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John Edwards

I think the inspiration for it probably came from Dickens' own experience in the Staplehurst train crash.
He was travelling with his mistress and his mother and after seeing them to safety (their carriage was overhanging the edge) he went back into the carriage for his coat which had a manuscript in its pocket. He was then one of the first to recover from the immediate shock and help to tend to the wounded some of whom died while he was with them, including a young man.
He was deeply affected by this crash and its aftermath and the real shock set in afterwards. He lost his voice for a while and had to cancel some of his readings from his works (a major money-spinner for him). He was ever-after nervous in trains and fast carriages. Some say it even led to a form of madness in his few remaining years! He died on the fifth anniversary of the crash.

jenn aka the picky girl

I have to tell you - I'm enjoying these reviews so much that I had to go online last week and order my own copy of The Haunted Looking Glass. I love Gorey's work anyway, but this text just sounds so perfect for the start of fall.

Thanks for going through it and sharing.

Buried In Print

Love the two pictures. Every year I mean to read more short stories for RIP, but it's always ended up more about the novels. This collection sounds delicious though: enjoy!


Oh! I've read this one but it has been so long I don't remember how it ends! I do recall liking it though.


Oh wow--I had no idea. Now that is quite the story and I can see how it would have affected him forever not liking trains ever after! I read the reference to a train crash in the Wikipedia, so they sort of had it right. I'm almost surprised he was able to write about it--especially as a ghost story!


You are most welcome and it is (so far and I am sure will continue to be so) a good collection. I am very much enjoying it--not least the wonderful Gorey illustrations. I suspect I will break down, too, and order myself a copy. Hope you enjoy it when your own copy arrives!


I seem to be the reverse. I do much better with short stories, though I did manage a novella and am working on a Wilkie Collins novella now, too. I hope to read one or two novels--there is still plenty of time, right? Somehow short stories seem to call out as the perfect format for a scary story (they don't have to keep up the tension for hundreds of pages!).


I am pretty sure is it online if you have a hankering to reread it! It puts me in the mood to read one of Dickens's novels now (I seem to always want to read Dickens, but then never follow through--my last try was Bleak House, which one day I will read in its entirety! Maybe I'll look for a good Victorian novel to read over the holiday break. Do you think it is too soon to begin planning!?? (Wishful already ready for a good break).


There are a lot of stories like this, about tunnel ghosts - or haunted tunnels. Interesting. This sounds good and the backstory John provided is so interesting.


I think this is the first story I've come across with this sort of setting--and it really is a perfect one for a ghost story--I quite liked it. And it is very interesting to hear where the inspiration likely came--I had only read a reference to it in a Wikipedia entry--so I like hearing the details. It makes me want to read a Dickens novel now (just like I want to read Jane Austen...and...and...). :)

vicki (skiourophile / bibliolathas)

I have to know what happens now! What a great story.


I think this is my favorite so far from this collection (though it is still early days). It has made me want to pick up a Dickens novel--that's for sure!

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