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We Have Always Lived in the Castle
Illustrated by Angie Hoffmeister
Afterword by Donna Tartt
Let Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle cast a spell on you. With an afterword by Donna Tartt written exclusively for this illustrated Folio Society edition.
‘Shirley Jackson’s stories are among the most terrifying ever written.’
- Donna Tartt
‘Merricat, said Connie, would you like a cup of tea? Oh no, said Merricat, you’ll poison me.’ Deeply unsettling, subversive and wickedly funny, We Have Always Lived in the Castle is widely regarded as Shirley Jackson’s masterpiece – a dark gem in a career of sinister treasures. Artist Angie Hoffmeister worked on The Haunting of Hill House and has returned to create a volume rich with atmosphere and ominous imagery, including an illustrated slipcase and a binding that introduces us to the Blackwood daughters. Legendary author Donna Tartt, one of the modern masters of American Gothic, has written an illuminating afterword exclusively for this edition, examining how Jackson’s empathy for outsiders and eccentric domestic life were the crucible for her remarkable works.
Bound in printed and blocked textured paper
Set in Arno with Zachar display
Frontispiece and 6 colour illustrations, including 2 double-page spreads
10 integrated tailpieces
8¾˝ x 5½˝
‘This novel brings back all my faith in terror and death. I can say no higher of it and her.’
- Dorothy Parker
Donna Tartt describes Jackson as ‘a genius who sprang up in full fire’, calling for greater appreciation of a writer whose voice was so unique her influence can be felt in every corner of the literary world, with authors such as Stephen King and Joyce Carol Oates praising her books and stories as essential works. Merricat, the dark beating heart of We Have Always Lived in the Castle, is her most iconic character, brought to life in Hoffmeister’s deliciously eerie watercolours, across five colour illustrations and two double-page spreads.
‘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.
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