Kerfol has ratings and 20 reviews. Tom said: This story is not exactly what I expected going in. Even so, it is a great example of gothic horror and. It is one of the many ghost stories Edith Wharton wrote and was also included in the collection Ghosts published in Kerfol. cover design. Edith Wharton aimait les chiens, et elle a exprimé la force de ce sentiment dans deux passages-clés de ses écrits autobiographiques. «Kerfol» est la seule de.

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And it would be rather worth while to own the most romantic house in Brittany.

It was not with the least idea of living up to the character my friend Lanrivain ascribed to me as a matter of fact, under my unsociable exterior I have always had secret yearnings for domesticity that I took his hint one autumn afternoon and went to Kerfol. My friend was motoring over to Quimper on business: Then straight ahead till you see an avenue.

Kerfol – a tutorial, study guide & critical commentary

If I had met a peasant I whaarton certainly have asked, and probably been sent astray; but I had the desert landscape to myself, and so stumbled on the right turn and walked across the heath till I came to an avenue. It was so unlike any other avenue I have ever seen that I instantly knew it must be the avenue. The grey-trunked trees sprang up straight to a great height and then interwove their pale-grey branches in a long tunnel through which the autumn light fell faintly.

They had the tall curve of elms, the tenuity of poplars, the ashen colour edigh olives under a rainy sky; and they stretched ahead of me for half a mile or more without a break in their arch. If ever I saw an avenue that unmistakably led to something, it was the avenue at Kerfol.


Kerfol, by Edith Wharton : I

My heart beat a little as I began to walk down it. Presently the trees ended and I came to a fortified gate in a long wall.

Between me and the wall was an open space of grass, with other grey avenues radiating from it. Behind the wall were tall slate roofs mossed with silver, a chapel belfry, the top of a keep. A moat filled with wild shrubs and brambles surrounded the place; the drawbridge had been replaced by a stone arch, and the portcullis by an dharton gate. I stood for a long time on the hither side of the moat, gazing about me, and letting the influence of the place sink in.

I said to myself: I sat down on a stone and lit a cigarette. As soon as I had done it, it struck me as a puerile and portentous thing to do, with that great blind house looking down at me, and all the empty avenues converging on me.

It may have been the depth of the silence whartin made me so conscious of my gesture. The squeak of my match sounded as loud as the scraping of a brake, and I almost fancied I heard it fall when I tossed it onto the grass.

But there was more than that: What kind of history I was not prepared to guess: But the aspect edth Kerfol suggested something more — a perspective of stern and cruel memories stretching away, like its own grey avenues, into a blur of darkness.

Certainly no house had ever more completely and finally broken with the present. As it stood there, lifting its proud roofs and gables to the sky, it might have been its own funeral monument. The whole place is a tomb! I hoped more and more that the guardian would not come. The details of the place, however striking, would seem trivial compared with its collective impressiveness; and I wanted only to sit there ketfol be penetrated by the weight of its silence.


Eharton did not finish the thought: I stood kerofl and wandered toward the gate. I was beginning to want to know more; not to see more — I was by now so sure it was not a question of seeing — but to feel more: Finally I crossed the bridge and tried the iron kerfop. It yielded, and I walked through the tunnel formed by the thickness of the chemin de ronde. At the farther end, a wooden barricade had been laid across the entrance, and beyond it dharton a court enclosed in noble architecture.

The main building faced me; and I now saw that one half was a mere ruined front, with gaping windows through which the wild growths of the moat and the trees of the park were visible. The rest of the house was still in its robust beauty.

One end abutted on the round tower, the other on the small traceried chapel, and in an angle of the building stood a graceful well-head crowned with mossy urns. A few roses grew against the walls, and on an upper window-sill I remember noticing a pot of fuchsias. My sense of the pressure of the invisible began to yield to my architectural interest.

The building was so fine that I felt a desire ksrfol explore it for its own sake. I looked about the court, wondering in which corner the guardian lodged. Then I pushed open the barrier and went in. As I did so, a dog barred my way. He was such a remarkably beautiful little dog that for a moment he made me forget the splendid place he was defending. The little animal stood before me, forbidding, almost menacing: But whrton made no sound, he came no nearer. Instead, as I advanced, he gradually fell back, and I noticed that another dog, a vague rough brindled thing, had limped up on a lame leg.

