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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Godfried Schalcken (1643 - 1706) was a Dutch master painter who studied under one of Rembrandt’s greatest pupils, attached himself to the court of William III, and was well-known for his temper, rudeness, and misanthropy. He was also the perfect visual compliment to J....

Revenge has consistently been a major theme of Le Fanu’s supernatural fiction. Whether it be the revenge of a spectral agent (Ultor de Lacy, The Familiar, etc.), or that of divine justice (Tyrone Family, Justice Harbottle, etc.), his protagonists/victims are assured a...

CREPUSCULAR (Adj.) : of, resembling, or relating to twilight; (of an animal) appearing or active in twilight. Synonyms: Half-light, semi-darkness, gloom, dusk, murk, sundown, nightfall, sunset, shadowy.

UNCANNY (Adj.) : something which treads the boundary between normal...

M. R. James considered “The Familiar” to be Le Fanu’s greatest ghost story, and incorporated its primary elements thoroughly into his own supernatural tales – today considered amongst the best in the English language: past sins hounding a remorseful wrongdoer; a mercil...

Known by several titles, but largely published under this one, “An Account of Some Strange Disturbances in Aungier Street” was the first Le Fanu tale that I ever read. Finding it in Oxford’s collection of Victorian ghost stories, I was tremendously struck by how differ...

J. Sheridan Le Fanu, Victorian master of shadowy terrors, is the undisputed prince of ghost story writers. While M. R. James may be their king, even Monty paid homage to his Irish inspiration, reviving Le Fanu’s reputation (by reprinting his stories in a 1923 anthology...

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 more to...

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