Tag Archives: christmas tale

Told After Supper (1891) by Jerome K. Jerome

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“It was Christmas Eve! Christmas Eve at my Uncle John’s; Christmas Eve (There is too much ‘Christmas Eve’ about this book. I can see that myself. It is beginning to get monotonous even to me. But I don’t see how to avoid it now.) at No. 47 Laburnham Grove, Tooting! Christmas Eve in the dimly-lighted (there was a gas-strike on) front parlour…”

Jerome K. Jerome’s parody of the Victorian ghost story is set on Christmas Eve (as the quotation above may have made clear!) and involves the increasingly discruntled narrator’s attempts to turn a series of tales told by his family and friends into a traditional collection of popular chillers – only to be confounded by unforeseen and disappointingly prosaic obstacles.

Filled with nearly a hundred illustrations by Kenneth M. Skeaping, the original volume is a thing of beauty and is available to view online at the Internet Archive.

Told After Supper [Kindle]

Told After Supper [Epub]

Told After Supper [PDF]

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The Castle and the Abbey – A Christmas Tale (1846)

Back Entrance of Caldicot Castle, South Wales, engraved by J. Greig published 1811 by Edward Dayes 1763-1804

This little-known Gothic novel was published anonymously at Maidstone in 1846 by J.V. Hall and Son (presumably for the Christmas market). A curious mixture of the Gothic narratives of Ann Radcliffe and the ‘silver fork’ novels so popular in the 1840s, it tells the story of a persecuted heroine whose happy marriage to the handsome young heir of Beaulieu Abbey is threatened by the appearance of the terrible spectre of the Black Monk. Meanwhile, her companion and childhood friend, Cecilia Herbert, has to deal with the sufferings of her mad half-sister. Eventually, the supernatural elements of the novel are rationalised in Radcliffian fashion – but not before a sensational family secret has been revealed.

The Castle and the Abbey [Kindle]

The Castle and the Abbey [Epub]

The Castle and the Abbey [PDF]

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