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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

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 mainl...more

Edith Warton's story 'Kerfol' is a ghostly tale of revenge and while it's not my favorite story of hers, was still a (short) pleasure to read. The ending will leave you wondering about the purpose of the story though as it's left very open-ended.

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.

Those poor dogs ☹

A strange little tale.

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.

It was a well-written and interesting story, but I just cannot deal with dead dogs. If you have problems reading stories involving animal abuse, AVOID!

As a gothic tale, it's very effective. It reminded me of Blue Beard and Elizabeth Gaskell's The Grey Woman, where a lovely young woman marries an...more

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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