chapter  8
18 Pages

The old dark house: the architecture of ambiguity in The Turn of the Screw and The Innocents

WithJohn C. Tibbetts

No sooner has she moved into her rooms at Bly House in the opening pages of Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw, than the new governess immediately notices ‘a sound or two, less natural and not without but within’. At first she dismisses these slight disturbances. ‘[I]t is only in the light, or the gloom, I should rather say, of other and subsequent matters that they now come back to me’ (James, 1948: 445).1