read online Prime Uncle Silas: A Tale of Bartram-Haugh By J. Sheridan Le Fanu –

One Of The Most Significant And Intriguing Gothic Novels Of The Victorian Period And Is Enjoyed Today As A Modern Psychological Thriller In UNCLE SILAS Le Fanu Brought Up To Date Mrs Radcliffe S Earlier Tales Of Virtue Imprisoned And Menaced By Unscrupulous Schemers The Narrator, Maud Ruthyn, Is A Year Old Orphan Left In The Care Of Her Fearful Uncle, Silas Together With His Boorish Son And A Sinister French Governess, Silas Plots To Kill Maud And Claim Her Fortune The Novel Established Le Fanu As A Master Of Horror Fiction

10 thoughts on “Uncle Silas: A Tale of Bartram-Haugh

  1. says:

    Uncle Silas isn t a great novel, but it does exactly what it sets out to do It is an effective novel of sensation in the tradition of The Woman in White, presenting us with a likable heroine in increasingly perilous situations, leading to a hair raising and extremely well executed climax There are not many thrills in Uncle Silas, but the thrills themselves are indeed thrilling, and Le Fanu knows exactly how to administer them sometimes by the dollop, occasionally with an eye dropper in order to make sure that the reader does not become jaded and is prepared to enjoy every thrill all the way till the end.One of the reasons Le Fanu succeeds so well is the nature of his villain Silas does not possess the heroic size physically or spiritually of Collins Count Fosco As a matter of fact, he is almost his villainous opposite I suspect this might have been La Fanu s intention Silas is a small man of small ambitions, a hypocritical sociopath who hides behind the bible, an opium addict and an invalid, and yet in his own quiet way, he is just as dangerous as the Count If the Count is like an aging lion, then Silas resembles closely a poisonous spider Even when his intentions seem benign, we know in our hearts that they are not, and consequently we continue to fear for Maude even in the midst of the comic interludes in the second third of the novel Even if we cannot see the spider spinning, we know he and his poisonous bite is still there.I don t think this novel is quite as successful as the best of Le Fanu s ghost stories which are masterpieces of the form , but it is nevertheless a superb piece of craftsmanship, an absorbing and enjoyable work.

  2. says:

    I had such high expectations for this old classic that seemed almost impossible to get my hands on My idea of a cozy mystery is a Gothic Victorian Era mystery so when this finally became available to me I was thrilled to read it I loved the sound of the premise After the death of her father, a 17 year old heiress is sent to live under her uncle s care, of whom rumor has it he may or may not have committed a murder I was concerned for her safety among a whole slew of suspicious characters The introduction promised this was the perfect read for a cold winter night But unfortunately a fortnight of cold winter nights just wasn t cutting it I did enjoy the richly developed characters and the wonderfully creepy atmosphere the author created 3 stars for the tension, the sense of foreboding, and the enjoyment of reading it as a buddy read, just wish I could have enjoyed it as much as my friend did.

  3. says:

    7 5 stars This bookThis is one of my ALL TIME FAVORITES RIGHT HERE There was so much depth and darkness to this book, but it also had so much joy and it was funny I found my self laughing outloud tons of times Then again, this book is TERRIFYING I was so freaked out while I was reading it Along with this amazing plot, the characters were fabulous Maud, the main character, was so relatable to me

  4. says:

