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Gothic gossip.

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maig 10, 2011, 7:29am

I was guilty of going off-topic a bit on another thread and it occured to me that we should have a thread for any odds and ends that we think might be of interest to the group.

So here it is.

Editat: maig 10, 2011, 7:47am

What prompted this was someone mentioning Daphne du Maurier on another thread and me responding with a couple of irrelevant posts. So I've copied them across here:

"Damn! You've just reminded me of something. BBC Radio 3 or 4 (can't remember which) has been doing a series of newly-discovered Daphne du Maurier stories and I meant to listen in on the website. Completely forgot."

"I didn't bother. Turns out the actual book - The Doll: Short Stories - was published in paperback last week (in the UK, anyway), so I may pick it up.

Whether any of them could be described as Gothic I don't know.

ETA - I couldn't get the link to work inside the quotes and italics so if you'd just imagine it as being there ...

Editat: maig 10, 2011, 8:25am

As it happens, tempted by a different conversation on another thread (in the Hellfire Group), I succumed, and, I'm glad to say, my copy of The Doll Short Stories arrived this morning. :-)

Must get through a work day before I can plunge into the tales from Daphne.

maig 10, 2011, 8:35am

My second apology time now.

Since my RETURN TO INTERNETLAND I've been thinking 'wow that gothic group went a little quiet didn't it, shame that...'.

Turns out you guys didn't go quiet but my LT homepage was defaulting to show me only threads I had already posted in. Oops. From here on I will try to join in better and stop being a huge failure!

maig 10, 2011, 9:03am

No! No! No! Not failure - Another hapless victim of modern technology. Put blame in the right place - those damned gremlins.

maig 10, 2011, 9:11am

I think I'd rather be a reformed failure than a victim. Victim makes me sound rather meek!

I'm bigger and scarier than any damn tech gremlins! Or something...

Anyway I blame work for making me too busy to think in straight lines (or get any reading done *sob*).

maig 10, 2011, 1:44pm

As for going off-topic, I'm always a fan. :D

As for Daphne, I reread a story of hers the other day I always fancied needed a reread, 'The Blue Lenses,' and boy, is she as marvelous as I remember. I'm not sure I'm a big enough fan, though, to warrant purchasing a volume of 'lost stories,' but then, I said that about like, twenty books this year.

And as for you, LA, grace us with your presence whenever you get the chance! I'm actually a little surprised--pleasantly, of course--at how vocal this little group is. When I created it out of 'smokeless fire' I never expected such a great turn out of intelligent, like-minded individuals! I spend most of my time in school explaining that Bauhaus, though great, is not the poster-child for Blackwood. Here, I have no need of that mundane crap. Thanks everybody for making this such a great group!

Editat: maig 10, 2011, 11:34pm

I was unaware of these new short stories by du Maurier. I'll have to keep my eye out for it.

I've only been cursorily interested in her, and have always wanted to read Rebecca some day, but so many books on my reading pile.

But last year I came across a book, Neverland: J. M. Barrie, The Du Mauriers, and the Dark Side of Peter Pan, by an author Piers Dundgeon, who worked with du Maurier on her pictorial memoir Enchanted Cornwall. The book is essentially an expose of sorts of family secrets going back to George du Maurier (author of Trilby), through the Peter Pan era, up to the last years of Daphne's life.

Anyhow, the author analyzes several of her short stories, and how they were an outlet for Daphne's dark family secrets. The book is a little sensational, but it was one of the creepiest, disturbing things I've read in a long time. Since then, I've decided to eventually read through Daphne's oeuvre, which seems to have an entire darker, hidden level that I was completely unaware of.

maig 12, 2011, 10:12am

I must have had a deprived childhood as I've never read any J. M. Barrie. I've actually read very little Daphne D. M. except Rebecca and one or two short stories and nothing of George, but they're among these authors I've long 'meant to' get round to at some point. You've now got me wondering what I might be getting into! Especially having just read the LT review of the Dudgeon by Philotera and her comments on Peter Pan.

maig 13, 2011, 10:48am

I just noticed it's Daphne du Maurier's birthday!

I must read her short story, The Doll, this evening.

maig 13, 2011, 7:30pm

Let us know what you think, pgmcc, as that's the one I'm most interested in hearing about!

maig 15, 2011, 2:55pm

#11 veilofisis

I enjoyed The Doll and my thoughts are related to its context in terms of who wrote it, and when it was written. The comments below are probably better left until one has already read the story, but having issued that warning I shall plunge ahead.

The structure of the story, i.e. notes found by someone and reported to the reader with some annotation, is probably not something that would work well today, and could be considered a bit redundant.

My understanding is that Du Maurier was only twenty when she wrote this story. That is interesting from a number of angles. Firstly, she puts herself into the mind of an obssessed young man who is driven to distraction by his perceived love of Rebecca. While some of the comments and thoughts of our hapless suitor may come across as somewhat over the top, I think the author did a great job of getting into the feelings of a member of the opposite sex; impressive for one so young.

In terms of Rebecca, Du Maurier demonstrated an intimate understanding of the cold, manipulative mind, actions and techniques of a woman who would use others to satisfy her own desire.

I could be wrong, but when this story was written it was probably considered shocking for a twenty year old woman to produce a story that portrays a woman who is aggressive in the pursuit of her physical love, albeit with an artificial device.

In summary, we have a story of two people with strong obssessions. The man, through his infatuation for the other becomes a toy she uses in an attempt to rouse her passion in readiness for her true love, the doll.

A very itneresting story which shows a maturity of the author in matters other than writing.

maig 19, 2011, 10:47am

Has anyone read Oliver Onions? Project Gutenberg has two collections of his stories, Widdershins and The tower of oblivion. I read the first story in Widdershins, The beckoning fair one (long enough to be published alone, I see) and thought, "this is too good not to read in paper". Excellent, super-creepy tale.

Unfortunately, still haven't chanced upon any Onions in vivo (Dover has reprints online...)

maig 19, 2011, 11:46am

>13 LolaWalser: what an utterly fantastic name. Surely he has to be read for that alone?

My local highstreet bookshop, a Waterstones, has a 'our staff recommend' section (as most alrger ones do). I think there's someone there with very interestign taste as the same section over the last few weeks has had a leather Poe collection, a leather Lovecraft collection, a fabulously illustrated Alice in Wonderland and Hunting of the Snark, Jorge Luis Borge's Book of Imaginary Beings, The Four Cornr books volumes I mentioned elsewhere and much more that has been relevant to my interests and loves (lots of gothic, lots of Lewis Carroll, hooray). I am thinking of asking one of the staff member's who's section that is and (assuming it belongs to a female) asking to marry her ;)

Editat: maig 19, 2011, 3:11pm

I've read a few of Onions' stories. There is a Wordsworth collection available, The Dead of Night: The Ghost Stories of Oliver Onions. It is currently my "emergency reading", i.e. it's the book I have in the car incase I end up sitting waiting somewhere.

The beckoning fair one is one of his best known stories and is a lovely gradual build.

He has a number of novels, one of which as the fascinating title of The Complete Bachelor.

Tartarus Press also thought it would be nice to produce a collection of Onions' stories, hence, Ghost Stories.

Thank you for the pointer to Gutenberg for The Tower of Oblivion.

Yes, I am a bit of an Onion collector. I also like Sarban.

Editat: maig 19, 2011, 3:32pm

The name Oliver Onions rang a bell but that was as far as it went - when I searched online I didn't recognise any of his titles.

So I've just followed Lola's lead and read 'The Beckoning Fair One' on Project Gutenberg. Tremendous story - it quite grips you and pgmcc is exactly right about the 'lovely gradual build'.

In fact, I think I came near a heart-attack when I'd just got to the part where Oleron was feeling under the bed for his slippers and my damn phone rang - I leapt about a foot in the air.

So that's yet another author that just has to go on the 'must read' list.

maig 19, 2011, 3:45pm

#16 rankamateur

You reminded me of a story from my past. It was in the 1960s and my family watched the first showing of "Psycho" on television. After the film ended it was quite late so my mother headed off to bed. She changed into her nightdress and, being a devout Catholic, knelt down beside her bed to say her prayers. As she conversed with the Almighty something brushed across her knees. She screamed and leapt to her feet in fright. My father had hidden under the bed and tickled her knees.

