Tag Archives: VIctorian Period

The Ghost Club

4 Apr

Welcome to the Ghost Club – where Arthur Conan Doyle, along with Bram Stoker, Henry James and their guests, invite you to a feast of Victorian tales of the uncanny and macabre.

“The Ghost Club” is written by noted horror writer William Meikle. Each story purports to be written by a prominent Victorian writer. All fourteen stories are seriously weird, always creepy, and, at times downright terrifying. Each one is a great read, but, of course, I have my favourites.

“The High Bungalow” (Rudyard Kipling) – a terrifying tale of ghosts and Freemasonry in the hills of the Punjab.

“The Immortal Memory” (Leo Tolstoy) – death and poetry at the court of Catherine the Great.

“The House of the Dead” (Bram Stoker) – this tale of death and spirits seriously made the hair on the back of my neck stand on end.

“Farside” (Herbert George Wells) – a tale of spirits and technology that left me more than a little unsettled.

“The Angry Ghost” (Oscar Wilde) – not a particularly frightening tale, but notable because William Meikle caught the flavour of Wilde’s style perfectly. It put me in mind of Wilde’s classic story “The Canterville Ghost”.

“The Scrimshaw Set” (Henry James) – this tale of the sea and death is chilling a macabre in equal measures.

“The Curious Affair on the Embankment” (Arthur Conan Doyle) – Inspector Lestrade deals with a missing persons case with a horrifying twist.

I cannot recommend this volume of stories highly enough. If you enjoy classic ghost stories you will love this book.

Arsenic under the Elms

10 Oct

“Arsenic under the Elms” by Virginia A. McConnell is a look at New Haven, Connecticut in the Victorian period, via the lense of two similar, but unrelated, real murders, those of Mary Stannard in 1878 and Jennie Cramer in 1881.

The book was well researched, but I found the heavy emphasis on the trials just a little dull. This is just me, however, someone with a real interest in the justice system in the USA would no doubt find the book enthralling.

It was an interesting look into the time period, but I could not help but come away with one thought. Nothing much has changed. If you have money and position you can quite literally get away with murder in the USA.

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