Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

READERS' LIVESGail-Nina Anderson; Gail-Nina Anderson Is a Newcastle-Based Cultural Historian Who Lectures on a Wide Range of Subjects, from High Art to the Paranormal. Her Five Favourite Reads Embrace Gothic Horror and High Comedy

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

READERS' LIVESGail-Nina Anderson; Gail-Nina Anderson Is a Newcastle-Based Cultural Historian Who Lectures on a Wide Range of Subjects, from High Art to the Paranormal. Her Five Favourite Reads Embrace Gothic Horror and High Comedy

Article excerpt

The Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe (1969 and 1978) I read these stories and poems at an early age when Poe's morbid, obsessional imagery chimed perfectly with my proto-Goth sensibilities. They're written in a lush yet precise vocabulary that quietly invades the reader's brain, spinning a web of words (and best imagined spoken by the voice of Vincent Price). It's not unhealthy, it's just Romantic literature!

Dracula by Bram Stoker (Archibald Constable and Company, 1897) Reading this in my teens, I knew I'd found home territory - folklore, blood and a sexual sub-text. Many later rereadings, lectures and articles allowed me to open up its wealth of contemporary references and realise how modern the book must have felt to its first audience. This increases the powerful theme of an age-old evil, simmering for centuries, arriving almost unnoticed to infect and feed off Victorian progress. There's also the pure Gothic of the scenes in Dracula's Transylvanian castle, saturated with cobwebs, dark shadows and general gloomth (a term coined by Horace Walpole, the great pioneer of Gothic culture), but it's the lively depiction of Whitby (where Stoker plotted part of the novel) that won my heart. I visit every year with other members of the Dracula Society - next year I plan a holiday in Dracula's Romania followed by Christmas in Whitby The Collected Ghost Stories of MR James (Originally published 1904-1925; collected edition 1931) Vintage scholarly fiction where the supernatural is always breaking through the defences of antiquarian research to infect the lives of hapless academics. These are packed with strange art works, coded messages and the sort of occult manuscripts at which you should never, ever look (but inevitably do) all combined with the author's love of folklore and hints of his status as a Biblical scholar. Best read in a book-lined study by candlelight or go to hear Robert Lloyd Parry delivering a mesmerising reading from them at the Lit and Phil on November 7. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.