Illuminating Supernatural Fiction, Horror, and the Gothic

from Mary Shelley to H. P. Lovecraft

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 There is perhaps no more cursed writer of horror in the English canon than the elegant Edwardian, W. W. Jacobs. World renowned for one tale, “The Monkey’s Paw,” he is often classed alongside the three S’s (Stoker, Shelley, and Stevenson) as an unquestionable dean of t...

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...

It's a culture swarming in mystery and the macabre; it gave us Hallowe'en and jack-o-lanterns, Dracula and Carmilla, headless horsemen and banshees; and  a host of masterful literary minds -- wildly imaginative and unsettlingly powerful. Ireland has contributed mo...

28 Jan 2014

While the weird tale and horror fiction existed in Britain long before the Edwardian Era (fl. 1895 - 1919), this period was certainly the zenith of supernatural fiction in the English-speaking world. Although the Victorians boasted a handful of truly excellent supernat...

"There'll be scary ghost stories and tales of the glories of Christmases long, long ago.."

 Or so the carol tells us. To most Americans, this snippet from the Andy Williams classic has remained an anachronistic -- even disturbing -- oddity. Who tells scary stories at Ch...

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...

14 Oct 2013

Now, as to what the devil all of this means. The sign posts of Gothic fiction direct us to suspect several possibilities. There are several elements which bear examining, thirteen in particular. The solution I propose is that Ranford and Mrs. Brympton have had an affai...

14 Oct 2013

Is Abortion the Underlying Issue in Edith Wharton’s “The Lady’s Maid’s Bell”?

Edith Wharton has long been tied with Henry James – another East Coast socialite with strong ties to Mother England – both for their social backgrounds and for their Irvingian manner of story...

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The Phantom of the Opera: Inspirations, Interpretations, and a Deep Analysis -- a Spooky Spotlight on Gaston Leroux's Gothic Novel

9 Jun 2019

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