Haunted houses and history
Henry James’s Anglo-American ghosts
in The ghost story, 1840–1920
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This chapter investigates how representations of spectrality reformulate a model of national identity in Henry James. It shows that readings of haunted houses and hotels in several of James's works reveal how the historicity of the spectral expresses a nationally liminal Anglo-American identity politics. It also notes that a persistent theme of money and spectrality exists, which is familiar from Dickens, Riddell and Collins, and relates to conceptions of economic and national power and powerlessness.

The ghost story, 1840–1920

A cultural history


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