The Turn of the Screw: The Study Guide Edition




“A great teacher,” Jeremy Paxman, BBC’s Newsnight.

“Clearly Francis Gilbert is a gifted and charismatic teacher,” Philip Pullman, author of ‘Northern Lights’.

“Gilbert writes so well that you half-suspect he could give up the day job,” The Independent.

Are you a student struggling to understand Henry James’s classic novella?

Or are you an educator wanting ready-made exercises and guidance to help you teach this difficult text? Do your students need support to understand the language properly and work independently on the book?

This edition of James’s haunting narrative contains a comprehensive study guide as well as activities that stimulate and engage. Aimed specifically at pupils reading the book as an exam text, there are detailed instructions about how to understand the challenging language, to appreciate the novel’s contexts and to write effective essays. The complete text is punctuated by analysis and questions on every chapter with answers provided at the back. Essential reading for all students and teachers!

You can buy the paperback here.



The Turn of the Screw: A Study Guide


What ghost story inspired James’ novella?

Are the ghosts in the novel real or figments of a neurotic imagination?
How does James use an unreliable narrator to create suspense?
How does James generate such a sinister atmosphere in the story?
For the price of a chocolate bar, you can become an expert on one of the greatest novellas in the language.

This is a detailed study guide for anybody either studying or teaching Henry James’s novella. It is tailored to help students write an excellent piece of coursework on the book, or assist them with studying for an exam — but it will be of interest to the general reader too. For the teacher, it quotes important passages in the book and offers literary analysis of them. The guide is distinctive because it is a) modern in its approach b) encourages a personal response to the text — vital if a candidate is going to get a higher mark in an assessment. There is a detailed discussion of the context in which James’s work arose and an exploration of how different readers might interpret the text now. Lively and engaging, it is written by an experienced teacher who understands what needs to be covered in a study guide. An excellent resource for GCSE and A Level students, or anyone studying the book at school or university.

To sum up, this study guide is useful in the following ways:

It is a great resource for students aiming for top grades;
It offers a fantastic stimulus for encouraging students to develop personal responses to the text, which are vital if they are going to achieve at a high level;
It could prove to be a great classroom resource for teachers too: the important sections of the novel are quoted in full here, together with useful discussion points/comprehension questions;
It is written by an experienced teacher who has taught the text in “real” classroom situations and knows what students need to learn.