Valancourt Books and Zittaw Press were the main sources of my undoing -- I have ordered several dozen books from these fine publishing houses and I go on mad sprees several times a year when, armed with an Amazon coupon or gift card, I add another five to the pile. Above and below are a selection of some that I have accumulated, but I admit I haven't even gotten around to reading all of them so far, I just want to make sure that I have them before they disappear.
One of the things that most excited me was the forthcoming/ongoing publication of all of the "Horrid Novels" described in Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey. I'm not actually an Austen fan, other than that particular book, because it's a parody of the 18th century gothic novel. My absolute favorite parody of the gothic novel, "The Heroine" by Eaton Stannard-Barrett, has been my holy grail of books for some dozen or so years, since I took an old copy out on interlibrary loan and had to return it before I finished it. But it's coming out! Eventually! I know it's available as a download for free on the Internet Archive, but I like real books. Hold in the hand books. Touch the smooth glossy cover books.
The Horrid Novels are, incidentally (list copied from wikipedia for ease of typing):
- Castle of Wolfenbach (1793) by Eliza Parsons.
- Clermont, a Tale (1798) by Regina Maria Roche.
- The Mysterious Warning, a German Tale (1796) by Eliza Parsons.
- The Necromancer; or, The Tale of the Black Forest (1794) by 'Ludwig Flammenberg' (pseudonym for Carl Friedrich Kahlert; translated by Peter Teuthold).
- The Midnight Bell (1798) by Francis Lathom.
- Orphan of the Rhine (1798) by Eleanor Sleath.
- Horrid Mysteries (1796) by the Marquis de Grosse (translated by P. Will).
While all of those things can be found in the classics of the genre, like The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe and The Monk by Matthew Lewis, every one of these relics is interesting to me, even if they all follow similar plot lines. A few of the most exciting books out of the batch to me are:
Literary Mushrooms - a collection of gothic chapbooks from 1800-1835
Phantasmagoriana - the very collection of stories that inspired Lord Byron, the Shelleys, & co., on one infamous dark and stormy night. in its first English translation!
Before the Count - a collection of British vampire tales from 1732-1897, long before vampires were sexy, sparkly or any of the other things that they appear to be now.
So there you go. A buncha books. I've been reading a different series all fall (the Wordsworth series of Mystery and Supernatural books) but I'll be getting back into these piles as we advance into the dark winter...