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Three at Table The Lady of the Barge and Others, Part 12.   By: (1863-1943)

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The twelfth installment of W. W. Jacobs' collection of short stories, "Three at Table: The Lady of the Barge and Others," continues to showcase his mastery in the art of storytelling. With his signature blend of humor, romance, and suspense, this anthology keeps readers captivated from beginning to end.

What sets Jacobs apart as a writer is his ability to capture the quirks of human behavior and inject them into his characters. Whether it is the comical antics of George, the lovable rogue, or the timid yet cunning nature of his wife, Eliza, each character comes alive with their distinct traits and voices. The author's keen observations of human nature make the stories relatable and grounded, despite the fantastical situations the characters find themselves in.

One of the standout stories in this collection is "The Conversion of St. Jimes". Here, Jacobs explores the power of superstition and its hold on people's minds. As the unassuming St. Jimes becomes the center of attention due to a supposed miracle, the author cleverly depicts the lengths people will go to uphold their beliefs. With his subtle satire, Jacobs portrays the absurdity of blind faith and how easily it can be manipulated.

Another gem in this anthology is "The Frightened Innkeeper". In this tale, the author masterfully builds suspense, keeping readers on the edge of their seats. As the innkeeper, Mr. Jurnett, encounters inexplicable occurrences in his establishment, the tension steadily rises, leading to an unexpected twist that leaves readers in awe. Jacobs' unparalleled ability to create an atmosphere of fear and uncertainty draws readers into the story, making it a thrilling experience until the very last page.

Aside from the delightful storytelling, "Three at Table: The Lady of the Barge and Others" also offers a keen insight into the social dynamics of the era it was written in. Jacobs paints a vivid picture of life in Victorian England, capturing the class divide and the struggle for acceptance in society. Through his characters, he conveys the hardships faced by many, and the limited opportunities available to them.

While the stories are relatively contained and can be enjoyed individually, reading the collection as a whole allows readers to appreciate Jacobs' range and versatility as a writer. From tales of love and romance to stories brimming with suspense, there is something for everyone within these pages.

In conclusion, "Three at Table: The Lady of the Barge and Others, Part 12" is a delightful addition to W. W. Jacobs' body of work. With its engaging characters, clever storytelling, and an exploration of human nature, it is a testament to the author's skill and enduring legacy. Whether you are a fan of his previous works or new to his writing, this collection is a must-read for anyone who appreciates well-crafted stories that stand the test of time.

First Page:



By W. W. Jacobs


The talk in the coffee room had been of ghosts and apparitions, and nearly everybody present had contributed his mite to the stock of information upon a hazy and somewhat thread bare subject. Opinions ranged from rank incredulity to childlike faith, one believer going so far as to denounce unbelief as impious, with a reference to the Witch of Endor, which was somewhat marred by being complicated in an inexplicable fashion with the story of Jonah.

"Talking of Jonah," he said solemnly, with a happy disregard of the fact that he had declined to answer several eager questions put to him on the subject, "look at the strange tales sailors tell us."

"I wouldn't advise you to believe all those," said a bluff, clean shaven man, who had been listening without speaking much. "You see when a sailor gets ashore he's expected to have something to tell, and his friends would be rather disappointed if he had not."

"It's a well known fact," interrupted the first speaker firmly, "that sailors are very prone to see visions."

"They are," said the other dryly, "they generally see them in pairs, and the shock to the nervous system frequently causes headache next morning."

"You never saw anything yourself?" suggested an unbeliever... Continue reading book >>

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