We Have Always Lived in the Castle

In Features by Paula Hammond - Features Editor

Perfectly Dark Delights From Folio 

Shirley Jackson’s claustrophobic mystery thriller, We Have Always Lived in the Castle was published in 1962 and quickly became a cult classic. 

Telling the story of the twisted and secluded lives of the Blackwood family, the book has since been adapted into a play and a film—the latter a critically acclaimed hit, starring Sebastian Stan (Winter Soldier).

The Folio Society’s bewitching new edition is out now and makes a wonderful companion volume to the Folio’s previous release of Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House. 

Artist Angie Hoffmeister, who created a series of wonderfully painterly artworks for Hill House, returns here to craft a volume rich with atmosphere and ominous imagery, including an illustrated slipcase and a binding that introduces us to the Blackwood daughters. Hoffmeister’s deliciously eerie watercolours, also bring to life Merricat, as the dark beating heart of the novel.

We Have Always Lived in the Castle – Shirley Jackson Fiction-Modern CORE

Six years ago, the majority of the Blackwood family died agonising deaths in the middle of a lavish dinner, poisoned by a liberal dose of arsenic in their sugar. Now, the Blackwood daughters live a reclusive life with their invalid uncle. Constance cooks and cleans, never straying further than their garden, and ever-vigilant Merricat watches over their home, keeping the dreaded villagers out and prowling the borders with her cat, Jonas. For Merricat it is the perfect life, the only blemish on her existence the weekly trips to buy groceries from the people who despise her. But change is coming in the form of avaricious Cousin Charles, and Merricat will have to act to save her world, regardless of the destruction it will bring.

Legendary author Donna Tartt, one of the modern masters of American Gothic literature, has written an illuminating afterword exclusively for this edition, examining how Jackson’s empathy for outsiders and eccentric domestic life were the crucible for her remarkable works. 

A hand-numbered limited edition, of 500 copies, signed by contributors Angie Hoffmeister and Donna Tartt, will also be available. Presented in a spectacular illustrated clamshell box and accompanied by a stunning art print (see below), this edition features seven colour illustrations, a striking binding design and illustrated endpapers. 

All images, copyright Angie Hoffmeister and courtesy of The Folio Society.

Production details:

  • Bound in printed and blocked textured paper.
  • Set in Arno with Zachar display.
  • 200 pages.
  • Frontispiece and 6 colour illustrations, including 2 double-page spreads.
  • 10 integrated tailpieces.
  • Printed slipcase.
  • 8¾˝ x 5½˝.
  • RRP: £49.95; limited edition volume, RRP £250.

For more information on The Folio Society’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle please visit: https://www.foliosociety.com