No, she never forgave him.

maig 19, 2011, 3:56pm


I'm evil, therefore I laughed. Poor your mum!


Boy, that was fast. How do you feel about reading online? Once I started I had to finish, but I wish it had been a book. How creepy was the ghostly sound of combing hair?!


Apparently Onions is a pseudonym but I didn't bother to find out who what where...

Editat: maig 19, 2011, 4:21pm

Wikipedia - he was born George Oliver Onions, legally changed it to George Oliver (suppose you can't blame him), but kept Oliver Onions as his pen-name.

ETA - Sorry for pg's mum, but I laughed out loud as well!

maig 19, 2011, 7:10pm

>17 pgmcc:


>18 LolaWalser:

Two things: first, I have 'The Beckoning Fair One' stashed in an anthology somewhere and have wanted an excuse to give it a go (I believe in reading a 'short story' in one sitting, and this one is JUST short enough to fall under that concept, but JUST long enough to intimidate me from setting aside an hour and a half and really digging in...), which I now have; second, I realize now that as I'm typing this rankamateur cleared up the story of his name, which I was just about to do...

Oh well. :)

maig 20, 2011, 4:55am

OK, someone has to say it:

There are layers upon layers to this author.

And no, he's not like a parfait!

Editat: maig 20, 2011, 6:16am

I had to look up a 'parfait'. I think I'm going to have give up on this trying to lose weight business ...

I'm never going to work out whether 'The Beckoning Fair One' is a story of the supernatural or not, am I?

maig 20, 2011, 9:10am

In the consideration of Gothic gossip, I present this bizarre sh*t:

How abouuuuut that?!

maig 20, 2011, 9:30am

>23 veilofisis:. wow that is very bizarre!

>13 LolaWalser:, etc. never heard of Oliver Onions, but now you all have me by the neck with interest. I normally don't like to read online, so I know I'll be searching this weekend for an edition.

Editat: maig 20, 2011, 10:27am

>23 veilofisis: That place is amazing! Probably not how I'd like my bedroom redecorated though.

The only gothic thing prevalent in my life are the Royal courts of Justice in London, I work literally right next to them

A very imposing building and must've scared the crap out of anyone hundreds of years ago who was about to go on trial, looks particularly impressive at night with the torches burning outside. Still nothing next to that place you foudn though.

The place you posted reminds me of a holiday I spent in Malta, and while I was there I decided to visit the many Catholic catacombs they have there. I was seriously surprised to find they let you down unattended into the dark and all the centuries old bodies are out for all to see and touch; no glass, no ropes no security guards! Not that anyone in ther right minds would try to fiddle with a 400 year old templar corpse or something.

maig 20, 2011, 11:41am

>24 brother_salvatore:

I'll take this time to, once again, recommend the Modern Library anthology Great Tales of Terror and the Supernatural. It has the Onions (somehow that 'the (author)' convention seems a little ridiculous with Oliver...) as well as numerous others fabulousness well worth reading. It balances famous, 'canon' works with more obscure pieces. Two in particular I recommend really highly: 'Caterpillars,' by E. F. Benson, and 'Moonlight Sonata,' by Alexander Woollcott. It's pretty thick, too: lots of good reading...

>25 LipstickAndAviators:

Royal Courts of Justice: WOW. Glorious.

As for your Maltese adventure, and fiddling with 400-year-old Templar corpses: that sounds like an M. R. James story waiting to happen!

Speaking of Gothic settings: my estranged father apparently splits his time between Cairo and Alexandria these days, and I can't help but think Old Cairo could make for a fabulous Gothic setting. If the Aqmar Mosque were just a little bit more sprawling, and a little bit taller, it could be perfect...

Sigh. I envy the world travelers in this group. :D

Editat: maig 24, 2011, 9:02am

Ignore this - just checking to see if 'Reply' and 'Add a message' are the same thing in this new setup.

ETA - They are.

Editat: maig 24, 2011, 11:43am

I always assume ETA means estimated tiem of arrival, bu clearly peopel here use it in a very different context?

This is like how at work we have a ton of acronyms thata re already acronyms for somethign else in real life...

(Just looking it up I assume ou meant 'edited to add'? Apparently there are 77 in use acronyms just for ETA. Confusing world)

ETA - I don't like this new setup, though I guess the buttons are prettier?

maig 24, 2011, 11:54am

I, too, never really knew what ETA was meaning, but I assumed it had something to do with editing...I think 'edited to add' is probably it. Right, rank??

I'm constantly ****ing up acronyms. I once substitued AIDS for SIDS when discussing sudden infant death syndrome in an email...I mean A and S are right next to each other on the keyboard! It's an understandable mistake...but it didn't go over very well.

Yeah, that was a weird day.

I think I've strayed a bit from 'Gothic gossip.' Oh well. :D

maig 24, 2011, 11:56am

Oh and I don't much care for this setup, either. It's a little too hip for me, what with the pressing buttons and things just...floating into existence? I can't describe what I mean. I need more coffee...

maig 24, 2011, 11:57am

>29 veilofisis:

I thought this gossip thread was for the straying off and gossiping so we didn't stray off and gossip so much everywhere else?

I must remember to take those photos of the books for you today, apologies I've been super busy!

maig 24, 2011, 12:02pm

#29 Veilofisis I once substitued AIDS for SIDS when discussing sudden infant death syndrome in an email...

I think you've stayed right on the topic with that one.

maig 24, 2011, 12:03pm

>31 LipstickAndAviators:

Oh, it is. But knowing me we should go ahead and create a 'random s*** no one should ever really even be talking about in the first place' thread! :D

And don't worry about it. The longer it takes for me to see if I like the bindings, the longer I keep $200 or so in my checking account. It's a mixed blessing, as always... :)

I wish I were busy. Although I do have to read six plays before tomorrow at 1 PM...we'll see if that even comes close to happening...

maig 24, 2011, 12:03pm

maig 24, 2011, 12:11pm

I'm still working my way slowly through Daphne du Maurier's The Doll: Short Stories and am enjoying them no end. While reading each one I am constantly aware of when the stories were written and Daphne's age when she wrote them.

Her understanding of life and her insight into the minds and motivations of men and women was very advanced for the young age when she produced these pieces. If all women have the same level of insight at the age at which Du Maurier wrote some of these stories then us poor males have no chance. Oh! Wait a minute! D**n!

Editat: juny 7, 2011, 10:23am

May I 'vent' for a moment - on something that's always been a bit of an irritation but has become even more so since I've joined this group?

Why on earth don't publishers of short story anthologies put indices at the back (like in poetry anthologies)? Would an alphabetical index of titles be too much to ask for? Personally, I'd love an index of first lines, as well (or first sentences or whatever). Perhaps it's not too difficult fingering down the 'contents' page for a title but it irritates me.

Okay. Rant over.

Looking through this thread, I realise I rudely forgot to reply to a few posts so, 'better late than never':-

#18 - How do you feel about reading online?
Like you, I don't really like it. When I read a story I can feel all the books around here glaring at the back of my head - makes me feel a traitor. Though I've embraced the internet quite enthusiastically, I'm the kind of person who didn't know what half the things reviewed actually were last time he bought a copy of What Hi-Fi?, and who deliberately buys and uses ancient split-cane fishing rods and obsolete reels in preference to the modern polycarbonate stuff, and - of course - absolutely drools over books with leather bindings and gold lettering; so reading fiction online goes against my soul! And, apart from that, my eyes don't like it. I've tried adjusting my monitor's settings, I've tried sizing the web-pages up to 200%, taking the reading-glasses off and sitting back a couple of feet, but nothing works - my eyes just get tired and itchy.

#23 - I could have sworn I posted on veil's ossuary. Anyway, I think the word is 'gobsmacked'. I've keep finding myself at odd moments pondering on the character and thoughts of the woodcarver who arranged the stuff. I know I tend to overuse the word 'fascinating' but this genuinely is a fascinating link. And if that place has never been used in Gothic fiction then it's time it was.

