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7+ Works 294 Membros 9 Reviews

About the Author

Includes the name: Tanya Kirk

Obras de Tanya Kirk

Spirits of the Season: Christmas Hauntings (2018) — Editor — 81 cópias
Chill Tidings: Dark Tales of the Christmas Season (2020) — Editor — 72 cópias
The Haunted Library: Classic Ghost Stories (2016) — Editor — 42 cópias
Diaries 1 exemplar(es)

Associated Works

Which Way? (1931) — Prefácio, algumas edições35 cópias
Mamma (1955) — Prefácio, algumas edições33 cópias


Conhecimento Comum

United Kingdom



This is the third in the British Library Tales of the Weird series following on from “Spirits of the Season” and “Chill Tidings”. It is a first-class collection that includes some obscure and better-known tales, presented in chronological order running between first publication in 1893 up to 1974. The anthology brings together well-known and undiscovered authors, each of whom provides an excellent tale around one traditional Christmas or winter trope or other. So, plenty of snowy scenes, haunted rooms, strange blizzards, ghostly revenge, Alpine weirdness, and familiar Dickensian narratives. Unique for such a collection every one of the stories works really well and delivers its own particular frisson. My favourite, however, would have to be Daphne Du Maurier’s “The Apple Tree”, a brilliantly wrought feminist revenge tale that is full of metaphor and brilliantly constructed gendered stereotypes. It revolves around an unnamed widower, whose wife Midge has recently passed away, much to the widower’s quiet delight. One morning, however, he observes a resemblance between a stooped, withered apple tree in his garden and his dead wife. As the time and the seasons pass the widower becomes more obsessed and angrier at the resemblance and becomes convinced that he must chop the tree down. “The Apple Tree” is a great story of unreliable narration and carefully chosen information that requires the reader to fill in the gaps. It is a true delight – thoughtful, creepy, chilling, haunting and a superbly sketched portrait of lives led in quiet desperation.… (mais)
calum-iain | 1 outra resenha | Jan 6, 2023 |
''There was a little snow on the ground, and the church clock had just struck midnight. Hampstead in the night of winter for once was looking pretty, with clean, white earth and lamps for moon, and dark sky above the lamps.''

The Phantom Coach (Amelia B. Edwards): A young man finds shelter from the cold night in a strange house before he braves the darkness of the moor and a coach with peculiar passengers.

Jerry Bundler (W.W.Jacobs): A lively company finds shelter in a public house and spends the time narrating ghost stories. But the real terror becomes tangible when they learn the story of the inn. A rather unique, chilling tale that seemed destined to become an excellent play to be performed during Christmas.

Bone to His Bone (E. G. Swain): The new vicar makes a strange discovery, aided by a spirit residing in the library.

Oberon Road (A. M. Burrage): A ''trippy'' version of A Christmas carol in which a strange neighbourhood becomes a likely counterfeit for Paradise.

The Last Laugh (D. H. Lawrence): The aetherial heroine of this eerie story is haunted (or is she?) by an uncanny, ''masculine'' laughter tracing her steps in a strange, wintry London. A fascinating story that poses a dozen questions.

Dr. Browing's Bus (E. S. Knights): Ghosts are lurking in the storm and a bus is full of unfortunate souls...

Whittington's Cat (Eleanor Smith): It's a traditional Christmas pantomime. What could possibly go wrong?

''Right above her now hung the gargoyles, peering down at her. Behind them the sun was setting in clouds, soft and humid as winter sunsets can only be in Somerset. She was standing in front of a tiny door studded with nails. The doorway was the oldest part of the church of Cloud Martin. It dated back to Saxon days; and the shrivelled bits of blackened, leather-like stuff, still clinging to some of the nails, were said to be the skins of heathens flayed alive.''

The Earlier Service (Margaret Irwin): Cryptic Latin inscriptions, ghostly figures, Black Masses...You can't get any more British Gothic than this exquisite story.

Christmas Honeymoon (Howard Spring): A young couple wants to spend Christmas Eve in mythical Cornwall. But what they find is an eerie, silent land...A superb story which reminded me of Robert Aickman's work.

The Cheery Soul (Elizabeth Bowen): Do not disturb the spirit of the faithful cook of the house.

Between Sunset and Moonrise (R. H. Malden): Set in the mystical land of the fens, this is the story of a vicar troubled and haunted by shadows in the fog. A wintry tale that will leave you shivering.

The Mirror in Room 22 (James Hadley Chase): A haunted mirror and a dog that is only heard barking three days before Christmas trouble the Air Force officers who spend Christmas in an old cottage, now used as a mess. A chilling, cryptic story.

At the Chalet Lartrec (Winston Graham): A tragic story of love, survival, vengeance and treachery tracing the years before and after WWII with a shocking ending.

Account Rendered (W. F. Harvey): A strange patient asks to be fully anaesthetised at a specific time on a specific day without having the need for an operation. One of the most unique ''weird'' stories I've ever read.

