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The Canterville Ghost

The Canterville Ghost


The Canterville Ghost

ratings:
3/5 (429 ratings)
Length:
63 pages
1 hour
Publisher:
Released:
Apr 8, 2015
ISBN:
9786155564833
Format:
Book

Description

THE CANTERVILLE GHOST


"AN AMUSING CHRONICLE OF THE TRIBULATIONS OF THE GHOST OF CANTERVILLE CHASE
WHEN HIS ANCESTRAL HALLS BECAME THE HOME OF THE AMERICAN MINISTER TO THE COURT OF ST. JAMES


When Mr. Hiram B. Otis, the American Minister, bought Canterville Chase, every one told him he was doing a very foolish thing, as there was no doubt at all that the place was haunted. Indeed, Lord Canterville himself, who was a man of the most punctilious honour, had felt it his duty to mention the fact to Mr. Otis when they came to discuss terms.


"We have not cared to live in the place ourselves," said Lord Canterville, "since my grandaunt, the Dowager Duchess of Bolton, was frightened into a fit, from which she never really recovered, by two skeleton hands being placed on her shoulders as she was dressing for dinner, and I feel bound to tell you, Mr. Otis, that the ghost has been seen by several living members of my family, as well as by the rector of the parish, the Rev. Augustus Dampier, who is a Fellow of King's College, Cambridge. After the unfortunate accident to the Duchess, none of our younger servants would stay with us, and Lady Canterville often got very little sleep at night, in consequence of the mysterious noises that came from the corridor and the library."


"My Lord," answered the Minister, "I will take the furniture and the ghost at a valuation. I have come from a modern country, where we have everything that money can buy; and with all our spry young fellows painting the Old World red, and carrying off your best actors and prima-donnas, I reckon that if there were such a thing as a ghost in Europe, we'd have it at home in a very short time in one of our public museums, or on the road as a show."


"I fear that the ghost exists," said Lord Canterville, smiling, "though it may have resisted the overtures of your enterprising impresarios. It has been well known for three centuries, since 1584 in fact, and always makes its appearance before the death of any member of our family."


"Well, so does the family doctor for that matter, Lord Canterville. But there is no such thing, sir, as a ghost, and I guess the laws of Nature are not going to be suspended for the British aristocracy."


"You are certainly very natural in America," answered Lord Canterville, who did not quite understand Mr. Otis's last observation, "and if you don't mind a ghost in the house, it is all right. Only you must remember I warned you."

Publisher:
Released:
Apr 8, 2015
ISBN:
9786155564833
Format:
Book

About the author

Oscar Wilde was born on October 16, 1854, to the Irish nationalist and writer “Speranza” Wilde and the doctor William Wilde. After graduating from Oxford in 1878, Wilde moved to London, where he became notorious for his sharp wit and flamboyant style of dress. Though he was publishing plays and poems throughout the 1880s, it wasn’t until the late 1880s and early 1890s that his work started to be received positively. In 1895, Oscar Wilde was tried for homosexuality and was convicted and sentenced to two years in prison. Tragically, this downfall came at the height of his career, as his plays, An Ideal Husband and The Importance of Being Earnest, were playing to full houses in London. He was greatly weakened by the privations of prison life, and moved to Paris after his sentence. Wilde died in a hotel room, either of syphilis or complications from ear surgery, in Paris, on November 30, 1900.


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The Canterville Ghost - Oscar Wilde


List of Illustrations

Miss Virginia E. Otis

Had once raced old Lord Bilton on her pony

Blood has been spilled on that spot

I really must insist on your oiling those chains

The twins ... at once discharged two pellets on him

Its head was bald and burnished

He met with a severe fall

A heavy jug of water fell right down on him

Making satirical remarks on the photographs

Suddenly there leaped out two figures

'Poor, poor ghost,' she murmured; 'have you no place where you can sleep?'

The ghost glided on more swiftly

He heard somebody galloping after him

Out on the landing stepped Virginia

Chained to it was a gaunt skeleton

By the side of the hearse and the coaches walked the servants with lighted torches

The moon came out from behind a cloud


I

When Mr. Hiram B. Otis, the American Minister, bought Canterville Chase, every one told him he was doing a very foolish thing, as there was no doubt at all that the place was haunted. Indeed, Lord Canterville himself, who was a man of the most punctilious honour, had felt it his duty to mention the fact to Mr. Otis when they came to discuss terms.

