Ancestral Shadows

by Russell Kirk with an Introduction by Vigen Guroian

Widely regarded as the founder of the modern conservative movement, Russell Kirk was a noted man of letters whose prodigious literary career included a syndicated newspaper column and a regular page in "National Review." This volume demonstrates another compelling side of Kirk -- the imaginative author who could communicate his powerful vision through even the most dramatic of genres, the ghost story.

"Ancestral Shadows" gathers together nineteen of Kirkbs best ghostly tales from periodicals and anthologies published throughout his life. Penned in the tradition of writers like Defoe, Stevenson, Hawthorne, Coleridge, James, and Poe, these frightful stories conjurer the creeks and shadows of the very places where they came to life: haunted St. Andrews, the Isle of Eigg, Kellie Castle, Balcarres House, Durie House (which has the most persistent of all country-house specters), and Kirkbs own ancestral spooky house in Mecosta, Michigan.

The volume also includes an important concluding reflection on the writing of these and all tales of the supernatural. Ghost stories at not merely entertaining but possess a particular ability to capture the essential features of human nature, of good and evil, and of the reality of the permanent things. As Kirk notes: bThe tale of the preternatural -- as written by George Macdonald, C. S. Lewis, Charles Williams, and other masters -- can be an instrument for the recovery of moral order.

Masterfully crafted, "Ancestral Shadows" will delight all lovers of ghost stories.  © Vigen Guroian 1999-2013