The Woman in Black

by

Susan Hill

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on The Woman in Black can help.
Arthur Kipps, the protagonist of the novel, is a successful lawyer with a haunting past. As the frame story gives way to the story of Arthur’s past—his fateful visit, as a young and naïve lawyer, to the northeastern town of Crythin Gifford for the purpose of settling the estate of one of his firm’s recently-deceased clients—the worried, tetchy, anxious Arthur of the first chapter transforms into an impressionable but confident young man unaware of the horrors in store for him. Through his own portrait of his youth, Arthur explores the frightening events that effectively derailed his life; most notably, his repetitious encounters, during his stay at Eel Marsh House, with the frightful woman in black—the ghost that has haunted the property for decades. As if to force Arthur to witness the horrors of her own past, the ghost seems to take up a personal vendetta against Arthur, determined to frighten him and afflict him with the same horrible suffering she endured in life. When Arthur leaves Crythin Gifford, he believes that her cycle of terror has been broken—but when he returns to his life in London, he finds that the woman in black is not done with him yet. In a horrible denouement, Arthur is forced to watch as his new wife and young child die in a pony trap accident—just as Jennet was forced to watch, from Eel Marsh House’s nursery window, as her own son drowned in the marsh after a carriage accident of his own. The cyclical nature of the trauma, violence, and suffering Arthur is forced to endure is Gothic in proportion and horrifying in nature; Arthur’s struggles force readers to reckon with the lasting effects of grief, injustice, and the desire for vengeance.

Arthur Kipps Quotes in The Woman in Black

The The Woman in Black quotes below are all either spoken by Arthur Kipps or refer to Arthur Kipps. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Vintage edition of The Woman in Black published in 2011.
Chapter 1 Quotes

I had always known in my heart that the experience would never leave me, that it was now woven into my very fibers, an inextricable part of my past, but I had hoped never to have to recollect it, consciously, and in full, ever again. Like an old wound, it gave off a faint twinge now and again, but less and less often, less and less painfully, as the years went on and my happiness, sanity and equilibrium were assured. Of late, it had been like the outermost ripple on a pool, merely the faint memory of a memory. Now, tonight, it again filled my mind to the exclusion of all else. I knew that I should have no rest from it, that I should lie awake in a chill of sweat, going over that time, those events, those places. So it had been night after night for years.

Related Characters: Arthur Kipps (speaker)
Page Number: 17
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 2 Quotes

Fog was outdoors, hanging over the river, creeping in and out of alleyways and passages, swirling thickly between the bare trees of all the parks and gardens of the city and indoors, too, seething through cracks and crannies like sour breath, gaining a sly entrance at every opening of a door. It was a yellow fog, a filthy, evil-smelling fog, a fog that choked and blinded, smeared and stained. […]

Sounds were deadened, shapes blurred. […] it was menacing and sinister, disguising the familiar world and confusing the people in it, as they were confused by having their eyes covered and being turned about, in a game of Blind Man's Buff.

Related Characters: Arthur Kipps (speaker)
Related Symbols: Fog and Mist
Page Number: 20-21
Explanation and Analysis:

The business was beginning to sound like something from a Victorian novel, with a reclusive old woman having hidden a lot of ancient documents somewhere in the depths of her cluttered house. I was scarcely taking Mr. Bentley seriously.

Related Characters: Arthur Kipps (speaker), Mr. Bentley
Page Number: 26-27
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 4 Quotes

It was true that neither Mr. Daily nor the landlord of the inn seemed anything but sturdy men of good common-sense, just as I had to admit that neither of them had done more than fall silent and look at me hard and a little oddly, when the subject of Mrs. Drablow had arisen. Nonetheless, I had been left in no doubt that there was some significance in what had been left unsaid.

