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The House by the Churchyard (Wordsworth Tales of Mystery and the Supernatural)

3.67  ·  Rating Details  ·  251 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu is best known today as one of the Victorian period s leading exponents of supernatural fiction, and was described by M.R. James as standing absolutely in the first rank as a writer of ghost stories.
The House by the Churchyard is perhaps his best novel in this genre. Set in the village of Chapelizod, near Dublin, in the 1760s the story opens with t
Kindle Edition
Published (first published 1863)
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Simply one of the most gripping novels I have ever read

Admittedly, the first 200 or so pages of this book may be a major put-off to quite a number of readers, but then diamonds have to be cut thoroughly before you can see them shine, and what Sheridan Le Fanu tells us about the inhabitants of Chapelizod is extremely hilarious, no doubt, though maybe not linked too closely with the main plot. However, sticking to the point, like a fly to a pudding, is over-estimated, anyway.

Basically “The House b
Nov 27, 2011 Sheridan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
To anyone who has the patience and application this is one of the great works of literature bringing as it does the atmosphere of having been written at the time of the Irish Holocaust-the potato famine of 1847+. Stylistically it is as near to perfect as a narrative is likely to be, the writer's attention to detail in describing a still living suburb(in the 21st Century) of Dublin in the mid 19th Century of life in the 18th Century for one who knows the area intimately, is fantastic.
The humour a
Benjamin Stahl
Jul 06, 2016 Benjamin Stahl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, ghosts
For anyone else who likes Gothic ghost stories - especially those specifically written by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu - the first thing I would want to tell you about this book is that it is not a ghost story. Granted, there is one very, very effective chapter about a haunted house, and that chapter itself stands alone as a near-perfect short story. But otherwise, this 500+ page book gives its yearning horror aficionados nothing more than the very occasional (and I cannot emphasise the word "occasio ...more
May 22, 2015 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The House by the Churchyard" is a novel by Sheridan Le Fanu published in 1863 that combines elements of the mystery novel and the historical novel. According to Wikipedia "aside from its own merits, the novel is important as a key source for James Joyce's "Finnegans Wake"." Now I don't know if that is true, if it is then James Joyce wrote a better novel with "Finnegans Wake" then he did with "Ulysses". "Ulysses" is, of all the books I've made it to the end of - there are two I gave up on - my l ...more
I originally bought this book to get in the mood for Halloween thinking it was going to be a creepy story. I had read Uncle Silas and loved it. I assumed "The House by the Churchyard" would be just as good and hoped it would be especially because the book is so thick!

I felt overwhelmed by the number of characters when I first began reading. The confusion cleared up some as I read on but not completely because there were so many personalities to keep straight. I remember reading for some time and
Jon Recluse
Aug 19, 2013 Jon Recluse rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A charming tale of ghosts, mystery and murder set in Ireland during the 1700s. While a touch slow in the early going, Le Fanu's careful recreation of village life at the time reaps rewards for the patient reader.
Susan Wight
Oct 31, 2014 Susan Wight rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those rare books that I have given up on.
150 pages in, I was still stuck with a confusing array of characters - none of whom emerged as the protagonist. I also had no idea of which events were important to the plot and which were light relief. There seemed to be an awful lot of light relief for a Gothic tale. During a burial in the prologue, a skull is unearthed which bears the marks of a violent death. IN the novel proper, the bulk of the action takes place some hundred years ea
Aug 27, 2014 Valerie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Many of le Fanu's stories take place in the Phoenix Park, Dublin, and in the nearby village of Chapelizod: 'Ghost Stories of Chapelizod' and later this novel 'The House by the Churchyard'.

A modern reader might find some of the stories less than spine-chilling and some might dislike the long sentences used by a 19th century author, but I found them readable rather than turgid and always meticulously grammatical. The stories are interesting in the context of the history of Gothic fiction and of so
Abrir un Libro
Inédito en castellano, Editorial Montesinos nos trae ahora una nueva edición con la correspondiente traducción de La casa junto al camposanto, un libro de Sheridan Le Fanu publicado en 1863 que nos narrará la historia y vida de los habitantes de Chapelizod, un pueblo dentro del mismo Dublín, en Irlanda, y ambientado durante 1767.

Novela gótica, La casa junto al camposanto se iniciará con el macabro descubrimiento de un cráneo con signos indiscutibles de violencia. A partir de aquí... http://
Tracie Janette
I can't recall if I actually finished it or not. I love old books, and love that Project Gutenberg is saving them online for us to read. However, old books are not written in modern reader format. Like Shakespeare they need translation, not only of the language but in style. Maybe editors didn't exist in 1800 but Le Fanu's Churchyard rambled from story to story and some characters went on forever about information not relevant to the story and long past what we would consider colorful or descrip ...more
Luna Selene
Oh, Le Fanu, how you leave your stories unfinished!

The House by the Churchyard is an engaging tale, but as I've experienced with Le Fanu before, a little drawn out and unsatisfying at the end. I've begun to wonder if he remembers the things he starts but never brings to a close!
It was a mess in places but I love Sheridan Le Fanu and I really liked the portrait of a little Irish town and the good people living there - marginal characters being much more interesting than the main ones.
Nov 24, 2011 Edgar rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This probably wasn't what it sounded to be even in 1863. No horror/gothic/supernatural-ness, and far too much Irish nineteenth-centuryism for children of the 2000s.
Apr 22, 2011 Christopher rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am reading the Project Gutenberg version.

This is one of the ==>countless<== books that were in James Joyce's mind as he worked on _Finnegans Wake_.
Batgrl (Book Data Kept Elsewhere)
On my to read list thanks to recommendations by both M. R. James and H. P. Lovecraft. (Hmm, not 100% sure on the Lovecraft, now that I think of it.)
Jul 10, 2016 Danice rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A well crafted book. Humor, suspense, mystery... a well developed cast of characters and a great read.
Jesse Williams
Not the best work by le Fanu by far. I was very disappointed at the drawn out style that lead to... Nothing.
Diana Marques
Jun 27, 2009 Diana Marques rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another horror and mystery story written by an irish writer.
Jan 20, 2016 BasziK rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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Joseph Thomas Sheridan Le Fanu (28 August 1814 – 7 February 1873) was an Irish writer of Gothic tales and mystery novels. He was the leading ghost-story writer of the nineteenth century and was central to the development of the genre in the Victorian era. M.R. James described Le Fanu as "absolutely in the first rank as a writer of ghost stories". Three of his best-known works are Uncle Silas, Carm ...more
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