And having got that far, I clicked on veil's link and lost the whole damned post and had to type it again from memory ...

juny 7, 2011, 10:33am

Actually, there's one aspect of modern technology that's had me in awe lately, and I suppose it's (sort of) suitable for a Gothic thread. So, how the devil did they do this -

juny 7, 2011, 5:34pm

Yeah, that ossuary is a TRIP!

As for the 'wood imps,' all I have to say is: what. the. heeeeeeellllll?!

juny 7, 2011, 5:39pm

I've been here:

La cripta dei Cappuccini

...but I'd love to see that chandelier too.

juny 7, 2011, 7:22pm

Oooooh Lola take me with you next time!!

juny 7, 2011, 7:25pm

Deal! I'm in Rome most years at least for a few days.

ag. 9, 2011, 7:28am

Necronomicon: The Best Weird Tales of H. P. Lovecraft: I see complaints of the typos in this. Anybody have a copy? Are the typos a serious problem are is it a case of just the odd one or two that you don't really notice?

set. 15, 2011, 2:24pm

> 42

I'm afraid they're quite bad. I'd already got the stories in the S. T. Joshi -edited texts, but I bought the Gollancz collection too.

I found passages that didn't read right or even make sense, and when I compared the texts, it was because several words were missing, for example, page 16 (from "The Doom that came to Sarnath"): ..."strange sculptures upon the grey monoliths of Ib, for those sculptures {were terrible with great antiquity. Why the beings and the sculptures} lingered so late in the world, even until the coming {of} men {,} none can tell;" - the words and punctuation missing from the Gollancz text in {}.

That's one of the worst, but so far hardly any stories have been free from this slapdash typesetting. I've read up to page 358 (of 880pp)

set. 16, 2011, 6:29am

#43 - I've gone ahead and bought it since I wrote that post.

By coincidence I was puzzling over the piece you quoted just a night or two back. I'd wondered if there was something missing and intended hunting up the story online to check.

It's a shame, you'd think Gollancz would be proof against that kind of thing after all the years they've been publishing him.

set. 16, 2011, 7:00am

#43, #44 - Should have gone for the Barnes & Noble, I suppose, but a leather binding and a little bit of gold lettering and I'm anybody's - lose all self-control.

Editat: oct. 16, 2012, 2:06pm

I've mentioned elsewhere that I've started on a project of reading or re-reading all the novels treated in 'Key Works' in Punter & Byron's The Gothic.

Last night I read the first on the list, The Castle of Otranto, and, being interested in having others' reactions to some of the thoughts on the book and the genre that the reading threw up for me (not least 'cos those thoughts are a bit confused), I thought I'd post something here.

But then I thought that the fact that these are 'key' works in the genre probably means that members are perennially going to have something to say or ask or share or discuss about them; so I thought it might be convenient for some of these novels to have their own thread as a sort of long-term, open-ended, 'drop-in-whenever-a-member-happens-to-be-passing-that-way' sort of thing.

The above woffling is my explanation of why I'll shortly be creating a 'Castle of Otranto' thread.

I'll just add that where I write about ... 'key' works ... and ... some of these novels ... I haven't anything rigid in mind (and certainly not sticking rigidly to Punter and Byron's list) - just that whenever I or anyone else thinks a work might be worth it's own thread then it's ... well ... worth it's own thread.

Edited to force the touchstone on the Punter & Byron.

set. 20, 2011, 3:51pm

>46 alaudacorax:

Agree! Great idea!

set. 20, 2011, 3:51pm

I'm just getting to another reread of Otranto anyway, so this is good timing...

oct. 4, 2011, 5:05pm

Re. misprints etc. in the Gollancz edition Necronomicon: The Best Weird Tales of H. P. Lovecraft, here are some more that I've spotted:

page 27: "can have {had} such a descent as mine" and
"where I had to wriggle {delete: my} feet first along the rocky floor, holding {my} torch".
page 30: "of {the} black passages I had".
page 52: "he finished severing {delete: his}{the} head, placed {it in} his hellish vat of pulpy reptile-tissue"
page 107: "{delete: to} {t}winkling".
page 136: "a diligent worker; {hence upon this his eyes long rested as he racked his brains for means to reach it. There was nothing like a ladder in the tomb,} and the coffin niches".
page 151: "wormy pair of decorative columns {delete: of} {or} pilasters,"
page 161: "dog-faced howler and silent {delete: stutter} {strutter} in darkness -"
page 164: "for only the other {delete: clay} {day}".

I did wonder if the texts were always corrupt, until S. T. Joshi edited them, but Gollancz didn't use the new texts for (one presumes) copyright reasons. Does anyone here know?

Editat: des. 24, 2011, 4:46am

I thought I'd just wish all the Gothically-inclined Very Happy Winter Solstice Celebrations!

Er ... unless you're in the southern hemisphere, in which case : Very Happy Summer Solstice Celebrations!

Um ... now I'm worried that those on the equator are feeling slighted ... this political correctness is so tricky.

Can I just say Merry Christmas! - with 'Christmas', be it clearly understood, as a shorthand, all-encompassing, generic sort of term?

ETA - Just as long as everyone remembers that the true meaning of Christmas is to celebrate the days stopping getting shorter (sorry, southern hemisphere) with lots of feasting, drunkenness and debauchery (that's if it's not too cold for debauchery where you are, of course - and now the southern hemisphere types are laughing up their sleeves, not to mention those on the equator).

des. 24, 2011, 5:51am

With all the PC pre-ambling done by rankamateur, I will simpley say, "HAPPY CHRISTMAS!"

I hope everyone has a relaxing, peaceful, gothically spooky time.

des. 24, 2011, 3:47pm


It's NEVER too cold for debauchery, Paul.

des. 25, 2011, 3:18pm

50, 52 > In fact, if it's too cold, some good debauchery is just the thing to alleviate that.

Finished Hodgson's The Ghost Pirates, his perhaps most "gothic" work, on Christmas Eve. Quite nice.

Merry solstitial holiday everyone!

Editat: gen. 3, 2012, 3:52pm

Reggie Oliver, as a ghost-story writer, is a recent discovery for me, but all the biographical information about him emphasises his career as a stage actor, director and playwright.

Whilst channel-hopping yesterday (I have a heavy cold; I wasn't up to anything more challenging!) I saw a "Reggie Oliver" credited at the end of the BBC's last Miss Marple adaption, The Mirror Crack'd From Side to Side.

Zipping along from satellite channel "Alibi" to "Alibi+1", I was fortunate to catch what I think was his only scene, about five minutes later.


Following a reference in IMDB, and more pertinent to this group, I can confirm that Mr Oliver also appears about 8 minutes into episode one of the 1990 BBC adaption of Kingsley Amis' The Green Man.

gen. 3, 2012, 4:08pm

About 6 minutes into this BBC Documentary (from 2005, I think) there's a very brief clip of Algernon Blackwood.

gen. 20, 2012, 2:51pm

Apologies, Mr. Poe. I see from a post over in The Green Dragon ( that I missed your birthday yesterday.

gen. 20, 2012, 2:56pm

Oh sh*t, I missed it, too!

gen. 21, 2012, 6:15pm

Continuation of post 49...

page 177 we common were common
page 184 had com had come
page 193 spells summonded pirates spells summoned pirates
page 199 Pickham had promised Pickman had promised
page 199 Heaven knows he done it Heaven knows he had done it
page 205 and which I have since found highly characteristic of him, said, and which I have since found highly characteristic of him. He said,
page 206 terrible Cyclopean visits terrible Cyclopean vistas
page 210 addressed to supreme elder devil addressed to a supreme elder devil

All fairly minor if not obvious, but:
page 231, line 3, between "and when I had" and "new piston", insert "brought in a mechanic from a neighbouring all-night garage we learned that nothing could be done till morning when a"

page 233 unkept yard unkempt yard
page 233 gable and gable end
page 255 liner details finer details
page 278 such a scream roused such a scream as roused
page 280 of whippoorwills of the whippoorwills
page 304 realise the themselves realise themselves
page 305 I would feel justified I would not feel justified
page 307 naive Akeley naive Akeley -
page 310 There was also There were also
page 335 Pnalcotic Pnakotic
page 339 watched speaker watching speaker

gen. 21, 2012, 6:26pm

Don't take this the wrong way, but perhaps you should get out more. :-)

gen. 21, 2012, 6:52pm

I'm just excited about being able to do "strikethrough" in HTML.

gen. 21, 2012, 7:22pm

Crom! It's Robert E Howard's birthday!

gen. 21, 2012, 7:54pm


F***! Another one missed! Happy day, Mr. Howard! Well read 'The Fires of Asshurbanipal' sometime soon in your honor!

gen. 22, 2012, 6:19am

#49, #58, (is there a plural of #, as in 'pp' for 'pages'?) - It's just a shame, but I suppose it's another case of getting what you pay for - it was quite cheap for a book looking so impressive. It's doubly annoying in that I had intended, at some point, getting the second volume. Now I'm having second thoughts.

