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The Bishop of Hell and Other Stories

(Mystery & Supernatural)

By

Publisher: Wordsworth Editions Ltd

4.5
(2)

Language:English | Number of Pages: 192 | Format: Paperback

Isbn-10: 1840225378 | Isbn-13: 9781840225372 | Publish date:  | Edition New Ed

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Book Description
Marjorie Bowen (1885-1952) spent the early part of her working life providing for a demanding and ungrateful family. We are lucky that she did so, since among the results were these short stories of rare quality. In their use of dreams, ancient anecdote, and ruined or dilapidated buildings ('Florence Flannery', 'The Fair Hair of Ambrosine') they are at times in the finest tradition of The Castle of Otranto and the Gothic revival which had chilled the blood of the British public a hundred and fifty years earlier. But her stories are more subtle in their construction, and often use simple materials ('The Crown Derby Plate', Elsie's Lonely Afternoon'), interweaving their terror and mystery with the commonplace of everyday life. Their mastery of detail, sureness of expression and acute reading of human nature give them a sinister force, which is realistic and unnerving, yet at the same time tinged with pity and compassion.
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  • 5

    This is one of the best of the Wordsworth tales of mystery and the supernatural that I've read. I really enjoyed these stories, they were well written, spooky and even quite disturbing. Most of the time the twists were fairly obvious but it didn't stop me from really enjoying the stories. The cha ...continue

    This is one of the best of the Wordsworth tales of mystery and the supernatural that I've read. I really enjoyed these stories, they were well written, spooky and even quite disturbing. Most of the time the twists were fairly obvious but it didn't stop me from really enjoying the stories. The characterisation was very good, especially for short stories, for the most part the characters were all very sympathetic which reminded me a little of Elizabeth Gaskell.

    The Fair Hair of Ambrosine was a nice story about a murdered dancer in revolutionary Paris, The crown derby was a lovely ghost story about a sad and lonely ghost. The Housekeeper was another ghost story that wasn't quite so sympathetic but had another very cool ghost. Florence Flannery was small bits of a much bigger tragic story that was quite sad. Elsie's lonely afternoon didn't actually have any supernatural elements but was still quite sad as a young child led a totally depressing life, The Bishop of Hell was not the most disturbing tale in the book, but more a tale of justice with the more horrible things being done by mortals not supernatural beings, The Gray chamber was a more typical story of haunted room but how it got to be haunted was quite disturbing. The extraordinary adventure of Mr John Proudie was a weaker story about a chemist and a disappearing doctor. The scoured silk was the most disturbing story I've read in a long time. It was very very good. The avenging of Ann Leete was very sweet and romantic, despite the murder. Kecksies was a little odd but also disturbing and Ann Mellor's lover was a sweet story about lost love in past centuries.

    There were a lot of stories with a slightly romantic twist, previous marriages coming back and ruining current ones, ghosts weren't usually bad, and justice was often served. It was a wonderful collection and I hope to find more books by the author, who apparently wrote lots and under many pseudonyms.

    said on