Wounded and near death, a young Union Army corporal is found in the woods of Virginia during the height of the Civil War and brought to the nearby Miss Martha Farnsworth Seminary for Young Ladies. Almost immediately he sets about beguiling the three women and five teenage girls stranded in this outpost of Southern gentility, eliciting their love and fear, pity and infatuation, and pitting them against one another in a bid for his freedom. But as the women are revealed for what they really are, a sense of ominous foreboding closes in on the soldier, and the question becomes: Just who is the beguiled?
“[A] mad gothic tale . . . The reader is mesmerized with horror by what goes on in that forgotten school for young ladies.” —Stephen King, in Danse Macabre
“An unjustly forgotten historical tale that highlights how children are broken and reshaped by war: Each woman shares the narration, and each shares a heartbreaking tale of loss, separation and resilience.” —OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network
“Terror and excruciating suspense . . . A book whose headlong momentum and mushrooming horror vex and frustrate the reader who seeks to put it down and go to bed . . . An absolutely magnificent read.” —Cleveland Plain Dealer
“There aren’t many shows or books that treat jealous women like real people. . . . Enter The Beguiled. [Cullinan] makes jealous women human.” —Wellington Square Bookshop
About the Author
Thomas Cullinan (1919–1995) was a novelist and playwright, as well as a writer for television. In addition to The Beguiled (1966), he wrote three other novels—The Besieged (1970), The Eighth Sacrament (1977), and The Bedeviled (1978)—as well as several plays, which are still produced. He received a Ford Foundation grant to represent the United States at a literary colloquium in Berlin in 1964, and he wrote a weekly television program in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, both for WKYC, a local television affiliate, and for Case Western Reserve University. The Beguiled was made into a film twice: in 1971, starring Clint Eastwood and Geraldine Page, and in 2017, directed by Sofia Coppola and starring Nicole Kidman, Colin Farrell, Kirsten Dunst, and Elle Fanning.