The Shadowy Third and Other Stories Background

The Shadowy Third and Other Stories Background

The Shadowy Third and Other Stories is a collection of short stories that was published in 1923 and written by Ellen Glasgow. This is her only short story collection, as her novels receive more general attention. Glasgow was an American author who was a prolific writer, publishing twenty novels and a few other works during her career. Many of her works were set in the south of the United States during the late 1800s, which is where she lived, as a Virginian all her life.

This collection contains seven short stories, all of which were first published in magazines separately. The first four, "The Shadowy Third," "Dare's Gift," "The Past," and "Whispering Leaves," are generally considered ghost stories. In "The Shadowy Third," there are some important themes of hallucinations and ghosts, some of which haunt the story throughout and cause chaos and other bad things. “Whispering Leaves” has the protagonist, Mammy Rhody, who is characterized as a loyal and skillful slave, protecting Pell from many things, even after her death as a ghost. A few other short stories in this collection deal with themes of infidelity and trust, truth and betrayal, as Glasgow paints incredibly vivid images of life in the American South.

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