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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 spect“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.  ...

Title : The Ghost: A Cultural History
Author :
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ISBN : 9781849764674
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 240 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Ghost: A Cultural History Reviews

  • Kirsty 📚📖❤️
    2019-05-21 07:48

    A fascinating book regarding the history and culture of ghosts in the UK. Well researched and written. I really enjoyed reading about how the perception of ghosts has changed throughout the centuries from angry, fully visible ghosts to barely there apparitions.. Excellent read

  • Kirsty
    2019-05-16 01:03

    I'm so in love with books about ghosts. Not books of ghost stories (whether fiction or 'true') but analyses of what ghosts mean in a sociological or psychological sense - why are we so fascinated by ghosts? How does belief in ghosts change over time and in different societies? What do ghosts mean to us? This book explored these questions in such a compelling way. I'd have loved more comment on ghosts in non-British society - but that's outwith the scope of this book, so no use complaining. For this book's aims, it was great.

  • Lolly K Dandeneau
    2019-04-24 06:56

    via my blog: https://bookstalkerblog.wordpress.com/'These dead refused to stay in their tombs and insisted on climbing out and stalking back to their towns and villages, night after night, to attack the living. But what was the background to these stories?'Death comes to us all, and it would seem ghostly beings do as well, regardless of what country you live in or what time period. Ghosts certainly seem to be a tie that binds, be it harbingers of pending doom, terrorizing haunts, revenants bent on revenge- why is it that there are so many encounters and stories about something that ‘doesn’t exist’ and that science denies. This book is a fascinating look at the history of ghosts. Was it true that the English Reformation and religious reform did away with all our ‘haints’? Spirits kept appearing, they continued to walk the nights despite the cleanliness of religion. Maybe ghosts were simply optical illusions? How did witchcraft and ingrained habits and beliefs come into sightings and stories of ghosts? Maybe it’s madness of one’s mind? What does purgatory have to do with any of this?Are ghosts simply ‘refugees from the after-life’? I like that, refugees from the afterlife! It wasn’t just uneducated peasants that told tales, were visited by apparitions and passed around ghostly tales. The middle class and upper crust were just as enthralled by the subject. If literature is any proof, certainly much was written and in fact, still lines our shelves today. How many ghostly themed reality shows can you count? Let’s not forget our fascination with shows about mediums talking to ‘ghosts’ that aren’t supposed to exist. Remember all that table tapping, the seances fine ladies took part in during the Victorian age?Ghosts, it seems, even entered the political arena, art, church… is there anywhere they don’t ‘haunt’ us? Susan Owens has written a well researched work, be you a believer or skeptic, there is meat for anyone to chew on. Ghosts have evolved with our changing world, look at us now using meters and special instruments to capture that other realm. Are they real, simply a product of our own minds (some guilty)? Will we ever truly know? The walk through our cultural history of ghosts is fascinating and strange. Just in time for Halloween.Publication Date: October 3, 2017AbramsTate Publishing

  • A Reader's Heaven
    2019-05-08 07:13

    (I received a free copy of this book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.)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.Why are we so fascinated with ghosts? What draws us to the mystery, the horror, the changing perceptions of ghosts?This book goes a long, long way to covering these questions - and so much more. Basically a history of ghosts in British culture, this book is brilliant.The best thing about this book is that the author didn't set out to make this a "Do ghosts exist?" type of thing, nor did she go out of her way to make fun of those who do or don't believe - it is what it says on the packet: a cultural history of ghosts in the UK.If you have even the slightest interest in ghosts, or the culture of ghosts, then this could very well be the book for you!PaulARH

  • Nannette
    2019-05-02 01:00

    The GhostA Cultural Historyby Susan OwensABRAMSTate PublishingPub Date 03 Oct 2017Courtesy NetgalleyI really enjoyed The Ghost A Cultural History by Susan Owens. This nonfiction book examines the history of the ghost or apparition. Ms. Owens, the author, was interested in how much Dickens's ghost have in common with what we define as ghosts today. How did ghosts change as technology was introduced, like the earliest shadow shows and then film? Also what is it about Britain that creates the fertile ground for ghosts? Is it the long history? The wet, foggy weather?In early Christian history, ghosts were believed to be the souls of the dead suffering in purgatory come to warm those left behind to clean up their act. When the Protestant Reformation hit England, purgatory was edited out of their theology. The ghosts that were previously the souls of the dead now became demons and apparitions from hell. The book traces the history through each different phase or interpretation of what a ghost was, including the words used to describe them. There is an excellent bibliography at the end of the book. It has given me a whole new list of writings from the classics that I want to read. The Ghost A Cultural History by Susan Owens is readable, entertaining and enlightening. It is releasing on October 3rd, making it the perfect Halloween present for yourself or a fan of spirits.

