Philobiblon: A nice little Gothic ghost tale

Saturday, March 04, 2006

A nice little Gothic ghost tale

My retroblogger, Miss Williams Wynn, is today heading back firmly into the Gothic with the Ricketts ghost story.

It has all of the usualy elements - an evil butler (of course the butler "dun it") and a bit of aristocratic incest, resulting in a baby disposed of in a grisly manner, and a child scared for life by hearing the tale while hiding behind a curtain to eavesdrop on adult conversation.

While it was written down earlier, it is interesting that Victorians - albeit early Victorians - were so ready to print the gorier events of the tale, and with little attempt to disguise what is going on.

This doesn't seem to be on the web elsewhere, although perhaps that's not surprising since by the time Miss Williams Wynn is writing it down the house has been demolished. (It is said to be "between Alton and Alresford", which are in Hampshire, I believe. Today you can cycle between them.)


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