Gothic Tales

These last few months I’ve been reading a heap of gothic tales and loving the sweetly cynical nature of them. Until I started researching the I genre I hadn’t realised just how many I had already read and loved. The genre includes the ground-breaking Bronte sisters. There’s the nastiness and domestic violence of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. The strange tale of Jane Eyre, and of course Wuthering Heights.  I still remember when my friend gave me Wuthering Heights to read. I was 21 and rolled my eyes at it, thinking ‘Pah! a love story’. But then I read it, finding out it was a deliciously ouchful ghost story with a relationship that was incredibly distant from what anyone would healthily call ‘love’. It is just so good.

And there’s others: the tales of Poe, of course; the delicious Carmilla by John Sheridan LeFanu; and heaps of others including Angela Carter, Robert Louis Stevenson, Charlotte Perkins Stetson, and H.P.Lovecraft. I started reading Wagner the Werewolf  by George W. M. Reynolds this month. I love Nisida’s character, she’s such a femme fatal, but I got bored when it started harking on about the religious and social politics, plus it is so repetitive and over-worded. I get that it was released as short stories and the Victorian’s were rather verbose, so there’s reasons for this, but that one will remain half-read I’m afraid. Although I did skim read to the end, so know what happens. Again, Nisida is so bad, she’s great.

But all this reading has inspired me to write. In fact, I dug my novel back out of the drawer. I got part way through a draft and realised I really need to read Rebecca again by the fabulous Daphne du Maurier. I haven’t read that for about 20 years, and it’s so lovely to read it again. It’s even better a second time around. So this is what I’m working on at the moment- creating Gothic horror.

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