Unlike most ghost story writers, Mary Louisa Molesworth does not want to make you wake up screaming in the middle of the night. You may wake up with a shiver, but you'll also wake wake up feeling thoughtful, musing on how the mysteries of love, compassion, and memory can extend themselves into the realm of the supernatural.
We have the pleasure of presenting not only three more stories by Mary Louisa herself, but also one by her son Bevil. The first story, "The Shadow in the Moonlight", is one of her scariest. A plucky young lady and her brothers confront a ghost that brings the cold of death. Can they resist? The second story, "At The Dip In The Road", is classic Molesworth - a sudden, mysterious encounter that leaves us with unanswerable questions of life and death. In "Old Gervais", we encounter a different sort of ghost - one that cares very much about work left unfinished and clients left unsatisfied.
In this set of "Uncanny Tales," Mary Louisa Molesworth deftly makes us feel the shiver of ghostly mystery without actually giving us a ghost! Or, to put it another way, she's interested in a different kind of ghostly presence. In "The Man with the Cough", it is the ghostly presence of a secret agent, and the ghostly experience of events that seem like a dream, but have real-world consequences. In "Halfway Between the Stiles", it is the ghostly presence of old memories of love that will not die away, and again, the real world responds. In "Will Not Take Place", it is a man who almost becomes a ghost.