The first five stories in this collection are stories from Ireland, exploring the dark history of the country and the dogged optimism of its people. The following four tales are of the uncanny – striking studies of witchcraft and black magic, evoking a strange haunting atmosphere illustrating the power of evil and its effect on the imagination. ‘Mrs. Oliver Cromwell’ is a revealing glimpse of the Lord Protector through the eyes of his homely unassuming wife, unhappy in the unaccustomed grandeur thrust upon her by circumstances. The last story, ‘Where Beauty Lies’, is an eighteenth-century frolic over a nobleman’s choice of bride.