Friday, March 9, 2007

The Past - by Ellen Glasgow

Photo: Ellen Glasgow's house in Richmond, Virginia.

Today I read a story by Ellen Glasgow called "The Past". It is a ghost story, and an excellent one at that.

Ellen Glasgow is a Virginia native and much of her fiction is set in Virginia. The setting for this story is not specified (unless I missed it in my hurried reading), but one of the main characters is said to have attended a school for girls in Fredericksburg.

The ghost in the story is that of the husband's first wife. She cannot be seen by everyone. The husband seemingly cannot see her, but he is affected by her presence. The second wife can see the ghost, as can her secretary. It is an interesting ghost story, different from others I have read. I don't want to give away the plot, so I will confine myself to recommending it to those who enjoy ghost stories.

A digital edition of "The Past" is available at

While writing about Ellen Glasgow, let me commend a movie version of one of her books: In This Our Life, a 1942 movie starring Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland, George Brent, and Charles Coburn. I particularly enjoy the magnetism between Bette Davis and Charles Coburn in this film.

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