The Turn of the Screw

Henry James described The Turn of the Screw, his much-acclaimed 1898 ghost story, as "a trap for the unwary". It was published in The Two Magics and is indeed a novella of great ambiguity that rarely makes its purposes or absolute truth clear. A young governess who is in charge of two orphaned children called Miles and Flora at the country house of Bly narrates the story. She has gained the post through the children’s uncle to whom she feels attraction and under the terms that she take all responsibility for Miles, Flora and the whole household. Although initially she feels comfortable with the pleasant children and Mrs Grose the housekeeper, she begins to sense a distinct evil and lingering sin in the house. The apparitions of Peter Quint, the old valet, and Miss Jessel who once held her position haunt her as she learns they are both dead and had had an indecent liaison. We follow the narrator’s attempts to keep her own sanity and prevent the children from communicating with the evil spirits, though we are never truly aware of whether the phantoms are products of the hysterical mind or real. This crucial aspect of uncertainty about the boundaries of the subjective and objective was removed in Benjamin Britten’s opera of the story.

Table of contents
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18
Chapter 19
Chapter 20
Chapter 21
Chapter 22
Chapter 23
Chapter 24

  By PanEris using Melati.

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