The Phantom of the Opera: Historical Inspirations, Literary Analysis, & Film Adaptations -- a Spooky Spotlight on the Gothic Novel

9 Jun 2019

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Illuminating Supernatural Fiction, Horror, and the Gothic

from Mary Shelley to H. P. Lovecraft

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Dickens wrote several types of ghost stories, and most were more rhetorical exercises or moral parables rather than horror stories, but that makes them no less important or even chilling than the most haunting narratives of M.R. James, H.R. Wakefield, or Robert Aickman...

On June 9, 1865 at 3:13 in the afternoon, an elderly Charles Dickens was travelling by train with his mistress and her mother in southeastern England when the Folkestone-to-London train derailed near Staplehurst due to a signalman’s negligence. The Staplehurst Rail Cra...

Most famous of Dickens’ ghost stories (somewhat undeservingly when compared to the original, weird, and mystifying mainstays “Signal-Man,” “Dusk,” and “Bride”), the following tale is arguably the grand dame of English spook tales. Based loosely on the real-life murder...

Often underrated and under-anthologized, the following story – or more accurately, two stories couched within a frame narrative (we will comment on both, individually) – is perhaps one of Dickens’ most complex and thematically dark tales. Often misunderstood and typica...

English literature is punctuated by a series of inescapably titanic figures – one or two per century – who overwhelmingly defined the mood, tone, and standards of their eras. Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, Swift, and Wordsworth dominated their respective eras, and the c...

Dickens is widely renowned in popular culture as a writer of grade-A ghost stories. “Could you name some?” a person – not particularly given to the ghostly – might ask of a supernatural aficionado such as yourself. “Well, A Christmas Carol,” you are bound to say. You w...

Famous for his charismatic whit, irony, and satire, Charles Dickens’ ghost stories often typified the Victorian supernatural aesthetic – chilling but charming – but his most famous short ghost story defied convention, shocked readers, and disturbs to this day. The reas...

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