Related Characters: Arthur Kipps (speaker), Samuel Daily, The Landlord
Page Number: 38
Explanation and Analysis:

I can recall it still, that sensation of slipping down, down into the welcoming arms of sleep, surrounded by warmth and softness, happy and secure as a small child in the nursery […] Perhaps I recall those sensations the more vividly because of the contrast that presented with what was to come after. Had I known that my untroubled night of good sleep was to be the last such that I was to enjoy for so many terrifying, racked and weary nights to come, perhaps I should not have jumped out of bed with such alacrity, eager to be down and have breakfast, and then to go out and begin the day.

[…] I do not believe I have ever again slept so well as I did that night in the inn at Crythin Gifford. For I see that then I was still all in a state of innocence, but that innocence, once lost, is lost forever.

Related Characters: Arthur Kipps (speaker)
Page Number: 38-39
Explanation and Analysis:

"Well," I said, "if he's buying up half the county I suppose I may be doing business with him myself before the year is out. I am a solicitor looking after the affairs of the late Mrs. Alice Drablow of Eel Marsh House. It is quite possible that her estate will come up for sale in due course."

For a moment, my companion still said nothing, only buttered a thick slice of bread and laid his chunks of cheese along it carefully. I saw by the clock on the opposite wall that it was half past one, and I wanted to change my clothes before the arrival of Mr. Keckwick, so that I was about to make my excuses and go, when my neighbor spoke. "l doubt," he said, in a measured tone, "whether even Samuel Daily would go so far."

Related Characters: Arthur Kipps (speaker), Samuel Daily, Keckwick
Page Number: 52-53
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 5 Quotes

No car appeared. Instead, there drew up outside the Gifford Arms a rather worn and shabby pony and trap. It was not at all out of place in the market square—I had noticed a number of such vehicles that morning and, assuming that this one belonged to some farmer or stockman, I took no notice, but continued to look around me, for a motor. Then I heard my name called.

The pony was a small, shaggy-looking creature, wearing blinkers, and the driver with a large cap pulled down low over his brow, and a long, hairy brown coat, looked not unlike it, and blended with the whole equipage.

Related Characters: Arthur Kipps (speaker), Keckwick
Related Symbols: Pony Traps
Page Number: 55
Explanation and Analysis:

Suddenly conscious of the cold and the extreme bleakness and eeriness of the spot and of the gathering dusk of the November afternoon, and not wanting my spirits to become so depressed that I might begin to be affected by all sorts of morbid fancies, I was about to leave […] But, as I turned away, I glanced once again round the burial ground and then I saw again the woman with the wasted face, who had been at Mrs. Drablow's funeral. […] As I stared at her, stared until my eyes ached in their sockets, stared in surprise and bewilderment at her presence, now I saw that her face did wear an expression. It was one of what I can only describe—and the words seem hopelessly inadequate to express what I saw—as a desperate, yearning malevolence; it was as though she were searching for something she wanted, needed—must have, more than life itself, and which had been taken from her. And, toward whoever had taken it she directed the purest evil and hatred and loathing, with all the force that was available to her.

Related Characters: Arthur Kipps (speaker), The Woman in Black / Jennet Humfrye
Page Number: 62-63
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 6 Quotes

So I thought that night, as I laid my head on the soft pillow and fell eventually into a restless, shadowy sleep, across which figures came and went, troubling me, so that once or twice I half-woke myself, as I cried out or spoke a few incoherent words, I sweated, I turned and turned about, trying to free myself from the nightmares, to escape from my own semi-conscious sense of dread and foreboding, and all the time, piercing through the surface of my dreams, came the terrified whinnying of the pony and the crying and calling of that child over and over, while I stood, helpless in the mist, my feet held fast, my body pulled back, and while behind me, though I could not see, only sense her dark presence, hovered the woman.

