What Should I Read Whilst Staying in an Old Manor House?

After another bonkers week at work (where we had our diaries cleared to plan and deliver a huge parade through Liverpool if LFC won – which we won’t talk about after the game went the way it did) I am shattered but very much looking forward to this weekend when I am off to my Great Aunt’s 80th birthday party which plans to be full of food, drinks, merriment and dancing. The additional highlight to celebrating this with her is that I have booked to stay in a rather wonderful, and slightly spooky – in a good way, manor house as an extra treat. And after visiting a fairytale castle last weekend too, I do love a castle, stately home or manor. I would never normally dream of staying in one. Doesn’t it look marvellous?


The question on my mind now is, of course, what on earth to read while I am there. I am almost at the end of a brilliant collection of contemporary short stories and feel that next I should read something that befits the setting. I would therefore love to hear your recommendations of favourite books set in slightly gothic houses (I don’t want to read Rebecca again at the moment, though did contemplate it) be they mysteries, crimes, boarding school tales or anything else that might fit the bill. Name as many as you like, I will be squeezing in as much reading time as I can.


Filed under Book Thoughts, Random Savidgeness

15 responses to “What Should I Read Whilst Staying in an Old Manor House?

  1. Tom

    Anything by Agatha Christi

  2. Spooky castles call for Shirley Jackson. Have you read We Have Always Lived In The Castle? I think it’s her best and has an excellent gothic run-down house.
    The Summer We All Ran Away by Cassandra Parkin. People running from things find themselves drawn to the half-finished old mansion house – the front of it is nicely decorated but the bit you can’t initially see is in ruins (basically representing every character in the book).
    If you’re into comics, try volume 1 of Wytches. Not the right setting, at all, but there’s *something* hiding in the woods…

  3. The Reading Bug

    Its got to be Northanger Abbey, surely?

  4. Depends on how much sleep you want…??? If you’re ok with NOT sleeping how about: “‘Oh, Whistle, and I’ll Come to You, My Lad'” by M.R. James?

  5. If you haven’t read it already, The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters.

  6. Di

    How about Brideshead Revisited?

  7. JudyD

    I would recommend another Sarah Waters’ book – The Little Stranger.

  8. Kaisha Khalifeh

    I would read:
    I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
    Thornyhold by Mary Stewart
    The Likeness by Tana French
    (buy mostly Thornyhold!)

  9. I recently discovered Arnaldur Indridason, his series of gold dagger award winners featuring Inspector Erlendur. Chilly Scandinavian mysteries, classic noir for very cold place. In English, translated from Icelandic.

  10. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
    The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje
    Hotel du Lac by Anita Brookner

  11. “Maurice” by E.M Forster sprang to my mind when I saw the picture but I could see Indridason work very well, too.

  12. read anything, just stay well away from creepypastas.

  13. I was going to say Brideshead Revisited and I Capture the Caste, too. 😦 Since they’ve been taken, I’ll go with Cold Comfort Farm. It’s setting is almost the opposite of a manor, but it’s a lot of fun, good for a weekend away and something you could even read out loud if the other guests need entertainment.

  14. Joanna

    Isabele Colgate’s The Shooting Party. Set in a country house during a typical weekend shooting party just before WWI breaks out. Great setting and characters, and it’s a relatively short book so good for a weekend read. There was also a film made from it in 1985 which I haven’t been able to find a copy of yet but would like to.

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