A Ghostly Gallery

ebook / ISBN-13: 9781399603416

Price: £4.99

ON SALE: 5th October 2023

Genre: Fiction & Related Items

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The stories in A Ghostly Gallery were written over a period of sixty years, the whole length of Joan Aiken’s writing career; some appeared in her very first collections of what her father Conrad Aiken called “Twentieth century Fairy stories for the young of all ages.”

Stories include A Roomful of Leaves, where a boy escapes an unbearable family and disappears into the Elizabethan past, and the luminously uplifting Watkyn Comma about a ghost mouse who rescues a lonely heroine. These stories often inspired by dreams and myths are written to comfort and console. Some appeared in anthologies, such as a Pan Ghost Book, or in her own collections for younger readers, which came out in England and America. As she moved away from overtly scary stories towards the end of her life, these are her gentler tales of mystery and imagination.

Two of the stories have not previously appeared in an Aiken collection.
Dancing in the Air, and Lungewater


For sheer charm it's hard to beat these wonderful, dead-pan comic tales ... with ghosts, witches, time travel and every sort of magic
Joan Aiken has established herself as one of the leading purveyors of suspense
Joan Aiken's triumph with this genre is that she does it so much better than others
Joan Aiken is already esteemed as a modern inventor, easily blending the old supernatural with the homely and matter of fact ... always exhilarating, often brilliant
Sophisticated, spritely satire and the darker moods of literary fairy tales ... typically the wicked meet with fitting fates and the innocent triumph, though for Aiken, a good death counts as a happy ending
Joan Aiken's stories captivated readers for fifty years. They're funny, smart, gentle, and occasionally very, very scary
In "The People in the Castle," Aiken tells a ghost story that is also a love story, and both are perfect
She plays with the contrast between the eldritch and modern culture and technology: ghosts and dead kings out of legend who contact the living by telephone, a doctor who writes prescriptions for fairies, a fairy princess who's fond of Westerns. Her metaphors and similes surprise and delight