I wonder, sometimes, if I'm a little obsessive in wanting absolutely complete collections. I have a really crappy-looking collection of Thomas Hardy's poetry because it's the only one that contains every single poem. I've since wished I'd bought a more pleasing 'complete' edition and printed off the missing poem from somewhere and fixed it inside the back cover. I may still do that.

In the case of Lovecraft, I can't remember, offhand, what's in these two books that isn't available in other collections, but, with a bit of willpower, I'm sure I could sacrifice it for the sake of a nicer collection.

Reading over what I've just written, I realise that, with the Hardy, while I'd have been irked at not having a genuinely complete collection, I'm as much or even more irked by that damned book every time I read a poem. I probably need psychiatric help.

Editat: gen. 22, 2012, 6:12pm

> 63

Well, I haven't spotted any typos in the first 126 pages of Eldritch Tales. And I can sympathise with you over the Hardy volume. A "selected" poems is one thing, a "not-quite-complete" is quite another.

Editat: gen. 22, 2012, 12:13pm

Tonights edition of 'Words and Music' on BBC Radio 3 (18:30GMT) is entitled 'The Gothic'. No doubt it will be on the iPlayer in due course (can those of you in the US and elsewhere access the BBC iPlayer?). Here's the blurb:

This week Words and Music takes you into the darkened, turreted recesses of The Gothic. From the surreal, macabre beginnings of the genre in Horace Walpole's The Castle of Otranto to the tortured wanderings of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein; the gothic literary world is one of dark passions and ominous thrills. Work by Coleridge and Keats shows the romantic impulse which was extended and darkened by later gothic writing, arriving in the late nineteenth century at Oscar Wilde's haunting Picture of Dorian Gray. Musically, we venture back to the 12th century with the work of Pérotin who composed amidst the gothic splendour of Notre Dame cathedral, as well as pieces by Bach, Berlioz, Paganini and Rachmaninov.

gen. 22, 2012, 2:06pm

> 65

Listening to it "live" now - a reading from The Castle of Otranto.

gen. 22, 2012, 3:10pm


I'm not sure if I can access it in the US...I'm going to try, though!

As for Eldritch Tales, I'm about as far in as houseful and haven't spotted any major typos. That's good, too, because this one collects a lot of stuff I've found it nigh impossible to find anywhere else...I mean it has freakin' Fungi from Yuggoth in its entirety! Paul, if you're looking for a 'nice' edition of Lovecraft's work, the Library of America collection is not 'complete' but contains most of the major pieces. Supplemented with the Penguin volumes, which are worth buying for Joshi's notes alone, I think one can cover nearly everything he put out (if you take a chance on Eldritch Tales, at least...). I picked up one of the rarer slipcased LoA Lovecraft volumes on abebooks for a song, and it was worth the extra cash: it's lovely!

gen. 22, 2012, 3:13pm

Totally off-topic, but I've been meaning to get to it for a while:

I'm something of an interior design person and like to see pictures of the way writers have kept their houses. That said, a few years ago I stumbled upon one of the weirder things I've ever read: Poe's 'Philosophy of Furniture' which is a somewhat humorous take on what I suppose you'd consider his design aesthetic. Anyone else ever read this? I'm fairly obsessed...if I ever make it into a huge, sprawling Moorish castle, I'll have to set aside a 'Poe room' in the style he dictates in his little treatise....

gen. 22, 2012, 7:02pm

> 67

Eldritch Tales doesn't collect all of the collaborations/rewrites in the Arkham House volume The Horror in the Museum. I don't know how difficult it would be to get hold of this book (or the other Lovecraft volumes). Forbidden Planet in Shaftesbury Avenue obtained a small stock of Arkham House books a few years ago, but I think the supply may well have dried up now.

The Horror in the Museum may, possibly, be available in paperback from a US publisher. Alternatively, Wordsworth Editions may be including these stories in their Lovecraft paperbacks (they did publish a volume - and then swiftly withdrew it - titled "The Loved Dead" after a - apparently notorious, in its day - story Lovecraft wrote with C. M. Eddy).

> 68

"Philosophy of Furniture" is included in the Everyman "Complete Stories". I've just reread it. Despite the waspish tone, I think he was serious. I don't suppose he was ever, in his adult life, able to live in anything like the manner he describes.

gen. 22, 2012, 7:51pm


I don't suppose he was ever, in his adult life, able to live in anything like the manner he describes.

Yeah, me either!

(Oh, and 'waspish' is the word for it, certainly...)

gen. 23, 2012, 9:30am

#67 - I'm not sure if I can access it in the US...I'm going to try, though! - Do have a try and let me know if you can - every time I post something like that I wonder if iPlayer is available in other countries. This particular prog is at - six days left at the time of posting.

gen. 23, 2012, 9:42am

#67 ... the Library of America collection ... - The trouble is, my Amazon 'books' wishlist is a full three pages long and there are probably at least as many again in my 'not quit sure about' wishlist.

Editat: gen. 23, 2012, 10:34am

And for those who actually heard that programme - Shirley Henderson: I'm a big fan; she scares the cr*p out of me. Am I the only one with these confused feelings? Probably says something unwantedly Freudian about me.

gen. 23, 2012, 1:26pm

> 73 Her Lady Macbeth voice scared me.

Editat: març 7, 2012, 5:47pm

'Night Waves' on BBC Radio 3 tonight, 10:00GMT: the whole programme is devoted to Bram Stoker's Dracula. No doubt the programme will be on the iPlayer shortly.

I still don't know if non-Brits can access the iPlayer.

Editat: març 8, 2012, 6:04am

#75 - It's now on the iPlayer -

They have the last 416 programmes available so I imagine this will be available for some time.

ETA - It was quite thought-provoking in places and I shall certainly listen to it again

març 8, 2012, 2:56pm


Non-Brits can listen to the radio programmes on iPlayer. The TV programmes are blocked for anyone with a non-UK IP address. I've listened to many iPlayer radio shows from here in Ireland.

març 9, 2012, 1:54am

Interesting news in the world of Gothic Gossip!

My theatre has commisioned me to do a new adaptation of Dracula for the stage! I'll be sure to keep any progress updated here! What splendid fun this will be! :) :D

març 9, 2012, 9:29am

#78 - Hey - great stuff! All the best with it. When you're famous I'm going to boast about how I knew you on LibraryThing.

març 9, 2012, 9:35am

That's fantastic, J, many congrats and darn what fun! Any chance of photos of the production down the road?

març 9, 2012, 4:25pm


Makin' me blush, Paul... ;)


Of course! I'll try to get a video of it, even, if we film the production. Target date is sometime in 2013, I'm assuming around October as a replacement for The Rocky Horror Show (which, after six or seven years, has gotten a little stale...). I'm using German Expressionism for visual inspiration in my productions of Prometheus Bound and Salome (though we're also doing a sort of weird, glam rock kind of thing with Salome, heaven help us); it would be rather interesting, if a little cliche, to try and imagine Dracula through the same lens... We'll see where it goes. Very excited!

març 9, 2012, 4:38pm

Yes, brilliant news! Congratulations!

març 14, 2012, 9:32am

>78 veilofisis:. Congrats! That's way exciting. I'm gonna have to get out there sometime and see one of your legendary productions!

març 24, 2012, 6:42pm

I received an email today, from Robert Lloyd Parry, of the Nunkie Theatre Company. I haven't seen Mr Lloyd Parry's solo stage show, dramatic readings of M. R. James's ghost stories, but I have bought the DVD "A Pleasing Terror" (Canon Alberic's Scrapbook and The Mezzotint). Hence the email.

