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Ghostly Tales: Spine-Chilling Stories of the Victorian Age (2017)

by Bill Bragg (Illustrator)

Other authors: Arthur Conan Doyle (Contributor), F. Marion Crawford (Contributor), Charles Dickens (Contributor), Amelia B. Edwards (Contributor), Elizabeth Gaskell (Contributor)2 more, MR James (Contributor), Robert Louis Stevenson (Contributor)

Series: Chronicle's Illustrated Tales

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
11016201,745 (4.3)7
This illustrated collection presents seven classically creepy stories from the Victorian era, in the same luxe format as Celtic Tales (Autumn 2016). Featuring well-known authors such as Charles Dickens and Elizabeth Gaskell, as well as masters of the ghost story such as M. R. James, this volume offers a taste of Victorian macabre to both devoted fans and newcomers to the genre. Artist Bill Bragg captures an atmospheric world of spectral shadows and creaky old manors with a full-page illustration for each tale.… (more)
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» See also 7 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
Oh whistle and I'll come to you my lad - 3 stars
The old nurse's story - 4 stars
The signal man - 3.5 stars
The body snatcher - 2.5 stars
The captain of the pole-star - 3 stars
The phantom coach - 3.75
The screaming skull - 4.5 stars ( )
  ChelseaVK | Dec 10, 2021 |
I received a copy of this short story collection from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Ghostly Tales is a collection of classic, and often analogized, stories. While it is true that occasionally one runs across a classic that, for whatever reason, escaped your attention, most fans of classic horror have read or at least heard of these stories. That doesn’t make them any less great, just familiar.

Oh Whistle, and I’ll Come for You, My Lad
M.R. James is one of the pillars of the modern tale of the supernatural. Most of our plot mechanics and story lines come from him. As influential, albeit perhaps not as literary, as Poe, the included story is one of his best and for my money one of the top 5 ghost stories ever. And it is actually still scary after all these years.

The Old Nurse’s Story
Creepy story about a malevolent spirit of a murdered child. Very good form of a tale that is still being retold today in modern stories and movies.

The Signalman
Dickens, like most Victorians, loved his stories of phantoms, ghosts, and communications from the other side of death. Classic and atmospheric if not particularly scary. I don’t know if he created the concept of the story of the dead warning the living, but this is certainly one of the true classics of its type.

The Body Snatcher
Stevenson’s story is dripping in atmosphere of fog and damp and one can’t help but think of the glorious Hammer Films that sprang from this story and others like them. More fun and gruesome than scary.

The Captain of the Pole-Star
I guess I will just say it---Doyle’s best work was the Sherlock Holmes canon. Everything else is interesting, especially for the time, but the concepts were done better by other writers. This story is no exception. A play on The Ryme of the Ancient Mariner this story was well written by not particularly riveting.
The Phantom Coach
I had not read this one but was very glad that I did. Absolutely fantastic with a chilling ending. This story was so well done and so chilling I could place myself in that coach with our narrator. One of my favorite classic horror stories.

The Screaming Skull
One of several famous stories about severed body parts that attack the living, this one has the added fun of a mad narrator. I found it a bit overdone, but still entertaining.

I do have one complaint about this book and it was a reason that I was quite disappointed in the book. The illustrations are wonderful. However, there is just one per story. If you are selling this as an illustrated book I would expect at least 2 or 3 illustrations per story.

4 stars. Needs more illustrations. ( )
  ChrisMcCaffrey | Apr 6, 2021 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This is a gorgeous book with thick paper and a ribbon bookmark and an illustration at the start of each story. I had read almost all of the seven stories before and they are good choices and fit well together in this collection! ( )
  klpm | Jul 11, 2020 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
These are classic ghost stories by some high-profile authors of bygone years. The language is probably a bit of an acquired taste for some of today's readers, but it's good to go back to it from time to time.

The standout feature of this book is its physical construction: hardcover, sturdy binding, nicely imprinted cover, good quality paper, a full-page illustration for each story, and even a ribbon bookmark. A very pleasant surprise! ( )
  baroquem | Nov 13, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
To start, this is a lovely book, attractively and sturdily bound. So much so, it bears mentioning.

In addition, it is filled with an excellent selection of ghost/horror stories, from both widely recognized and less-known authors, creating a well-rounded presentation of chills and thrills. I currently have it as a coffee-table book, and it gets checked out every time we have people over. ( )
  randirousseau | Feb 14, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Bragg, BillIllustratorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Conan Doyle, ArthurContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Crawford, F. MarionContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dickens, CharlesContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Edwards, Amelia B.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gaskell, ElizabethContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
James, MRContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Stevenson, Robert LouisContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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This illustrated collection presents seven classically creepy stories from the Victorian era, in the same luxe format as Celtic Tales (Autumn 2016). Featuring well-known authors such as Charles Dickens and Elizabeth Gaskell, as well as masters of the ghost story such as M. R. James, this volume offers a taste of Victorian macabre to both devoted fans and newcomers to the genre. Artist Bill Bragg captures an atmospheric world of spectral shadows and creaky old manors with a full-page illustration for each tale.

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