Lucas Malet: The Gateless Barrier

(145 words)
  • Talia Schaffer (Queens College, CUNY )

The Gateless Barrier (1900), by Lucas Malet (Mary St Leger Kingsley Harrison), is both a love story and a ghost story. The writer Laurence Rivers inherits a family mansion from his ominous cousin Montagu. He discovers a locked “yellow drawing-room”, left intact with its early-nineteenth-century feminine trifles (embroidery, letters, music). The room is haunted by a lovely ghost, Agnes, and Laurence is the reborn version of her original lover. Although Laurence tempts Agnes to return to the world of the living, in the end she vanishes, leaving him possessed by unfulfillable yearning. In this novel it is the ghostly woman who haunts the house of fiction. Agnes's creative work overwhelms Laurence's essays and the decadent c…

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Schaffer, Talia. "The Gateless Barrier". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 24 January 2002
[, accessed 13 October 2015.]

Related Groups

  1. Victorian Women's Writing