Anyway, it begins with the following information about a literary anniversary:

"Two hundred years ago tonight Mr Abney, the villain of M R James's early chiller Lost Hearts was found dead in his study"...

març 25, 2012, 6:38am

#84 housefulofpaper

Interesting anniversary.

BTW I have attended two of Robert's performances and they are fantastic value and great fun. He manages to convey the terror of the tales but also brings out elements of James's sense of humour, his obvious detestation of golf, and his mocking of serveral of his colleagues, especially the golf playing ones.

If you get the opportunity you should go. A great evening.

març 25, 2012, 6:42am

I am way behind in many things LT-ish and Weird Tale-isn in particular.

Belated congratulations on the Dracula adaptation.

We're (as in the Irish Post Office) are bringing out stamps in honour of Bram Stoker's 100th anniversary, April 20th this year.

I'm looking forward to hearing more about your production. It must be great to have the opportunity to work on such an iconic piece. Break a leg!

abr. 14, 2012, 12:43pm

Maybe my next order from the Swan River Press will bear a Bram Stoker stamp? I can hope...

Speaking of stamps, Royal Mail brought out a set Britons of Distinction in February, including "Montague Rhodes James 1862-1936 Scholar and author of ghost stories".

I've been looking through the Radio Times for evidence of the BBC's upcoming Shakespeare season actually including some of his plays. I've drawn a blank there, but there were some items that might be of interest (I presume everything on BBC Radio is available overseas via the iPlayer, but I'm not sure that we've ever settled this point).

BBC Radio4 Extra
- a 5-part reading of H. P. Lovecraft's The Shadow over Innsmouth begins 6:30 p.m. (BST) tomorrow (15th April) and, presumably, on subsequent Sundays.
- Readings of Bram Stoker short stories at 6:00 p.m. Mon-Fri.

BBC Radio 3
- "The Essay" slot 10:45-11:00 p.m. Mon-Fri: essays about Bram Stoker.
- first performance of The Yellow Wallpaper by Simon Holt. The write-up says this is a setting of Charlotte Perkins Gilman's story. A soprano, chorus, and orchestra are listed.

Editat: abr. 15, 2012, 5:46am

#87 - I was just logging on to mention the BBC Dracula thing. They seem to be putting on a number of programmes to celebrate the centenary of Stoker's death, but, annoyingly, they don't seem to have a webpage for you to read up on them all together.

To houseful's mentions I can add 'Bram Stoker - Midnight Tales' on BBC Radio 4; readings of some of his short stories. There are five of them, one a day starting from 6:00pm (BST) tomorrow (Monday), each repeated at midnight. Details at and no doubt they'll be available on the BBC iPlayer in due course.

Also, as I write, Rob Cowan's 'Sunday Morning' on BBC Radio 3, '... commemorates the centenary of Bram Stoker's death with supernatural-inspired pieces including Liszt's Mephisto Waltz no 1 and Dvorak's Water Goblin ...' -

abr. 15, 2012, 7:18am

#87 - On the Shakespeare thing, they're making or have made film versions of Richard II, Henry IV Part I And Part II and Henry V - - and a filming of the Gregory Doran stage version of Julius Caesar but I can't find a webpage for that at the moment.

I can't find any info on when they're actually going to be televised and I think I saw somewhere that one or two might not actually show till 2013, which seems to be rather spreading the 'Cultural Olympiad' thing out a bit.

abr. 15, 2012, 5:23pm

#87 housefulofpaper

I can tell you from personal experience that the BBC Radio programmes are available in Ireland on iPlayer. It is the TV programmes that are blocked.

Thanks for the tips on the programmes.

In relation to Swan River Press and Bram Stoker stamps I will have a word with Brian Showers and see if he is inclined to arrange the use of those stamps.

abr. 15, 2012, 6:46pm

>90 pgmcc:

Only if it's no trouble!

abr. 16, 2012, 5:08pm

#91 Oh, it's no trouble for me to mention it to Brian. In fact, I have already done so.

Editat: maig 7, 2012, 7:05pm

further to # 87, the Yellow Wallpaper wasn't performed:

I'll keep an eye out for a rescheduled performance.

juny 3, 2012, 8:04pm

A bluegrass version of Poe's "Annabelle Lee" by Sarah Jarosz, about whom i knew nothing until yesterday, when she played this on the BBC Radio 4 programme "Loose Ends". This clip is from an appearance on BBc television last year.

juny 6, 2012, 2:09pm

Here's a piece on the Side Real Press Blog about a couple of Gothic poems (or dramatic monologues) - one by "Monk" Lewis and a later one "borrowing" from the earlier. More details in the blog:

set. 1, 2012, 4:56pm

In my little piece about Canon Alberic's Scrapbook I mentioned, in passing, British Girls' comics.

Here's an article about them from The Guardian newspaper. The supernatural "Misty" gets a mention.

set. 2, 2012, 6:11am

#96 - Wow! That 'Misty' seems to have been real hard-core stuff. I think I vaguely remember seeing it lying around when my nieces were girls - I never dreamed what was inside.

Editat: set. 10, 2012, 6:49am

If you click the link in the post, navigate down to the Selexyz Bookstore, Maastricht (near the bottom, last but one bookstore) - now that's what I call a 'Gothic bookshop'. Pity they don't have a picture of the outside, though.

ETA - Can't get it to link right to the post, for some reason - it's #12.

set. 10, 2012, 7:19am

#98 The is a veritable temple to books. Excellent.

set. 10, 2012, 6:33pm



set. 19, 2012, 2:42pm

This is just to note that the recent Folio Society publication, The Vampyre and Other Macabre Tales isn't a reprint of the Oxford World's Classics The Vampyre and Other Tales of the Macabre. The contents are:
The Vampyre - John Polidori
The Cremona Violin - E.T.A. Hoffmann
The Lady with the Velvet Collar - Washington Irving
Leixlip Castle - Charles Maturin
The Tapestried Chamber - Walter Scott
Monos and Daimonos - Edward Bulwer-Lytton
The Dream - Mary Shelley
The Red Man - Catherine Gore
The Bride of Lindorf - Letitia E Landon
Dr Heidegger's Experiment - Nathaniel Hawthorne
Passages in the Secret History of an Irish Countess - J Sheridan Le Fanu
Ligeia - Edgar Allan Poe

Editat: oct. 8, 2012, 4:57pm

I'm listening to an interesting BBC Radio 4 programme as I write - Was Dracula Irish?. It argues for a lot more roots to the story in Irish history than we generally acknowledge.

According to the web page, there is 'over a year left to listen' at the time of posting.

ETA - Ignore the bit where it says '962 mins'; it doesn't last that long - honest.

ETA, again - actually, we really should have a permanent Dracula thread here, shouldn't we? I'll go and start one.

oct. 8, 2012, 5:39pm

Speaking of Dracula and his being Irish, we appear to be having a Bram Stoker Festival in Dublin later this month.

oct. 13, 2012, 7:31am

Gothic gastronomy:

There are some more clips on YouTube (and the whole programme on 4oD, but that's probably not available outside the UK).

oct. 26, 2012, 11:50am

#104 - Depending on how you interpret his comments on that clip, I think there must a strong suspicion that Nicholas Parsons is one of us. Or perhaps I'm reading too much into 'rats'.

Unfortunately, I'm old enough to remember the Arthur Haynes Show, and saw it at a very impressionable age, too; so I'm afraid Mr Parsons is forever 'Nickel-Arse' for me.

