Cullen Reads? (I) – John Charrington’s Wedding By Edith Nesbit

This is a series of indeterminate length talking about various things I’ve read.  Novels, short stories, what have you, all are potential subjects for me to talk about.

Today’s subject is the short story John Charrington’s Wedding by Edith Nesbit.  The provided link will take you to the work in question.  From here on out expect dread SPOILERS!  You have been warned!

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I picked this particular tale for two reasons.  The first that it was relatively short (I suspected this would be a late post).  The second was that I’d thought I’d read it before and was after a fashion familiar with it.  Not sure if I have or not, but it is still familiar.

Seee, John Charrington’s Wedding follows the oft told tale of a soul entirely too determined for his own good.  John’s going to marry May Forster, dead or alive.  And it’s no real surprise which it is.

This is true with a lot of Ghost Stories.  Lots of familiar trails being trod.  So I knew what would happen well before Nesbit reached her points.

Not a mark against the story mind.  It’s still a well told, creepy little thing.

Take the opening line:

No one ever thought that May Forster would marry John Charrington; but he thought differently, and things which John Charrington intended had a queer way of coming to pass.

 Boom.  Right there she’s setting the ground work for the supernatural happenings to come.  Far more efficient, I think, than John’s repeated declarations about getting married “dead or alive.”

Another thing I liked is that at no point is there a reason for the haunting beyond that first explanation.  There are no bad people involved, no vengeance from beyond the grave.  For whatever reason John always gets what he wants, and does so one last time.  Much to May’s detriment.

Nesbit has a nice, simple writing style that’s easy to read and gets the point across.  After reading this story, I’m rather curious about some of her other Ghost Stories.  Maybe after reading it, you might be too.

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