The Wild Wood (Mildred Clingerman): The hunt for THE perfect Christmas tree provides the backdrop in a story of desire and secrets. Clingerman's tale is a true puzzle that I couldn't fully grasp, yet thoroughly enjoyed.

The Waits (L. P. Hartley): A family is disturbed by two carol singers that refuse to take the money and go away. Another mysterious (and darkly exciting) story that provides a plethora of questions.

Deadman's Corner (George Denby): A rather humorous, traditional story about a spectral highwayman.

Don't Tell Cissie (Celia Fremlin): A group of old friend decides to explore a supposedly haunted cottage without telling their unfortunate, accident-prone, infuriating friend. But Cissie will not be dissuaded or fooled. A tender, moving story about these strange friendships that exhaust us until we lose them completely. A beautiful tale to end a fascinating collection.

Marvellously introduced and edited by Tanya Kirk.

''Should you find yourself sitting by an open fire this Christmas, look into the flames and perhaps you will see a spooky shape or two, flickering there..''

Tanya Kirk

P.S. Spending 2023 anxiously waiting for the next volume of Christmas Ghost stories by British Library.

My reviews can also be found on
… (mais)
1 vote
AmaliaGavea | Dec 29, 2022 |
I really enjoyed this collection of ghost stories, collected by Tanya Kirk, a curator for The British Library. She wrote a nice introduction to the collection and talked about the tradition of telling ghost stories on Christmas Eve, which was popular with the Victorians. It was something we did this year with a friend, and it was fun, so we hope to make it a tradition. This collection has several contenders for a good read-aloud for next year.
Kirk wrote an introduction to each story, talking briefly about the author’s life. I was struck by how so many of them were writing to make ends meet and support their families. I always think of making a profit from writing as an eventual reward after a combination of persistence and luck, not a job to do because you need money. I thought of it more as something you want to do—or feel you can’t not do—and hopefully, eventually, you share your creation with the world and maybe support yourself with it, but maybe not. Anyway, it seems like writing was approached at least somewhat differently by these writers, many of whom wrote for magazines in the late 1800s.
It took me a couple of weeks to pick away at this, so here’s the rundown the best I can remember:

A Strange Christmas Game, by Charlotte Riddell 3.5 stars
Quick little ditty with a likeable narrator, some ghosts, and a little twist at the end.

The Old Portrait, by Hume Nisbet 4 stars
Sure, haunted portraits have been done before, but this one still snuck up on me and got me!

The Real and the Counterfeit, by Louisa Baldwin 3.5 stars
This probably deserves more stars, but the grim, sudden ending made me mad at it.

Old Applejoy’s Ghost, by Frank R. Stockton 5 stars
This one had an irresistible spirit of joy and goodwill. Not all ghosts have to be scary, and this one was sweet.

Transition, by Algernon Blackwood 4 stars
This was familiar territory, but it was the friendliest lead-in I’ve ever seen to the dark revelation (I mean, not really—I think most readers will know where the story is going) at the end.

The Fourth Wall, by A.M. Burrage 5 stars
This was one of my favorites of the collection and at the top of my list to read out loud next Christmas Eve. It took a neat, original path to creating a nice spooky mood.

The Festival, by H.P. Lovecraft 4 stars
I’m not a big fan of weird horror, but I have to give it to Lovecraft—he sure knew how to make a reader’s skin crawl.

The Crown Derby Plate, by Marjorie Bowen 4 stars
Fun story about a china collector who gets more than she bargained for when she goes looking for the last piece of a set.

Green Holly, by Elizabeth Bowen 2 stars
Meh, my least favorite. I didn’t like any of the characters and didn’t care what happened to them.

Christmas Re-union, by Sir Andrew Caldecott 4 stars
A very ominous Santa Claus in this one, and I liked the setting and the idea of department stores sending out Santas to homes that had ordered them.

A Christmas Meeting, by Rosemary Timperley 5 stars
Short and sweet tale of two lonely souls making a connection on Christmas Eve.

Someone in the Lift, by L.P. Hartley 3 stars
I liked it until the ending.

Told After Supper, by Jerome K. Jerome 5 stars
This novelette made me laugh out loud so many times. It’s a clever satire of a bunch of different ghost story tropes, and reading it made me look forward to reading this author again. Loved it!
… (mais)
Harks | outras 2 resenhas | Dec 17, 2022 |
‘’At the edge of the dark sky, sprinkled with stars, a faint band of cold light heralded the rising moon. How different from the grey light of dawn, that ushers in the cheerful day, is the solemn rising of the moon in the depth of a winter night.’’

A Strange Christmas Game (Charlotte Riddell): Two siblings inherit a formidable estate and a ghost desperate for vengeance…

The Old Portrait (Hume Nisbet): Wonderfully atmospheric story. If portraits make you feel uncomfortable, this tale will justify your fear.

The Real and the Counterfeit (Louisa Baldwin): A practical joke goes horribly wrong in an estate haunted by the spirit of a Cistercian monk.

