The Turn of the Screw


By Henry James

cover image of The Turn of the Screw

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One of the greatest intellectual ghost stories begins with friends sitting around a fire on Christmas Eve sharing tales about spooks. A story concerning a governess who believes that her two charges are haunted by malicious ghosts is told by one of the guests. The children she supervises are orphans who are being raised by their uncle. Most of the novel is depicted through the journal of this governess who struggles to save the children from the diabolical influence of mysterious apparitions. But it seems that only the young governess can see the ghosts and only she guesses that the previous governess who died under mysterious circumstances and her dead lover are controlling the children for some fiendish intent. The innocence of childhood mixed with the terror of ghostly iniquity is a horrifying blend that causes the children to change into liars and mean-spirited little creatures so they can let the ghosts claim their them. Henry James called this a "fable" and did not detail the rancorous deeds because he wanted readers to furnish their own phantom of suspicion. The "turn of the screw" is to figure out if there really is a ghost or not. Please Note: This book has been reformatted to be easy to read in true text, not scanned images that can sometimes be difficult to decipher. The Microsoft eBook has a contents page linked to the chapter headings for easy navigation. The Adobe eBook has bookmarks at chapter headings and is printable up to two full copies per year. Both versions are text searchable.

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The Turn of the Screw