Related Characters: Arthur Kipps (speaker), The Woman in Black / Jennet Humfrye
Related Symbols: Fog and Mist, Pony Traps
Page Number: 82
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 8 Quotes

"It seems to me, Mr. Daily," I said, "that I have seen whatever ghost haunts Eel Marsh and that burial ground. A woman in black with a wasted face. Because I have no doubt at all that she was whatever people call a ghost, that she was not a real, living, breathing human being. Well, she did me no harm. She neither spoke nor came near me. I did not like her look and I liked the… the power that seemed to emanate from her toward me even less, but I have convinced myself that it is a power that cannot do more than make me feel afraid. If I go there and see her again, I am prepared."

"And the pony and trap?"

I could not answer because, yes, that had been worse, far worse, more terrifying because it had been only heard not seen and because the cry of that child would never, I was sure, leave me for the rest of my life.

I shook my head. "I won't run away."

Related Characters: Arthur Kipps (speaker), Samuel Daily (speaker), The Woman in Black / Jennet Humfrye
Related Symbols: Pony Traps
Page Number: 99-100
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 9 Quotes

As soon as I awoke, a little before seven, I felt that the air had a dampness in it and that it was rather colder and, when I looked out of the window, I could hardly see the division between land and water, water and sky, all was a uniform gray, with thick cloud lying low over the marsh and a drizzle. It was not a day calculated to raise the spirits and I felt unrefreshed and nervous after the previous night. But Spider trotted down the stairs eagerly and cheerfully enough and I soon built up the fires again and stoked the boiler, had a bath and breakfast and began to feel more like my everyday self.

Related Characters: Arthur Kipps (speaker), The Woman in Black / Jennet Humfrye
Related Symbols: Fog and Mist
Page Number: 112
Explanation and Analysis:

In Scotland, a son was born to her and she wrote of him at once with a desperate, clinging affection. For a few months the letters ceased, but when they began again it was at first in passionate outrage and protest, later, in quiet, resigned bitterness. […]

"He is mine. Why should I not have what is mine? He shall not go to strangers. I shall kill us both before I let him go."

Then the tone changed. "'What else can I do? I am quite helpless. If you and M are to have him I shall mind it less." And again, "I suppose it must be."

But at the end of the last letter of all was written in a very small, cramped hand: "Love him, take care of him as your own. But he is mine, mine, he can never be yours. Oh, forgive me. I think my heart will break. J."

Related Characters: Arthur Kipps (speaker), The Woman in Black / Jennet Humfrye
Page Number: 114-115
Explanation and Analysis:

I picked things up, stroked them, even smelled them. They must have been here for half a century, yet they might have been played with this afternoon and tidied away tonight. I was not afraid now. I was puzzled. I felt strange, unlike myself, I moved as if in a dream. But for the moment at least there was nothing here to frighten or harm me, there was only emptiness, an open door, a neatly made bed and a curious air of sadness, of something lost, missing, so that I myself felt a desolation, a grief in my own heart. How can I explain? I cannot. But I remember it, as I felt it.

Related Characters: Arthur Kipps (speaker), The Woman in Black / Jennet Humfrye
Page Number: 123
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 10 Quotes

But she was alive and so was I and, gradually, a little warmth from each of our bodies and the pause revived us and, cradling Spider like a child in my arms, I began to stumble back across the marshes toward the house. As I did so and within a few yards of it, I glanced up. At one of the upper windows, the only window with bars across it, the window of the nursery, I caught a glimpse of someone standing. A woman. That woman. She was looking directly toward me. Spider was whimpering in my arms and making occasional little retching coughs. We were both trembling violently. How I reached the grass in front of the house I shall never know but, as I did so, I heard a sound. It was coming from the far end of the causeway path which was just beginning to be visible as the tide began to recede. It was the sound of a pony trap.

Related Characters: Arthur Kipps (speaker), The Woman in Black / Jennet Humfrye
Related Symbols: Pony Traps
Page Number: 134
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 11 Quotes

[…] I had been growing more and more determined to find out what restless soul it was who wanted to cause these disturbances and why, why. If I could uncover the truth, perhaps I might in some way put an end to it all forever.

