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“We Stare and Tremble”: Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Horror Novels

  • Natalie Neill
Chapter

Abstract

Neill offers an overview of the horror novel from the eighteenth century to the late Victorian period. This chapter shows that, while the first horror novels were very popular with readers, they were disparaged by critics and moralists. Neill argues that this mixed response drove the development of horror writing, including its diversification in the nineteenth century when the early Gothic novels gave way to such subgenres as the vampire novel and the penny dreadful. Although horror writing became more varied, novelists continued to use stories about monsters, and the monstrosities of which human beings are capable, to dramatize the anxieties of their day—a defining attribute of horror writing that explains both its longstanding popular appeal and the negative responses that it has engendered.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Natalie Neill
    • 1
  1. 1.York UniversityTorontoCanada

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