Ghosts, Spectres and Phantoms: Recycling the Gothic in Periodicals and Anthologies

  • Franz J. Potter

Abstract

One of the most familiar episodes in Gothic literary history occurred on the stormy night of 16 June 1816, at the Villa Diodati on Lake Geneva and involves one of the lowest forms of the ‘trade’ Gothic: the short tale of terror. Percy Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft, John Polidori and Clair Clairmont were gathered by the fireside to hear Lord Byron read aloud from Fantasmagoriana; ou Recueil d’Histoires d’Apparitions, de Spectres, a French translation of a collection of German tales of terror published in Paris in 1812.1 At the end of the dramatic reading, Byron proposed a challenge, to write their own tale of terror; Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein; or, The Modem Prometheus (1.120) was published in 1818 and John Polidori’s Vampyre (1.321) the following year.2

Keywords

Manifold Assure Ghost Burial Lost 

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Notes

  1. 2.
    Florescu, Radu, In Search of Frankenstein: Exploring the Myths Behind Mary Shelley’s Monster (London: Robson Books, 1996), pp. 1–2, 113–116.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    Utterson, Mrs, Tales of the Dead Principally translated from the French (London: White, Cochrane & Co., 1813).Google Scholar
  3. 5.
    Mayo, Robert, ‘The Gothic Short Story in the Magazines’, Modem Language Review, XXXVII (1942), p. 448. Further references to this article are given in quotations in the text.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 16.
    Mayo, Robert, ‘Gothic Romance in the Magazines’, Publications of the Modern Language Association, LXV (1950), p. 780.Google Scholar
  5. 17.
    Beevor, M.L. ‘The Old Sign Board; or, “House in the Wilderness’”, The Ladies Pocket Magazine, Volume One (London: Joseph Robins, 1832), p. 81. Further references to this tale are given after quotations in the text.Google Scholar
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    Maturin, Charles, ‘Leixlip Castle’, Twelve Gothic Tales, ed. Richard Dalby (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998), pp. 1–13 (p. 1).Google Scholar
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    Duyfhuizen, Bernard, Narratives of Transmission (London and Toronto: Associated University Presses, 1992), pp. 27–28.Google Scholar
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    Hoffmann, E.T.A., The Devil’s Elixirs (London: Calder, 1963).Google Scholar
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    Anonymous, ‘Saint Anthony’s Flask; or, The Devil’s Wine!’, Legends of Terror! (London: Sherwood, Gilbert & Piper, 1830), p. 82.Google Scholar
  10. 26.
    Carlyle, Thomas, Critical and Miscellaneous Essays, ‘State of German Literature’ (1827) (London: Chapman & Hall Limited, 1899), p. 38.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Franz J. Potter 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Franz J. Potter

There are no affiliations available

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