Bewitched by Edith Wharton (1926)
Tuesday’s Tale of Terror, February 3, 2015 Classic Tales from Women In Horror
It’s February, Women in Horror Month. This is the time to recognize your favorite women horror writers, buy their books, read their stories, comment, and give your support. As a horror reader and author myself, especially ghost stories, I so enjoy sharing my favorite women authors in our history with you this month.
Today we are recognizing Edith Wharton. She wrote 38 novels, some 50 short stories, and wrote her first novel at age 11. Did you know that Wharton could not sleep in a room with a book containing a ghost story? She was that haunted. I think we can say that a good deal of her ghost stories evolved from a true and immediate sense of the supernatural. She is one of our most prestigious Women of Horror.
Bewitched is a story that has everything for a winter’s bleak reading experience. We are on the dark side of New England. A stinging wind with snow is falling thickly upon the old and isolated Rutledge house in Starkfield, an abandoned stretch of land between North Ashmore and Cold Corners.
Prudence Rutledge is dressed in black calico and a grey woolen shawl. She tells her three visitors at the door …
“There’s a spell been cast over Mr. Rutledge.”
The Deacon looked up sharply, an incredulous smile pinching his thin lips. “A spell?”
“That’s what I said: he’s bewitched.”
Mrs. Rutledge is accusing her husband Saul of adultery with the dead woman Ora Brand.
This is more than just any old haunting. We’ve got adultery and necrophilia and insanity going on. And more.
This Pulitzer-prize winning (The Age of Innocence) author is known for her patterns of imagery and psychological insights. What is so amazing about Wharton’s writing is that you can read her stories again and again and still find them deliciously haunting. You can read more about her ghostly history at The Mount, her home in Lennox, Massachusetts, where ghosts are said to still haunt her property: http://www.edithwharton.org/programs-and-events/ghosts/
Read Bewitched at Ebook.Adelaide.edu
I couldn’t find an audio version of Bewitched but did find Tales of Men and Ghosts, which includes several of Wharton’s ghost stories. I can personally recommend “The Eyes” and “Afterward.”
Listen to the audio version of Bewitched at Librivox.org
For more about Women in Horror Month, visit their web site
Stop by the Horror Society this month to see their tribute to Women In Horror
Other Reading Web Sites to Visit
For Authors/Writers: The Writer Unboxed
Don’t forget to view the INDEX above of more free Tales of Terror classic authors.