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Old 22nd October 2009, 08:19 PM   #61 (permalink)
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Re: Wordworth Tales Of Mystery & Supernatural

@ Fried Egg : The story , if I am correct, is actualy called "Oh Whistle, And I'll come to you my lad" .
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Old 22nd October 2009, 11:11 PM   #62 (permalink)
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Re: Wordworth Tales Of Mystery & Supernatural

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Originally Posted by Lobolover View Post
@ Fried Egg : The story , if I am correct, is actualy called "Oh Whistle, And I'll come to you my lad" .
Err... you might well be right. I have trouble remembering that one right!
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Old 23rd October 2009, 06:01 AM   #63 (permalink)
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Re: Wordworth Tales Of Mystery & Supernatural

Yes... James takes the title from a poem by Robert Burns (which sometimes goes by the variant title of "Whistle, and I'll Come to You, My Lad", and uses it ironically -- and I've never been able to escape that rather macabre reading of Burns' own verse since, especially given the verse's opening refrain.....

Robert Burns Country: Whistle, And I'll Come To You, My Lad:
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Old 21st December 2009, 02:20 PM   #64 (permalink)
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Re: Wordworth Tales Of Mystery & Supernatural

As I'm about to finish the last of the editions from this series that I already own, I am contemplating further purchases from this series. These are the ones that I am most seriously considering:

Terror by Night by Ambrose Bierce.

This appears to be quite an extensive collection of his short stories and he is quite highly regarded by some. There is a Penguin Collection of his stories but it is more expensive and has less stories in it. In the absense of a compelling reason, I think the Wordsworth edition is the way to go.

The Right Hand of Doom & Other Tales of Solomon Kane by Robert Howard

This contains all the completed Solomon Kane tales and one of the unfinished ones. Not quite as comprehensive as The Savage Tales of Solomon Kane published by Del Ray but, at a fraction of the price, probably my preferred option.

Ghost Stories of Henry James.

There are numerous collections of his works around but the Wordsworth edition looks like a good purchase as it contains "Turn of the Screw" and a number of other stories.

Strange Tales by Rudyard Kipling

It's a toss up between this and the Fantasy Masterworks edition The Mark Of The Beast And Other Fantastical Tales. Double the price but more stories. Not sure which way to go with this one.

In a Glass Darkly by Sheridan Le Fanu.

There are a number of books by Fanu in this series but for some reason, I have singled this one out to try first.

The Horror in the Museum by H. P. Lovecraft

I was tempted to buy this when I realised it contained his collaborations and ghost writing (in other words, the remaining stories of his that I have yet to read) but am now in doubt due to the prevailing belief that this contains numerous textual errors that make The Horror in the Museum published by Del Ray probably the preferred option despite being more than three times more expensive.

To The Devil A Daughter by Dennis Wheatley.

I read the prequel to this "The Devil Rides Out" and really enjoyed it so about time I got around to this I think.

---

There are a number of other titles in this series that interest me (such as the Conan Doyle entries) but these are the ones that most tickling my fancy at the moment...
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Old 21st December 2009, 09:47 PM   #65 (permalink)
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Re: Wordworth Tales Of Mystery & Supernatural

The Bierce, as I recall, is a rather nice selection, but there are better ones out there, often quite as cheap. See my reply on the Bierce thread for some. I'd suggest the Del Rey Howard tales, but either way, you're likely to find a lot to enjoy. Henry James's ghost stories aren't your typical ghostly tale -- there is little intent to frighten with several of them (though when there is, it can be quite good, as in "The Turn of the Screw"), but they are interesting... they just may not be what you're looking for. I don't think that is the best place to start with LeFanu -- though I quite like the book, it really isn't his best, and I'd suggest Dover's Best Ghost Stories of J. Sheridan LeFanu, ed. by E. F. Bleiler. Begin with that, and go from there....

Not all of Kipling's weird work is that notable, so you may want to give the Wordsworth edition a go first and, if you really like it, then go for a more extensive edition. (Again, though, when Kipling hits it right, he's hard to beat. And "They" is one of the most beautiful and touching ghost stories I have ever encountered.) On the Lovecraft volume -- definitely go for the Del Rey edition; it's almost a different book....
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Old 21st December 2009, 09:57 PM   #66 (permalink)
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Re: Wordworth Tales Of Mystery & Supernatural

Hmm, why have I not replied to this thread.

I spotted these books in Waterstones one day and was overjoyed to see how cheap they were. I bought a few of them right there and then (perhaps, then, they are actually quite crafty...being so cheap, you think you're getting a great deal and thus buy even more of them).

I'm trying to remember which ones I have...

M.R James collection.
The Ambrose Bierce one that Fried Egg mentioned.
The Devil Rides Out
The Beetle by Richard Marsh
Erm...Oh, I think I have the Le Fanu In a Glass Darkly, too.
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Old 22nd December 2009, 03:03 AM   #67 (permalink)
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Re: Wordworth Tales Of Mystery & Supernatural

@Fried Egg: J.D. basically summed up on most of those titles but so you know I've got the entire Wordsworth horror/supernatural collection to date of what I'm interested in and hope to cover several of these titles over the holiday break. I'll try to post some comments on them here when I do. As JD suggests the Del Rey edns. are generally very good for any author really and I have those mentioned and of course the Masterwork edn. of Kipling's tales (hit and miss as has been stated) although I've only gone partially through this one myself.
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Old 22nd December 2009, 09:28 AM   #68 (permalink)
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Re: Wordworth Tales Of Mystery & Supernatural

Thanks again J.D.

