Ghost stories have always provided a popular source of entertainment, thrilling readers with tales of remote gothic castles and dark dungeons. In the nineteenth century, authors made the genre even scarier by bringing the uncanny within the sanctity of the middle-class home. Women writers especially saw the ghost story as an empowering form, using it to make subversive arguments about gender, class, sexuality, race, and money. In this electrifying collection, Melissa Edmundson showcases ten authors who led lives that challenged Victorian notions of how women should behave and brought those transgressive ideas into their fiction.
This collection includes:
THE FOUR-FIFTEEN EXPRESS Amelia B. Edwards
SINCE I DIED Elizabeth Stuart Phelps
THE SHADOW IN THE CORNER Mary Elizabeth Braddon
THE GHOST AT THE RATH Rosa Mulholland
FROM THE DEAD Edith Nesbit
IN THE SÉANCE ROOM Lettice Galbraith
THE HOUSE WHICH WAS RENT FREE G. M. Robins
THE LOST GHOST Mary E. Wilkins
THE STRIDING PLACE Gertrude Atherton
THE PRAYER Violet Hunt
Melissa Edmundson specializes in nineteenth and early twentieth-century British women writers, with a particular interest in women’s ghost stories. She is the editor of a critical edition of Alice Perrin’s East of Suez (1901), published by Victorian Secrets in 2011, and author of Women’s Ghost Literature in Nineteenth-Century Britain (University of Wales Press, 2013) and Women’s Colonial Gothic Writing, 1850-1930: Haunted Empire (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018). Her recent work includes essays on the First World War ghost stories of H. D. Everett and haunted objects in the supernatural fiction of Margery Lawrence, as well as a chapter on women writers and ghost stories for The Routledge Handbook to the Ghost Story.