Hey! Been away from home for two or three days and come back to find this place up to my ears with new reading threads - hundreds of 'em! I shall catch up as soon as I can - might re-read 'Schalken', tonight. Actually, I've read all the short stories quite recently - never read Hogg, though. I'm on Caleb Williams at the moment, but I think I'll give 'Confessons' a go next.

oct. 26, 2012, 2:10pm

> More gothic credentials for 'Nickel-Arse': he played a vicar beset by vampires from the future in a 1989 Doctor Who story (too old for the role as written, but very good); and he's appeared in The Rocky Horror Show.

oct. 28, 2012, 7:42am

Here's an interesting new profile - does it belong to one of us? It's the monster's reading matter.

#105 - On the subject of 'one of us' - just on the remote possibility that Mr. Parsons actually is - apologies for dredging up that ancient 'Nickel-Arse' thing, sir.

Editat: nov. 13, 2012, 6:19am

I've just moved the following over from the 'Reading Group #36 (Poe: 'The Cask of Amontillado,' 'Ligeia,' 'The Pit and the Pendulum')' thread, as I felt I'd put it in the wrong place.

A bit off-topic, but ... a short while ago I was hunting for Poe biographies and I came upon a quite enjoyable and informative blog, and I felt I really wanted to share it.

In particular, check out her three posts on Poe biographies. My favourite of her reviews is that on Edgar Allan Poe, the Man by Mary E. Phillips - "I long for the day when someone translates this book into English." That's it!

nov. 13, 2012, 4:19pm

> 108

That's for finding and sharing that; I've bookmarked it.

nov. 13, 2012, 5:23pm

Looking for a light (in weight) book to read on the train today, I picked out The Clouded Mirror by L. T. C. Rolt from my immense pile of unread paperbacks. This was part of Penguin's "English Journeys" series from 2009 and consists of three essays drawn from three separate books published between 1955b and 1977. So far, so apparently nothing to do with this group.

Well, I knew that Rolt had written some ghost stories - one is collected in The Oxford Book of English Ghost Stories and was involved with Robert Aickman in setting up the Inland Waterways Association (which campaigned for and promoted Britain's canal network. Aickman is probably the most critically-acclaimed Post-War English writer of ghost stories (or what he called "strange stories". They tend towards the surreal and indeterminate. Anyone who watches "the Ice House" in the BBC Ghost Stories DVD set - I think that's an attempt at an Aickman-style story).

The first essay starts off by looking back to Rolt's childhood in Gwent in the early years of the last century. He comments on the peculiarly spiritual effect of the landscape, drawing parallels between his early years and the reminiscences of Arthur Machen in his autobiography, Far Off Things: "the older I grow the more firmly am I convinced that anything which I may have accomplished in literature is due to the fact that when my eyes were first opened in earliest childhood they had before them the vision of an enchanted land". Rolt goes on to discuss two 17th century mystical visionaries from the same area, Henry Vaughan and Thomas Traherne. The essay ends by affirming their vision - seeing God in the world - against both a transcendental religious view fixed firmly on the "next" world and a wholly materialistic secular/atheistic view.

He sees Vaughan and Thomas as intellectually if not formally linked to the Oxford Platonists - one of whom the notes in the Penguin Classics The Fall of the House of Usher and Other Writings reminded me (oh, all right, told me) was the Joseph Glanvill who furnished the epigram for Poe's Ligeia (which of course I've just been reading).

The second essay covers the same sort of ground, but with more emphasis on reminiscing about his early childhood.

The third, longest essay, about a journey up neglected canals in the late forties, connected with the launch of the Inland Waterways Association, has nothing of relevance, apart from a digression about signal boxes, which makes it clear that they changed hardly at all in the near-century since Dickens wrote The Signalman.

nov. 13, 2012, 8:03pm

#110 - Fascinating post. I have to confess that I'd never heard of Rolt or Aickman. Yet more writers to look out for!

Having written that, I looked them up on Wikipedia and I just might have read some of Aickman's stories in the dim and distant past. I was also vaguely aware of his doings with canals. But I'm pretty sure I never connected the two things as involving the same man.

nov. 14, 2012, 6:32am


I only learnt of Rolt about two years ago, and that was through a thread on LT. I went on to buy his collection, Sleep No More, which contains stories take place in and around railways and canals (and other places). I hadn't realised he knew Aickman (not having done any background research).

The first time I heard of Robert Aickman was in 2006 when an on-line (LiveJournal) friend from the Phillippines introduced me to Aickman and Thomas Ligotti. These introductions have cost me a considerable amount of money since then as the works of both Aickman and Ligotti can be quite expensive.

If anyone is interested in other ghost/strange stories with a railway linkage, then one could do worse than check out the stories of the Polish author, Stefan Grabinski. He has been described as the Polish Poe, but I think his work is distinctive enough in its own right.

nov. 20, 2012, 8:47am

As the old saying goes - 'it's a funny old world'.

As #108 might imply, I've been hunting for good biographies and critical studies of Poe; but I'll put that to one side for a moment ...

I have an alter ego as a somewhat obsessive collector of fishing books. For some time, it's been a bit of an itch for me that I don't own a copy of one of the classics of British angling literature, Rod and Line by Arthur Ransome.

So, I was researching on Ransome to see if there was any overlap with another fishing book of his that I do own, when I quite unexpectedly came upon this: Edgar Allan Poe: A Critical Study by Arthur Ransome.

Seems I can't get away from the Gothic. Did I say 'funny old world'? Small world! It's the kind of thing to give a tidy-minded chap a nervous breakdown - I like to keep things neatly compartmentalised. At least it's freely downloadable on line, so I don't have to buy a copy - and I would have done out of sheer curiosity!

So, anyway - can anyone recommend a good fishing book by Edgar Allan Poe?

nov. 20, 2012, 1:01pm

#108/113 Just in case you're still looking for a good Poe biography, don't waste any of your life on A Dream Within a Dream: The Life of Edgar Allan Poe. It shouldn't be possible to make anyone look that boring, especially anyone with such a reputation for 'oddness' as Poe had, and yet . . .

Editat: des. 1, 2012, 1:42pm

Stefan Grabinski
A new UK small-press publisher, Hieroglyphic Press (run by author Mark Samuels and Daniel Corrick) brought out a hardback edition of On the Hill of Roses this year. The dust jacket copy says "...we are very proud to announce what we hope to be the first in a series of translations".

"The Stone Tape" DVD
Sadly, this doesn't seem to be heralding an extension of the BBC/BFI "Ghost Stories for Christmas", despite the (frankly misleading) pre-publicity on Amazon. It's being released by the new company that re-released "Ghostwatch" earlier in the year. What's more, according to MovieMail the release date has been put back to February next year.

Poe Kitsch

A 1960 LP by Big-Band Leader Buddy Morrow entitled "Poe for Moderns" has been rereleased on CD and MP3 by a UK company called Fingertips Records. The 12 tracks consist of the sort of jazz that might be used as the theme to an early '60s US TV show (sort of "Pop Noir"?). A couple of tracks have the band backing a "hip" English teacher reciting Poe's poems ("Annabel Lee" and an abridged "Ulalume"). Two more feature a vocal harmony group. There are some uploaded tracks from the original vinyl LP on YouTube.

Bonus tracks 13-30 are horror-themed novelty Rock and Roll singles from 1958.

A word of warning - if you buy the CD you may, as I did, find it impossible to get the disc out of the cardboard cover. I think it had got glued in (edited to add, on reflection I think the inner sleeve is just too big. It will go in the outer sleeve, but it won't come out again without a fight!).

des. 3, 2012, 8:49am


After a recommendation from someone on LT I have become a big fan of Stefan Grabinski. I have read his collections, The Motion Demon and The Dark Domain, and find his take on the world of the weird very interesting and thought provoking.

He is often referred to as "The Polish Poe" but I believe he has a style all of his own.

The Hieroglyphic Press edition of On the Hill of Roses is a very fine book. I have it on my shelf patiently waiting for its turn to warp my brain.

des. 4, 2012, 8:37am

#115, #116 - I note that all three books have the same translator, which is a good thing in my book (see my comment on this matter on 'The Bride of Corinth').