But what I couldn't endure more was the atmosphere surrounding the events: the sense of oppressive hatred and malevolence, of someone's evil and also of terrible grief and distress. […] But I was worried, not wanting to leave the mystery unexplained and knowing, too, that at the same time someone would have to finish, at some point, the necessary work of sorting out and packing up Mrs. Drablow's papers.

Page Number: 138
Explanation and Analysis:

The door was ajar. I stood, feeling the anxiety that lay only just below the surface begin to rise up within me, making my heart beat fast. Below, I heard Mr. Daily's footsteps and the pitter-patter of the dog as it followed him about. And, reassured by their presence, I summoned up my courage and made my way cautiously toward that half-open door. When I reached it I hesitated. She had been there. I had seen her. Whoever she was, this was the focus of her search or her attention or her grief—I could not tell which. This was the very heart of the haunting. […] It was in a state of disarray as might have been caused by a gang of robbers, bent on mad, senseless destruction.

Page Number: 140
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 12 Quotes

I began to run crazily and then I heard it, the sickening crack and thud as the pony and its cart collided with one of the huge tree trunks. […]

They lifted Stella gently from the cart. Her body was broken, her neck and legs fractured, though she was still conscious. […]

Our baby son had been thrown clear, clear against another tree. He lay crumpled on the grass below it, dead. This time, there was no merciful loss of consciousness, I was forced to live through it all, every minute and then every day thereafter, for ten long months, until Stella, too, died from her terrible injuries.

I had seen the ghost of Jennet Humfrye and she had had

her revenge.

They asked for my story. I have told it. Enough.

Related Characters: Arthur Kipps (speaker), The Woman in Black / Jennet Humfrye, Stella
Related Symbols: Pony Traps
Page Number: 164
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Woman in Black LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Woman in Black PDF