We have not cared to live in the place ourselves, said Lord Canterville, since my grandaunt, the Dowager Duchess of Bolton, was frightened into a fit, from which she never really recovered, by two skeleton hands being placed on her shoulders as she was dressing for dinner, and I feel bound to tell you, Mr. Otis, that the ghost has been seen by several living members of my family, as well as by the rector of the parish, the Rev. Augustus Dampier, who is a Fellow of King's College, Cambridge. After the unfortunate accident to the Duchess, none of our younger servants would stay with us, and Lady Canterville often got very little sleep at night, in consequence of the mysterious noises that came from the corridor and the library.

My Lord, answered the Minister, I will take the furniture and the ghost at a valuation. I have come from a modern country, where we have everything that money can buy; and with all our spry young fellows painting the Old World red, and carrying off your best actors and prima-donnas, I reckon that if there were such a thing as a ghost in Europe, we'd have it at home in a very short time in one of our public museums, or on the road as a show.

I fear that the ghost exists, said Lord Canterville, smiling, though it may have resisted the overtures of your enterprising impresarios. It has been well known for three centuries, since 1584 in fact, and always makes its appearance before the death of any member of our family.

Well, so does the family doctor for that matter, Lord Canterville. But there is no such thing, sir, as a ghost, and I guess the laws of Nature are not going to be suspended for the British aristocracy.

You are certainly very natural in America, answered Lord Canterville, who did not quite understand Mr. Otis's last observation, and if you don't mind a ghost in the house, it is all right. Only you must remember I warned you.

MISS VIRGINIA E. OTIS

A few weeks after this, the purchase was concluded, and at the close of the season the

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Reviews

What people think about The Canterville Ghost

3.0
429 ratings / 17 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (4/5)
    This was a quaint, short, and neat little tale by Wilde. I thought that it got to the purpose, the epitome, of the story in an efficient way. However, it did not have the same majesty of language that Wilde possessed with his other works and I felt that to be a lacking quality about it. Nevertheless, the ending was fulfilling and the developments that occurred during it were palatable. For a quick, swift, and short read (for those interested in Wilde), I recommend this one.3.5 stars.
  • (5/5)
    Review from BadelyngeNo tour through the literary landscape of The Ghost Story would be complete without Oscar Wilde's clever little tale The Canterville Ghost. He turns the whole concept on its head with the ancient titular ghost, who has spent several centuries not paying for the sins of his life by blithely terrifying the old house's residents and visitors to death and insanity, being driven to his own wits end by the American family who bring their own blithe modernity to bear in dealing with him. The results are very funny; Wilde is justly famous for his wit and his command of satire. It's not just a comedy though. There are more serious themes at work, not least the chance for redemption. Wilde also can find time between the fun to show he can use lyricism to evoke pathos with equal mastery. This is one you can read more than once, because like good poetry it doesn't always give everything up with the first reading.
  • (4/5)
    Quick and fun! Poor old Simon! Those silly Americans can't even allow themselves to be haunted properly! what's a ghost to do? I read this in 4 installments through the Serial Reader App and really enjoyed it!
  • (4/5)
    It was great re - reading The Canterville Ghost. I've always loved this story and never get tired of Sir Simon and Canterville Chase. This is a perfect book to read when it's raining and there's a log fire in the hearth. Pleasant memories with this one.
  • (3/5)
    I've read some of Wilde's other work, and in general I like it more than this; the first story, 'The Canterville Ghost', is kind of funny, making a comedy out of a ghost story, and some of it is genuinely funny. The second and third stories in this little collection, though, were more disappointing: 'Lord Arthur Savile's Crime' seems a pretty standard exercise in a story of self-fulfilling prophecy, and 'The Sphinx Without A Secret' was just kind of bloodless.

    Still, Wilde's writing is always good, which kept the mediocre level of plotting from being just boring. 'The Canterville Ghost' is the best of the three, I think.
  • (3/5)
    What a crazy folk Americans are.??!