Editth three edoth looking at me with grave eyes; but not a sound came from them. As I advanced they continued to fall back on muffled paws, still watching me.

I was not alarmed, for they were neither large nor formidable. But they let me wander about the court as I pleased, following me at a little distance — always keffol same distance — and always keeping their eyes on me.

Presently I looked across at the ruined facade, and saw that in one of its empty window-frames another dog stood: He was an old grave dog, much more experienced than the others; and he seemed to be observing me with a deeper intentness. I stared back at him for a time, to see if the sense that he was being watched would not rouse him.

Half the width of the court lay dharton us, and we gazed at each other silently across it. But he did not stir, and at last I turned away. Behind me I found the rest of warton pack, with a newcomer added: He was shivering a little, and his expression was more timid than that of the others. I noticed that he kept a little behind them. And still there was not a sound. I stood there for fully five minutes, the circle about me — waiting, as they seemed to be waiting. At last I went up to the little golden-brown dog and stooped to pat him.

As I did so, I heard myself give a nervous laugh. The little dog did not start, or growl, or take his eyes from me — he simply slipped back about a yard, and then paused and continued to look at me. As I advanced, the dogs separated and slid away into different corners of the court.

When I turned I perceived that all the dogs had disappeared except the old pointer, who still watched me from the window. It was rather a relief to be rid of that cloud eddith witnesses; and I began to look about me for a way to the back of the house. I found a way across the moat, scrambled over a wall smothered in brambles, and got into the garden. A few lean hydrangeas and geraniums pined in the flower-beds, and the ancient house looked down on them indifferently.


The Ghosts of Kerfol

Its garden side was plainer and whartpn than the other: I walked around the farther wing, went up some disjointed steps, and entered the deep twilight of a narrow and incredibly old box-walk. The walk was just wide enough for one person to slip through, and its branches met overhead. It was like the ghost of a box-walk, its lustrous green all turning to the shadowy greyness of the avenues.

I walked on and on, the branches hitting me in the face and springing back with a dry rattle; and at length I came out on the grassy top of the chemin kerffol ronde. I walked along it to the gate-tower, looking down into the court, which was just below me. Not a human being was in sight; and neither were the dogs. I found a flight of kerfo, in the thickness of the wall and went down them; and when I emerged again into the court, there stood the circle of dogs, the golden-brown one a little ahead of the others, the black greyhound shivering in the rear.

The dogs stood motionless, watching me.


I knew by this time that they would not try to prevent my approaching the house, and the knowledge left me free to examine them. I had a feeling that they must be horribly cowed to be so silent and inert.

Yet they did not look hungry or ill-treated. Their coats were smooth and they were not thin, except the shivering greyhound. It was more as if they had lived a long time with people who never spoke to them or looked at them: And this strange passivity, this almost human lassitude, seemed to me sadder than the misery of starved and beaten animals.

I should have liked to rouse them for a minute, to coax them into a game or a scamper; but the longer I looked into their fixed and weary eyes the more preposterous the idea became. With the windows of that house looking down on us, how could I have imagined such a thing? The dogs knew better: I even fancied that they knew what was passing through my mind, and pitied me for my frivolity. But even that feeling probably reached them through a thick fog of listlessness.

I had an idea that their distance from me was as nothing to my remoteness from them. The impression they produced was that of having in common one memory so deep and dark that nothing that had happened since was worth either a growl or a wag. I wonder if there is a ghost here, and nobody but you left for it to appear to?

I had the sense of having escaped from the loneliest place in the whole world, and of not liking loneliness — to that degree — as much as I had imagined I should. My friend had brought his solicitor back from Quimper for the night, and seated beside a fat and affable stranger I felt no inclination to talk of Kerfol.

But that evening, when Lanrivain and the solicitor were closeted in the study, Madame de Lanrivain began to question me in the drawing-room. Madame de Lanrivain let the embroidery slip to her knee and folded her hands on it.

For several minutes she looked at me thoughtfully. I looked at her with surprise: I had supposed the place to be familiar to eharton.