So I don't know if your praise is due to Grabinski, Lipinski (the translator) or a combination of the two, but more books to go in my wish list.

Unfortunately, I really have to stop acquiring new books. Apart from the fact that I've been spending rather more than I should on books lately, I went thoroughly through my catalogue a day or two ago and found that, between buying (and there's an excellent new second-hand bookshop in town - oh dear!) and free downloads on the Kindle and sheer absentmindedness about past acquisitions, I had to up my 'To read' collection to sixty-five books!

So I'm trying early New Year's Resolutions for regular and steady reading but no more new books for a couple of months.

And constantly having eight or nine books on the go doesn't help - some get forgotten for weeks part way through - and having about half-a-dozen unfinished reviews niggling at me doesn't help, either. I really make life difficult for myself sometimes.

A little more self-discipline and a little less web-surfing and posting in online threads, that's what I need!

So, a rather mixed pair of quotations:-

I'm just going outside [the library] and may be some time

... but ...

I'll be back.

des. 4, 2012, 9:47am

#117 I note that all three books have the same translator

I too appreciate the skills of the translator. The translator is often the unsung hero, but can also be the unnoticed villain.

I read Haruki Murakami's 1Q84 trilogy. The first two novels were translated by the same person and the third by someone else. Apparently both translators work with Murakami regularly, but I did notice the third novel was quite different in emphasis fromt the first two. This left me wondering how much of the difference was from Murakami and how much from the use of different translators.

I have found Lipinski's translations of Grabinski very acceptable. Not having any Polish I do not know if he has taken liberties but I do know his output contains suspense, mind twisting viewpoints, and the seeds of fear. If you are to buy a few last books I would suggest you would not be disappointed if they were the Grabinski collections. (I have not financial connection with Lipinski but I would like him to carry on translating Grabinski writings.)

In relation to your perceived crisis concerning the number of books you are buying you must train yourself not to notice this. That's what I have done. My problem now is not trying to placate my conscience but rather, hidding my new books from my wife.

Happy reading.

We'll see you when you get back.

des. 4, 2012, 2:22pm

> 117

Gosh, only 65 unread books?

I've decided not to worry about my unread books, but I do need to attack my "currently reading" pile. Although many of them are short story collections and anthologies, I do feel it's got out of hand.

Happy reading from me, too.

des. 4, 2012, 8:16pm

#117/119 Some of us dream about having only 65 books yet to read.

des. 5, 2012, 3:27am


The rest of us have nightmares about only having 65 books yet to read.

feb. 7, 2013, 4:48pm

A Victorian setting of Poe's "Annabelle Lee" by composer Henry Leslie. This version was recorded in 1973 by Robert Tear and André Previn.

It's included, I've discovered, on a 2009 "Classics for Pleasure" CD entitled (this is splendid) The Dicky Bird and the Owl.

abr. 7, 2013, 11:05am

pgmcc, #12, #35 -

I finished the last of The Doll: Short Stories a few weeks ago - enjoyed them - very impressed.

Some of them, especially the first two, 'East Wind' and 'The Doll', gave me the strong impression of a very talented adolescent - I got a strong whiff of all that emotional turmoil one remembers from adolescence, heaving away under the surface of the stories. Considering them altogether, though, I was a little appalled by the pessimism (even cynicism) about human relationships that I saw underlying every one of them, even the most humorous.

It's piqued my curiosity and I'm determined to read up on Daphne and the du Mauriers (possibly 'vulgar curiosity' or 'prurient curiosity'?) and, of course, to read more of her works.

In the interest of full disclosure, I suppose I should mention that I occasionally got a quite distinct impression of an adolescent male writing. I've read the bits on Wikipedia about Du Maurier's supposed bisexuality and her belief in her 'male energy' powering her writing; but, at the moment, I'm inclined to put it down to my point of reference being my own, male adolescence.

abr. 7, 2013, 11:10am

#117 - I never did manage to shrink that 'To Read' pile. Life, circumstances and an undisciplined mind have been rather conspiring against me, over recent months.

I've decided I'm not going to stress about it any more - there are much better things to stress over.

Editat: gen. 15, 2014, 6:46am

I wish I could write fiction.

Last night I slept in a tiny cottage in a secluded walled garden and under big, old trees. At midnight I was leaning out of the bedroom window in almost total darkness listening to the owls hooting and shreaking shrieking in the boughs above my head.

Over recent days, I've pondered over the graves of people who've been dead perhaps 5,000 years and seen a cave they might have used in some ritual.

Ther trouble is, I keep getting a nagging feeling I should be building stories on this stuff ...

maig 11, 2013, 2:35pm

Just relax and write. Your description of your night in the cottage and pondering on the graves of people dead was very evocative.

maig 15, 2013, 1:04am


I agree with pgmcc! I've so much enjoyed your notes over the last couple of years, and I think you're a natural for fiction! I'd love to see you take a stab at it. A writer, with only a few exceptions, must generally be a reader; and with your understanding of the mechanics of fiction, I'm sure you'd turn out some lovely and remarkable stuff. :)

maig 15, 2013, 1:06am


The translator is often the unsung hero, but can also be the unnoticed villain.

May I quote that sometime? What a wonderfully laconic way of summarizing such a complicated point...

maig 16, 2013, 4:25am

I'm glad you liked it. Feel free to quote it. I am flattered.

Royalties may be sent to ...

jul. 9, 2013, 1:47pm

Have you looked at "On this Day" for today? Ann Radcliffe, "Monk" Lewis, Mervyn Peake, Thomas Ligotti all share today as a birthday (with, er... Barbara Cartland).

jul. 9, 2013, 3:46pm


jul. 18, 2013, 6:53am

#125 - I wish I could write fiction ... I keep getting a nagging feeling I should be building stories on this stuff ...

I spent last week walking on Dartmoor. A unique place that gives me that nagging feeling even more.

It's wild, open moorland and yet you constantly come across the evidences of long-ago and forgotten people - everything from china clay workings abandoned just a few generations back to burial mounds that might be 6,500 years old. All those forgotten lives. I sometimes found myself sitting on some rock pondering on these people for half an hour at a time (of course, the heat last week might have had something to do with that).

And the place seems to have more legends and folktales and hauntings and what not than you can shake a forest of sticks at.

I'm almost starting to feel guilty about it. All those thought-provoking things and places almost make me feel that it's my duty to find some unexpected spring of creativity bubbling up from deep inside me.

Editat: ag. 15, 2017, 1:08pm

I never got to see The Hound of the Baskervilles' 'Grimpen Mire', though. It was on the agenda - Conan Doyle was supposedly inspired by Foxtor Mires - but it kept getting knocked back by other walks I wanted to do. Next time.

Also, I feared it probably wouldn't look much like the movies. The mires I actually saw, dangerous as they might - possibly - be, I actually thought quite attractive, being, at this time of year, thickly dotted with the white tufts of the cotton grass. Here's a very little one:

... not really the kind of place for a villain to meet his end.

jul. 18, 2013, 8:48am

It is beautiful all the same.

Thank you for sharing your moor moments.

jul. 18, 2013, 6:25pm

I like the glimpse of fields off on the horizon. I suppose the usual tack is to keep sights like that out of frame, and to emphasise how "different" the moor is, but for me that little glimpse of normal English countryside grounds the moor in reality. It's not an alien landscape, it's as real as an English hedgerow.

It's also a reminder that the sublime started out pretty small-scale, you could almost say domestic, and the idea attached to bigger and grander environments as the ideas (and the people holding those ideas) spread - from the Lake District to the Scottish Highlands, to the Alps, to the Americas, to Africa and Asia.

Editat: ag. 11, 2013, 11:13am

This might possibly be of interest to the Gothically-inclined ('Gothicly-inclined', perhaps?*) who have access to BBC Radio 3 -

It will appear on the website in due course.

(*Nope - 'gothically' - looked it up.)

ag. 11, 2013, 5:58pm

> 136 Now it's up on the website.

