This is a collection of four early Le Fanu short stories and the second volume of the manuscripts of Rev. Francis Purcell. Included are:
Passage in the Secret History of an Irish Countess (November 1838)
The Bridal of Carrigvarah (April 1839)
Strange Event in the Life of Schalken the Painter (May 1839)
Scraps of Hibernian Ballads (June 1839)
I found the first two stories a bit long winded but worth reading.
"Secret History of an Irish Countess" was a murder mystery / thriller. It really reminded me of the Wilkie Collins stories that I have read, with just a touch of Arthur Conan Doyle.
"The Bridal of Carrigvarah" was a very powerful story. Just when you think things couldn't get any worse, they did.
But, what makes the collection is "Strange Event in the Life of Schalken the Painter". This one alone is a 5 STAR story!
"Scraps of Hibernian Ballads" was part essay on Irish poetry and part praise for an Irish peasant, Michael Finley, a noted song-maker of the time. I thought this one was skippable.
4 STARS as a collection including just the first three short stories