The Anatomy of Ghosts
1786, Jerusalem College, Cambridge
The ghost of Sylvia Whichcote is rumored to be haunting Jerusalem ever since student Frank Oldershaw claimed to have seen the dead woman prowling the grounds and was locked up because of his violent reaction to these disturbed visions.
Desperate to salvage her son’s reputation, Lady Anne Oldershaw employs John Holdsworth, author of The Anat...more
The Anatomy of Ghosts takes place at eighteenth century (1786) Cambridge College and revolves around bookseller and bookbinder John Holdsworth. John is a tragic figure. After his small son, Georgie, drowns in the Thames, John cannot forgive himself for failing to save the boy, and his wife, Maria, also overcome with grief, spends all her time ...more
The story takes place mainly at Cambridge University, where a young student claims to have seen a ghost and is taken to a nearby sanitarium for treatment. His mother, Lady Anne, who is connected with ...more
This novel was very slowly paced, I grew to like the characters by the end but it was a very slow growth. I would not characterize this novel the way the publisher has by calling it a "suspenseful thriller", doing so will only serve to set readers up for disappointment. I also disagree with Rhys Bowen's description of this novel, she says that it is "...a journey into an exquisitely detailed Eighteenth Century".
Period details are not particularly abundant and the ...more
A mystery – one of my favorite genres.
Ghosts – love those, too, or rather I love to read about them.
Cambridge in 1786, a small college, a secret society – put them all together and you have a novel with great promise.
The prologue and first chapter are quite creepy. And then Holdsworth, a down-on-his-luck printer and bookseller, is sent from London to Cambridge, ostensibly to assess the college's library, but actually to help a rich student who has apparently ...more
One irritating devise is Taylor's restricting the reader to the point-of-view characters knowledge and thoughts, but not all of what the character knows or conjectures. At several critical plot points, revelations are further ...more
John Holdsworth is a printer and bookseller who has a series of misfortunes that devastate his life. His son is drowned and his wife slowly goes mad with grief, giving money to mediums who tell her they have messages for her from her son. This terrible situation leads John to write a book called The Anatomy of Ghosts, in which he debunks ghostly sightings and messages from the dead.
Sadly, his wife then drowns ...more
I absolutely adored The Roth Trilogy (my first encounter with Andrew Taylor) and didn't have high hopes for this as I thought nothing could surpass this utterly exceptional trilogy; but I should have had more fa ...more
It is the sighting of Lady Whichcote, recently drowned in the grounds of Jerusalem College, Cambridge, which sends Frank Oldershaw into the asylum. Desperate to salvage her son's reputation, Lady Anne Oldershaw hires the services of John Holdsworth, author of a book discrediting the spirit ...more
The majority of the story takes place in 18th Century England, in a fictional college on the grounds of Cambridge University and in the surrounding city. On the plus side, Th ...more
John Holdsworth is a former bookseller, on the verge of penury, having lost in quick succession his son, his wife, his business, and his home. H ...more
In The Anatomy of Ghosts we are plunged into the murky, quirky world of Cambrige University in 1786, focussing particularly on the goings on at Jerusalem C ...more
John soon finds all is not as it seems at Cambrdge what with "the Holy Ghost society" and sightings of ghost.
The book has a plot that draws you in but I kept finding myself lost and bored and waitting for the story to get back on track. I did something I never do in th ...more
The disconnect actually occurs in the novel's description being a far match from what the book explores. Readers basing their choice off of the book jacket will expect, at the least, suspense, and potentially a wander through the supernatu ...more
Taylor's historical research is faultless and provides the greatest interest to the novel. His writing almost makes the smell of that time without lavatories come from the page. The unpleasantness of the streets is matched by that of several of his characters, and it becomes difficult to know who not to suspect of mischief. One do-gooder is amongst the crowd though, sent ...more
That … was … strange. This is the tale of a chain of events, a sort of horrible Rube Goldberg device in which the drowning death of the young son of bookbinder John Holdsworth leads directly to the dissolution of Holdsworth’s business and loss of his home and suicide (or at least death) of his wife. His wife’s depress ...more
Frank, it seems, has had a mental collapse and states he sees ghosts. Not a popular opinion in that age. Frank is a student at Cambridge University in the Jerusalem College. His tutor, Mr. Richardson, has his own games being played and offers to help Mr. Holdsworth in his investigation.
All is not well in Cambridge. There is a society but it certainly ...more
The ghost of Sylvia Whichcote is rumoured to be haunting Jerusalem since disturbed fellow-commoner, Frank Oldershaw, claims to have seen the dead woman prowling the grounds.
Desperate to salvage her son's reputation, Lady Anne Oldershaw employs John Holdsworth, author of The Anatomy of Ghosts - a stinging account of why ghosts are mere delusion - to investigate. But his arrival in Cambridge disrupts an uneasy status quo as he glimpses a world of privilege and abu ...more
I like a good period mystery. Especially if there are ghosts involved. ANATOMY OF GHOSTS seemed to offer the perfect vehicle to entice my interest. Set in Cambridge in 1786, the story follows John Holdsworth, a down-on-his-luck bookseller who recently suffered the losses of both his wife and young son. His anger at the charlatans who prey on the grieving leads Holdsworth to publish a pamphlet called THE ANATOMY OF GHOSTS which claims th ...more
I didn't think the hi ...more
The Anatomy of Ghosts is a historical murder mystery set at Cambridge University in 1786. The only child of Lady Anne Oldershaw, Frank, is a student at Jerusalem College at the Universit ...more