements of folklore, occultism, and science. It creates a tense and oppressive atmosphere of fear and dread. It also explores themes such as madness, identity, destiny, and death.

The story is well-written and well-constructed. It has a captivating and unreliable narration. It has a complex and tormented protagonist. It has a mysterious and menacing antagonist. It has a gripping and unpredictable plot. It has a shocking and ambiguous ending.

The story is recommended for fans of classic ghost stories and horror fiction. It is also recommended for fans of Gothic fiction and psychological fiction. It is not recommended for people who are easily frightened or disturbed by graphic descriptions of violence or torture.

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The Beast with Five Fingers by W.F. Harvey

This story is about a man who inherits a house and a library from his uncle, who was a scholar and a collector of rare books. He also inherits his uncle’s severed hand, which was preserved in a glass jar. He soon discovers that the hand is alive and has a mind of its own. It escapes from the jar and starts to terrorize him and his guests.

This story is one of the most original and memorable ghost stories ever written. It was first published in 1919 in The New Decameron: The Fifth Day, a collection of short stories by various authors. It was later included in several anthologies of ghost stories, such as The Penguin Book of Horror Stories (1984).

The story is a mix of comedy, horror, and fantasy. It uses elements of science fiction, magic, and humor. It creates a contrast between the mundane and the extraordinary, the rational and the irrational, the normal and the abnormal.

The story is well-written and well-paced. It has a humorous and ironic tone. It has a likable and humorous protagonist. It has a bizarre and grotesque antagonist. It has a simple and effective plot. It has a funny and surprising ending.

The story is recommended for fans of classic ghost stories and horror fiction. It is also recommended for fans of comedy and fantasy fiction. It is not recommended for people who are squeamish or disgusted by body parts or gore.

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The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

This story is about a governess who takes charge of two children at a remote country estate in England. She soon notices that the children are behaving strangely and that they seem to be influenced by some unseen forces. She also sees the ghosts of two former employees who died under mysterious circumstances. She believes that the ghosts are trying to corrupt the children and that she must protect them.

This story is one of the most famous and controversial ghost stories ever written. It was first published in 1898 in Collier’s Weekly, a popular American magazine. It was later published as a separate book in 1899.

The story is a masterpiece of literary horror and psychological suspense. It uses elements of realism, symbolism, ambiguity, and unreliable narration. It creates an atmosphere of uncertainty, doubt, and terror. It also explores themes such as innocence, evil, sexuality, madness, and perception.

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Some Frequently Asked Questions about Great Ghost Stories by Joseph Lewis French

You may have some questions about Great Ghost Stories by Joseph Lewis French or the genre of ghost stories in general. Here are some of the most common ones, along with their answers:

  • Q: What is a ghost story?
  • A: A ghost story is a type of fiction that involves the presence or influence of ghosts or other supernatural entities. Ghost stories can be scary, funny, sad, or romantic, depending on the tone and purpose of the author. Ghost stories can also be realistic or fantastical, depending on the degree of suspension of disbelief required from the reader.
  • Q: What is the origin and history of ghost stories?
  • A: Ghost stories have been around since ancient times, as people have always been fascinated by the unknown and the afterlife. Ghost stories can be found in various cultures and traditions, such as myths, legends, folktales, religious texts, and oral narratives. The first written ghost stories appeared in the classical literature of Greece and Rome, such as the works of Homer, Pliny, and Lucian. The genre of ghost stories developed further in the medieval and Renaissance periods, with the influence of Christianity, Gothic architecture, and witchcraft. The genre reached its peak in the 18th and 19th centuries, with the rise of Romanticism, Gothic fiction, and Victorian literature. Some of the most famous writers of ghost stories from this period include Horace Walpole, Ann Radcliffe, Matthew Lewis, Mary Shelley, Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Charles Dickens, Wilkie Collins, Sheridan Le Fanu, Bram Stoker, Henry James, Arthur Conan Doyle, M.R. James, and H.P. Lovecraft. The genre continued to evolve in the 20th and 21st centuries, with the influence of modernism, realism, psychology, science fiction, horror fiction, and postmodernism. Some of the most notable writers of ghost stories from this period include Algernon Blackwood, W.W. Jacobs, E.F. Benson, Edith Wharton, Daphne du Maurier, Shirley Jackson, Ray Bradbury, Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, and Joe Hill.
  • Q: What are the elements and characteristics of a good ghost story?
  • A: A good ghost story should have the following elements and characteristics:
    • A compelling plot that engages the reader’s curiosity and suspense.
    • A credible setting that creates a sense of atmosphere and mood.
    • A convincing narration that establishes a point of view and a tone.
    • A complex character that evokes sympathy and empathy from the reader.
    • A convincing ghost that has a motive and a purpose for its actions.
    • A clear theme that conveys a message or a lesson to the reader.
    • A satisfying resolution that resolves the conflict and provides closure to the reader.

Conclusion

We have reached the end of our article on Great Ghost Stories by Joseph Lewis French. We hope you have enjoyed reading it and learned something new. We also hope you have been inspired to read the book yourself and experience the thrill and chill of these classic tales.

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