The Old Nurse's Story by Elizabeth Gaskell

Monday, 28 August 2017

A phantom child roams the Northumberland moors, while a host of fairytale characters gone to seed gather in the dark, dark woods in these two surprising tales of the uncanny from the great Victorian novelist.

If you're looking for a spine-chilling Victorian ghost story you need look no further than this little black classic. Gaskell manages to spin a gripping tale that feels much, much longer than its thirty pages in The Old Nurse's Story.

As soon as you pick this up you're transported back to the 19th century. You're sat in front of Hester, the old nurse, with the other children she's relating this tale to. You're hooked from the get go, as you know there's more to what she's saying than she's letting on.

Gaskell perfectly captures the essence of her time in this little story. The writing is meandering and just on the side of overly descriptive, there's a preoccupation with class and status, and no one is comfortable enough to outright say what everyone is thinking: this house is haunted.

Don't be scared by the fact that this is a classic. Be scared that it's a hauntingly good story.


  1. Ooo this sounds great! Is it classed as a short story or a novella? I am going to have a read for sure!

    1. I would personally class it as a short story, as this edition is 64 pages and has two stories in. A very quick read, either way!


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