The Gateless Barrier (1900), by Lucas Malet (Mary St Leger Kingsley Harrison), is both a love story and a ghost story. The writer Laurence Rivers inherits a family mansion from his ominous cousin Montagu. He discovers a locked “yellow drawing-room”, left intact with its early-nineteenth-century feminine trifles (embroidery, letters, music). The room is haunted by a lovely ghost, Agnes, and Laurence is the reborn version of her original lover. Although Laurence tempts Agnes to return to the world of the living, in the end she vanishes, leaving him possessed by unfulfillable yearning. In this novel it is the ghostly woman who haunts the house of fiction.
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