The House by the Church-Yard
  
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The House by the Churchyard (1863) is a novel by Sheridan Le Fanu that combines elements of the mystery novel and the historical novel. Aside from its own merits, the novel is important as a key source for James Joyce's Finnegans Wake. - The novel begins with a prologue in the voice of an old man, Charles de Cresseron, that is set in Chapelizod, Ireland, roughly a century after the events of the novel proper. This prologue details how, during an interment at the churchyard of the title, a skull is accidentally unearthed, which bears the marks of two crushing blows to the head and – even more disconcertingly – a small hole from a trepanning. The novel itself is Cresseron's reconstruction of the history related to this grisly item (though by and large his narratorial voice drops out and the novel is told from a conventional omniscient narrator's point of view)...
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