Posts Tagged ‘Susan Hill’

“During afternoon tea there’s a shift in the air. A bone-trembling chill that tells you she’s there. There are those who believe the whole town is cursed, but the house in the marsh is by far worse. What she wants is unknown but she always comes back. The spectre of darkness: The Woman in Black”

Thus I pulled a blanket and settled myself neatly on the bed to watch.

There only have to be promises of  ‘gothic, big, isolated house;’ ‘classic’ or  ‘Victorian-era ghost story’ for me to buy a horror film.  Of course there is also Daniel Radcliffe, all grown up from his Hogwarts days that drew me to The Woman in Black.  I found a review of the film on a blog called The Vault of Horror.  It provides considerable amount of details that someone like me would appreciate to know.


I skimmed the review taking a mental note of relative phrases such as ‘British period horror,’ ‘minimal gore and largely psychological scares,’ ‘mysterious abandoned mansion on a tiny island off the coast of Britain.’ Hmm… sold. I’m watching this and watch I did.


If I was scared then that’s a bonus. I watched the film mainly because it has something to do with England of course, and I like finding quotes in the interaction.


As a novel, I like this comment on Goodreads – “What real reader does not yearn, somewhere in the recesses of his or her heart, for a really literate, first-class thriller–one that chills the body, but warms the soul with plot, perception, and language at once astute and vivid? In other words, a ghost [store] story written by Jane Austen?

Alas, we cannot give you Austen, but Susan Hill’s remarkable Woman In Black comes as close as our era can provide. Set on the obligatory English moor, on an isolated causeway, the story has as its hero Arthur Kipps, an up-and-coming young solicitor who has come north from London to attend the funeral and settle the affairs of Mrs. Alice Drablow of Eel Marsh House…

The Woman In Black is both a brilliant exercise in atmosphere and controlled horror and a delicious spine-tingler–proof positive that this neglected genre, the ghost story, isn’t dead after all.”


And for collection purposes among obviously obvious others, I’m putting in some quotes by the author Susan Hill.

“A man may be accused of cowardice for fleeing away from all manner of physical dangers but when things supernatural, insubstantial and inexplicable threaten not only his safety and well-being but his sanity, his innermost soul, then retreat is not a sign of weakness but the most prudent course.”


Something reminiscent of curiosity killed the cat – “It is remarkable how powerful a force simple curiosity can be…. In spite of my intense fear and sense of shock, I was consumed with the desire to find out exactly who it was that I had seen, and how, I could not rest until I had settled the business, for all that, while out there…. – or at least horrified the cat.


Since I have not read the novel, I have been wondering why the Goodreads comment mentioned Jane Austen.


This may not explain everything but what reminds me of Jane Austen when I read this quote: “For I see that then I was still all in a state of innocence, but that innocence, once lost, is lost forever”?


Mr Darcy saying ‘my opinion once lost is lost forever’?  Yes, it does sound like the line. This musing will not necessarily boil down to Jane Austen though. Perhaps some place like Scarborough where Woman in Black author Susan Hill was born. She attended Scarborough Convent School and while reading that I wondered if I saw the school, albeit unknowingly, while going around Scarborough when I was in England. It’s the very first English town I toured after arriving in Reading from Heathrow.


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