Reviewed by Mario Guslandi
Celebrating the bicentenary of the birth of famous Irish writer Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu,editors Brian J Showers and Jim Rockill have assembled, under the title Reminiscences of a Bachelor two novellas which share the same narrator ( the Bachelor).
“The Watcher”, actually the earlier, original version of the tale subsequently entitled ” “The Familiar” and included in Le Fanu’s cult collection In a Glass Darkly, is an effective , disturbing ghost story about a fatal haunting suffered by a man as the vengeance for his past wrong deeds.
Atmospheric and cleverly built, the piece strongly maintains even today its supernatural, gripping power. The original companion piece, “The Fatal Bride” ( the second, and last instalment in the Bachelor’s reminiscences) , out of print for 150 years, is a vivid gothic novella with no supernatural elements, where passion, honour and adventure are admirably blended to create a suspenseful, enticing narration providing further evidence of Le Fanu’s uncanny storytelling ability.
The volume is beautifully produced, as always, by the invaluable imprint Swan River Press.