Arthur Kipps Character Timeline in The Woman in Black

The timeline below shows where the character Arthur Kipps appears in The Woman in Black. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1: Christmas Eve
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
It is nine thirty at night on Christmas Eve, and Arthur Kipps and his family have just finished a happy, festive meal at their country home,... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
Storytelling Theme Icon
The Past Theme Icon
...is “an air of remoteness and isolation” to the place. Taking in his beautiful estate, Arthur recalls the first time he ever saw it. One afternoon, many years ago, Arthur was... (full context)
Storytelling Theme Icon
The Past Theme Icon
While driving along, Arthur spotted Monk’s Piece and was immediately certain that the home would one day be his.... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
Storytelling Theme Icon
The Past Theme Icon
Isolation and Trauma Theme Icon
Some years later, the house became available, and Arthur made an offer on it, which was accepted quickly. A couple of weeks later, Arthur... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
The Past Theme Icon
None of the darkness in Crythin Gifford, though, is near Arthur’s mind as he takes in the night air now, on the clear, crisp Christmas Eve.... (full context)
The Past Theme Icon
Arthur heads back inside, looking forward to sitting quietly with his family and smoking a pipe.... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
Storytelling Theme Icon
Arthur sits down in his armchair in the cozy drawing room adorned with Christmas decorations, and... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
Storytelling Theme Icon
The Past Theme Icon
Isolation and Trauma Theme Icon
Edmund and Esmé urge Arthur to take part in the game, but Arthur refuses. It is all too much for... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
Storytelling Theme Icon
The Past Theme Icon
Isolation and Trauma Theme Icon
Arthur realizes that he must tell his tale after all—not around the fireside, as a “diversion... (full context)
Chapter 2: A London Particular
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
Storytelling Theme Icon
The Past Theme Icon
The narrative flashes back to the beginning of Arthur’s terrible tale. It is a Monday afternoon in November, and though it is only three... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
The Past Theme Icon
The fog, however, does not give Arthur a sense of foreboding as he makes his way in a carriage through London towards... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
Storytelling Theme Icon
Earlier that morning, Arthur was summoned to his boss Mr. Bentley’s office, where Bentley began telling Arthur about “the... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
Mr. Bentley assures Arthur that the business will take a day or two at most. Arthur is amused by... (full context)
Chapter 3: The Journey North
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
Arthur excitedly arrives at the train station and finds a seat in an empty compartment. He... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
Arthur settles into his new compartment, and soon another man joins him inside. The two make... (full context)
Storytelling Theme Icon
Arthur’s companion suddenly says “Mrs. Drablow” aloud. Arthur is startled, and then realizes that his companion... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
Storytelling Theme Icon
Isolation and Trauma Theme Icon
The man, realizing he and Arthur are heading into a deeper conversation, introduces himself as Samuel Daily. Daily tells Arthur that... (full context)
Chapter 4: The Funeral of Mrs. Drablow
Storytelling Theme Icon
Samuel Daily takes Arthur to the Gifford Arms in his shining, spacious car. As he drops Arthur off, Samuel... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
Storytelling Theme Icon
Isolation and Trauma Theme Icon
Arthur tells the landlord that he regretfully won’t be able to attend the auction or the... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
Isolation and Trauma Theme Icon
Arthur chalks up the landlord’s odd behavior to the claustrophobic nature of local “silliness” and small-town... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
Storytelling Theme Icon
The Past Theme Icon
Isolation and Trauma Theme Icon
After a cozy and warm night’s sleep, Arthur leaps from bed the next morning, ready to greet the day. Had he known, he... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
Arthur eats breakfast and sets out to explore the town of Crythin Gifford. It is a... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
Arthur returns to the inn to find a note from Mr. Jerome—the man Mr. Bentley arranged... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
As the men approach the church, Arthur asks if Mrs. Drablow is to be buried in the churchyard or a family plot.... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
Isolation and Trauma Theme Icon
The funeral is melancholy, and Arthur finds himself “inexpressibly sad.” Towards the end of the funeral, Arthur hears a rustling behind... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
Arthur, Jerome, and the rest of the gathered mourners join the woman in black at the... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
Isolation and Trauma Theme Icon
While talking with the other mourners at the church gate, a strange sight catches Arthur’s eye. There is a school next to the church and, lined up along the iron... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
