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In a Glass Darkly

April 19, 2019

It seems that many of the authors of ghost stories—including M.R. James and H.P. Lovecraft—point to the stories of Sheridan Le Fanu as the preeminent masterpieces of the genre.  As a ghost story enthusiast, it took me some time to get to him in my “studies,” but the wait and the reward were both well worth the wait.  In a Glass Darkly contains six stories considered by critics to be among Le Fanu’s best works. 

“Green Tea” is an especially troublesome tale—those who have ever felt followed or “stalked” will find this story an unnerving reminder of such  events—but with a strange twist as to the identity of the stalker.

This book is a “two bookmark” book, meaning that you’ll need one bookmark to keep your place in the text and another to keep your place in the endnotes at the back of the book.  Both sections of the book are highly rewarding, as is the Introduction, which outlines important information about several other stories in the book, their similarities and differences, and other specific bits of information which help immensely with appreciating the stories.

The surprise story, for me, was Carmilla, since I wouldn’t call myself a fan of vampire fiction per se.  I thought I knew pretty much already about vampire legends and lore, but I would have to say that this story has increased my appreciation many times over.  I loved this story; it is a real page turner.  Again, the endnotes added immeasurably to my appreciation of this story and vampire legenda in general.