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Susan Hill (1) (1942–)

Author of The Woman in Black

For other authors named Susan Hill, see the disambiguation page.

107+ Works 16,966 Members 913 Reviews 39 Favorited

About the Author

Susan Hill was born in Scarborough, United Kingdom on February 5, 1942. She received a degree in English from King's College in London in 1963. Her first book, The Enclosure, was published during her first year at university. She worked as a freelance journalist between 1963 and 1968 and has been a show more monthly columnist for the Daily Telegraph since 1977. She founded her own publishing company, Long Barn Books, in 1996 and publishes a literary magazine called Books and Company. She has written works of fiction and non-fiction as well as children's books. She also edits short story compilations. Her works include Gentleman and Ladies, A Change for the Better, The Woman in Black, The Mist in the Mirror, and the Simon Serrailler Crime Novel series. She has won numerous awards including a Somerset Maugham Award for I'm the King of the Castle, the Whitbread Novel Award for The Bird of Night, the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize for The Albatross, and the Smarties Prize for Can It Be True? (Bowker Author Biography) show less


Works by Susan Hill

The Woman in Black (1983) 3,623 copies
The Various Haunts of Men (2004) 1,359 copies
Howards End is on the Landing (2009) 1,137 copies
Mrs. de Winter (1993) 868 copies
The Pure in Heart (2005) 730 copies
The Man in the Picture (2007) 653 copies
The Risk of Darkness (2006) 653 copies
The Small Hand (2010) 584 copies
The Vows of Silence (2008) 540 copies
I'm the King of the Castle (1970) 516 copies
The Mist in the Mirror (1992) 501 copies
The Shadows in the Street (2010) 472 copies
The Betrayal of Trust (2012) 446 copies
A Question of Identity (2012) 374 copies
Strange Meeting (1971) 353 copies
The Soul of Discretion (2015) 299 copies
Dolly (2012) 222 copies
The Comforts of Home (2018) 207 copies
The Beacon (2008) 191 copies
The Benefit of Hindsight (2019) 158 copies
The Bird of Night (1972) 139 copies
The Small Hand & Dolly (2010) 135 copies
The Random House Book of Ghost Stories (1991) — Editor/Contributor — 135 copies
Air and Angels (1991) 124 copies
Printer's Devil Court (2014) 122 copies
A Change of Circumstance (2021) 109 copies
A Kind Man (2011) 103 copies
The Penguin Book of Modern Women's Short Stories (1990) — Editor — 100 copies
Go Away, Bad Dreams (1985) 81 copies
The Service of Clouds (1600) 79 copies
The Albatross (1971) 70 copies
Through the Kitchen Window (1980) 65 copies
The Battle for Gullywith (2008) 64 copies
A Breach of Security (2014) 62 copies
Lanterns Across the Snow (1987) 59 copies
Black Sheep (2013) 45 copies
The Glass Angels (1991) 45 copies
A Change for the Better (1969) 45 copies
Gentleman and Ladies (1968) 43 copies
Can It Be True? (1988) 40 copies
Beware Beware (1993) 32 copies
From the Heart (2017) 32 copies
Through the Garden Gate (1986) 31 copies
King of Kings (1993) 31 copies
The Spirit of the Cotswolds (1988) 30 copies
Hunger (2013) 27 copies
Hero (2016) 26 copies
Backyard Bedtime (2001) 22 copies
Family (1990) 21 copies
The Christmas Collection (1994) 21 copies
Shakespeare Country (1987) 20 copies
Ghost Stories (1983) 16 copies
Crystal (2012) 16 copies
The Best of Books and Company (2010) — Editor — 13 copies
Friends Next Door (Racers) (1992) 13 copies
Revenge (Simon Serrailler) (2019) 10 copies
One Night at a Time (1984) 8 copies
Reflections from a Garden (1995) 8 copies
Mother's Magic (1986) 6 copies
Old Haunts (2018) 5 copies
People: Essays & Poems (1983) 5 copies
Irish Twins (2014) 5 copies
The Lighting of the Lamps (1987) 4 copies
Septimus Honeydew (1990) 3 copies
Kobieta w czerni. Raczka (2021) 2 copies
The Sound of Footsteps (2023) 2 copies
The enclosure 2 copies
Reader, I Married Him (2016) 2 copies
New Stories 5: An Arts Council Anthology (1980) — Editor — 1 copy
Pirate Poll (1992) 1 copy
Books and Company Issue 4 — Editor — 1 copy
THE STAR DREAMER 2019 (2019) 1 copy
Books and Company Issue 3 — Editor — 1 copy
Books and Company Issue 1 — Editor — 1 copy