Isolation and Trauma Theme Icon
As Mr. Jerome and Arthur depart the churchyard, Arthur remarks that he hopes the “dreadfully unwell” woman in black from... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
Isolation and Trauma Theme Icon
Arthur looks over his shoulder, back towards the churchyard; the woman in black is there again,... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
The Past Theme Icon
Isolation and Trauma Theme Icon
By the time the men get back to town, Arthur notices that Mr. Jerome is looking much better. Arthur asks if Jerome is going to... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
The lunch is a joyous, noisy occasion, and though Arthur initially feels out of place in his stuffy funeral garb, the farmers make him feel... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
The Past Theme Icon
Isolation and Trauma Theme Icon
Arthur notices the time, and makes to get up to head back to the inn and... (full context)
Chapter 5: Across the Causeway
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
Beyond town, Arthur can see hardly anything but the bright clear sky and the “sheer and startling” beauty... (full context)
Isolation and Trauma Theme Icon
The carriage arrives at Eel Marsh House, and Arthur feels a blend of excitement and alarm. Arthur hops out of the cart and asks... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
The Past Theme Icon
Isolation and Trauma Theme Icon
Before going inside, wanting to take in the “mysterious, shimmering beauty” of the land, Arthur decides to explore. As he walks about, he feels his senses becoming heightened, and thinks... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
Isolation and Trauma Theme Icon
...in the same mourning garb she wore earlier—her bonnet has been pushed back, though, and Arthur can see that her face quite resembles bare bone, and bears an expression of “desperate,... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
Isolation and Trauma Theme Icon
Arthur feels his strength flooding back—he is actually angry with the woman in black for inspiring... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
Isolation and Trauma Theme Icon
At the front door, Arthur fumbles with the key, but soon gets inside and slams the great door shut behind... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
Storytelling Theme Icon
Somewhere in the house, a clock strikes, dragging Arthur from his thoughts of the woman in black. He begins moving through the house, turning... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
The Past Theme Icon
Isolation and Trauma Theme Icon
Arthur unlocks several bookcases, desks, and bureaus—all of which are stuffed with bundles and boxes of... (full context)
Chapter 6: The Sound of a Pony and Trap
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
Storytelling Theme Icon
Isolation and Trauma Theme Icon
Arthur walks quickly down the drive, glancing over his shoulder to see if the woman in... (full context)
Isolation and Trauma Theme Icon
Arthur sets off down the causeway and finds that though underfoot the path is dry, the... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
Isolation and Trauma Theme Icon
The walk back is a nightmare—Arthur focuses on putting one foot in front of the other, and tries not to look... (full context)
Isolation and Trauma Theme Icon
Arthur begins shouting, and tries to run forward, but knows that to move farther down the... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
Isolation and Trauma Theme Icon
As soon as Arthur is back inside the house, he collapses into a chair and begins sobbing. After some... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
Isolation and Trauma Theme Icon
...waited for the fog to dissipate, he had to wait for the tide to change. Arthur is stunned. He checks his watch and sees that it is nearly two o’ clock... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
Arthur begins to ask Keckwick how he got unstuck form the marsh, but then the horrible... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
The Past Theme Icon
Isolation and Trauma Theme Icon
Arthur shuts off all the lights in the house and then gets into the pony trap.... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
Isolation and Trauma Theme Icon
Back at the inn, Arthur crawls into bed. The landlord, relieved to have Arthur back even at such a late... (full context)
Chapter 7: Mr. Jerome is Afraid
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
Isolation and Trauma Theme Icon
When Arthur awakes in the morning, he feels weary and ill—his nerves and imagination are on edge.... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
The Past Theme Icon
Isolation and Trauma Theme Icon
The landlord comes to clear away Arthur’s dishes, and Arthur apologizes for coming in so late the previous evening. The landlord says... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
Isolation and Trauma Theme Icon
Arthur arrives at Mr. Jerome’s office and knocks at the door. Mr. Jerome answers; it is... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
The Past Theme Icon
Isolation and Trauma Theme Icon
Arthur tells Mr. Jerome that he understands what Jerome is getting at—there is not a soul... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
Isolation and Trauma Theme Icon
Arthur takes his leave, and Mr. Jerome expresses the hope that Arthur will not encounter the... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