Old Applejoy’s Ghost (Frank R. Stockton): In this delightful story an ancestor’s ghost, heavily disappointed by the negligence of his descendant, takes it upon himself to restore Christmas in his estate in all its glory and a brilliant young woman becomes his invaluable assistant.

Transition (Algernon Blackwood): A man returns home, his arms bursting with Christmas presents for his beloved family. But things are not quite as expected… An astonishing story.

‘Do you know’, he said, ‘ that this room is just like a scene on the stage. Try and imagine that wall over there - the fourth wall I think it’s called - has been taken down. On the floor is a row of footlights. Beyond it’s all dark, and there is row after row of blurred faces.’

The Fourth Wall (A. M. Burrage): A jubilant company of young intellectuals decide to spend Christmas in a lovely cottage. However, they soon feel as if they are acting a part in front of an audience and a strange smell of smoke returns evening after evening. A brilliant, atmospheric story.

The Festival (H. P. Lovecraft): A man of controversial heritage returns to New England and attends a dark ritual. This story is as creepy and as Gothic as it gets.

‘’Martha Pym said that she had never seen a ghost and that she would very much like to do so, particularly at Christmas for you can laugh as you like, that is the correct time to see a ghost.’’

The Crown Derby Plate (Marjorie Bowen): You desperately want a Crown Derby plate that is missing from your set. You venture the moor in awful weather to meet the lady that holds your coveted treasure. A reclusive lady, strange, hostile even…
My God, what an incredible story! The atmosphere, the dialogue, the twists, the classic British aura! Marvellous!

Green Holly (Elizabeth Bowen): What if a ghost only returned out of loneliness and the deep wish to be loved? A classic Irish story by Bowen.

Christmas Re-Union (Andrew Caldecott): A Christmas cracker reveals the sins of the past in a story inspired by the work of M.R.James.

A Christmas Meeting (Rosemary Timperley): The haunted and the haunting find each other in a mesmerizing Christmas meeting.

‘There’s someone coming down in the lift, Mummy!’
‘No, my darling, you’re wrong, there isn’t.’
‘But I can see him through the bars - a tall gentleman.’
‘You think you can, but it’s only a shadow. Now, you’ll see, the lift’s empty.’
And it always was.’

Someone In The Lift (L.P.Hartley): I don’t know about you but lifts scare me to death, especially those old ones that make an awful, squeaky, screamy noise. This story makes excellent use of omens, premonitions and the theme of the Doppelganger, producing a striking result. Shocking and unforgettable.

Told After Supper (Jerome K.Jerome): A novelette that satirizes the tropes of the British Ghost story. I can’t say I appreciated this one, sorry.

P.S. Spending 2022 anxiously waiting for the next volume of Christmas Ghost stories by British Library.

‘’There was no pretence at flower-beds nor any manner of cultivation in this garden where a few rank weeds and straggling bushes matted together above the dead grass; on the enclosing wall, which appeared to have been built high as protection against the ceaseless winds that swung along the flats, where the remains of fruit trees; their crucified branches, rotting under the great nails that held them up, looked like the skeletons of those who had died in torment.’’

My reviews can also be found on
… (mais)
AmaliaGavea | outras 2 resenhas | Dec 30, 2021 |


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Associated Authors

Algernon Blackwood Contributor
A. M. Burrage Contributor
Elizabeth Bowen Contributor
Frank R. Stockton Contributor
Marjorie Bowen Contributor
M. R. James Contributor
Hugh Walpole Contributor
Amelia B. Edwards Contributor
L. P. Hartley Contributor
Margaret Irwin Contributor
E. G. Swain Contributor
B. M. Croker Contributor
Frank Cowper Contributor
F. Anstey Contributor
E. Nesbit Contributor
J. B. Priestley Contributor
E. F. Benson Contributor
H. P. Lovecraft Contributor
Hume Nisbet Contributor
Charlotte Riddell Contributor
Rosemary Timperley Contributor
Andrew Caldecott Contributor
Jerome K. Jerome Contributor
Louisa Baldwin Contributor
Mary Webb Contributor
A. N. L. Munby Contributor
H.D. Everett Contributor
Edith Wharton Contributor
Denis Mackail Contributor
May Sinclair Contributor
Frederick Manley Contributor
Margery Lawrence Contributor
W. J. Wintle Contributor
James Turner Contributor
Muriel Spark Contributor
Daphne Du Maurier Contributor
Lettice Galbraith Contributor
Robert Aickman Contributor
E. Temple Thurston Contributor
ES Knights Contributor
George Denby Contributor
D. H. Lawrence Contributor
Eleanor Smith Contributor
W. F. Harvey Contributor
Mildred Clingerman Contributor
Celia Fremlin Contributor
Howard Spring Contributor
W. W. Jacobs Contributor
James Hadley Chase Contributor
Winston Graham Contributor
EH Malden Contributor


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½ 4.3

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