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Posts Tagged ‘Horace Walpole’

Anon – Four Gothic Novels

Posted by demonik on October 24, 2011

Anon – Four Gothic Novels   (Oxford University Press, 1994)

Horace Walpole – The Castle Of Otranto
William Beckford – Vathek
Matthew Lewis – The Monk
Mary Shelley – Frankenstein

Blurb
Macabre and melodramatic, set in haunted castles or fantastic landscapes, Gothic tales became fashionable in the late eighteenth century with the publication of Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto (1764). Crammed with catastrophe, terror, and ghostly interventions, the novel was an immediate success, and influenced numerous followers: These include William Beckford’s Vathek (1786), which alternates grotesque comedy with scenes of exotic magnificence in the story of the ruthless Caliph Vathek’s journey to damnation. The Monk (1796), by Matthew Lewis, is a violent tale of ambition, murder, and incest, set in the sinister Monastery of the Capuchins in Madrid. Frankenstein (1818, 1831) is Mary Shelley’s disturbing and perennially popular tale of a young student who  learns the secret of giving life to a creature made from human relics, with horrific consequences.

This collection illustrates the range and the attraction of the Gothic novel. Extreme and sensational, each of the four printed here is also a powerful psychological story of isolation and monomania.

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Peter Haining – The Craft Of Terror

Posted by demonik on September 7, 2007

Peter Haining  (ed.) – The Craft Of Terror (Nel, Dec. 1966, Mews, 1976)

Haining Craft Of Terror

Cover: Tony Masero

Introduction – Peter Haining

Matthew Lewis – The Monk
Horace Walpole – The Castle Of Otranto
Clara Reeve – The Old English Baron
William Beckford – Vathek
William Godwin – Caleb Williams
Charles Brockden Brown – Wieland, or The Transformation
Charles Maturin – Melmoth The Wanderer
Mary Shelley – The Last Man
Edward Bulwer Lytton – The Cult Of Zanoni
Thomas Prest – The Feast Of blood
Eugene Sue – The Mysteries Of Paris
J. S. Le Fanu – The House By The Churchyard
William Harrison Ainsworth – The Elixir Of Life
Edgar Allan Poe – Metzengerstein

Bibliography

An early stab at what would become Great British Tales Of Terror. All bar the Poe story are extracts from the novels of the same name and it makes for an entertaining read.  Watch out for Edmund, the alleged ‘hero’ of Clara Reeve’s classic, though. Every time somebody speaks to him, he falls to his knees sobbing and beseeching and/ or praising his creator. It gets on your tits after a bit. The extract from Varney The Vampyre or, The Feast Of Blood, wrongly credited to Prest, is the opening chapter yet again. The Le Fanu is usually reproduced as The Narrative Of The Ghost Of A Hand.

Josh Kirby artwork for the Nel-Four Square edition

Nel-Four Square edition

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