Saturday, 27 March 2010

The romance of certain old clothes

This is a short story written by Henry James and was in fact in my copy of the turning of the screw.

Its a ghost story which takes sibling rivalry to the extremes. The story is set in Massachusetts and is about two sisters Perdita and Rosalind who want the same suitor. After the man in question picks Perdita, Rosalind is extremely jealous but has to accept the situation. Rosalind does however get to marry this man when her sister dies in childbirth, but unknown to Rosalind her sister on her death bed made her husband promise to not let anyone ever wear any of her clothes which are now stored in the attic. Of course eventually Rosalind does manage to get to the clothes in question and meets a grisly end.

I didn't at any point feel particularly sorry for Rosalind, after all she had her sight set on her sisters husband and moved in quite quickly when she died. Both sisters got their revenge in their own way in the end but I don't think there's any moral in it.

I have a little sister and when I lived at home I lost count of the number of times she stole my clothes and we used to have big fights about it, so perhaps I was always going to be on Perdita's side in this one.

This qualifies for the Short Stories challenge.

Posted by Jess


  1. This does sound odd. Did you like it?

  2. Yes, it was the sort of ghost story you could tell around the campfire - I've added a rating to my post.

  3. Very odd kind of story but interesting nonetheless!
    I just got this link from Spring into Short Stories.