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Old 05-16-2012, 09:31 AM   #1
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Walpole, Hugh Seymour: Jeremy and Hamlet. V1. 16 May 2012

Sir Hugh Seymour Walpole, CBE (13 March 1884 – 1 June 1941) was an English novelist. A prolific writer, he published thirty-six novels, five volumes of short stories, two plays and three volumes of memoirs. His skill at scene-setting, his vivid plots, his high profile as a lecturer and his driving ambition brought him a large readership in the United Kingdom and North America. A best-selling author in the 1920s and 1930s, his works have been neglected since his death

Walpole wrote horror novels that tended more towards the psychological rather than supernatural, with a brooding underlying mysticism. The book begins: There was a certain window between the kitchen and the pantry that was Hamlet's favorite. Thirty years ago-these chronicles are of the year 1894-the basements of houses in provincial English towns, even of large houses owned by rich people, were dark, chill, odorful caverns hissing with ill-burning gas and smelling of ill-cooked cabbage. The basement of the Coles' house in Polchester was as bad as any other, but this little window between the kitchen and the pantry was higher in the wall than the other basement windows, almost on a level with the iron railings beyond it, and offering a view down over Orange Street and, obliquely, sharp to the right and past the Polchester High School, a glimpse of the Cathedral towers themselves.
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