Monday, January 11

Owen Davies: The Haunted-A Social History of Ghosts

The title pretty much says it all. The author is a Professor of Social History at the University of Hertfordshire, UK who, in this book, documents the history of ghosts and hauntings in English society. The said history is presented thematically with sections covering different aspects of ghostly experience, the changing explanations for ghosts and various representations of ghosts over time.
For what is basically an historical text, this book is reader-friendly. The use of end notes means that the text isn’t often interrupted and there are just enough examples to illustrate points made without tipping the work over into little more than a collection of ghost stories.
This is a fascinating examination of all aspects of ghosts throughout history; I just wish there had been more on the sociological aspects of hauntings (these are mentioned but not in great depth the author being an historian rather than a sociologist).
Well researched and highly accessible this is a great book for anyone interested in the subject.-Lynn

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