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Nightmare Abbey - cover

Nightmare Abbey

Thomas Love Peacock

Publisher: Memorable Classics eBooks

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Nightmare Abbey by Thomas Love Peacock Nightmare Abbey is an 1818 novella by Thomas Love Peacock which makes good-natured fun of contemporary literary trends.

Insofar as the novel may be said to have a plot, it follows the fortunes of Christopher Glowry, a morose widower who lives with his only son Scythrop in the isolated family mansion, Nightmare Abbey, in Lincolnshire. Mr Glowry's melancholy leads him to choose servants with long faces or dismal names such as Mattocks, Graves and Skellet.

The few visitors he welcomes to his home are mostly of a similar cast of mind, with the sole exception of his brother-in-law, Mr Hilary. The visitors engage in conversations, or occasionally monologues, which serve to highlight their eccentricities or obsessions.

Mr Glowry's son Scythrop is recovering from a love affair which ended badly. A failed author, he often retires to his own quarters in a tower to study. When he leaves them, he is distracted by the flirtatious Marionetta, who blows hot and cold on his affections.

A further complication arises when Celinda Toobad, fleeing from a forced engagement to an unknown suitor, appeals to Scythrop for shelter and he hides her in a secret room. The change in Scythrop's demeanour spurs on Marionetta to threaten to leave him forever, and he is forced to admit to himself that he is in love with both women and cannot choose between them.

There is a brief interruption to the usual round of life at the Abbey when the misanthropic poet, Mr Cypress, pays a farewell visit before going into exile. After his departure, there are reports of a ghost stalking the building, and the appearance of a ghastly figure in the library throws the guests into consternation. Only later is the apparition revealed to have been Mr Glowry's somnambulant steward Crow.
Available since: 06/02/2022.

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