American historian and advocate of political-cultural conservatism Kirk (1918-94) also wrote fantasy fiction, including the 19 ghost stories that this volume collocates for the first time. Although they have the old-fashioned psychological and descriptive texture of great turn-of-the-twentieth-century ghost stories, they are uniquely theological. A Catholic, Kirk was an orthodox believer in good and evil, sin, repentance, salvation, and, especially, judgment. Most ghosts in his stories are characteristically and actively agents of God's judgment. They literally quash the evil and save the good. Occasionally, in the case of some spirits in "The Invasion of the Church of the Holy Ghost," ghosts are agents of Satan, but such aren't as powerful as God's ghosts, for evil can't be as powerful as goodness. Some of Kirk's confections display their theological programming too obviously, but when powered also by a great character, such as Manfred Arcane, minister without portfolio of the Commonwealth Hamnegri and hero of two stories (and two of Kirk's three novels), they are rich and exceptional masterpieces. Ray OlsonCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
About the Author
Russell Kirk (19181994) was an eminent literary and social critic who rose to national prominence in 1953 with the publication of his book The Conservative Mind. The founding editor of Modern Age and The University Bookman, he wrote more than thirty books, including his memoirs, The Sword of Imagination (Eerdmans).