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The Turn of the Screw by Henry James, read by John Lescault

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Download The Turn of the Screw from listentogenius.com

ListentoGenius.com, 2010
 
This twenty-minute-long podcast offers what might be described as a taster to Henry James' classic short story.  John Lescault does not recount the whole tale, but concentrates instead on the introduction and the initial premise of the tale - a young, na´ve governess visits the house of a rich middle-aged man in the hope of obtaining employment.  From this extract we understand just how innocent the governess actually is; although she has been in love once before, she lacks any real-world experience.  Thus we should be wary of accepting her recollections of life at Bly House at face value.
 
Lescault's reading also concentrates on the preamble to the tale; how Douglas' friends are eager to listen to what happens, yet treat the subject-matter with a certain degree of frivolity.  Like the governess, they are too much affected by the conventions of gothic horror to understand the implications of the tale.  In a sense they have to be "educated" - to learn that The Turn of the Screw is not simply a ghost-story, but an account of a process of self-discovery.
 
Listeners seeking to find out more about the story are advised to find one of the full-length readings, available for purchase as well as on free download (for example, on librivox.org).