Ghost Story Review: "The Shadow in the Corner" by Mary Elizabeth Braddon

@msiduri (5750)
United States
July 4, 2016 6:29pm CST
Michael Bascom, the master of Wildheath Grange, is described thus: “At three-and-thirty [he] he seemed a middle-aged man; at fifty-six he looked and moved and spoke like an old man.” He’s spent his adult life quietly, secluded and devoted to scientific research. The house is the only thing the remains from a once extensive estate. Some years ago, Great-uncle Anthony Bascom lost everything but Wildheath. In despair, he (in the parlance of the time) is said to have destroyed himself in one of the bedrooms on the upper floor. He was refused Christian burial. Michael doesn’t bother with him much. One day while Michael is pondering the contents of a book, his butler Daniel Skegg approaches him. He’s not used to hearing him talk. But Skegg asks Michael to hire a girl for his wife who is getting on in years. More distracted than anything else, Michael agrees. A week after she arrives, Michael come across the girl, Maria for the first time. She is visibly upset. Grieving for her recently deceased father? Can’t take a little hard work? No, none of the above. At first she is reluctant to talk. The problem is she’s frightened of her room. Ostensibly a ghost story, this is more about the necessity of compassion and is a portrait of oppression built into the class system. This is incredibly sad, but it seems intended also to arouse anger. According to Wikipedia, author Mary Elizabeth Braddon was best known for her sensation novel Lady Audley’s Secret. She lived with the married publisher John Maxwell until the death of his wife who’d been confined to an insane asylum. In 1866, she founded Belgravia, a magazine dedicated to serializations of novels, travel pieces, poetry and among other types of works. The text of the short story is available at the link below: _____ Title: “The Shadow in the Corner” Author: Mary Elizabeth Braddon (1835-1915) First published: All Year Round Summer 1879 Source: ISFDB
Mary Elizabeth Braddon was a Victorian era romantic writer, who was skilled at spinning a chilling tale. Here we present The Shadow in the Corner
4 people like this
4 responses
@teamfreak16 (41181)
• Colorado Springs, Colorado
8 Jul 16
No offense if I don't read a couple of these. Trying to catch up here as well as a few things around the house, as well as sleep.
1 person likes this
@msiduri (5750)
• United States
8 Jul 16
Oh, of course not! Never! Especially not now when you're girlfriend has been ill. Hope she's doing better and you're catching up on your sleep.
1 person likes this
@teamfreak16 (41181)
• Colorado Springs, Colorado
8 Jul 16
@msiduri - Yes, thank you, she's home. Needs meds for her stomach, but they finally let her out.
1 person likes this
@msiduri (5750)
• United States
8 Jul 16
@teamfreak16 Glad she's home. Hope you can both get some rest.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (123286)
• Bunbury, Australia
8 Jul 16
Some of the authors are just as interesting as the books they write, aren't they?
1 person likes this
@msiduri (5750)
• United States
8 Jul 16
Yes. The stories don't come from vacuums.
1 person likes this
@JohnRoberts (57051)
• Los Angeles, California
5 Jul 16
This sounds like an interesting Victoria tale. I have heard of Lady Audley's Secret which has been filmed several times.
1 person likes this
@msiduri (5750)
• United States
5 Jul 16
I've heard of Lady's Audley's Secret but have not read it. I probably will get to it, maybe even in this incarnation.
@jaboUK (53936)
• United Kingdom
4 Jul 16
Sounds like an interesting story, and her private life sounds interesting too. Living with a man was a bit scandalous in Victorian times.
1 person likes this