‘The place, with its grey sky and withered garlands, its bared spaces and scattered dead leaves, was like a theatre after the performance-all strewn with crumpled playbills.’
Revered as one of the greatest ghost stories ever told, James’s The Turn of the Screw is an eerie Victorian masterpiece.
When an inexperienced governess goes to work at Bly, a country house in Essex to look after a young boy Miles and his sister Flora, all manner of strange events begin to occur. The governess spots a ghostly man and woman around the grounds and is told by the housekeeper that the valet and previous governess haunt the house. It soon becomes clear that the children are inexplicably connected to these ghosts in some way and the young governess struggles to protect the children, although from exactly what, she is not sure.
Exploring the psychological and sexual fears of an era, this ambiguous, suspenseful and anxiety-inspiring novella remains one of Henry James’s most well-known tales.
This Broadview edition presents an early version of James’s best-known novella within the cultural contexts of its day. In addition to primary materials about nineteenth-century womanhood, foreign travel, medicine, philosophy, theatre, and art—some of the topics that interested James as he was writing the story—this volume includes James’s ruminations on fiction, theatre, and writing, and presents excerpts of Daisy Miller as he rewrote it for the theatre and for a much later and heavily revised edition.