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Late Victorian Gothic Tales (Oxford World's Classics) 1st Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
In contrast with earlier gothic fiction, I would have to say that the late gothic period was more concerned with intellectual horror. It was finer in this way. For example, in a story from the first wave of gothic fiction, the reader would have found the ghost or supernatural element scary enough in itself. A late victorian gothic tale would add an intellectual dimension to the ghost story in that the writer would attempt to explore what a ghost is and represents. Whereas an earlier gothic tale would have found the actions of a madman abhorrent enough, the story Vaila, by MP Shiel, explores the origins and nature of madness through several generations of an old and accursed family.
Expect very finely wrought pieces of horror literature. The anthology is limited to victorian writers from Britain, and I thought this was its failing as it could have included writers like Edith Wharton and Willa Cather, who were themselves authors of very great ghost stories. The late victorian gothic was also strongly influenced by the work of Edgar Allan Poe, and yet he is also missing from this anthology. Nonetheless, this book will be full of treats for real fans of the gothic.
Ratings for each story:
Vernon Lee [Violet Paget], Dionea - 7/10. Starting off with one of the gals. The narrator of this story is particularly interesting since he is obsessed with the female form and the old Greek gods and he's a doctor, to boot. Gothic narrators are so perverse and cool. Dionea is pretty badass too. The ending made me shiver, but the story as a whole was a bit underwhelming. Points for capitalizing on racial fear (Dionea is a woman of color, of course).
Oscar Wilde, Lord Arthur Savile's Crime - 9/10. Not a shocking or gruesome tale, but Wilde's style is effortlessly enjoyable and brilliant. The dark humor makes the whole story, because if this had been written in a tragic key, I doubt it would still be memorable. I also dig that pun in Savile's name (savile - civil, eh, eh?)
Henry James, Sir Edmund Orme - 7/10. A creepy and subversive ghost story, especially if you consider what is left out of the text. As a whole, it's perfectly serviceable, nothing impressive, but that subtext - oh, man, that subtext.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I just started reading this book, the writing style really pulled me into the story immediately. I plan not to read it 'til I have all Summer projects finished.Published on September 7, 2013 by G. Wilson
I bought this collection to get taste of Late Gothic and was quite dissatisfied with the stories presented. Read morePublished on August 23, 2013 by Tuong Ly
Could not put this book down great writers of the past wish more stories were told like this book hasPublished on March 15, 2013 by rowdy nutter