• Victoria MargreeEmail author


The female-authored ghost story did not go into decline after the First World War but continued to play a vital role in allowing women writers to interrogate their social, political and cultural conditions. The ghostliness that had so fascinated the Victorians persisted in exerting a profound influence on the imaginations of twentieth-century writers, providing a trope that could be adapted for diverse purposes. A shift in the deployment of ghostliness is perhaps perceptible in the way that literary ghosts seem less frequently to be signalling the particular condition of women as marginal beings in a male-dominated world, and more a condition of precarity—of relationships, identity and self-knowledge—that applies to men just as much as to women. As late as 1925, however, in ‘The Night of No Weather’, Violet Hunt was deploying ghostliness as a way to explore the liminal and excluded status of an unmarried woman deprived of her property by a male relation—suggesting that the ghostliness that Vanessa Dickerson (1998) had seen as the condition of Victorian women was far from being a thing of the past in the post-suffrage years.


  1. Dickerson, Vanessa D. 1996. Victorian Ghosts in the Noontide: Women Writers and the Supernatural. Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press.Google Scholar
  2. Killeen, Jarlath. 2010. Gendering the Ghost Story? Victorian Women and the Challenge of the Phantom. In The Ghost Story from the Middle Ages to the Twentieth Century: A Ghostly Genre, ed. Helen Conrad O’Briain and Julie Ann Stevens, 81–96. Dublin: Four Courts Press.Google Scholar
  3. Moody, Nickianne. 1996. Visible Margins: Women Writers and the English Ghost Story. In Image and Power: Women in Fiction in the Twentieth Century, ed. Sarah Sceats and Gail Cunningham, 77–90. London and New York: Longman.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of BrightonBrightonUK

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