Ghost stories date back centuries, but those written in the Victorian era have a unique atmosphere and dark beauty. Michael Sims, whose previous Victorian collections Dracula's Guest (vampires) and The Dead Witness (detectives) have been widely praised, has gathered twelve of the best stories about humanity's oldest supernatural obsession. The Phantom Coach includes tales by a surprising, often legendary cast, from Charles Dickens and Margaret Oliphant to Henry James, Rudyard Kipling, and Arthur Conan Doyle, as well as well as lost gems by forgotten masters such as Mary E. Wilkins Freeman and W.F. Harvey. Amelia Edwards' chilling story gives the collection its title, while Ambrose Bierce (“The Moonlit Road”), Elizabeth Gaskell, (“The Old Nurse's Story”) and W. W. Jacobs (“The Monkey's Paw”) will turn you white as a sheet. With a skillful introduction to the genre and notes on each story by Michael Sims, The Phantom Coach is a spectacular collection of ghostly Victorian thrills.
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Michael Sims is the author of acclaimed nonfiction books The Adventures of Henry Thoreau, The Story of Charlotte's Web, Apollo's Fire: A Day on Earth in Nature and Imagination, and Adam's Navel: A Natural and Cultural History of Human Form. His anthologies include The Penguin Book of Victorian Women in Crime, Dracula's Guest: A Connoisseur's Collection of Victorian Vampire Stories, and The Dead Witness: A Connoisseur's Collection of Victorian Detective Stories. He lives in western Pennsylvania with his wife and son.Review:
“A collection of delighfully creepy ghost stories that were once popular in Victorian periodicals...a great for literature fans who enjoy lesser-known stories by famous novelists.” ―Booklist
“A f0ine follow-up to Sims's acclaimed Dracula's Guest and a necessary addition for lovers of all things Victorian, especially of the creepy variety.” ―Library Journal
“Just in time for All Hallow's Eve, Sims has released The Phantom Coach, a collection of classic Victorian ghost stories published by Bloomsbury in a softcover edition. The book includes creepy tales from Charles Dickens, Arthur Conan Doyle, Henry James, Rudyard Kipling, and Ambrose Bierce, among others.” ―Christian Science Monitor
“Combined into one volume, these 12 stories give readers and excellent entry point into the spooky litrature of the Victorian era--a time marked by a fascination with death and dyring.” ―Shelf Awareness
“Barzun considered the ghost story 'more artful--and more productive of shivers--than the straight tale of horror,' an assertion that is abundantly substantiated by Michael Sims's delightful anthology of Victorian ghost stories.” ―Washington Post Book World
“A little advice: hold on to your seat; phantom coach or not, it's going to be a bumpy, spine-tingling, thoroughly enjoyable ride.” ―Chapter 16
“Michael Sims has compiled a book sure to send a shiver down the spine of even the most skeptical reader . . . Sims's eloquent introduction provides the perfect backdrop for the stories that follow, describing the rise of periodical literature, which favored short fiction, and the influence of the most famous writer of his day.” ―The Knoxville News Sentinel
“Sims, editor of this brilliant collection, gathers stories of the undead written during what he loosely terms the Victorian era . . . the bloodsuckers presented here are predators who can be turned away only by Christian symbols, garlic, and little else. Do not expect sparkling Twilight vampires or even the good-guy types that sometimes appeared in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer franchise. An excellent addition to popular fiction and literature collections.” ―Library Journal, starred review, on Dracula's Guest
“Dracula's Guest invokes the dangerous shadows of Victorian culture, those dark places where passion, terror, pathos, and sorrow mingle and merge. Gathering together canonical works along with less familiar knock-out masterpieces, Michael Sims has produced an anthology designed to keep us all up at night.” ―Maria Tatar, professor and chair of the program in Folklore and Mythology at Harvard University, author of The Annotated Classic Fairy Tales and Enchanted Hunters, on Dracula's Guest
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