Chill Tidings: Dark Tales of the Christmas Season

Edited by Tanya Kirk. British Library, $15.95 trade paper (288p) ISBN 978-0-7123-5323-6
The 13 tales in this exemplary anthology all sustain the time-honored, predominantly British, tradition of the Christmas ghost story. Spanning the years from 1868 to 1955, the contents range in tone from the sentimental (Frank R. Stockton’s “Old Applejoy’s Ghost”) to the shocking (L.P. Hartley’s “Someone in the Lift”), in renown from the well-known (Marjorie Bowen’s “The Crown Derby Plate”) to the overlooked (Rosemary Timperley’s “A Christmas Meeting”), and in origin outside of the British Isles from America (H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Festival”) to Australia (Hume Nisbet’s “The Old Portrait”). Kirk (Spirits of the Season) has expertly culled the British Library’s holdings for a rewarding balance of works by male and female writers, though all are white. Her selections end with humorist Jerome K. Jerome’s “Told After Supper,” which genially and inadvertently spoofs the plots of several stories that precede it, but which nonetheless perfectly captures the spirits of the season. This is sure to get horror readers into the Christmas spirit. (Aug.)
Reviewed on : 06/07/2021
Release date: 08/01/2021
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror
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