Associated Works

The Library Book (2012) — Contributor — 399 copies
Reader, I Married Him: Stories Inspired by Jane Eyre (2016) — Contributor — 302 copies
The Far Cry (1949) — Afterword, some editions — 177 copies
Counting My Chickens . . .: And Other Home Thoughts (2001) — Editor — 157 copies
The Woman in Black [2012 film] (2013) — Original book — 130 copies
Is Anyone There? (1978) — Contributor — 27 copies
Tale of an Empty House and Other Ghost Stories (1986) — Introduction — 22 copies
The Woman in Black 2 : Angel of Death [2014 film] (2014) — Writer — 20 copies
The Woman in Black [1989 TV movie] (1993) — Original book — 15 copies


20th century (89) audiobook (77) books (103) books about books (192) British (251) British literature (73) British mystery (76) crime (310) crime fiction (150) ebook (172) England (436) essays (67) family (65) fiction (1,828) ghost stories (321) ghosts (379) gothic (233) historical fiction (109) horror (576) Kindle (162) library (94) literature (88) memoir (155) mystery (811) non-fiction (207) novel (229) police procedural (120) read (254) read in 2012 (74) reading (100) series (97) short stories (206) Simon Serrailler (128) supernatural (144) Susan Hill (93) suspense (92) thriller (117) to-read (1,155) UK (107) unread (74)

Common Knowledge



BRITISH AUTHOR CHALLENGE JANUARY - HILL AND UNSWORTH in 75 Books Challenge for 2016 (February 2016)


This short, short novel is typical Susan Hill. It starts with an atmospheric, classic ghost story and then ends up slamming you in the gut.
bluenancyhawaii907 | 49 other reviews | Jun 13, 2024 |
The Woman in Black is a ghost story which tells the tale of Arthur Kipps, a young lawyer from London who is sent to the countryside to go through the papers in the house of the recently deceased Mrs. Drablow. The story is told by an older Arthur, who believes by recounting his tale of horror, that he will be freed from its burden.

I had a lot of problems with this book. First of all, the story really drags on. It probably did not need to go for the 160-odd pages of which it consists – especially since I know you can tell very terrifying stories in half, or less than half that many pages, (see H.P. Lovecraft). But The Woman in Black does drag on. You're constantly being built up to something scary that's about to happen... and when the "scary" thing happens, you're left wondering, "Wait, am I supposed to be scared right now?" Truly, the parts that were supposed to be scary didn't even get a rise out of me. Ooooh something bumped.... Should I have chills right now...? The other aspect that I didn't like was that you're constantly being reminded that Arthur is a logical, scientific London gentlemen who isn't given to country superstitions and the idea of ghosts. This reminder happens every few pages. We get it. Sadly, The Woman in Black ends up being just another run-of-the-mill ghost story. Not a lot of originality is in play.

What I did appreciate about Ms. Hill's writing, is that she at least has a fantastic descriptive style. She really knows how to set the mood. You can definitely feel and smell the sea fog rolling it. You can imagine yourself in the muddy, dank marshes on an early winter day. It's these instances of her writing that make the novel mildly enjoyable. It's honestly a shame that you don't get the effects of the horror that the novel promises.
Overall, I will probably give Susan Hill's other stories a try, but if I want to be scared... I think I'll stick to Lovecraft, August Derleth, or Stephen King.
… (more)
escapinginpaper | 234 other reviews | May 18, 2024 |
Love this book - do I dare stop buying and checking out books and read my own? That is what she did! Her British literary sensibilites are also very appealing to me. And of course, I found another dozen or more titles to seek out.
featherbooks | 78 other reviews | May 7, 2024 |
Classic ghost stories, so classic that they trespass into clichéed territory. There are uneasiness and creepiness at moments, but the overall narrative does not keep together. Plus, characters' reactions in front of the supernatural are not convincing at all. It's a pity, because there are glimpses of good psychological insight hinting at a narrator with some potential. Being this valid for all four stories, I am not sure whether I should give this writer a second chance.
Anecdotal: the evil grandmother seems pretty much molded on my own maternal grandmother. Even as an atheist with much respect for the gray areas in ethical matters, "evil" has always been the only word seemingly fit to describe her. Luckily enough, she was also too self-centred to even think of doing what the satanic granny does in the end of the short story...… (more)
Elanna76 | 12 other reviews | May 2, 2024 |


2010s (1)


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