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Kerfol

Edith Wharton

Book Overview: 

I left my light burning all night, as he had predicted; but it was chiefly because, till near dawn, I was absorbed in my reading. The account of the trial of Anne de Cornault, wife of the lord of Kerfol, was long and closely printed. It was, as my friend had said, probably an almost literal transcription of what took place in the court-room; and the trial lasted nearly a month. Besides, the type of the book was detestable.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .I turned away. Behind me I found the rest of the pack, with a newcomer added: a small black greyhound with pale agate-coloured eyes. He was shivering a little, and his expression was more timid than that of the others. I noticed that he kept a little behind them. And still there was not a sound.

I stood there for fully five minutes, the circle about me—waiting, as they seemed to be waiting. At last I went up to the little golden-brown dog and stooped to pat him. As I did so, I heard myself give a nervous laugh. The little dog did not start, or growl, or take his eyes from me—he simply slipped back about a yard, and then paused and continued to look at me. "Oh, hang it!" I exclaimed, and walked across the court toward the well.

As I advanced, the dogs separated and slid away into different corners of the court. I examined the urns on the well, tried a locked door or two, and looked up and down the dumb fa. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Edith Wharton's Kerfol is one of the better gothic horror tales I've read. I appreciated that she didn't make events over dramatic like most gothic writers are prone to do. The only flaw I can find is the ending which feels abrupt and unfinished.

Here is the fourth story in Wharton's collection of ghosts, and if "The Lady's Maid's Bell" can be called poor, with "Afterward" classifying as rich, then "Kerfol" is solidly the bourgeoisie -- middle class. To use Wharton's own words: "...the narrative plain sailing."

This tale is enjoyable mainly f

Kerfol is the name of a haunted castle that a man is exploring perhaps to purchase when he comes upon a pack of dogs. These dogs are in the main, small, beautiful and well cared for, but unusual in their quietness. They approach the man at a distance and then follow him, but retreat when he tried to

The house at Kerfol was not actually very scary in my opinion, but that does not mean it is bad. An enticing confusing story. I read this with my mum.

I read this out loud to Harry, and we both agreed that it was not so chilling, but a little bit heartbreaking, which is exactly what I would expect from Edith.

A bit spooky I might say, but had no shivers reading it tbh and too much unexplained phenomena. Yet I believe this can be the begining of a very interesting Novel if someone pursues to extend it a little bit.

I can’t even begin to say how much I loved this read. It scared me, amused me, and drew me in all at the same time. Before I read this I never thought dogs would scare me. As usual I don’t like to give things away in reviews, but I will say as much as possible to express my feelings on this book. Th

I really did not get this at all... He killed the dogs why? What was the point of it?
Written well, so there is that.

A very spooky story centering around the dogs at a French estate an Englishwoman is considering purchasing in the early 20th century and a murder that occurred centuries before. Though a little slow in the beginning, Wharton does a good job of building the suspense and then summing up the history of

This story is not exactly what I expected going in. Even so, it is a great example of gothic horror and a far cry from Ethan Frome which was imposed on me in school. I look forward to hearing other people's impressions of this story.

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