Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Gaskell's The Grey Woman

The Grey Woman was originally published in All the Year Round in 1861, and included in the 1865 Smith, Elder collection, The Grey Woman and Other Tales. Gaskell wrote this story after a trip to Heidelberg while she was working on and feeling frustrated by her lack of progress with Sylvia's Lovers. I see it as an archetypal Bluebeard story--wonderfully gothic with truly spine-tingling scenes and a high concentration of non-conventional elements, including cross-dressing and bigamy for starters.

I've posted Portion I of three parts here. Just click on "Portion I" to get the text. I've also included an audio recording that I did for LibriVox last year if you want to listen as well or instead of reading.


  1. wow, pretty pic...

  2. Thanks for stopping by, Amy. The picture is wonderful, isn't it? Just the way I pictured the castle in The Grey Woman.

    Glad to see you're a great reader--I think enjoying to read is one of the greatest pleasures of my life.

  3. Your description sounds wonderful! The only retelling of Bluebeard I ever liked was Angela Carter's 'The Bloody Chamber', but I might give this a try.