The Turn of the Screw and The Aspern Papers by Henry James

The Turn of the Screw and The Aspern Papers

'The apparition had reached the landing half-way up and was therefore on the spot nearest the window, where, at the sight of me, it stopped short'Oscar Wilde called James's chilling The Turn of the Screw 'a most wonderful, lurid poisonous little tale.' It tells of a young governess sent to a country house to take charge of two orphans, Miles and Flora. Unsettled by a sense of intense evil within the house, she soon becomes obsessed with the belie...

Details The Turn of the Screw and The Aspern Papers

TitleThe Turn of the Screw and The Aspern Papers
Release DateJun 26th, 2003
PublisherPenguin Books
GenreClassics, Fiction, Horror, Gothic, Short Stories

Reviews The Turn of the Screw and The Aspern Papers

  • William2
    “A Turn of the Screw” is fabulous. I wish all his works, especially his later ones, were as ecstatically readable.
  • Holly
    Well, you certainly have to concentrate on the prose in this one; be prepared to pay attention.A classic story with a classic question. Did all this really happen as the governess tells it? Were the children really possessed by the malevolent spirits of their dead servants? Was the governess really a half-crazy repressed old maid victim of Victorian society who in turn victimized her young charges? I prefer the former, but either one is horrifyin...
  • Ria
    I was planning on buying The Turn which was 3euros but i found this edition with two stories for the same price. didn't expect to care for the second story but i ended up enjoying both of them 👌.
  • Diana
    The Turn of the Screw [1898] – ★★★★ “Wasn’t it just a story-book over which I had fallen a-doze and a-dream?” [James, Ed. 2004: 33]. This is a horror novella penned by James in 1898 at the invitation of Robert J. Collier for his magazine. First published as a series, it tells of a hired governess who comes to Bly, a country estate in Essex, to supervise two children, Miles and Flora. The children are orphans under the responsibili...
  • Lobstergirl
    Please note, four stars does not mean I approve of dialogue like this:*"So she went to -""To?"She hung fire. "To the gentleman's residence.""The gentleman's residence?""Yes, you know, in case of -""Oh, yes, well..."She hung fire. "He wasn't exactly a gentleman.""Wasn't a gentleman?""No, and it caused problems later -""Later? If only it had been sooner.""Sooner?"They hung fire."Everything depended on when she went -""When she went? Why? Because of...
  • Roy Lotz
    For the second time, I have had the misfortune of choosing to reading Henry James alongside another difficult author. The first time it was Proust; this time, Joyce. So, instead of getting the desired relief from literary headache, I get an extension of it. But, of course, the fault is mine, not Henry’s.When reading Henry James’s work, I am reminded of a remark Stephen King made about Stanley Kubrick: that “he thinks too much and feels too ...
  • Sketchbook
    James is always about thwarted desire and/or sexual repression,like the man's own life. In "Screw" the sublimated sexuality of the governess turns her into a mental case; she destroys 2 children with her fantasies of corruption. Are the kiddies innocent? I dont think so, but they are sweet. The (deceiving) framework is a ghost story. This fools Dum Reader.In "Aspern" a naive-repressed editor tries to coaxa crusty dowager and her cock-hungry niece...
  • piperitapitta
    «Venezia è anche un sogno, di quelli che puoi comperare»Inizio a leggere "Il carteggio Aspern" per due motivi: da un po' di tempo ho una gran voglia di leggere qualcosa di Henry James - e questo già è strano, perché ho letto solamente "Ritratto di signora" per cui non posso definirmi né esperta né appassionata di quest'autore ma, nonostante ciò, desidero fortemente tornare a "respirare" qualcosa di suo, di ottocentesco ma nordamericano -...
  • X
    The Turn of the Screw was quite good, but difficult to read due to the gothic language. The subtle mystery and non-so-subtle supernatural elements were gripping, but the ending left me, at least, still wondering about a few unresolved things.I had no idea what to expect from The Aspern Papers, but I found it easier to follow than The Turn of the Screw and even enjoyed its lovely Venetian setting and the narrator's attempt to outwit the old lady w...
  • Sam
    Ok, I didn't actually read the Aspern Papers, just The Turn of the Screw. It was recommended by a member of our book club.Firstly, I found it hard going. It often took me two attempts at reading a sentence to understand it clearly. I can't quite put my finger on the problem, it was clearly written in English, but the sentence structure (which was probably perfectly correct) was (in some parts) almost unintelligible.The story itself is almost as c...
  • David
    The Turn of the Screw: Some poor chap was horribly abused by his governess but her cunning was such that, as an adult, he doesn't understand what he endured. And now he shares the story that she first used to prevent him from seeking help from a responsible adult as a ghost story! At parties! Awkward and really unpleasant. A bit like someone saying "There was a ghost in my wardrobe when I was a child! It would have killed me if I'd ever told anyo...
  • Hadrian
    Two short stories by Henry James. Not bad, all things considered, but his writing style is notoriously dense, and may dissuade a lot of potential readers. His endings were pretty shocking, though, and actually building up suspense despite his flowery style is a worthy achievement.
  • Edward
    IntroductionPreface--The Aspern Papers--The Turn of the ScrewNotes
  • Jeanette
    I bought this book in order to read The Turn of the Screw and ended up enjoying the other story, The Aspern Papers, more than I did The Turn of the Screw.The Aspern Papers- 4 StarsI thought James did an amazing job of building tension in the Aspern Papers. Will the historian get the papers he so longs for? Should he even have them? What will he do to get them? What will the women who possess the papers do to them? And just what is her story? I re...
  • Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.)
    This review is associated with The Aspern Papers--The Aspern Papers is a brilliant novella written by Henry James and serialized in the Atlantic in 1888. In short, The Aspern Papers is the story of an academic researcher, the novella's narrator, on the trail of bundles of personal letters and writings of a long-dead American poet, 'Jeffrey Aspern'. Apparently, these letters and papers are in the possession of a very old woman, Miss Juliana Border...
  • Melissa Jackson
    One of my favorite short stories, it's absolutely beautiful how creepy this book is. I need to reread it again! (Even if I can't stare at the cover of this edition for too long without being convinced the children are standing behind me, just waiting. I gave this specific copy to my friend Liz one year for her birthday and upon opening it and being thrilled to finally own it, she shrieked and threw it away from her immediately. Seriously, this co...
  • Micaela Alvi
    Taking into account that this was written ages ago, it is a pretty decent horror story. There is always an aura of mystery surrounding the characters and their intentions, even their sanity. And the ending is actually good. Sure, it leaves us with more questions than answers but I think that is the point of the whole story, we will never truly know what happened.
  • Michael
    James wrote some of the best dark fiction of his day, and these two are, for me, his standouts. Elegant, twisted, chilling--this is rich stuff, and like a rich dessert, it forces you to slow down and savor every bite.
  • Susan McNally
    I re-read this recently and what a glorious creepy tale.. those children little Miles and Flora. Many writers have tried to copy James's skill at leading the reader to the point where they realise the children are involved... in something quite horrible. A short story really but a great read.
  • Oria
    There is something about the classics that just wouldn’t go away. Not that I want it to, I have to add. Every now and then I feel the need for the convoluted language, the turned phrases, the intricately constructed sentences that make my head spin and my mind feel like I’ve just been mentally tortured. And yet, it is a sweet torture, and one I find comfort in from time to time.The only other book by Henry James I’ve read was "The Portrait ...
  • Hannah Polley
    These are two creepy stories by Henry James.The Aspern Papers - in this story, the main character lies his way into the home of a former lover of his favourite writer. He believes the woman has unpublished material from the writer. He pretends to love the woman's niece and she makes sure they are not destroyed when her aunt dies. However, the niece will only let him see them if he is a relative (marries her) and he walks out in disgust. After tak...
  • Meredith
    My edition is a Wordsworth, containing two-for-one novellas: The Turn of the Screw and The Aspern Papers. With a colossal effort and what amounted to skimming, not actual reading, I reached the last page of The Turn of the Screw, which could be one of the dullest, driest, most needlessly verbose and inactive books I've ever read. (What's worse than a book where you have to read the same paragraph ten times, but you're still saying WTF?). However,...
  • Nerdish Mum
    Review to follow.
  • Joanna
    Wasn't as good as I remembered. Is anything ever?
  • Cate
    No one seems to do gothic horror and be able to make the hair on the back of my neck stand up as well as Authors from this era; whether they are hinting at insanity or embracing it and giving it coffee, this novella has to rank up there with The Yellow Wallpaper. When the reader first embarks into this tale it would seem the perfect accompaniment to a cold winter night and a cosy fire place, after all it’s short in length and reads fairly quick...
  • MichelleCH
    The Aspern Papers I read first, and it wasn't the kind of storytelling style I enjoy. The writing was choppy and a little hard for me to follow. I felt the same as I read The Turn ( although the psychological aspects of The Turn are rather fascinating). Many years ago I read Daisy Miller and remember that I wasn't fond of James's style at that time as well.Outside of the writing, some of the trouble I had with The Aspern Papers is that the main c...
  • Michael
    Although the book is very dense, it starts to clear up after a chapter or two and it becomes rather easy to read Jame's writing. Actually, his writing is pretty clear and interesting once you get used to it. I don't honestly believe it was as creepy as some people say, although there certainly are one or two spots that are very scary. Overall, a very big buildup to a great ending. I thought the ending wouldn't be very dramatic or intense, but it ...
  • Jill
    I read somewhere that the Internet has so warped/conditioned our brain to so-called "multi-tasking" that the brain is no longer able to engage in deep reading without the utmost difficulty. This was the experience I had reading Henry James for the first time. The Aspern Papers and The Turn of the Screw had intriguing enough plots and characters, but it was just immensely challenging, somehow, to make it through the text. It wasn't about the lengt...
  • Heather
    I REALLY don't enjoy how Henry James writes. His language style is laborious and completely grammatically incorrect, so it's hard to get through. I didn't really like the story that much because it was too ambiguous. My husband told me about the theories behind this book - that the governess was crazy and none of this ever happened, that she was obsessed with sex, that she might have killed the boy. I say that I don't really know that the story d...
  • Julie Christine
    I've had at least as much fun reading commentary about the novella The Turn of the Screw as I did the work itself. This is classic Goth horror- with ghosts and governesses, creaky mansions and eerily ethereal tots. Is our heroine, who falls in love at the drop of a kerchief, the victim of a household haunting conspiracy or is she merely batty? What was the sinister exploit that got Miles expelled from boarding school? What connivances is Flora ca...