The Turn of the Screw

The Turn of the Screw

&, In the Cage

Book - 2001
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This Modern Library Paperback Classics edition brings together one of literature's most famous ghost stories and one of Henry James's most unusual novellas. In The Turn of the Screw , a governess is haunted by ghosts from her young charges past; Virginia Woolf said of this masterpiece of psychological ambiguity and suggestion, We are afraid of something unnamed, of something, perhaps, in ourselves...Henry James...can still make us afraid of the dark.

In his rarely anthologized novella In the Cage , James brings his incomparable powers of observation to the story of a clever, rebellious heroine of Britain's lower middle class. Hortense Calisher, in her Introduction, calls it a delicious story, the more so because it confounds what we expect from James.
Publisher: New York : Random House, 2001
Edition: Modern Library pbk. ed
ISBN: 9780375757402
Branch Call Number: JAMES H
Characteristics: xx, 231 pages
Additional Contributors: James, Henry 1843-1916
Uniform Title: In the cage


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Mar 05, 2010

A young gentlewoman begins her career as a governess when a singularly dashing bachelor hires her to care for his little niece and nephew. All trust and responsibility is given over to the governess and she heads off to Bly, the country manor where the children are tucked away under the protection of the housekeeper Mrs. Grose. Little Flora and her brother Miles are so adorable and angelic as to be called exquisite; the governess is instantly enamored of their childish charms. But before she can become a slave to their every delightful little whim, the governess sees?something. A pale face pressed against the window, a dark figure on the other side of the lake. When, frightened and disturbed, she describes these mysterious watchers to Mrs. Grose, they are identified as Peter Quint and Miss Jessel?and the horror immediately grows, because not only are Quint and Miss Jessel bad, immoral people, but they are dead. Convinced that the children?s young souls have been corrupted by the evil influence of the obsessive spirits, our nerve-wracked governess must fight to save some remnant of goodness in the preternaturally perfect little darlings?even while the ghostly fiends strive to posses them. Published in 1898, The Turn of the Screw practically marked the invention of the psychological thriller. Author Henry James (1843-1916) weaves a masterful web of intense and atmospheric suspense and offers no convenient solutions to the mystery at Bly. A unique structure?an unnamed narrator is listening to a manuscript read by a fellow houseguest; the manuscript is told in first-person by the hapless governess?completes the casting of the spell; wrapped in these layers of storytelling, a reader can never be sure what?if anything?is real and what?if anything?is imagined. One thing is certain, however: The Turn of the Screw will keep you biting your nails, jumping at every noise, and absolutely glued to the page.


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