Gilbert Tresham is at a low ebb. Alone in the world, with his hopes of becoming a professional author dashed by countless refusals, he accepts a post as tutor at The Priory - the grand country seat of the Harley family, which is said to be haunted by the ghost of a former Prior. But when he gets there his suspicions are aroused by the strange behaviour of the house's motley inhabitants. Soon, he comes to suspect that the story of the ghostly 'White Prior' may be more than just a spurious legend and that its appearance portends a very real tragedy... 

Fergus Hume's brooding mystery story draws on 18th century Gothic romance and Victorian sensation fiction to produce a heady mix of murder, deception and family secrets.


Fergus Hume

Fergus Hume (1859-1932) Ferguson Wright Hume was born in England. At the age of three his father emigrated with his family to New Zealand. He attended high school in Dunedin and studied law at the University of Otago. Shortly after graduation he left for Melbourne where he obtained a post as a barrister's clerk. After failed attempts to become a playwright, he decided to write a novel instead. Not knowing what to write: "I enquired of a leading Melbourne bookseller what style of book he sold most of He replied that the detective stories of Gaboriau had a large sale; and as, at this time, I had never even heard of this author, I bought all his works - eleven or thereabouts - and read them carefully. The style of these stories attracted me, and I determined to write a book of the same class; containing a mystery, a murder, and a description of low life in Melbourne." The result was The Mystery of a Hansom Cab, which became a great success after he self-published. After the success of his first novel, Hume returned to England. He resided in London for few years and then he moved to the Essex countryside where he lived in Thundersley for thirty years. 

Country of Origin



Year of Publication

Add new comment

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.