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"Midnight Tales"

is a name given to a collection of three very short stories from Stoker's nonfiction book Personal Reminiscences of Henry Irving. These stories were embellished upon, given new titles and republished in 1990 in Midnight Tales, Peter Owen Publishers, London. Although the editor claimed that Stoker planned on writing and publishing a full collection of such stories, there is no evidence to support this. In addition, two of these stories were not actually written by Stoker.

The three stories include:

  • "The Funeral Party"
  • This story can be found under the title "A Widower's Grief" on pages 347-349 of Personal Reminiscences of Henry Irving Volume I. It is the second story from the chapter "XXXIX - Two Stories." According to Stoker, he told this story to Irving and the actor was "exceedingly fond" of it.

  • "The Shakespeare Mystery"
  • This story can be found without a title on page 235 of Personal Reminiscences of Henry Irving Volume I. It appeared in the chapter "XX - Tennyson and His Plays-III." According to Stoker he heard this story from General Horace Porter, the Ambassador of the United States to France, and retold it to Tennyson.

  • "A Deal with the Devil"
  • This story can be found without a title on page 76 of Personal Reminiscences of Henry Irving Volume II. It appeared in the chapter "L - Sir Edward Burne-Jones, Bart." According to Stoker, this was a story that the painter Burne-Jones told to Henry Irving and it was the type of story that both men enjoyed.

    Newspaper publication
    Although Stoker had no intension of publishing these stories in a collection, the short story "A Widower's Grief" was published as an excerpt in at least two newspapers in New Zealand and the US. It appeared without a title in the "In Lighter Vein" section of the "Our Literary Corner" page of the December 8, 1906 issue of The Press, Christchurch, N.Z. It appeared again under the title "A Dublin Funeral" in the '"Good Stories" and Where They Come From' section of the April 24, 1910 issue of The New York Times, New York.

    Availability


    The original short stories are available as a:
  • Free text download
  • Free PDF download
  • The story "A Widower's Grief" is available as a:
  • Free PDF download (The Press)
  • Free PDF download (The New York Times)
  • The embellished stories can be purchased online in a short story collection in:
  • Paperback Midnight Tales
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