Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

"The Last of the Squire of Ennismore" by Charlotte Riddell-Irish Short Story Week

"The Last of the Squire of Ennismore"  by Charlotte Riddell (1888, five pages)

Day Nine
Ghost Stories
Charlotte Riddell

Charlotte Riddell (born Carrickfergus, County Antrim, Ireland-1832 to 1906) was the daughter of a high sheriff.    She wrote seven novels and a large number of short stories.    I think only a few of her ghost or supernatural short stories are still much read.    There is a long tradition of ghost stories in Ireland,  either fiction, folklore or believed true stories.   Any country with as tragic a history as Ireland is bound to have a lot of ghosts.     Ghosts are generally thought to be the spirit of a deceased person or animal that can make it self visible and felt by the living.   (The best ghost story I have read since I began my blog 20 months ago is "Aghwee the Sky Monster by Kenzaburo Oe).

"The Last of the Squire Ennismore" is a very well done, very atmospheric story.     Squire Ennismore has just returned to his estate on the coast  of Ireland, after a stay of years in London.   He is seventy years old but is in perfect health and can ride in the hunt just like a man of thirty.    He has an evil reputation as a man given to every kind of vice imaginable.   It is rumored that he had to leave London as he had committed an act so vile even his totally corrupt circle of acquaintances can no longer accept him.    There is a mentally ill woman living on his property.   There is an old house thought to be haunted that once used to be very splendid.   He pays the woman a good fee to live in the house.    She begins to experience all kind of strange things and hear all sort of sounds.    She leaves the squires land in terror.

One day a good size merchant ship hits a rock off the coast of the squire's land.    As the bodies begin to float it (and we have to take this as a bit xenophobic, at least) they are observed to be dark and they have strange looking crosses around their necks.    After some conversations, the priests declares they must be Christians and he gives them burial.  

Then a very strange man is seen walking the coast at night.    Everyone fears him but the squire.   He and the squire becomes friends.    They are heard talking in a language no can understand or even recognize.

I want other to have the change to discover this story for themselves so I will not tell more of the plot.

"The Last of the Squire of Ennismore" is another memorable Irish Short Story.

I will keep the week open for participants for two or three days but I think this will be the last day I will post for the already extended week.   It has been great fun for me and very much a learning experience.   My greatest thanks to all those who participated.

Mel u

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