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Madam Crowl's Ghost & Other Tales of Mystery

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  285 ratings  ·  22 reviews
Madam Crowl’s Ghost is a collection oftwelve of the finest stories by Joseph Sheridan le Fanu, an acknowledged master of psychological suspense. The author’s pedigree in this genre is undoubted: his novella Carmella was the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and he is regarded as the father of the Irish gothic style.

As consistently unsettling as they are rewarding, the
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Paperback, 256 pages
Published February 1st 2006 by Nonsuch Publishing (first published 1923)
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(showing 1-30 of 821)
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Bill  Kerwin

This is a good posthumous anthology of ghost stories, chosen by no less an authority than M.R. James himself. They were selected primarily from Le Fanu's early "Dublin Magazine" period, when his stories--like those of many of the authors published there by editor Le Fanu--were characterized by a leisurely, folkloric narrative style and the often humorous exploitation of Irish stereotypes.

This anthology is slightly inferior to In a Glass Darkly, the collection of later stories Le Fanu published
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Nancy Oakes
I've listed and summarized all of the stories in this book at my reading journal blog, in case you're interested in what you have to look forward in this book.

Perhaps these aren't the best ghost stories I've ever read, but Le Fanu is a master of atmosphere, which helps to produce the sense of dread or doom I look for when I read these sorts of tales. For the ghost-story aficionado, this collection is definitely one not to miss. While these stories aren't a complete set of terrifying tales by L
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Dfordoom
I’ve been a great fan of Joseph Sheridan le Fanu since reading his classic 1872 vampire story Carmilla years ago. M. R. James was also an admirer and in 1923 edited an important collection of le Fanu’s ghost stories, Madam Crowl’s Ghost and other stories. I’m not sure why I enjoy Sheridan le Fanu’s ghost stories many than M. R. James’s. Perhaps it’s the Irish settings, or perhaps I just find his style a bit livelier. Otherwise they’re not dissimilar to James’s. The stories in Madam Crowl’s Ghost ...more
GoldGato
There are pure horror stories and then there are ghostly supernatural tales, of which Le Fanu was a specialist. These are the tales which make me sing and whistle as I walk deserted streets alone at night, for I was once told that spirits will stay away if one keeps a steady tune. These are the tales requiring a flashlight at night, because one is hiding beneath the covers in case a ghostly apparition makes an appearance.

The Child That Went With The Fairies and Dickon The Devil had me jumpy, an
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Tonk82
"El fantasma de la señora crowl" edición de Ediciones Abraxas. Viendo el listado de relatos, tiene varios en común con el editado por Valdemar llamado "Dickon el diablo y otros relatos extraordinarios" (los he marcado con un asterisco). Aunque comparten algunos relatos, el de Valdemar es una selección de relatos de fantasmas, mientras que "El fantasma de la señora Crowl" es la traducción al Español de una antología de relatos inéditos en su día, que M.R. James recopiló buscando entre periódicos ...more
Grace Harwood
This is a combination of traditional Victorian ghost stories, folk tales about "the good people" (fairy tales) of Ireland, and legends concerning ne'er-do-wells, who have sold their souls to the devil. As a preference, I enjoyed the traditional Victorian tales best, but there is some really excellent writing in this collection of stories.

I particularly enjoyed the first two stories: the title story and "Squire Toby's Will", but my favourite, I think, had to be "An Account of Some Strange Disturb
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Michael
Review from Badelynge
In judging the quality of this collection of ghost stories by Sheridan Le Fanu I think it's worth mentioning that this particular collection was compiled by M.R. James to bring together all of Le Fanu's anonymously published supernatural short stories. It's not a collection of his best work, far from it. Le Fanu's writings throw up all sorts of obstacles for the more ordered reader wishing to read all of his back catalogue. Many of these stories appeared uncredited in Le Fan
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Richard
This collection of ghostly and folkloric tales by Le Fanu is not a 'best-of' or even a selection of favourites by compiler M R James, it simply consists of stories that had remained uncollected at the time of the author's death. They represent a few of his last stories, including 'Madam Crowl's Ghost', and early works which had only previously been published in fairly obscure Irish journals. This makes the collection a mixed bag but one which I enjoyed more than I expected to. It's been sitting ...more
Ape
2007 bookcrossing journal:

I really enjoyed this book. I love these regency and victorian gothic style ghost stories; the whole atmosphere that they create. And these were interesting as well for the location - so many set in Ireland. Some had a real folktale feel as well with the fairies coming into the stories, such as 'The Child that Went with the Fairies'. Oh, and a couple set in Yorkshire (I think) as well!

