Old House of Fear
Publisher: Encounter Books
A founding father of the American conservative movement, Russell Kirk (1918–94) was also a renowned and bestselling writer of fiction. Kirk’s focus was the ghost story, or “ghostly tale” – a “decayed art” of which he considered himself a “last remaining master.” Old House of Fear, Kirk’s first novel, revealed this mastery at work. Its 1961 publication was a sensation, outselling all of Kirk’s other books combined, including The Conservative Mind, his iconic study of American conservative thought. A native of Michigan, Kirk set Old House of Fear in the haunted isles of the Outer Hebrides, drawing on his time in Scotland as the first American to earn a doctorate of letters from the University of St. Andrews. The story concerns Hugh Logan, an attorney sent by an aging American industrialist to Carnglass to purchase his ancestral island and its castle called the Old House of Fear. On the island, Logan meets Mary MacAskival, a red-haired ingénue and love interest, and the two face off against Dr. Edmund Jackman, a mystic who has the island under his own mysterious control. This new edition features an introduction by James Panero, Executive Editor of The New Criterion.