In a Glass Darkly
J. Sheridan Le Fanu, Robert Tracy
`the ideal reading…for the hours after midnight’
Thus Henry James described the style of supernatural tale of which Sheridan Le Fanu was a master. Known in nineteenth-century Dublin as `The Invisible Prince’ because of his reclusive and nocturnal habits, Le Fanu was fascinated by the occult. His writings draw on the Gothic tradition, elements of Irish folklore, and even on the social and political anxieties of his Anglo-Irish contemporaries. In exploring sometimes inexplicable terrors, the tales focus on the unease of the haunted men and
women who encounter the supernatural, rather than on the origin or purpose of the visitant. This makes for spine-chilling reading.
The five stories presented here have been collected by Dr Hesselius, a `metaphysical’ doctor, the forerunner of the modern psychiatrist, who is willing to consider the ghosts both as real and as hallucinatory obsessions. The reader’s doubtful anxiety mimics that of the protagonist, and each story thus creates that atmosphere of mystery which is the supernatural experience.
ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World’s Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford’s commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
'In a Glass Darkly, now published in the World Classics series, still makes for uneasy reading late at night.' Moy McCory, The Times Magazine
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