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L. P. Hartley (1895–1972)

Author of The Go-Between

41+ Works 3,781 Members 64 Reviews 13 Favorited

About the Author

Novelist, short-story writer, and literary critic, L. P. Hartley won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize in 1947 for Eustace and Hilda. Part of a trilogy that offers a penetrating and disturbing psychological study of what Hartley called "sisteritis" in an upper-middle-class family, the three books show more were described by the London Times as "unique in modern writing...diverting and disturbing. Beneath a surface "almost overcivilized' the reviewer found "a hollow of horror."' One of Hartley's special interests is Henry James, with whom he has been compared. In The Tragic Comedians, James Hall devotes a chapter to Hartley, who is respected but not popular in Britain, read by few in America, but praised by discerning critics in both countries: "Along with Green and Powell, Hartley has changed the direction of the comic novel, raising even more seriously than they the question of whether it remains comic at all.... His freshness consists at first in simply changing the patterns of the naturalist novel from social insights to emotional ones; yet in doing so he departs from both the older solid way of conceiving character and the more recent fluid way of conceiving consciousness." David Cecil called The Go-Between (1953) "impressive," and wrote: "Hartley is for me the first of living novelists in certain important respects; beauty of style, lyrical quality of feeling and, above all, the power and originality of his imagination, which wonderfully mingles ironic comedy, whimsical fancy and a mysterious Hawthorne-like poetry." The Novelist's Responsibility is a collection of essays and letters. (Bowker Author Biography) show less


Works by L. P. Hartley

The Go-Between (1953) 2,326 copies
Eustace and Hilda: A Trilogy (1958) 294 copies
The Hireling (1957) 231 copies
The Shrimp and the Anemone (1945) 175 copies
Facial Justice (1960) 143 copies
A Perfect Woman (1955) 58 copies
The Sixth Heaven (1946) 52 copies
Simonetta Perkins (1925) 51 copies
Eustace and Hilda (1947) 47 copies
The Boat (1950) 40 copies
The Brickfield (1964) 36 copies
The Harness Room (1971) 25 copies

Associated Works

Roald Dahl's Book of Ghost Stories (1983) — Contributor, some editions — 1,240 copies
The Oxford Book of English Ghost Stories (1986) — Contributor — 543 copies
Black Water: The Book of Fantastic Literature (1983) — Contributor — 500 copies
The Mammoth Book of Haunted House Stories (2000) — Contributor — 295 copies
The Pan Book of Horror Stories (1959) — Contributor — 158 copies
The Penguin Book of Horror Stories (1984) — Contributor — 142 copies
Chill Tidings: Dark Tales of the Christmas Season (2020) — Contributor — 70 copies
The Oxford Book of Twentieth-Century Ghost Stories (1996) — Contributor — 70 copies
Great Ghost Stories (1936) — Contributor — 67 copies
Nightshade: 20th Century Ghost Stories (1999) — Contributor — 64 copies
The Fontana Book of Great Ghost Stories (1964) — Contributor — 61 copies
65 Great Tales of the Supernatural (1979) — Contributor — 60 copies
Ghosts of Christmas Past (2017) — Contributor — 56 copies
The Third Ghost Book (1955) — Introduction; Contributor — 56 copies
Chillers for Christmas (1989) — Contributor — 49 copies
The Second Ghost Book (1952) — Contributor — 48 copies
The Mammoth Book of Thrillers, Ghosts and Mysteries (1936) — Contributor — 47 copies
The Third Omnibus of Crime (1935) — Contributor — 45 copies
Realms of Darkness (1985) — Contributor — 45 copies
Ghosts for Christmas (1988) — Contributor — 45 copies
65 Great Murder Mysteries (1983) — Contributor — 41 copies
Tales from the Dead of Night (2013) — Contributor — 40 copies
The Fontana Book of Great Horror Stories (1966) — Contributor — 39 copies
The Television Late-night Horror Omnibus (1993) — Contributor — 38 copies
The Ghost Book: Sixteen Stories of the Uncanny (1926) — Contributor — 35 copies
The Go-Between [1971 film] (1971) — Original book — 31 copies
The Old School: Essays by Divers Hands (1934) — Contributor — 30 copies
Haunters at the Hearth: Eerie Tales for Christmas Nights (2022) — Contributor — 30 copies
Night Shadows: Twentieth-Century Stories of the Uncanny (2001) — Contributor — 29 copies
The Valancourt Book of Horror Stories, Volume Three (2018) — Contributor — 29 copies
The Great Book of Thrillers (1935) — Contributor — 27 copies
Night chills : stories of suspense and horror (1975) — Contributor — 22 copies
The Tenth Fontana Book of Great Ghost Stories (1974) — Contributor — 20 copies
Monster Festival: Classic Tales of the Macabre (1965) — Contributor — 17 copies
Paha vieras (1996) 15 copies
Fifty Masterpieces of Mystery (1937) — Contributor — 13 copies
Famous Tales of the Fantastic (1965) — Contributor — 13 copies
Uncanny Tales 2 (1974) — Contributor — 12 copies
The Black Cap: New Stories of Murder and Mystery (1928) — Contributor — 11 copies
The Fourteenth Fontana Book of Great Ghost Stories (1978) — Contributor — 11 copies
The Country Child (1992) — Contributor — 10 copies
Beyond Midnight (1976) — Author — 10 copies
Cat Encounters: A Cat-Lover's Anthology (1979) — Contributor — 10 copies
Terrors, Torments, and Traumas: An Anthology (1978) — Contributor — 9 copies
Shudders (1929) — Contributor — 7 copies
Armchair Horror Collection (1994) — Contributor — 7 copies
When Churchyards Yawn (1963) — Contributor — 6 copies
Ghosts in Country Houses (1981) — Contributor — 5 copies
Spøgelseshistorier fra hele verden — Contributor, some editions — 3 copies
The Best British Short Stories of 1933 — Contributor, some editions — 2 copies
Stories of the Macabre (1976) — Contributor — 1 copy
The New Decameron. Sixth volume (1929) — Contributor — 1 copy


