© 2018

The Palgrave Handbook to Horror Literature

  • Kevin Corstorphine
  • Laura R. Kremmel

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xx
  2. Kevin Corstorphine
    Pages 1-17
  3. The Origins and Evolution of Literary Horror

  4. Themes of Literary Horror

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 203-203
    2. Wendy Fall
      Pages 205-217
    3. Anya Heise-von der Lippe
      Pages 219-231

About this book


This handbook examines the use of horror in storytelling, from oral traditions through folklore and fairy tales to contemporary horror fiction. Divided into sections that explore the origins and evolution of horror fiction, the recurrent themes that can be seen in horror, and ways of understanding horror through literary and cultural theory, the text analyses why horror is so compelling, and how we should interpret its presence in literature. Chapters explore historical horror aspects including ancient mythology, medieval writing, drama, chapbooks, the Gothic novel, and literary Modernism and trace themes such as vampires, children and animals in horror, deep dark forests, labyrinths, disability, and imperialism. Considering horror via postmodern theory, evolutionary psychology, postcolonial theory, and New Materialism, this handbook investigates issues of gender and sexuality, race, censorship and morality, environmental studies, and literary versus popular fiction.


Horror Literature Gothic European Horror Animal Studies Queer Theory storytelling oral traditions folklore fairy tales postcolonial theory literary modernism vampire literature

Editors and affiliations

  • Kevin Corstorphine
    • 1
  • Laura R. Kremmel
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of EnglishUniversity of HullHullUK
  2. 2.Department of HumanitiesSouth Dakota School of Mines & TechnologyRapid City, SDUSA

About the editors

Kevin Corstorphine is Lecturer in American Studies at the University of Hull, UK. His work focuses on Gothic Studies, haunted space and place, the Ecogothic, and the study of popular fiction.

Laura R. Kremmel is Assistant Professor of English at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, USA. Her work focuses on Gothic Studies, British Romanticism, Medical Humanities/History, Disability Studies, and Horror Film.     

Bibliographic information