Victorian Ghost Stories: An Oxford Anthology

Michael Cox, Editor, R. A. Gilbert, Editor, R. A. Gilbert, Editor Oxford University Press, USA $30 (520p) ISBN 978-0-19-214202-3
Following up The Oxford Book of English Ghost Stories , Cox and Gilbert here suggest that ``ghost stories were something at which the Victorians excelled,'' pointing out that the stories reflect the insecurities hidden in an outwardly ordered and confident society. They note further that some of the writers who portrayed ladylike women encountering ghosts at their doors were female breadwinners churning out stories to keep the wolves from theirs. Such authors as Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Elizabeth Gaskell and Charlotte Riddell anchored ghostly events in the still waters of domestic detail, provoking an eerie contrast, while others, like J. S. Le Fanu and Henry James, used deliberately paced language to similar effect. The stories in this superior anthology, each one satisfying on its own, represent a great variety of period styles and spectres. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/30/1991
Release date: 10/01/1991
Paperback - 528 pages - 978-0-19-282999-3
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