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The Oxford Book of Gothic Tales (Oxford Books of Prose & Verse) Paperback – May 7, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The fog-enshrouded castle, the crumbling family manor; old secrets unveiled, curses cast, chains clanking, fear and trembling; dread, decay, disintegration, death--each of these trademarks of the well-made Gothic tale is vividly represented in this comprehensive anthology. Informatively introduced and chronologically arranged, the 37 stories showcase the Gothic tradition from its late-18th-century inception up to the present. Included are genre classics from such illustrious practitioners as Poe, Hawthorne, Lovecraft and McGrath, as well as gems from literary masters like Faulkner, Welty, Oates and Borges, all of whom dabble(d) to fine effect in the form. Among the highlights are "The Parricide Punished," an anonymous entry from 1799 set in an enormous castle and narrated by a guest whose visit becomes a waking nightmare; Eden Glasgow's "Jordan's End," in which a long history of family madness gives rise to a most untimely death; F. M. Mayor's "Miss DeMannering of Asham," the story of two women on holiday who get more local color than they bargained for when they learn the shocking truth about DeMannering's dead infant; and especially Ray Russell's bizarre "Sardonicus," whose title character gives the kind of villainous performance that evokes Vincent Price in his horror-movie heyday.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

`Review from previous edition the perfect book to put beside the bed of a timorous guest you wish would go home' The Economist

`a sumptuous spread of eeriness, horror and decay, plus an astute introduction that lays bare the gothic's vitals...there will be something in this book to chill the blood of any reader. ' John Carey, Sunday Times

`Armed with this anthology...the faint-hearted connoisseur can make his way down the gloomy halls and secret passageways of the genre. ' Peter Ackroyd, The Times

`this is a generous selection from the eighteenth century up to the present day ... Deliciously unsettling. ' The Observer
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Product Details

  • Series: Oxford Books of Prose & Verse
  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 2 edition (May 7, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199561532
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199561537
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 1.3 x 5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #398,406 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I wanted to combine a good gothic book with the gothic romance I intended to read and had been on my TBR pile for a while and found this collection at a bookstore. The Oxford Book of Gothic Tales has a large collection stories by authors from times that vary from Georgian period to recent years. Some are dark and sinister, others have a mystery to discover while there are those that have only the gothic atmosphere down pat. There are quite a few popular authors here -- William Faulkner, Edgar Allan Poe, Angela Carter and Joyce Carol Oates, to name a few. There are also some stories written by "Anonymous." My favorite stories are "The Lady of the House of Love," by Angela Carter, Eden Glasgow's "Jordan's End," and Ray Russell's "Sardonicus." The stories are quite dark and are some of the best in the gothic genre. I've already read some of the stories from the authors I've enjoyed over the years (like Poe and Oates), but the ones I hadn't read made this a very enjoyable read for me. I cannot recommend this unique collection enough.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Trilby Busch on March 20, 2003
Format: Paperback
This is a wonderful anthology, giving a full historical spectrum of Gothic tales from silly early ones to chilling modern ones. I've used this as a textbook in two courses I teach in college, and students have been both amused (at blatantly Freudian overtones in 18th century stories) and horrified (especially at Pizarnek's account of Erzebet Bathory's perversions). My favorites are Carter's "Lady of the House of Love" and Cowles' "The Vampire of Kaldenstein," both of which combine eerieness with ironic humor.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 27, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This is a very interesting collection of literature. It includes writing from the late 1700s extending to the present. What makes this collection so amazing is that it not only includes stories from Poe, Lovecraft, and Hawthorne, but it also has stories taken from periodicals and anthologies long out of print. You'd never find some of this writing anywhere else, and it is truly amazing.
All of the stories do have somewhat of a dark and twisted theme, but they are all very rich.
If seriously considering this book, I highly recommend purchasing it in a hardback edition. It will last you much longer, and you'll be glad for this after reading it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By B. Davis on October 3, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a fan of gothic literature, I love this wonderful anthology. It begins with an introduction to classic gothic and its writers; and goes on to offer over 30 blood-chilling short stories by authors like Poe, Hardy, Hawthorne, Faulkner, and Borges. My favorite was A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner. It's exciting to have so much rich variety in one place. A bit eerie and unnerving, this volume is not for the faint-hearted. It's the perfect book to read on a stormy night! I highly recommend it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mary Ingram on January 8, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There are some great tales in this book.by such authors as-
poe,le fanu.hawthorne,g.w.cable,charlotte perkins stetson(weird psychological tale), nesbit,lovecraft,faulkner(this is not a gothic tale but pure faulknew; enjoyable),thomas hardy( Barbara of the house of grebe; loved this one), ellen glasgow (jordan's end; I do wish she had written more ghost tales) and many more fine
tales.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Patrick Savard on September 2, 2010
Format: Paperback
Rating a collection of tales by various authors is somewhat complicated. Here, what is offered to the reader is a wonderful selection of stories from various centuries that were written in the Gothic tradition. Anyone who is interested in studying intertextuality or motifs in various pieces will cherish this volume, as well as people who simply appreciate this genre of literature.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Z Hayes HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on October 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover
To get into the spirit of the season, I checked out several supernatural anthologies from my local library, including The Oxford Book of Gothic Tales (1992 edition). This book contains an interesting selection of Gothic tales, all of which are highly atmospheric and added to my knowledge of what defines a Gothic tale.

Here are the stories in this book:
Beginnings
Sir Bertrand: A Fragment (1773) - Anna Laetitia Aikin
The Poisoner of Montremos (1791) - Richard Cumberland
The Friar's Tale (1792) - Anonymous
Raymond: A Fragment (1799) - 'Juvenis'
The Parricide Punished (1799) - Anonymous
The Ruins of the Abbey of Fitz-Martin (1801) - Anonymous
The Vindictive Monk or The Fatal Ring (1802) - Isaac Crookenden

The Nineteenth Century
The Astrologer's Prediction or The Maniac's Fate (1826) - Anonymous
Andreas Vesalius The Anatomist (1833) - Petrus Borel
Lady Eltringham or The Castle of Ratcliffe Cross (1836) - J. Wadham
The Fall of The House of Usher (1839) - Edgar Allan Poe
A Chapter in the History of a Tyrone Family (1839) - Sheridan Le Fanu
Rappaccini's Daughter (1844) - Nathaniel Hawthorne
Selina Sedilia (1865) - Bret Harte
Jean-Ah Poquelin (1875) - George Washington Cable
Olalla (1885) - Robert Louis Stevenson
Barbara of the House of Grebe (1891) - Thomas Hardy
Bloody Blanche (1892) - Marcel Schwob
The Yellow Wall-Paper (1892)- Charlotte Perkins Stetson
The Adventure of the Speckled Band (1892) - Arthur Conan Doyle
Hurst of Hurstcote (1893) - E. Nesbit

The Twentieth Century
A Vine on a House (1905) - Ambrose Bierce
Jordan's End (1923) - Ellen Glasgow
The Outsider (1926) - H.P.
Read more ›
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The Oxford Book of Gothic Tales (Oxford Books of Prose & Verse)
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