    Are Gothic novels respectable Let s talk about it Would this be a good time to sit backwards on my chair Fuck yes it would, Let s Get Real I recently read Anthony Trollope s landmark Serious Novel The Way We Live Now, from around the same time to 1875 to Silas s 1864 , so let s use that one to compare themes Class, especially the fortune of landed gentry vs their non landed relatives check The powerlessness of women to control their own destinies check The quest for power and money, and its corrosive effects on the soul checkSo Gothics are concerned with the same issues as other novels but they deal with them hysterically They take place in a heightened world They re not meant to be seen as realistic But that doesn t mean they re less serious.Okay, look, not many books can stand next to The Way We Live Now, whose best character, Marie Melmotte, turns out to have agency and strength than we gave her credit for Poor dear Maud, in this book, spends an awful lot of time being shuttled about helplessly.What Maud is, though, is she s a perfect example of a Final Girl, who for some reason is associated mainly with slasher films although the Gothic novel totally invented it The Final Girl is often passive through most of the story always virginal and always the last person standing, finally taking action to defeat the monster That last bit often comes with a twist This is Halloween, Friday the 13th, Mysteries of Udolpho, and Uncle Silas It s worthy literature, damsel and all The hysterical reality of the Gothic and its trademark squicky parts can make reading it fun, while you think about the same real issues brought up in realistic books Uncle Silas is one of the better Gothics It s a terrific example of all its tropes executed well the spooky old estate here is wonderful, one of the great spooky old estates There are two great characters, Silas and Madame de la Rougierre It hangs together and the ending works It s literature.

  5. says:

    Rating Clarification 3.5 StarsI m happy to report that Uncle Silas has made the cut of classic gothic literature that I ve read and even important enjoyed Although I ll never have the intellectual reading prowess to make a sustained diet of 19th century literature, I ve tried over the years to add of it into my reading sphere There is a richness and a depth to it that isn t duplicated in modern literature, IMO While I can t yet compare it to those giants of gothic literature like The Woman in White or The Mysteries of Udolpho both of which remain future reads for me , I can say that this novel was personally enjoyable then Wuthering Heights, but less so then my all time favorite, Jane Eyre I mean, how could anything beat Jane Eyre Uncle Silas has all the hallmarks of a Victorian gothic melodrama A young and impressionable heroine, isolated from the wider world and forced by personal tragedy to make her way through a maze of menacing circumstances Darkly threatening characters who seek emotional and physical destruction of the heroine contrasting with sympathetic characters who may be hiding a dark secret The richly iconic elements of the genre like moldering houses, hints of the supernatural, violent death, subtle sexual overtones, and the BIG.SECRET that will be revealed And of course by the end view spoiler good will prevail and evil will be vanquished Our heroine will be rewarded for her efforts with the penultimate Victorian prize of marriage and motherhood hide spoiler

  6. says:

    I thought it interesting to compare Radcliffe gothic to Fanu version I loved both how he mentioned her book in his book Her are romantic with all other aspects his seems to be mystery related Love them both The man being murdered yet people said it had to be suicide because of being impossible They were right to be leery of Uncle Silas So much to think about here, that is why I loved it plus just reading something written in the past I came across the movie Uncle Silas in a blog which carries weekly older movies Whenever I run across a older movie my first question I ask myself, is this a movie based on a book it was I had run across Sheridan Le Fanu s Carmilla which is a vampire short story which I plan on reading next October but really was unaware of his works.This Irish writer s main genre was gothic horror mystery He lived during the Victorian era was the leading ghost story writer of his time Bram Stoker s Dracula was influenced by Fanu s Carmilla Uncle Silas is a gothic mystery thriller.The Ruthyns are a prominent family at Knowl Austyn Silas Ruthyn are brothers with a scandal that effects the name of Ruthyn Besides Silas gambling rake behavior, he was indicated in a murder at his home yet the impossibility of the murder deemed it a suicide After Austyn s wife death, he lives in seclusion with his young daughter Maud There life is akin to hermits except for some servants Austyn s religious friends He lives his life trying to clear the family name all hopes rely on doing this He enlists his daughter in his quest to clear her uncle s name She has to decide who who not to trust In this story, reforming from the past living a different lifestyle is it possible Can you tell by looking at people who is leading the path to goodness avoiding the evil way in life If something that is puzzling looks impossible, is it indeed possible if looked at in a different light mindset Every time I thought I had the story figured out, it seemed to have a turn which made me rethink what was going to happen It reach a point near the end that I was sure of all that would play out but still was surprised in the end.