Storytelling Theme Icon
Isolation and Trauma Theme Icon
Arthur returns to the inn and composes a letter to Mr. Bentley. He reveals that he... (full context)
Storytelling Theme Icon
Isolation and Trauma Theme Icon
Arthur cycles out of town, intending to go straight to the next village over to have... (full context)
Chapter 8: Spider
Storytelling Theme Icon
After a four-hour jaunt to the next town over, Arthur returns to Crythin Gifford feeling positively aglow. He feels like a new man—he is not... (full context)
Storytelling Theme Icon
Isolation and Trauma Theme Icon
Samuel Daily lowers the window and asks Arthur if he has been out to Eel Marsh; Arthur proudly answers that he has. There... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
Isolation and Trauma Theme Icon
Back at the hotel, Arthur begins making arrangements for the next day or so—he asks for the landlord to ready... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
Storytelling Theme Icon
Arthur arrives at Samuel Daily’s house for dinner and is impressed by the imposing estate. He... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
Storytelling Theme Icon
After dinner, Mrs. Daily goes up to bed, and Arthur and Samuel Daily drink port and whiskey in the study. As Daily pours Arthur’s first... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
Unable to change Arthur’s mind, Samuel Daily offers to have his driver bring Arthur back to the inn; Arthur... (full context)
Chapter 9: In the Nursery
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
Storytelling Theme Icon
Isolation and Trauma Theme Icon
Arthur awakes the next morning having slept fitfully—Spider has been at the foot of the bed... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
Storytelling Theme Icon
Back at the manor, Arthur works at creating a more “domestic” environment for himself to work in. He washes and... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
The air is crisp and fresh, and, feeling emboldened, Arthur returns to the little graveyard. He wanders among the headstones, trying to read some of... (full context)
Storytelling Theme Icon
Arthur returns to the house, brews some more tea, and settles down again to his dull... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
As Arthur prepares for sleep, he feels in a rather calm and unexcitable state of mind. The... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
Storytelling Theme Icon
The Past Theme Icon
Isolation and Trauma Theme Icon
Arthur gets out of bed, though he feels shaky and nervous. He musters all his courage... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
Isolation and Trauma Theme Icon
Arthur hears another, fainter sound behind him, this time towards the front of the house. He... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
Isolation and Trauma Theme Icon
Arthur returns to the locked door, but finds that the room has gone silent. Arthur tries... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
...changed—the air is damp and cold, and a thick fog has settled around the house. Arthur lets Spider out, builds a fire, takes a bath, and begins feeling like his “everyday... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
Storytelling Theme Icon
The Past Theme Icon
Isolation and Trauma Theme Icon
Back at the manor, Arthur returns to Mrs. Drablow’s papers. He has found one interesting-looking packet of documents, and as... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
Storytelling Theme Icon
The Past Theme Icon
Isolation and Trauma Theme Icon
The letters soften as time goes on—Arthur intuits that Alice and her husband agreed to take in Jennet’s child and raise him... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
Isolation and Trauma Theme Icon
Arthur turns around and sees Spider at the door, tense and growling. He is terrified, but... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
The Past Theme Icon
Isolation and Trauma Theme Icon
Arthur retrieves the axe, and is making his way back to the house when he hears... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
The Past Theme Icon
Isolation and Trauma Theme Icon
Arthur is deeply distressed by the realization that such a dreadful thing did actually take place... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
Isolation and Trauma Theme Icon
Arthur can still hear the bumping noise in the room, but is too afraid to proceed... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
The Past Theme Icon
Isolation and Trauma Theme Icon
Arthur musters the courage to go into the room and face whatever is in there. He... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
Isolation and Trauma Theme Icon
Unable to bear the sad atmosphere any longer, Arthur leaves the room and closes the door behind him. He pours himself a brandy and... (full context)
Chapter 10: Whistle and I’ll Come to You
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
The Past Theme Icon
Arthur awakes abruptly in the early hours of the morning to find that a strong wind... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
Isolation and Trauma Theme Icon
Arthur gets out of bed and goes out into the hall, preparing to go downstairs and... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
Isolation and Trauma Theme Icon
Arthur, realizing he needs some light, goes back to his bedroom and retrieves the torch. He... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
The Past Theme Icon
Isolation and Trauma Theme Icon
