50 Great Ghost Stories

   Posted by: Lynne Foley   in Bookworm

50 Great Ghost Stories, ed. John Canning, Odham’s Books, reprinted 1968. (No ISBN)

Occasionally, one finds matters Ricardian unlikely sources.  50 Great Ghost Stories, edited by John Canning, has two stories by Vida Derry and Frank Usher.

In Derry’s ‘Child Ghosts’, she mentions the Princes in the Tower. She does not accuse Richard, but relates the story that Tyrell was responsible for arranging their deaths according to the narrative of Thomas More. She does not say that More’s work is ‘gospel’ as far as Richard is concerned.

She finds it worth noting that the examination of the bones in 1933 was completed in five days whereas the examination of the remains of Anne Mowbray were still at work three months after they were found, despite protests by Lord Mowbray.

In Usher’s ‘Hauntings Royal’, the first paragraph names Henry VIII, according to popular opinion, as one of the arch-villains of history.  He deals at length with the alleged hauntings by Anne Boleyn, mention the elusive ghosts of Jane Seymour, Sybil Penn (Edward VI’s nurse) and Catherine Howard.  He refers to Henry as “the professional widower” and mentions more than once that unlike his victims, Henry rests peacefully in his grave. The following pages detail more executions and Henry is referred to as the “arch-villain of all these beheadings.”

When discussing the execution of Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury, he states “she had a better title to the throne than Henry himself, as his father Henry VII having usurped the throne from its lawful inheritors.”

Ectoplasmic manifestations aside, the book contains many well-known and not so well known ghost stories, and although not a believer, I would still prefer to have a strong light on, and my chair against the wall when reading The Brown Lady of Raynham.

50 Great Ghost Stories, ed. John Canning, Odham’s Books, reprinted 1968. (No ISBN)

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