A Haunted House by Virginia Woolf. - HTML preview
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A Haunted House
Categorie(s): Fiction, Occult & Supernatural, Supernatural Creatures, Ghost, Short Stories
Virginia Woolf (January 25, 1882 – March 28, 1941) was an English novelist and essayist regarded as one of the foremost modernist literary figures of the twentieth century. During the interwar period, Woolf was a significant figure in London literary society and a member of the Bloomsbury Group. Her most famous works include the novels Mrs Dalloway (1925), To the Lighthouse (1927), and Orlando (1928), and the book-length essay A Room of One's Own (1929) with its famous dictum,
"a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction".
Also available on Feedbooks for Woolf:
• To the Lighthouse (1927)
• Mrs. Dalloway (1925)
• The Waves (1931)
• Mrs Dalloway in Bond Street (1923)
• Between the Acts (1941)
• The New Dress (1927)
• The Mark on the Wall (1917)
• The Duchess and the Jeweller (1938)
• The Years (1937)
• An Unwritten Novel (1920) Copyright: This work is available for countries where copyright is
Life+70 and in the USA.
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Whatever hour you woke there was a door shunting. From room to room they went, hand in hand, lifting here, opening there, making sure—a ghostly couple.
"Here we left it," she said. And he added, "Oh, but here too!" "It's upstairs," she murmured. "And in the garden," he whispered "Quietly,"
they said, "or we shall wake them."
But it wasn't that you woke us. Oh, no. "They're looking for it; they're drawing the curtain," one might say, and so read on a page or two. "Now they've found it," one would be certain, stopping the pencil on the mar-gin. And then, tired of reading, one might rise and see for oneself, the house all empty, the doors standing open, only the wood pigeons bubbling with content and the hum of the threshing machine sounding from the farm. "What did I come in here for? What did I want to find?" My hands were empty. "Perhaps it's upstairs then?" The apples were in the loft. And so down again, the garden still as ever, only the book had slipped into the grass.
But they had found it in the drawing room. Not that one could ever see them. The window panes reflected apples, reflected roses; all the leaves were green in the glass. If they moved in the drawing room, the apple only turned its yellow side. Yet, the moment after, if the door was opened, spread about the floor, hung upon the walls, pendant from the ceiling—what? My hands were empty. The shadow of a thrush crossed the carpet; from the deepest wells of silence the wood pigeon drew its bubble of sound. "Safe, safe, safe," the pulse of the house beat softly. "The treasure buried; the room… " the pulse stopped short. Oh, was that the buried treasure?
A moment later the light had faded. Out in the garden then? But the trees spun darkness for a wandering beam of sun. So fine, so rare, coolly sunk beneath the surface the beam I sought always burnt behind the glass. Death was the glass; death was between us; coming to the woman first, hundreds of years ago, leaving the house, sealing all the windows; the rooms were darkened. He left it, left her, went North, went East, saw the stars turned in the Southern sky; sought the house, found it dropped beneath the Downs. "Safe, safe, safe," the pulse of the house beat gladly.
"The Treasure yours."
The wind roars up the avenue. Trees stoop and bend this way and that. Moonbeams splash and spill wildly in the rain. But the beam of the lamp falls straight from the window. The candle burns stiff and still.
Wandering through the house, opening the windows, whispering not to wake us, the ghostly couple seek their joy.
"Here we slept," she says. And he adds, "Kisses without number."
"Waking in the morning—" "Silver between the trees—" "Upstairs—" "In the garden—" "When summer came—" "In winter snowtime—" The doors go shutting far in the distance, gently knocking like the pulse of a heart.
Nearer they come; cease at the doorway. The wind falls, the rain slides silver down the glass. Our eyes darken; we hear no steps beside us; we see no lady spread her ghostly cloak. His hands shield the lantern.
"Look," he breathes. "Sound asleep. Love upon their lips."
Stooping, holding their silver lamp above us, long they look and deeply. Long they pause. The wind drives straightly; the flame stoops slightly. Wild beams of moonlight cross both floor and wall, and, meet-ing, stain the faces bent; the faces pondering; the faces that search the sleepers and seek their hidden joy.
"Safe, safe, safe," the heart of the house beats proudly. "Long years—"
he sighs. "Again you found me." "Here," she murmurs, "sleeping; in the garden reading; laughing, rolling apples in the loft. Here we left our treasure—" Stooping, their light lifts the lids upon my eyes. "Safe! safe!
safe!" the pulse of the house beats wildly. Waking, I cry "Oh, is this your buried treasure? The light in the heart."
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Mrs Dalloway (published on 14 May 1925) is a novel by Virginia Woolf that details a day in the life of Clarissa Dalloway in post-World War I England. Mrs Dalloway continues to be one of
Woolf's best-known novels.
Created from two short stories, "Mrs Dalloway in Bond Street" and the unfinished "The Prime Minister", the novel's story is of Clarissa's preparations for a party of which she is to be hostess.
With the interior perspective of the novel, the story travels for-wards and back in time, and in and out of the characters' minds, to construct a complete image of Clarissa's life and of the inter-war social structure.
To the Lighthouse (5 May 1927) is a novel by Virginia Woolf. A landmark novel of high modernism, the text, centering on the
Ramsay family and their visits to the Isle of Skye in Scotland between 1910 and 1920, skillfully manipulates temporality and psychological exploration.
To the Lighthouse follows and extends the tradition of modernist novelists like Marcel Proust and James Joyce, where the plot is sec-ondary to philosophical introspection, and the prose can be wind-ing and hard to follow. The novel includes little dialogue and al-most no action; most of it is written as thoughts and observations.
The novel recalls the power of childhood emotions and highlights the impermanence of adult relationships. One of the book's several themes is the ubiquity of transience.
One of Woolf’s most experimental novels, The Waves presents six characters in monologue - from morning until night, from childhood into old age - against a background of the sea. The result is a glorious chorus of voices that exists not to remark on the passing of events but to celebrate the connection between its various indi-vidual parts.
In Woolf’s last novel, the action takes place on one summer’s day at a country house in the heart of England, where the villagers are presenting their annual pageant. A lyrical, moving valedictory.
The Canterville Ghost is a popular 1887 novella by Oscar Wilde, widely adapted for the screen and stage.
“The Canterville Ghost” is a parody featuring a dramatic spirit named Sir Simon and the United States minister (ambassador) to the Court of St. James's, Hiram B. Otis. Mr. Otis travels to England with his family and moves into a haunted country house. Lord
Canterville, the previous owner of the house, warns Mr. Otis that the ghost of Sir Simon de Canterville has haunted it ever since he killed his wife, Eleonore, three centuries before. But Mr. Otis dis-misses the ghost story as bunk and disregards Lord Canterville’s warnings. When the Otises learn that the house is indeed haunted, they succeed in victimizing the ghost and in disregarding age-old British traditions. What emerges is a satire of American material-ism, a lampoon of traditional British values, and an amusing twist on the traditional gothic horror tale.
Food for the mind