  7. says:

    This is the most frightening book I have ever read Before I picked this up, I had read some of Le Fanu s short fiction, the ghost stories based on Irish legends, and, of course, CARMILLA This book, however, is horrifying Too often, writers and directors of horror regie solely on blood and gore to convey fear For me, it doesn t work All it conveys is a love of gory Such gore might not make me hungry, but it doesn t scare me.Le Fanu relies on mood and atmosphere to get the job done He also relies on one other key thing, and it is this that really gets the job of creating the tension and fear That ingredient is Knowledge The reader knows, but Maud doesn t, what is going to happen The reader knows it completely and utterly Instead of making the book pointless, this knowledge carries the tension and fear A reader reads in the height of almost panic because of this knowledge Usually such knowledge doesn t work The monster is always scarier when we can t see it Le Fanu found a way to show us and not show us the monster It s brilliant.

  8. says:

    I wanted to give this book five stars but I just couldn t do it According to my rating system, a five star book is one of the best I have ever read Uncle Silas is not Don t let this mislead you This book had one of creepiest and most sinister plots in all of Victorian literature but it somehow doesn t have the complexity of the famous Gothic masterpiece, The Woman in White, by Wilkie Collins The story follows a young rich orphaned girl named Maud who is forced to move in with her poor and embarrassed uncle according to her fathers will This man seems nice enough but there is something mysterious and menacing about this man Maud soon realized that Uncle Silas is not the nice guy she originally thought This book is a classic and one of the pioneers of Gothic literature Recommended.

  9. says:

    4.5 stars this was just awesome Victorian fun Lots of twists and turns Very atmospheric I listened to the audio narrated by BJ Harrison He did a great job For the first hour or so I had a hard time with a male narrator since the MC, Maud is a young girl but he did the other voices so well and I got used to him as Maud s voice I do think a talented female narrator might have been a better choice but overall great audio This book was on my 2016 classics challenge and I am so glad that I got to it.

  10. says:

    I decided to reread this book a few weeks ago when someone online was asking about a Victorian mystery and this one popped into my head Well, there s that, plus the fact that many months ago, I d bought a dvd of the old BBC adaptation of Uncle Silas called The Dark Angel and really wanted to watch it, but I wanted to wait until I d reread the book I have two different editions Penguin ISBN 9780140437461 and this one from Dover, but I had just finished a Dover reprint of another book and decided to continue the Dover run.Since I d already read this novel, I didn t skip the intro this time, and there was a particular paragraph that caught my eye, so much so that I m putting it in bold print here Well, you now have Uncle Silas in your hands If you ve not read it before, I envy you You are about to have a first time reading experience which, I suspect, you will never forget That is certainly the truth I remember the very first time I read it, sending pages flip flip flipping in my desire to make sure that my beloved, sweet Maud Ruthyn was going to be okay at the end, pounding heart, knotted stomach, and the feeling that everything else could just go to hell for a little while until I finished the book This time through, since enough years had passed since I d first read it, I can say that the flip flip flipping, the pounding heart, knotted stomach, and the feeling that everything else could just go to hell for a little while until I finished the book happened all over again What s changed is that this time, unlike the last time x number of years ago, I got much of a sense of what lies beneath and how well written this book actually is Le Fanu is a master of atmosphere and suspense, but he also incorporates so much under the surface of his best work that this book alone has kept scholars talking for over a century This post is a huge departure from my norm, since I won t give up a single detail here, nor will I provide even the slightest hints, because first time readers should stay away from anything about Uncle Silas that will reveal its contents either before or during your reading of this novel Do so at your own peril knowing what happens ahead of time will completely lessen the impact that the book will have on you and the fun is in the building of suspense and in getting caught up in its atmosphere as it gets darker and darker and darker, until in its final moments when you can finally let out all of the tension you ve been holding inside It is and will remain one of my favorite books ever, and I can absolutely recommend it Unlike my usual practice, I won t go into what lies underneath its surface, but just so you know, there is a LOT happening that careful readers will be able to discern Honestly, it s killing me to keep quiet about it, but as I said, not a word Just a couple of things 1 do not gloss over the role of the Swedenborgian religion here it s very, very important, and 2 don t skim through either the descriptions of the landscape or the main houses in this story Le Fanu is an absolute master of weaving such details into his work and they only serve to augment what he s trying to do Other than that, my only advice is to let the book carry you away from the real world and to have tons of fun with it.