Critic Robert Heilman wrote: “It is an immense relief to find someone as good as Siegel is, refusing the fashionable explanation of the story, and looking at what it actually says.”
“It is a reading so careful and candid it reduces most previous discussion to wilful evasiveness. The oddness of a literary critic constantly asking us to think about real children can suggest how odd is the criticism we’re accustomed to.” —Hugh Kenner, Poetry Magazine
“The Turn of the Screw is gripping,” writes Martha Baird in the editor’s introduction, “and carries with it an atmosphere of mystery and suspense hardly equalled in fiction.” About Eli Siegel she writes: “Never have I known anyone so able to makes books live, to make their import stir within a person. He lessens the distance between print and life….This happens with The Turn of the Screw.”
You can read Chapter 1 in the Aesthetic Realism Online Library.