Bingo! The Beguiled by Thomas Cullinan

Bingo Saturday is now getting down to the pointy end of the categories. This week, after much procrastination over which square to tick off, I finally settled on the following:

A forgotten classic

What exactly constitutes a forgotten classic though? The more I thought about it, the more grey this category became. In essence, I thought a forgotten classic could be a novel that is no longer well known, but once was. It could also be a classic that you’ve never heard of, but that then becomes troublesome as a definition because what I haven’t heard of could actually be quite well known to another reader. In the end, I chose my forgotten classic based on the following reasons:

  1. Since its publication in 1966, it has been made into two films (1970 and 2017).
  2. Penguin has published it in 2017 under its Modern Classics range, and Penguin pretty much are the experts when it comes to classics so I’m siding with them.

The book in question is The Beguiled, published in 1966 and written by Thomas Cullinan. Described as “A classic slice of Southern Gothic, shot through with psychological suspense“, I found this novel beautifully written, intensely atmospheric and filled with a gripping sense of foreboding. I am yet to write my full review though (it’s been a busy week).

Here’s the book description:

When an injured Union soldier is found in the Virginia woods as the civil War rages, he is brought to the nearby Miss Martha Farnsworth Seminary for Young Ladies to recover. For the sheltered girls and their teachers, the arrival of the attractive John McBurney is a thrilling distraction from normal life. But before long, McBurney’s presence will turn them against each other and upend all their lives – with potentially devastating consequences.

Goodreads lists four covers, the original hardback, the paperback that came after, and the two film tie-ins (pictured below in this order):


I’m quite taken with the original hardback but the paperback is kind of creepy and Clint Eastwood just looks like a corpse propped up against the gate in his film tie-in cover. The 2017 film tie-in captures the atmosphere and era of the novel quite well, so the first and last covers are definitely my preferred.

I am yet to watch the 2017 film but I have it sitting here on the back burner waiting for a spare two hours. I’ll pass on the 1970 version. My review will be up in the coming week.

This year I’m playing book bingo with Mrs B’s Book Reviews. On the first and third Saturday of each month, we’ll post our latest entry. We’re not telling each other in advance what we’re currently reading or what square we’ll be filling next; any coincidences are exactly that – and just add to the fun!

Follow our card below if you’d like to join in, and please let us know if you do so we can check out what you’re reading.

Now I’m off to check out what square Mrs B has marked off for this round. See you over there!


7 thoughts on “Bingo! The Beguiled by Thomas Cullinan

  1. LOL I had a similar problem with a Book Bingo a couple of years ago. The requirement was to read something by a young writer, under 25, if I remember correctly. But how on earth does anyone know the age of an author at a given time in their publication history without a lot of research, and defeating the intention I suspect, because it’s only established writers whose birthdates are accessible at Wikipedia.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We have two age categories in this bingo, one under 30 and one over 60. The under 30 was not too hard as I knew Eliza Henry Jones was still under 30 and the novel I had chosen was one she wrote when she was 16. But the over 60! It’s not something you can just assume and I was really nervous about making a mistake and offending someone!


  2. #Book Bingo 2018: ‘A collection of short stories’ – Postcard from Venice and other stories by Victoria Connelly

    Postcards from Venice by Victoria Connelly was the perfect antidote to a queasy stomach provoked by the torture scenes in a book I read prior to this one, therefore this book was exactly what the doctor ordered. By reading these sweet sweet tales I was able to get rid of the disturbing mental images and totally enjoy these delightful short stories.

    Each story was just lovely and charming and ideal for times when you just want to read a bite-sized story when time is limited or between an unsettling book.

    Whilst my only full length book I’ve read by Victoria Connelly was Molly’s Millions, which by the way is still one of my favourite romance books 7 years later, my intuition tells me that I would no doubt love all her other titles. On account of also having read these short stories it’s not hard to imagine Connelly creating warm, caring and fun characters in all her novels.

    Each cute short tale was a little gem and will have you smiling with every turn of the page.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, it’s great to be challenged, if it wasn’t for Book Bingo or book club I’d still be reading books in my comfort zone. And I’m reading favourite authors again which if it wasn’t for book bingo, I wouldn’t get to for another couple of years because of the many new authors coming out in droves and it’s hard to not pick up a debut book.

        Liked by 1 person

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