By Roger Luckhurst
The Victorian fin de siecle has many institutions: the period of Decadence, The Yellow Book, the recent lady, the scandalous Oscar Wilde, the Empire on which the solar by no means set. This heady brew used to be stuck nowhere larger than within the revival of the Gothic story within the past due Victorian age, the place the undead walked and evil curses, foul homicide, doomed inheritance and sexual threat performed at the stretched nerves of the hot mass readerships. This anthology collects jointly essentially the most recognized examples of the Gothic story within the Eighteen Nineties, with tales via Arthur Conan Doyle, Vernon Lee, Henry James and Arthur Machen, in addition to a few lesser identified but fantastically chilling stories from the period. The advent explores the numerous purposes for the Gothic revival, and the way it spoke to the anxieties of the moment.
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Extra info for Late Victorian Gothic Tales (Oxford World's Classics)
E. Waite, Machen knew how to suggest, but never show. Arthur Machen seemed to embrace obscurity. Although published in the Keynotes series by The Bodley Head, the deﬁning Decadent series, he largely avoided the literary scene and he very soon strongly disassociated himself from the literature of the 1890s. He brilliantly evoked the strangeness of London, yet his work was saturated with longing for the Welsh landscape of his childhood, best conjured up in the tortured, Decadent prose of his novel, The Hill of Dreams (1907).
Speaking of Satan, does your Excellency know that on the inside of our little convent door, just above the little perforated plate of metal (like the rose of a watering-pot) through which the Sisterportress peeps and talks, is pasted a printed form, an arrangement of holy names and texts in triangles, and the stigmatised hands of St Francis, and a variety of other devices, for the purpose, as is explained in a special notice, of baﬄing the Evil One, and preventing his entrance into that building?
Freud coins the term ‘psychoanalysis’. First display of the cinematograph in Leicester Square. First medical use of X-ray in England. Daily Mail founded by Arthur Harmsworth: the beginning of the modern tabloid. Death of William Morris. Max Beerbohm, The Works of Max Beerbohm Ernest Dowson, Verses Joseph Conrad, An Outcast of the Islands H. G. Wells, The Island of Dr Moreau Arthur Morrison, A Child of the Jago, ‘naturalist’ text based on East End slum life Rudyard Kipling’s poem ‘Recessional’, written for Victoria’s Jubilee Day.
Late Victorian Gothic Tales (Oxford World's Classics) by Roger Luckhurst