Synopses & Reviews
Compiled by Charles Dickens, and counting Elizabeth Gaskell and Wilkie Collins among its contributors, this rediscovered work is an ingenious collaborative tale of the supernatural with indelible touches of pure Dickensian comedy. When the narrator spies a deserted house from his railway carriage, he determines to take up residence. But local legend has it that this is a haunted house, and no servant will dare enter employment. Refusing to be thwarted, he instead invites a number of acquaintances to join him, commissioning each with the task of routing out any supernatural inhabitants. As they gather together on twelfth night, each recounts his version of the ghostly activities.
"As a document of self-revelation, The Haunted House is of the utmost significance for anyone interested in exploring the genius of Charles Dickens." Peter Ackroyd, from his Foreword
An ingenious, multi-authored tale of the supernatural, The Haunted House is a testament to Charles Dickens' comic touch. "Conducted" by Dickens and featuring various members of the London literati, including Elizabeth Gaskell and Wilkie Collins, The Haunted House takes on the genre of the ghost story but leaves the reader with something very much more unusual.
An ingenious tale of the supernatural with touches of pure Dickensian comedy. Foreword by Peter Ackroyd.
About the Author
Charles Dickens was born in the Portsmouth in 1812. His father, a clerk in the Navy pay office, was imprisoned for debt when Dickens was twelve, and young Dickens was sent to work in a blacking factory. The experience deeply traumatised him, and surfaced in much of his later fiction, particularly the strongly autobiographical novel David Copperfield
(1850). After working for a while as an office boy, Dickens learnt shorthand and took a job as a court reporter for the Morning Chronicle
. His subsequent Sketches by Boz, Illustrative of Every-Day Life and Every-Day People
(1836-7) brought his writing to the attention of the publishing house Chapman and Hall, who commissioned The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club
. The series gradually gained in popularity, and Dickens gave up reporting to write full-time. In 1837 he became the editor of a new periodical, Bentleys Miscellany
, in which he published Oliver Twist
and Nicholas Nickleby
. From then on all his major novels were published as serial instalments in magazines which Dickens founded and edited himself.
Dickens was extremely prolific, and he continued to write, edit and publish right up to his death. He was also a tireless social reformer, campaigning successfully to abolish child labour and improve the conditions of Britains underclass. Dickens died in 1870, after a physically exhausting lecture tour of America.
Peter Ackroyd has written biographies of T.S. Eliot, William Blake and Charles Dickens. His novels include the award-winning Hawksmoor (1985), Chatterton (1987), and Milton in America (1996). Ackroyd studied English Literature at Clare College, Cambridge, and was a Mellon Fellow at Yale University. Formerly the Literary Editor of The Spectator, he is now Chief Book Reviewer with The Times. Ackroyds latest book is London: The Biography (2000).
Hesperus Press, as suggested by their Latin motto, Et remotissima prope, is dedicated to bringing near what is far far both in space and time. Works by illustrious authors, often unjustly neglected or simply little known in the Englishspeaking world, are made accessible through a completely fresh editorial approach or new translations. Through these short classic works, which feature forewords by leading contemporary authors, the modern reader will be introduced to the greatest writers of Europe and America. An elegantly designed series of exceptional books.
Table of Contents
Foreword / Peter Ackroyd -- Haunted house -- Mortals in the house / Charles Dickens -- Ghost in the clock room / Hesba Stretton -- Ghost in the double room / George Augustus Sala -- Ghost in the picture room / Adelaide Anne Procter -- Ghost in the cupboard room / Wilkie Collins -- Ghost in Master B.'s room / Charles Dickens -- Ghost in the garden room / Elizabeth Gaskell -- Ghost in the corner room / Charles Dickens.