Lafcadio Hearn

Of Ghosts and Goblins
  • Of Ghosts and Goblins

  • Introducing Little Clothbound Classics: irresistible, mini editions of short stories, novellas and essays from the world's greatest writers, designed by the award-winning Coralie Bickford-Smith.

    Celebrating the range and diversity of Penguin Classics, they take us from snowy Japan to springtime Vienna, from haunted New England to a sun-drenched Mediterranean island, and from a game of chess on the ocean to a love story on the moon. Beautifully designed and printed, these collectible editions are bound in colourful, tactile cloth and stamped with foil.

    In this haunting collection, the phantoms and ghouls of Japanese folklore stalk the page. Lafcadio Hearn, a master storyteller, drew on traditional Japanese folklore, infused with memories of his own haunted childhood in Ireland, to create these chilling tales. They are today regarded in Japan as classics in their own right.


    'The stories occupy the reverie world our mind projects onto the backs of our eyelids, where the ordinary mingles with the supernatural' - Wall Street Journal

The improbable life story of Lafcadio Hearn (1850-1904) included a peculiarly gothic childhood in Ireland during which he was successively abandoned by his mother, his father and his guardian; two decades in the United States, where he worked as a journalist and was sacked for marrying a former slave; and a long period in Japan, where he married a Japanese woman and wrote about Japanese society and aesthetics for a Western readership. His ghost stories, which were drawn from Japanese folklore and influenced by Buddhist beliefs, appeared in collections throughout the 1890s and 1900s. He is a much celebrated figure in Japan.

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