Mary E. Wilkins Freeman

Shadows on the Wall

Dark Tales by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman



Introducing a key American author to the series, showcasing weird fiction’s evolution in the US. This edition includes overlooked tales, curated by Mike Ashley. The eerie tales by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman depict New England’s uncanny side, revealing witchcraft and ancestral vengeance. Highlighting Freeman’s best, including the unpublished ‘The White Shawl’, this collection spotlights an undervalued voice in weird fiction. Freeman, a renowned New England writer, championed feminist ideals and was recognized by the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1926.

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Introducing an influential American author to the series, offering a view of how weird fiction developed in the US alongside the works of British authors. It includes two stories missed by the ‘complete’ strange story anthologies which have been assembled thanks to Mike Ashley’s expertise.

Suddenly he began hastening hither and thither about the room. He moved the furniture with fierce jerks, turning ever to see the effect upon the shadow on the wall. Not a line of its terrible outlines wavered.

The disquieting tales of Mary E. Wilkins Freeman explore a world of contrast, where the supernatural erupts out of authentically drawn portraits of New England life. This is a world of witchcraft, secrecy, domestic spaces turned uncanny and ancestral vengeances inflicted upon the unfortunates of the present.

Collecting the best of the author’s strange tales – including ‘The White Shawl’, which was unpublished during her lifetime – this volume casts a light on an underappreciated contributor to weird fiction and the shadowy corners of a dark imagination.

Mary Eleanor Wilkins Freeman (1852–1930) was a prolific New England writer, whose works included children’s tales, historical novels and accounts of the supernatural. Her writing often espoused feminist beliefs and the rejection of traditional domestic roles for women. In 1926, she was awarded the first medal for Distinction in Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

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