I looked for "Best Ghost Stories of J. Sheridan LeFanu" and I would have to import it from amazon.com at $15.41 (including shipping) so it's not a cheap option. I would rather start with one of the Wordsworth editions to be honest. Would one of the others be a better place to start than "In a Glass Darkly"? They also have House By The Churchyard, Madam Crowl's Ghost & Other Stories and Uncle Silas.
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Old 22nd December 2009, 09:29 AM   #69 (permalink)
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Re: Wordworth Tales Of Mystery & Supernatural

[Duplicate Post]

Last edited by Fried Egg; 22nd December 2009 at 09:30 AM. Reason: Duplicate
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Old 23rd December 2009, 05:15 AM   #70 (permalink)
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Re: Wordworth Tales Of Mystery & Supernatural

In that case, I think I'd suggest getting both Madame Crowl's Ghost and Through a Glass Darkly. While each has both some of his best and some of his more obscure (and sometimes weaker) stories, together they represent the majority of the contents in the Dover volume; and whereas Madame Crowl's Ghost does not contain either "Carmilla" or "Green Tea" -- certainly the most famous and perhaps most important contributions he made to the short supernatural tale -- Through a Glass Darkly does... allowing you to have much of his best for considerably less. It's a pity, though, that you won't also have "Ghost Stories of the Tiled House"; but, if you like LeFanu enough to want to look that one up (and it, also, is one of his most disturbing pieces), you can find it as either one of the early chapters of The House by the Churchyard or in Montague Summers' The Supernatural Omnibus... which is itself chock-full of really superb selections from the weird tales of the Victorian and Edwardian eras. (Summers may have been a complete loon, but he often showed considerable abilities when it came to gathering either information on the Gothic tale or collecting together very notable examples of the supernatural in fiction.)

The following link, while not providing the full text of Summers' volume, does give you the full table of contents, and texts of quite a few of the entries:

Introduction to the Supernatural Omnibus (1931) by Montague Summers

"Ghost Stories of the Tiled House" is here published as "Narrative of the Ghost of a Hand".

I would suggest going with Summers' rather bulky anthology rather than LeFanu's novel, despite my own strong fondness for the latter, because I rather doubt you'll find it to your taste. Not many people today do, I'm afraid (though M. R. James certainly thought highly of it, as I recall). It is a strange, meandering thing which, nowadays, takes a certain type of reader to enjoy it. Certainly Teresa, who herself has quite a fondness for books of the period, found it tedious (and, as I recall, annoying) going. On the other hand, Summers' book will provide you with an enormous amount of truly excellent material (as well as some lesser, though still entertaining, examples of the form), and it has had numerous editions (and usually several printings in each, as I recall), so should be acquired fairly cheaply.

Speaking of which -- going on something you said elsewhere: no, you don't sound like a skinflint, or miserly, or anything of the sort. You sound sensible and frugal. After all, unless there is an overriding reason for putting this sort of thing as among your top priorities, there's no sense in going too far at one time, when you can get a better bargain, or perhaps find the desired book at a later time for less. And, with things like this, now that they have been brought back into print in mass-market paperback editions, it should be fairly easy for you to find copies now and again for very reasonable prices. It isn't as if these are modern best-sellers that will flash and fade... these books have had a reputation for well over a century now, and have enough of a following to keep them from fading away for a very long time now....
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Old 23rd December 2009, 11:14 AM   #71 (permalink)
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Re: Wordworth Tales Of Mystery & Supernatural

Thanks again J.D., I will avoid "The House by the Churchyard" for now...
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Old 23rd December 2009, 02:45 PM   #72 (permalink)
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Re: Wordworth Tales Of Mystery & Supernatural

Terror by Night by Ambrose Bierce sound great to me. Very cheap and a good way to start.
If you like him there is the complete collection for 10 pounds.

Fried Egg

Le Fanu's In a Glass Darkly might not be the best collection when you want to collect a fav author. But it has his most classic stories like Carmillia and several other rated ones.

Its the best book i got from this series along with Poe collection.
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Old 23rd December 2009, 03:33 PM   #73 (permalink)
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Re: Wordworth Tales Of Mystery & Supernatural

Well, Le Fanu isn't a favourite author...yet, because I haven't read anything by him. But the good thing about this series is if you love an author so much and want to go on and buy more comprehensive collections, definitive editions, you don't feel like you've wasted you money because they're so cheap to start with.
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Old 23rd December 2009, 04:33 PM   #74 (permalink)
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Re: Wordworth Tales Of Mystery & Supernatural

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Originally Posted by Fried Egg View Post
Well, Le Fanu isn't a favourite author...yet, because I haven't read anything by him. But the good thing about this series is if you love an author so much and want to go on and buy more comprehensive collections, definitive editions, you don't feel like you've wasted you money because they're so cheap to start with.
Thats why i recommend that Le Fanu collection to you 2-3 pounds is nothing even for a new author.

I didnt read him before that collection either.

Thats i overlook the paper quality of wordsworth. Its very cheap way of trying new authors.
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Old 24th December 2009, 02:16 AM   #75 (permalink)
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Re: Wordworth Tales Of Mystery & Supernatural

I'd say that Madam Crowl's Ghost is the better starting point for a new Le Fanu reader; while In A Glass Darkly contains one decided classic, Carmilla (Green Tea again didn't work for me owing to the deflation caused by Asiatic Observer Effect - in this case, green tea, that healthy traditional Chinese drink being presented as a vector of mind-altering horror), the other collection offers a larger selection of tales several of which are excellent. One in particular, The Child That Went With The Fairies is one of my very favourites, a very poignant and eerie treatment of a traditional theme.
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