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The Turn of the Screw (1898)

by Henry James

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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7,7972411,072 (3.41)871
Classic Literature. Fiction. HTML:

The Turn of the Screw is s ghostly Gothic tale by Henry James. A masterpiece in ambivalence and the uncanny, The Turn of the Screw tells the story of a young woman who is hired as governess to two seemingly innocent children in an isolated country house. As the tale progresses she begins to see the ghost of her dead predecessor. Or does she? The story is so ambivalent and eerie, such a psychological thriller, that few can agree on exactly what takes place. James masters "the strange and sinister embroidered on the very type of the normal and easy" in this chilling Victorian classic.

.… (more)
  1. 81
    The Yellow Wallpaper [short fiction] by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (SandSing7)
  2. 50
    The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson (Nickelini)
    Nickelini: Both have an unreliable narrator, which results in an ambiguous story.
  3. 40
    Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë (hazzabamboo)
  4. 30
    The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters (alalba)
  5. 20
    The Magus by John Fowles (WSB7)
    WSB7: Appearances also arise, and many more turns of the screw.
  6. 21
    Old People and The Things That Pass by Louis Couperus (pingdjip)
    pingdjip: A Dutch classic. Like The Turn of the Screw it's about restraining, silencing, suppressing a truth that nevertheless manifests itself in subtle ways. But unlike The Turn of the Screw it's actually a very good read.
  7. 10
    Carmilla: A Vampyre Tale by Sheridan Le Fanu (HollyMS)
  8. 00
    In a Glass Darkly by Sheridan Le Fanu (HollyMS)
  9. 01
    LibrarythingEmily: The story was not so long but I still remember the story. It is very different from the real story but this difference makes it more haunted. I won't tell you if you should read it or not. But I can tell the person who doesn't read it will miss a lot.… (more)
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English (221)  Spanish (5)  Swedish (2)  Dutch (2)  French (2)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Hungarian (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Danish (1)  Italian (1)  Catalan (1)  Vietnamese (1)  All languages (239)
Showing 1-5 of 221 (next | show all)
Rereading and thoroughly enjoying, though it is unsettling! ( )
  lschiff | Sep 24, 2023 |
The Turn of the Screw is a classic horror novel that will intrigue you and leave you utterly confused.

I had to read this for an English class, which let me tell ya is quite the delight. I liked hearing what the Professor had to say about this book because WOW. This book leaves the ending up to you (to a degree). It's not one of those books that has a clear cut ending. Honestly, I'm left more confused than I would like to be. I hate cliffhanger endings, so this book had me sitting all grumpy and annoyed.

So, we have these guys telling a story from a Governess a long time ago. The one guy might have loved her so already we may have an unreliable narrator on our hands. This guy starts telling the story that was written in a manuscript that has basically been hidden away for a long time. The woman, an untrained governess, goes to a mysterious house with two kids and some housekeepers there. She's to teach these kids well for the unseen Master and make them learn lots of stuff. That's all fine and dandy, right? Wrong.

Something is weird about this place. There may be ghosts, the kids are kinda weird and the main character is suspicious (insert Among Us quote here). What's the actual evil in this book? The creepy ghosts that may be actual ghosts or may just be this woman's imagination? Is there something supernatural in this place? Is the unnamed woman governess just actually crazy? Maybe the kids are evil and doing it to spite her! Who. Knows. Also, is Miles (the young boy) trying to sleep with his teacher? That's not weird or anything... He's like, 10.

So, to go on, this governess wants to protect the kids but seems to be acting crazier and crazier. And, eventually everything turns sour and her protective ways aren't all that protecting.

What happened? You get to choose! It's like a choose your own ending novel because the book is very subjective.

The most interesting part is: If you've read Jane Eyre, this book is an intertext. It actually references Jane Eyre a lot and uses a lot of the themes and devices it uses. An untrained Governess trying to teach a child (or children) while trying to please a master. Gothic inter texts are super cool and picking these two apart has been super fun. It's not something you'd pick up right away, which makes it way more interesting.

Overall, this spooky gothic tale is really interesting! The ending is very subjective depending on the other books you've read in the genre and how much of the references you pick up.

Four out of five stars. ( )
  Briars_Reviews | Aug 4, 2023 |
Een intrigerend boek, maar niet een die ik snel aan iedereen zou aanraden. Traag tempo, een heldin die echt rare gedachtesprongen maakt en volgens mij geestelijk gestoord is en twee geesten die blijkbaar zeer sinister zijn, maar die eigenlijk niets anders doen dan soms verschijnen en dan boosaardig kijken. Het einde is dan wel weer zeer interessant en roept heel wat vragen op. Maar als je niet van abrupte eindes houdt is dit geen boek voor jou. Toch ben ik blij dat ik het gelezen heb. Ik heb me het hele boek door afgevraagd wat er echt waar was en wat niet en het einde versterkte dat nog. En ik hou van boeken die me laten nadenken.
( )
  weaver-of-dreams | Aug 1, 2023 |
Puoi trovare questa recensione anche sul mio blog, La siepe di more

Il giro di vite racconta una storia di fantasmi e devo dire che la prima volta che uno di loro ha fatto la sua apparizione a una finestra me la sono fatta sotto: sembrava proprio il tipo di romanzo che mi avrebbe riempito di inquietudine e fatto venire la pelle d’oca.