I liked the first story and the title piece - Madam Crowl's Ghost. What a character sh
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Bev
I first learned about Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu through Harriet Vane, the detective novelist love interest for Lord Peter Wimsey in Dorothy L Sayers' mystery stories. When Harriet returns to Oxford to help track down a poison pen in Gaudy Night, she uses research into Le Fanu's writings as a plausible cover for her return to college. Her interest sparked mine.

This collection of ghost stories, originally written in the mid- to late-1800s is a bit verbose and slightly dated and the work is a bit une
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Clint
I was really disappointed by this book. It's not that it's dated, I like a lot of other spooky stuff from around the same time, it was just... lame. I almost gave it one star. It was collected and introduced by M.R. James, who really likes it, obviously, but nothing in this book comes close to anything by James. One odd thing about this book was that James says he put the stories in order from best to worst, but I thought they got better as they went along. Which doesn't say much, considering ho ...more
Maja
Le Fanu has an exceptional talent to convey a certain mood to the reader, whether it is a sense of serene and melancholy enjoyment in the beautiful scenery of Ireland, or a horrific suspense coming from the preternatural occurrences described in his stories.
This collection of short stories doesn't only cause one a great deal of pleasure, but also immerses one into the culture, language and superstitions of the land that the writer comes from, and the fact that most of the places mentioned in th
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Chris
I read somewhere that the craft and power of telling ghost stories died out with the advent of electric light. The theory was that creepy tales were the most thrilling when read in flickering candlelight (or gas lighting) when you could never be certain as to what was lurking in the shadows. Perhaps this why the last stronghold of ghost stories today are around the campfire. Anyway, these stories were written in the 1800s and in my opinion are as authentically eerie as you can get. Le Fanu was a ...more
Sonya
I liked it, but I didn't love it--if you're interested in the author, I'd recommend Carmilla.
Felix
While I'm a fan of late 19th century ghost stories and gothic fiction in general and I quite liked Le Fanu's In a Glass Darkly , this collection somehow left me cold. I guess it was because most of the stories feel rather quaint and folklike, almost as if they're taken right out of an almanac of folklore ...more
Edward
Introduction, by M. R. James

--Madam Crowl's Ghost
--Squire Toby's Will
--Dickon the Devil
--The Child that went with the Fairies
--The White Cat of Drumgunniol
--An Account of Some Strange Disturbances in Aungier Street
--Ghost Stories of Chapelizod
--Wicked Captain Walshawe, of Wauling
--Sir Dominick's Bargain
--Ultor de Lacy
--The Vision of Tom Chuff
--Stories of Lough Guir
Gary Crawford
I'm looking into this book of short stories attributed to Sheridan Le Fanu and edited by M.R. James. The story "My Aunt Margaret's Adventure" was attributed to Le Fany in this book. The tale was originally published anonymously in "The Dublin University Magazine" with which Le Fanu was long associated.
Tocotin
Le Fanu <3

I've read "Madam Crowl's Ghost" in another language, when I was about 6-7 years old. It was so scary, so powerful, I've remembered it all those years without even knowing the author's name. Now I found it again. Wow.
David
A selection of the Master's best supernatural tales. In Stephen King style but a century earlier, Madame Crowl seems like the sweet old lady next door until she starts hovering outside upstairs windows late at night.
Grace
Very very dry. Some of the stories were okay but none really stood out for me. They were pretty well written though and I'm curious to check out some of his other stories.
Bear
There is something lyrical about the way this Irishman writes, which a always enjoy. The detail and the settings make the stories seem all the more timeless.
Carma Spence
This was a good introduction to the works of Le Fanu.
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Joseph Thomas Sheridan Le Fanu was an Irish writer of Gothic tales and mystery novels. He was the premier ghost story writer of the nineteenth century and had a seminal influence on the development of this genre in the Victorian era.
More about Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu...
Carmilla Uncle Silas In a Glass Darkly Best Ghost Stories of J. S. Le Fanu Green Tea and Other Ghost Stories

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