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The Ghost: A Cultural History (Paperback)

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"Five thousand years have now elapsed since the creation of the world, and still it is undecided whether or not there has even been an instance of the spirit of any person appearing after death. All argument is against it; but all belief is for it." --Samuel Johnson Ghosts are woven into the very fabric of life. In Britain, every town, village, and great house has a spectral resident, and their enduring popularity in literature, art, folklore, and film attests to their continuing power to fascinate, terrify, and inspire. Our conceptions of ghosts--the fears they provoke, the forms they take--are connected to the conventions and beliefs of each particular era, from the marauding undead of the Middle Ages to the psychologically charged presences of our own age. The ghost is no less than the mirror of the times. Organized chronologically, this new cultural history features a dazzling range of artists and writers, including William Hogarth, William Blake, Henry Fuseli, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, John Everett Millais, Susan Hiller and Jeremy Deller; John Donne, William Shakespeare, Samuel Pepys, Daniel Defoe, Percy and Mary Shelley, Emily Bronte, Charles Dickens, Wilkie Collins, Henry James, Thomas Hardy, Muriel Spark, Hilary Mantel, and Sarah Waters.

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`The Ghost: A Cultural History is a work of profound scholarship and imaginative engagement, beautifully written and elegantly constructed. It's the finest study of its kind I've read.' --The Literary Review, review by John Harwood

`A lively guide to the most persistent of spooky figures' --The Economist

`Illuminating and entertaining, with lavish illustrations and eloquent narration' --The Telegraph

About the Author:

Dr Susan Owens is an art historian and curator. Formerly Curator of Paintings at the Victoria and Albert Museum, she has published and lectured widely on British art and co-authored books on decadent interiors, natural history illustration, watercolours, drawings and self-portraits.

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Book Description Paperback. Condition: new. Paperback. Ghosts are woven into the very fabric of British life. Their enduring popularity in literature, art, folklore and film attests to their continuing power to fascinate, terrify and inspire. Our conceptions of ghosts - the fears that they provoke, the forms they take - personifies our shared past, reminding us of the layers of history beneath our feet and of old stories and timeless terrors that refuse to be erased. In this broad cultural history, Susan Owens reveals what these spirits and apparitions can tell us about our culture and about ourselves, and explores how ghosts have inhabited a wide range of roles from medieval times to the present day. A dazzling range of artists are featured, including William Blake, Henry Fuseli, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, John Everett Millais, Paul Nash and Jeremy Deller, alongside writers such as John Donne, William Shakespeare, Samuel Pepys, Daniel Defoe, Mary Shelley, Emily Bronte, Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy, Hilary Mantel and Sarah Waters. In this broad cultural history, Susan Owens reveals what spirits and apparitions can tell us about our culture and about ourselves, and explores how ghosts have inhabited a wide range of roles from medieval times to the present day. Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. Seller Inventory # 9781849766463

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