I just read it for the first time. I didn't especially enjoy reading it, but now that I'm done, I'm completely obsessed with it.
So much to discuss [SPOILERS AHEAD]:
- Is the governess insane? Because she's boy crazy? Because she wants to possess these beautiful children who do not want to be possessed? Because they surpass her? Because she's alone?
- If the ghosts aren't real, how did she know what her ppredecessors at Bly looked like? Was that just Mrs. Grose jumping to conclusions?
- Did the kids do or say anything that would be described as nefarious without the governesses fevered (and let's say bizarre) interpretations of them?
- Did Quint sexually abuse Miles or/and expose the children to sexual conduct with Miss Jessel? Does this explain the "bad" things Miles said to get kicked out school, why the headmaster believed Miles was a danger to the other boys? Or was it just generalized sexual interest he showed in the boys he "LIKED"? Was he acting out his own abuse?
- Is Mrs. Grose dumber than a box of rocks?
- Is it significant that Douglas was himself smitten with the Governess, who was "too old" for him (and does it matter that the other ladies scoffed at the idea of a ten year age gap?), and of a significantly different class? Is crossing class and age boundaries in a sexual context a major theme of the book? Is that, in part, why Miles says he wants to be with his "own sort"?
- Isn't the painting on this book cover intended to portray the Princes of the Tower? Hmmm? HMMMM?
- And more!