Wednesday, October 3, 2018

A Ghost Story Newly Attributed to Mary Shelley

We have covered in the past Withnail Books’ well-designed booklets of rare pieces by Saki and T E Lawrence. Their latest announcement is, however, even more remarkable than these.

The press is offering The Ghost of the Private Theatricals, a terror tale by ‘M.S.’ originally published in ‘The Keepsake’ (London, 1844) edited by the Countess of Blessington, which the editor, Adam Newell argues should be attributed to Mary Shelley.

In an afterword, he explains the details of the original publication of the story and the reasons for thinking this might be by the author of Frankenstein. If this can be established, it is a highly significant literary find which will add to our understanding of Mary Shelley’s work in the Gothic form.

But readers of supernatural fiction will in any case want to read and enjoy this previously overlooked spectral story from the earliest days of the form, and decide for themselves.

Each copy includes an original, hand-printed linocut by Sharon Newell, inspired by the story, and the 36p A5 format booklet is printed on good quality paper and card covers. It in a limited edition of 100 copies and there is sure to be a high demand.


  1. Have ordered already. Certainly looks a handsome item.

  2. Enjoyed this elegant, refined ghost story, with a European sensibility very much. Certainly Mary Shelley, I would say from the rhythm of the prose and its theme. The editor's case is convincing. Nice production.