1001 books (25) 1950s (32) 20th century (138) 20th century literature (29) anthology (506) British (99) British fiction (32) British literature (65) Christmas (41) classic (52) classics (56) collection (31) coming of age (41) Edward Gorey (26) England (77) English (47) English literature (106) fantasy (111) fiction (1,141) ghost stories (277) ghosts (217) gothic (42) horror (553) L. P. Hartley (28) literature (118) mystery (78) novel (180) NYRB (92) NYRB Classics (38) own (28) paranormal (31) read (69) science fiction (28) short fiction (45) short stories (657) stories (38) supernatural (90) to-read (521) UK (29) unread (70)

Common Knowledge



I had watched the movie first. Then I got the book. I went into it with a little hesitation since I thought of it as very plot-driven story and therefore "spoiled" by having watched the movie. Boy was I wrong. One thing that comes through much better in the book is the emotional development of the boy even though it's being told from his adult self years later. All of his actions were supported by credible motivations, and there was no feeling that the author put something in "just to make it interesting." And as the plot develops, the boy's thinking gets more complex. For some people the language will be a challenge, but I found I fell right into it and it added a lot to the feeling of distance with the past, as is the boy's past really were a foreign country.… (more)
Peterlemat | 37 other reviews | Jun 26, 2023 |
It took me a while to get used to Hartley's elevated language, but once I did, the story swept me away. I kept being reminded of other stories while reading this one: shades of THE GREAT GATSBY, GREAT EXPECTATIONS, ATONEMENT... Yet, this book told its own story with its own tragedy and beauty. One of the best fall from innocence and bildungsroman novels I have ever read.
1 vote
crabbyabbe | 37 other reviews | Nov 6, 2022 |
Outstanding little collection of macabre stories that should be generally rated higher than it is. Hartley is a highly accomplished writer who wrote the classic non-supernatural [b:The Go-Between|258079|The Go-Between|L.P. Hartley|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1320480023s/258079.jpg|1553524] as well as many other novels and stories outside the outr�� genres. Every story in this book is a classic tale and Hartley's macabre stories deserve to be better known and anthologized. My favorite is "A Visitor from Down Under" with it's punning title (the protagonist has just returned from Australia). Hartley mixes a wry gallows humor in with the truly horrifying, without the humor blunting the edge of the tale.

I read a lot of stories and after decades I can often not remember the details of a particular story, but I can remember the Travelling Grave, Feet Foremost, and Three or Four, for Dinner like I read them yesterday. I like Hartley so much I invested in the expensive Tartarus Press collection despite owning this Arkham House collection.
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Gumbywan | 1 other review | Jun 24, 2022 |
What can you say about a book that gives you pretty much every macabre story written throughout an author's long career? Hartley wrote lots of stories and novels but for me his strange stories are the best. We have here everything from pure horror to just plain odd stories. To me Hartley almost seems like a bridge between the ghost stories of M.R. James and Robert Aickman. There are examples of both schools in Hartley's work and something in-between. A book to be savored one story at a time.

The book is 500 pages long and beautifully produced by Tartarus Press.
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Gumbywan | Jun 24, 2022 |



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