A comprehensive collection of the bizarre tales of Mrs Molesworth
The writer who was always known by her formal title Mrs Molesworth, was in fact born in Rotterdam in the Netherlands to English parents in 1839 and christened Mary Louisa Stewart. Her father was a successful Manchester businessman and Mary was educated both in England and Switzerland. In 1861 she married Major R. Molesworth, a nephew of Viscount Molesworth, an Irish aristocrat. Their marriage was ultimately unsuccessful and they were legally separated in 1879. Her first fiction-the 1869 novel 'Lover and Husband'-was published under the pseudonym Ennis Graham. As was common among authors of the day she wrote in a number of genres but-curiously-she was most prolific as a writer of children's' fiction, particularly for girls who were too old for fairytales but to young for adult fiction. These tales were for those who would eventually become Victorian wives and mothers and so were rich with the sentiments of duty and morality. These may seem like dubious credentials to those interested in good supernatural fiction and especially to those who have not actually read any of Mrs Molesworth's stories of ghosts and hauntings. However, this would be to do the author a great injustice for the only shortcoming concerning her strange tales is that she did not write more of them. Her talent for the genre will be immediately apparent to the reader and, indeed, several of the tales included here are recognised as classics and were highly regarded by the supernatural writer and academic M. R. James. Among the fifteen stories in this special Leonaur collection-which we believe (at the time of publication) is the only comprehensive gathering of Mary Molesworth's tales of the other worldly available-are 'The Story of the Rippling Train,' 'At the Dip of the Road,' 'The Man with the Cough,' 'Half way Between the Stiles' and many others. Also included in this collection is a story by Mary Molesworth's son Bevil, 'A Ghost of the Pampas.' Bevil died on his Patagonian ranch when in his mid twenties.
Leonaur editions are newly typeset and are not facsimiles; each title is available in softcover and hardback with dustjacket; our hardbacks are cloth bound and feature gold foil lettering on their spines and fabric head and tail bands.