‘As nearly perfect a haunted house tale as I have ever read.’
Widely considered one of the scariest books ever written, The Haunting of Hill House is the terrifying grandmother of all modern haunted house tales; the ghostly disturbances in this novel have paved the way for countless supernatural menaces, from Stephen King’s The Shining to Sarah Waters’ The Little Stranger. Yet Shirley Jackson’s most celebrated novel deals in the bone-deep terror of mental disintegration rather than gore – which is why once you have visited Hill House, you will not forget it. This Folio edition of the definitive work of American Gothic is illustrated by Angie Hoffmeister, who has provided seven exquisitely unnerving images as well as a wraparound binding featuring the house itself. Award-winning novelist Joyce Carol Oates has contributed an in-depth introduction exploring the compelling psychological undercurrents of Jackson’s writing, making this an irresistible addition to any haunted library.
Frontispiece and 6 colour illustrations, including 4 double-page spreads
9 integrated illustrated tailpieces
8 ¾˝ x 5 ½˝
During the whole underside of her life, ever since her first memory, Eleanor had been waiting for something like Hill House.
Following the death of her invalid mother, Eleanor Vance is desperate to start living her own life; one of carefree adventure, far from the remnants of her family. When she receives an invitation to stay at the mysterious and remote Hill House for the summer, she knows she must attend, at any cost. Dr Montgomery has assembled a small team to probe the supernatural secrets of the infamous property, and alongside the young heir to the house and Theodora, a woman with mild psychic talents, quiet, sensitive Eleanor begins to come out of her shell. Yet what starts as a lark in an eccentric, rambling house quickly becomes something else entirely. Because Hill House has been waiting for them. And it will not let them go easily.
‘Shirley Jackson is one of those highly idiosyncratic, inimitable writers ... whose work exerts an enduring spell.’
Joyce Carol Oates
Inspired by an article about a group of 19th-century psychic researchers, Jackson eventually tracked down just the right building on which to base her haunted house, only to discover it had been built by her own great-great-grandfather … exactly the sort of eerie fact you’d expect to find in a good ghost story. Artist Angie Hoffmeister’s striking binding for this edition has captured the looming presence of the house itself, while her illustrations of the interior are suffused with a cold dread. Page by page, explore the rooms and corridors alongside Eleanor, and decide for yourself: are the terrors all in her mind, or does something truly monstrous stalk the halls of Hill House?
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 twenty 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 and We Have Always Lived in the Castle.
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.
Joyce Carol Oates’ first novel, With Shuddering Fall, was published in 1964 when she was still in her twenties. Since then, she has published a further 57 novels as well as many books of short stories, poems, plays and nonfiction. Oates read widely in 19th-century fiction as a girl – and has cited Dostoyevsky as an early influence – before encountering classic works of modernism as a student at Syracuse University, all of which helped to shape her own writing. Her best-received fictions include the Wonderland Quartet (1967–71) – the third volume, Them, won the National Book Award for Fiction in 1970 – and Blonde (2000), a fictional treatment of the life of Marilyn Monroe, which was a Pulitzer Prize finalist. Oates taught writing at Princeton University from 1978 to 2014. Together with her first husband she founded and edited a literary magazine, the Ontario Review, and an associated publishing house. In 2010 she was presented with the National Humanities Medal by President Barack Obama. Oates wrote a new introduction for The Folio Society edition of The Best Short Stories of Fyodor Dostoyevskyin 2021.
A taut, gripping thriller, Misery is arguably Stephen King’s greatest novel. Award-winning illustrator Edward Kinsella's deeply haunting artwork and striking binding design make this the ultimate collector's edition.