  • Nicki Markus
    2019-05-02 02:11

    The Ghost: A Cultural History was a fascinating read from start to finish. I loved how Owens used social history and the arts to detail the changing attitudes towards ghosts through the ages. The wide range of source material was especially pleasing, with examples ranging from paintings to poems to plays. Personally, I found the earlier chapters the most illuminating, but that's probably because the information from the Victorian era onwards was already familiar to me. This is an easy and delightful read that will please a wide audience: general ghost fans, social historians, arts lovers, and students of folklore. I received this book as a free eBook ARC via NetGalley.

  • Heidi Svendsen
    2019-05-12 04:48

    I have always been fascinated by ghosts. Therefore I was very intrigued when I discovered this book. It has a great view on ghosts, and lists how the view have changed throughout the years. It does not take the discussion if they exist or not, and do not patronise any reader and their belief. This is one of the best characters of the book, you can read it no matter your opinion and end up with your own conclusion. This because it is filled with history and stories.A great read under a blanket in the autumn storms.*Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

  • Sarah Rogers
    2019-05-20 02:10

    Really enjoyable, well researched and very digestible study of mainly English ghosts from the medieval hauntings of Edith and Etheldreda up to the present day more paranormal output of Susan Hiller and Julie Myerson.I loved the straightforwardness (& humour) of the older ghosts: open up their graves and they'd give you a thump for your efforts, close the door on them and they'd kick it down rather than waft insubstantially through the wall (that apparently comes later thanks to the advent of watercolour as an art material) but altogether a fascinating read.

  • Jamie
    2019-05-14 23:58

    Fascinating from beginning to end. Extremely well researched. I liked that the author wrote about ghosts from an unbiased view- letting the reader decide and interpret the information for themselves. Was interesting to see how ghost stories and legends have changed over time, and the most interesting thing to me that the author brought up, was that no matter your beliefs, whether you believe in ghosts or not-everyone seems to have a story regarding one.I would like to thank Susan Owens and ABRAMS and for a copy of this provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  • giftedteacher
    2019-05-08 05:50

    This is a very interesting study of ghost stories throughout history. I enjoyed both the tales themselves and the analysis of them. The book withholds judgment on whether ghost experiences are real, but there certainly have been a lot of them! If you are interested in the background in addition to ghost tales, you will enjoy this book.I received a free electronic copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  • Jesse Richards
    2019-05-15 23:50

    The first half of this was quite enjoyable, showing trends and pulling larger meaning from connected cultural history, and all the art and photos are great, but the second half devolved into a list of books and art, each getting an unconnected paragraph, like a list of blurbed reviews (like this one, actually).

  • Ash Tree
    2019-05-13 07:43

    This book is excellent for those that love a British ghost story. The book is not necessarily for a popular audience (it read like an academic text). It is well researched and arranged well. I especially like all the sources provided; I was writing down books to read constantly while enjoying this book. As an American who loves M.R. James, I really appreciated learning more about the tradition of the British ghost. It's packed with information, so have a notebook handy. The images included in the book made for an in-depth reading experience. Also, the book (hardcover) is so beautiful itself and one you'll proudly display on your bookcase. This book, like many of my academic reading, left me with a bibliography I look forward to exploring. Susan Owens really knows her stuff.

  • Lucy Mac
    2019-05-08 00:03

    Fascinating, lucid with wonderful intertextuality. Great reading for the coming Autumn months!

  • Sara
    2019-05-12 06:48

    Really enjoyed this book! You can find my full review here: http://www.deeplytrivial.com/2018/01/...

  • Linnea
    2019-05-09 08:01

    A fascinating account of the human relationship with the supernatural.