Arthur gets to his feet, goes to the nursery, and retrieves the candle. Though there is... (full context)
Isolation and Trauma Theme Icon
Arthur returns to his room and lights the candle. According to his watch, it is barely... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
Isolation and Trauma Theme Icon
Arthur takes Spider out the front door. As he stands waiting for her to finish relieving... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
The Past Theme Icon
Isolation and Trauma Theme Icon
Arthur watches in horror as Spider is pulled into the mud. He takes off after her,... (full context)
Chapter 11: A Packet of Letters
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
Isolation and Trauma Theme Icon
Arthur feels a bright light boring through his eyes, straight to his brain. The light disappears,... (full context)
Isolation and Trauma Theme Icon
Samuel Daily hands Arthur a glass of water and confesses that he was so worried about Arthur he could... (full context)
Isolation and Trauma Theme Icon
Arthur lies back on the sofa and wishes he could uncover the reason behind the terrible... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
Arthur stands and begins walking around the room in an attempt to get his bearings. He... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
Isolation and Trauma Theme Icon
Arthur packs his belongings and leaves the bedroom—but before heading back downstairs, he cannot resist looking... (full context)
Isolation and Trauma Theme Icon
Arthur climbs up into Samuel Daily’s pony trap, and Daily sets Spider on Arthur’s lap. As... (full context)
The Past Theme Icon
Isolation and Trauma Theme Icon
Back at the Daily house, Arthur finds that a large room has been prepared for him. Samuel Daily helps Arthur to... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
The Past Theme Icon
Isolation and Trauma Theme Icon
At lunch, The Dailys are attentive and kind to Arthur, and insist that he stay with them a day or two longer and recover before... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
Storytelling Theme Icon
The Past Theme Icon
Isolation and Trauma Theme Icon
After lunch, Arthur returns to the packet of letters and begins sorting through them. He attempts to deduce... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
Storytelling Theme Icon
The Past Theme Icon
Isolation and Trauma Theme Icon
Arthur feels a sickening sensation rise up from his stomach, and yet forces himself to look... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
Storytelling Theme Icon
The Past Theme Icon
Isolation and Trauma Theme Icon
Jennet, the boy’s mother, Arthur realizes, must have died of a wasting disease twelve years later. The child’s memory was... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
Storytelling Theme Icon
The Past Theme Icon
Isolation and Trauma Theme Icon
Back in the study after supper, Arthur finishes illuminating the tale of Eel Marsh House to Samuel Daily. He confesses that though... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
Storytelling Theme Icon
Isolation and Trauma Theme Icon
Arthur feels that Samuel Daily is holding something more back—perhaps more information about the house and... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
Storytelling Theme Icon
The Past Theme Icon
Isolation and Trauma Theme Icon
...died “in hatred and misery.” Since her death, the town has been plagued by hauntings. Arthur speculates that now that Mrs. Drablow, the object of Jennet’s hatred, is dead, the hauntings... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
Storytelling Theme Icon
The Past Theme Icon
Isolation and Trauma Theme Icon
...illness. Mr. Jerome’s own child, Daily reveals, was a victim of the woman in black. Arthur wonders whether the deaths are a coincidence, but Mr. Daily says he holds no doubts... (full context)
Isolation and Trauma Theme Icon
Arthur goes up to bed, ready to return to London in the morning. All night, though,... (full context)
The Past Theme Icon
After twelve days, Arthur has recovered completely. As he sits one day in a chair after lunch near the... (full context)
Chapter 12: The Woman in Black
The Past Theme Icon
Isolation and Trauma Theme Icon
The following morning, Stella and Arthur return to London. With Stella by his side, Arthur resolves to put the whole terrible... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
Storytelling Theme Icon
The Past Theme Icon
Isolation and Trauma Theme Icon
Arthur writes that he has only one last thing left to tell—he can scarcely bring himself... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
The Past Theme Icon
...a year after their marriage, Stella gave birth to a son whom they named Joseph Arthur Samuel. Samuel Daily was the child’s godfather; they saw Mr. Daily in London often, but... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
Storytelling Theme Icon
The Past Theme Icon
Isolation and Trauma Theme Icon
When their son was about a year old, Arthur and Stella took him a fair in a large park about ten miles out of... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
The Past Theme Icon
Isolation and Trauma Theme Icon
Arthur and the woman in black made eye contact, and as she held his gaze, he... (full context)
Gothic Horror Theme Icon
Storytelling Theme Icon
The Past Theme Icon
Isolation and Trauma Theme Icon
...a nearby tree and now laid crumpled and dead in the grass. Ten months later, Arthur reports, Stella died of her injuries; Jennet Humfrye had at last taken her revenge. (full context)