Haunted houses and prehistoric stones
Savage vibrations in ghost stories and D. H. Lawrence’s Kangaroo
in Rocks of nation
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This chapter focuses on fictions from the 1920s to the mid-twentieth century, which depict rocks as containing a ghostly kind of life. Such ghostliness can be threatening to visitors who attempt to possess property that turns out to be haunted by previous inhabitants, as in gothic fiction by L. T. C. Rolt and E. F. Benson. The chapter explores the ongoing perception of Cornwall's ghostly inhabitants as foreign and savage. It considers a sense of the uncanny that is to some extent particular to how visitors have perceived Cornwall as part of England but also as foreign; as home but also as belonging to strangers. Wilkie Collins and Benson to some extent depict Cornwall as a place of danger and hostile natives. D. H. Lawrence for his thinly disguised memoir, Kangaroo, drew most heavily on his personal experiences of feeling unwelcome, involving his perception of stones of sacrifice.

Rocks of nation

The imagination of Celtic Cornwall

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