Susan Hill: The Woman in Black

(748 words)
  • Gina Wisker (University of Brighton)

The Woman in Black (1983) is Susan Hill's best known novel. A fine, family ghost story, it has been adapted for stage and has run on London's West End since 1988. It has also been staged in a number of other countries, including the USA, and in 1989 it was made into a film for television.

Susan Hill's ghost stories are highly entertaining, and also rather conventional. They do not tend to challenge the format of the ghost story, they feature male protagonists, they concentrate on domestic tragedy and they have all the usual accoutrements of horror: mysterious doppelgangers, strange characters, hidden secrets, documents that are revealing, tantalising and ultimately dangerous and revengeful ghosts. In this novel …

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Wisker, Gina. "The Woman in Black". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 28 March 2001
[, accessed 26 September 2016.]