Incipient love, the inability to express it, and eventual tragedy through forced separation -- these are the themes of this lovely novel. The narrative is freely interspersed with sonnets written by Virginia's mother (Mme. de la Tour) which are mostly tributes to sentiment, and overall the book sounds naive -- which doesn't detract, however, from its pathos and its beauty.
Barry Lyndon -- the story of an Irish boy who uses his wits to get ahead in life. He is involved in duels and wars from a young age (he is in his teens) and ends up making a name for himself as a gambler.
Thackeray\'s writing is distinctly clever. The reader can guess that Barry Lyndon purposely makes himself out to be better than he is, and his indulgent mother reinforces his inflated opinion of himself, when the sad truth is that he was extravagant, blase, avaricious, abusive of his wife and unbearably selfish.
Written in what was supposed to be a footman's version of English, this book is enjoyable and amusing. It tells the story of Charles J. Yellowplush's different masters: one of whom sweeps a street crossing and another is an astute nobleman who gets ensnared in a very clever matrimonial trap set by his own father.
Altogether a good read.
I have to agree with some of the other reviews. It is not even vaguely scary. The ghost is totally unrelated to the house; he might have appeared anywhere else. Somehow the author did not really do a good job with the story; it was difficult to believe and quite flat.