Invece con il proseguimento della lettura al posto del turbamento ho sentito crescere lo sconcerto: questa giovane istitutrice, alla cui cura sono affidatu Flora e Miles, inizia a dire che ci sono due fantasmi che vogliono corrompere e far fare cose terribili alla bambina e al bambino e a imbastire tutta una storia sulla precedente istitutrice e al maggiordomo, che infesterebbero la casa dopo essere mortu in circostanze misteriose.

Solo che queste presenze vengono viste solo dall’istitutrice e non ci sono prove della loro esistenza, e nemmeno della storia torbida che dovrebbe giustificarne la presenza nella casa. So che l’incertezza riguardo alla ricostruzione degli eventi fa parte del fascino di questo romanzo, ma il mio cervello scettico è partito in quarta con la convinzione che la lucidità mentale dell’istitutrice stesse vacillando.

A questo si aggiunge il fatto che il suo rapporto con Miles ha iniziato a sembrarmi più spaventoso di qualunque apparizione soprannaturale e c’è chi ipotizza che l’istitutrice sia una narratrice inaffidabile, i fantasmi una proiezione psicotica e una storia sui danni della repressione sessuale dell’epoca vittoriana.

Immagino sia il tipo di romanzo al quale si dà un’interpretazione diversa in base alle proprie convinzioni e caratteristiche: essendo io molto terra, terra, non riesco a vederci granché di soprannaturale, ma, se lo avete letto, sono curiosa di sapere cosa ve n’è parso a voi. ( )
  kristi_test_02 | Jul 28, 2023 |
Five years ago, I couldn't get through twenty pages of this. I'm giving James another chance. Not sure why.

Well, it was readable this time, once I got used to James's style. I did rather enjoy his almost-Miltonic sentences, though he inconsistently used them. He liked the word "literally" a bit much for my taste. As to the story, it ultimately fell short of being comprehensible: almost no answers given in the sort of book that relies on its interest in large part on the mysteries being explained and resolved to one degree or another. Really, James seems to have written a novella and pasted on a short-story's ending. ( )
1 vote judeprufrock | Jul 4, 2023 |
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Det rör sig om en av världslitteraturens otäckaste berättelser. Otäck inte bara för att det som händer är otäckt utan för att man inte riktigt vet vad som händer – och har hänt.

» Add other authors (452 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
James, Henryprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Armitage, RichardNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Benjamin, VanessaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Binnendijk-Paauw, M.G.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bromwich, DavidIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bromwich, DavidEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Buckley, RamónTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cialente, FaustaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fyhr, MattiasPrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harrison, B. J.Narratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hazenberg, AnneliesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Horne, PhilipContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Judge, PhoebeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Klingberg, OlaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lydis, MarietteIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rawlins, PenelopeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thompson, EmmaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Van Doren, CarlIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vance, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Warburg, John CimonCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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First words
'The Turn of the Screw' holds a unique place in the canon of Henry James's fiction. (Introduction)
This perfectly independent and irresponsible little fiction rejoices, beyond any rival on a like ground, in a conscious provision of prompt retort to the sharpest question that may be addressed to it. (Preface)
The story had held us, round the fire, sufficiently breathless, but except the obvious remark that it was gruesome, as, on Christmas Eve in an old house, a strange tale should essentially be, I remember no comment uttered till somebody happened to say that it was the only case he had met in which such a visitation had fallen on a child.
She was a magnificent monument to the blessing of a want of imagination...
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Do not combine with any adaptions, films, etc.
First published 1898, in 12 instalments in Collier's Weekly, later that year included in The Two Magics.
Publisher's editors
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References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Classic Literature. Fiction. HTML:

The Turn of the Screw is s ghostly Gothic tale by Henry James. A masterpiece in ambivalence and the uncanny, The Turn of the Screw tells the story of a young woman who is hired as governess to two seemingly innocent children in an isolated country house. As the tale progresses she begins to see the ghost of her dead predecessor. Or does she? The story is so ambivalent and eerie, such a psychological thriller, that few can agree on exactly what takes place. James masters "the strange and sinister embroidered on the very type of the normal and easy" in this chilling Victorian classic.


No library descriptions found.

Book description
A very young woman's first job: governess for two weirdly beautiful, strangely distant, oddly silent children, Miles and Flora, at a forlorn estate ...

Half-seen figures who glare from dark towers and dusty windows - silent, foul phantoms who, day by day, night by night, come closer, ever closer. With growing horror, the helpless governess realizes the fiendish creatures want the children. Seeking to corrupt their bodies, possess their minds, own their souls.

But worse - much worse - the governess discovers that Miles and Flora have no terror of the lurking evil.
For they want the talking dead as badly as the dead want them.
Haiku summary
Such lovely little
children – but hark!, I think they
commune with spirits!

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