Proper Ghosts

Dinah Birch

  • The Monk by Matthew Lewis
    Oxford, 357 pp, £8.99, January 2016, ISBN 978 0 19 870445 4

In the early 1980s, before hitch-hikers disappeared from the roads, I gave a lift to a couple of teenage Goths on the way to Stratford-upon-Avon. Their cheerful conversation was reassuringly at odds with their get-up (black hair, white faces, silver skulls dangling from their ears). I wondered whether they might see a connection between Hamlet’s nighted colour and their own style, but, being natives of Stratford-upon-Avon, they had been force-fed Shakespeare all their lives and heartily wished he’d chosen some other birthplace. They wanted to talk about the Sisters of Mercy.

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