We Have Always Lived in the Castle (Limited Edition)

Shirley Jackson

Illustrated by Angie Hoffmeister

Afterword by Donna Tartt

Limited to 500 copies

The Folio Society presents a bewitching limited edition of Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle. Illustrated by Angie Hoffmeister and with a brilliant new afterword by Donna Tartt, this edition is limited to just 500 copies and has been signed by both contributors.

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‘An amazing writer ... If you haven’t read her you have missed out on something marvellous.’
  1. Neil Gaiman

‘I like my sister Constance, and Richard Plantagenet, and Amanita phalloides, the death-cup mushroom. Everyone else in my family is dead.’ This very special limited edition of We Have Always Lived in the Castle is strictly limited to 500 copies and is signed by the artist Angie Hoffmeister and by legendary author Donna Tartt, who has written an illuminating afterword for Shirley Jackson’s dark masterpiece. Presented in a spectacular illustrated clamshell box and accompanied by a stunning art print, this unforgettable tale of poison, secrets and domestic witchcraft also features seven colour illustrations, a striking binding design and illustrated endpapers. As delicious and as deadly as a bowl of arsenic-laced blackberries, there is no finer edition of the book Joyce Carol Oates called a ‘masterpiece of Gothic suspense’.

An edition that is not limited of We Have Always Lived in the Castle is available here

Bound in screen-printed cloth

Set in Arno with Zachar display

200 pages

Frontispiece and 6 colour illustrations, including 2 double-page spreads

10 integrated tailpieces

Screen-printed endpapers

Clamshell box with central magnetic opening, covered in printed paper

Print for framing printed on Natural Evolution paper

8¾˝ x 5½˝

‘Our house was a castle, turreted and open to the sky.’

Six years ago the majority of the Blackwood family died agonising deaths in the middle of a lavish dinner, poisoned by a liberal dose of arsenic in their sugar. Now the Blackwood daughters live a reclusive life with their invalid uncle. Constance cooks and cleans, never straying further than their garden, and ever vigilant Merricat watches over their home, keeping the dreaded villagers out and prowling the borders with her cat, Jonas. For Merricat it is the perfect life, the only blemish on her existence the weekly trips to buy groceries from the people who despise her. But change is coming in the form of avaricious Cousin Charles, and Merricat will have to act to save her world, regardless of the destruction it will bring.

‘A masterpiece of Gothic suspense.’
  1. Joyce Carol Oates

In her afterword, Donna Tartt notes that ‘no one’s magic is blacker than Jackson’s’, and the author’s uniquely macabre sensibilities are tangible throughout this exquisite limited edition. On the exterior of the clamshell box Blackwood House is closed against the night and the prying eyes of enemies; turn it over to see the destruction wrought on Merricat’s beloved home. The endpapers are printed with a wittily sinister image of the Blackwood’s fateful final meal, and the binding features Merricat herself, on the brink of summoning her next catastrophe. As a final sweet treat, the limited edition of We Have Always Lived in the Castle is accompanied by a hauntingly beautiful art print of Merricat and Jonas, a hoard of buried treasures lying beneath them.

Shirley Jackson (1918–65) was one of the greatest American gothic writers of the 20th century – an heir to the tradition of Hawthorne and Poe. Jackson was brought up in California and educated in Syracuse, New York, where she met the man she would marry. The couple settled in North Bennington, Vermont, where Jackson spent the last 20 years of her life. Her career writing short stories was lucrative, and for some time she was highly regarded as the author of Life Among the Savages, a witty fictionalised memoir about life as a mother; but this work has now been eclipsed by Jackson’s reputation as the author of horror and ghost-story masterpieces such as the controversial short work ‘The Lottery’ and the novels The Haunting of Hill House (Folio 2022) and We Have Always Lived in the Castle (Folio 2023).

Angie Hoffmeister (born in Quedlinburg, Germany, in 1989) is an illustrator and printmaker based in Düsseldorf, where she was educated at the Kunstakademie. She uses a range of media – including drypoint, pencil and watercolour – she has also illustrated a number of graphic novels.

Donna Tartt is an American Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist. After studying at the University of Mississippi, she moved to Bennington College, known for its courses in liberal arts, including writing. Her first novel, The Secret History (1992), went on to become a bestseller and her second novel, The Little Friend (2002), won the WH Smith Literary Award. The Goldfinch (2013) won many literary awards, including the Pulitzer Prize and the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction in 2014.


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