Editat: ag. 12, 2013, 4:03am

Next week's theme is 'twilight', so that may or may not be of interest, too.

Um - it's not clear on first glance what we're talking about. 'Words & Music' on Sunday evenings on BBC Radio 3: it's a programme of music interspersed with readings of poetry or prose or drama all on a common theme - a different theme every week. It's one of my favourite programmes, when I remember to listen to it. LT's Radio 3 group has a thread for it -

ag. 12, 2013, 6:20am

... not really the kind of place for a villain to meet his end.

Ah, but you should be there on a rainy or foggy day, that's when the mood changes completely. In fact, what happens in most stories where the villain ends up badly on Dartmoor it is because he or she started their journey on a clear day when the moors appear friendly and welcoming, and then the weather changed rapidly (as it has a way of doing here) and they found themselves thrown into the middle of an inhospitable wilderness.

Whereabouts on Dartmoor were you alaudacorax?

ag. 12, 2013, 7:09am

#139 - Didsworthy. I'd intended visiting all sorts of places like Foxtor Mires and Wistman's Wood and Bowerman's Nose, but, in the event, I was so much enjoying exploring the moor within walking distance of where I stayed. Except the last day - my feet were starting to feel the strain by then, so I went and had a look at Torquay and Kent's Cavern (more food for thought in there).

I've already decided I'm going back next year when (as much as I liked where I was) I'll try a different area.

I like the story about the man finding a hat on Foxtor Mires. He lifts it up and there's a man's head under it, sticking up out of the bog.

"What are you doing there?"

"Sitting on my 'oss!"

ag. 13, 2013, 5:08am

I feel very flattered that someone from glorious Derbyshire is so impressed with the area and so glad you made it to Kent's Cavern - I haven't been there for many years now but there's something so magical and other-wordly about caves. Glad to hear you had such a good time.

des. 27, 2013, 10:20am

I was so excited about Christmas that I forgot to wish everyone here a merry whatever their choice of midwinter festival might have been.

So I'll just get in early with Happy New Year.

des. 27, 2013, 1:18pm

> Gosh, yes, equally guilty here. I hope everyone had a good one, and Happy New Year to all.

des. 27, 2013, 3:35pm

Editat: gen. 23, 2014, 7:31am

Just trying out this new '... the butler did it ...' thing I read about here.

Hmmm - didn't work quite as I thought it would - handy, though.

gen. 22, 2014, 5:52pm

News of exhibitions at the British Library this year includes one on Gothic literature in the Autumn (also a linked season of programmes on BBC4).

gen. 23, 2014, 7:25am

I haven't been to London for decades, but now I'm thinking it's time. I'd really love to see that exhibition and I've had a hankering to see the present British Library building since they opened it, seventeen years ago, so I really shouldn't pass up the two things together.

Annoyingly, I can't find any info on that Ann Radcliffe letter. Worse than that, the BL's search engine doesn't throw up any hits at all for her. Frustrating.

gen. 23, 2014, 1:32pm

> 147

I suppose I'm fortunate in having London as my nearest "big town". There are plenty of interesting places I haven't been to, of course (many of them in London, come to think of it).

gen. 24, 2014, 6:33am

#148 - I'm embarrassed at the number of fascinating places less than an hour's drive from here that I haven't been to - and I've been here over twenty years! I actually made a 'hit list' as part of my New Year's resolutions.

Editat: feb. 16, 2014, 8:51pm

Who cares if he's dead? You go girl! Give him a good kicking!

feb. 17, 2014, 2:25pm

'Another Clerical Scoundrel', indeed.

feb. 17, 2014, 4:42pm

One of you gentlemen (or both) praising the old Supernatural television series made me curious about it; managed to borrow it, and it was great.

I think my favourite was the puppet/Frankenstein story with Gordon Jackson and Pauline Moran--such atmosphere, such strange undercurrents--but really, the whole set is impressive. Many thanks.

feb. 18, 2014, 5:52pm

> 152

Thank for the kind words, it's nice to feel useful! - although alaudacorx, I should say, did far more work than I did.

Nevertheless, I'll see if I can find anything useful or interesting to say about the other BFI releases that came out under the banner of their Gothic season.

març 30, 2014, 7:00am

This is interesting -

There are three book titles at the bottom - presumably his/her sources.

My favourite bit - wine "... is said to be a powerful shield against the vampire ..."

... the bad news - "...especially lesser quality wine ..."

març 30, 2014, 8:04am

>154 alaudacorax:

I've read that the first book in that list, In Search of Dracula, is the one that first made a positive identification between Stoker's Count Dracula and the historical Vlad Tepes. More recent Dracula scholarship has poured cold water on the idea but I remember more than one news magazine report on "the real Dracula" in the '70s.

I've got a book that covers, in scholarly detail, folklore beliefs in vampires, and the gruesome realities of post-mortem bodily decay (that turn out to match the reported appearance of "real" vampires). It also taught me the word "apotropaic". It's Vampires, Burial, and Death.

Editat: abr. 1, 2014, 5:54am

You can have to too much of this sort of thing.

I can't even listen to Chopin in peace this days - not the nocturnes and preludes, anyway. For some reason, they've started to bring candles to mind - candles in ornate candelabra atop grand pianos. Once that image is in my mind, there is then a seemingly inescapable progress to cloaks and opera hats and, in no time at all, I have Bela Lugosi and Christopher Lee interfering with my listening pleasure.

Doesn't happen with Liszt, though. Must be something to do with the holy orders.

març 30, 2014, 2:59pm

>156 alaudacorax:

candles in ornate candelabra atop grand pianos.

Whereas for me, that image has brought Liberace to mind.

Editat: març 30, 2014, 4:09pm

>157 housefulofpaper:

Oh damn! Now I'm going to have Bela Lugosi, Christopher Lee and Liberace.

març 31, 2014, 6:10am

Oh my, my wine-addled, post-Goth-club brain has just envisioned Liberace performing Bauhaus, and clearly the tune in question is 'Bela Lugosi's Dead'...

I think it's time to hit the sack, ha.

març 31, 2014, 7:56am

>159 veilofisis:

I was listening to something Baroque and stately and soothing on the radio, then, out of curiosity, I went to YouTube and put 'Bela Lugosi's Dead' in the search box ...

Now I'm suffering from culture shock and the parrot's come over all excited and dancey ...

març 31, 2014, 7:31pm


I think we had a discussion somewhere on here, some point in history, about modern (70s/80s) goth subculture and music... I've spent most of my late-teen years and adult life dancing in goth clubs, and one of the little games I play with myself when I'm really slamming it on the dancefloor is to picture a novel, story, whatever in the Gothic milieu that could fit the music I'm currently swirling to. One thing that's so very interesting about the Gothic is that it subverts art in general and can't be isolated as a literary phenomenon; the 20th Century, with some notable exceptions, saw Gothic wither as a literary movement and take flight to film: towards the 70s, though, it left film and has remained centered in music and, by association, fashion. The dividing line between post-punk and goth rock is very blurry, but it's interesting to note the same decadence, delirium, and crepuscular atmosphere found in Melmoth the Wanderer occurring, almost two hundred years later, as an undercurrent (or even something more overt) on something like Siouxsie and the Banshees' A KISS IN THE DREAMHOUSE.

Last night's conclusion? The music of The Virgin Prunes calls to mind an immediate connection with both Vathek and (curiously: I don't know why this is, exactly) The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner...

Here's a few tunes (I used the first one as the background for the opening battle scene when I did Macbeth!!):

Also, I'm sappy enough to have associated Joy Division's 'Love Will Tear Us Apart' with Wuthering Heights from my teenage years onwards! Haha.

Anyway, enough link-spamming. :)

abr. 2, 2014, 5:27pm

>161 veilofisis:

Hmmm. I don't know how far I connected Goth Music with Gothic Novels or Goth sub-culture in the early 80s.

But I'll happily agree that "Bela Lugosi's Dead" is both creepy and epic, and possibly fits in with Burke's ideas of the Sublime.

I'll also admit that without that track, I may not have watched the BBC's last big summer season of late-night Universal horror films over the summer and early autumn of 1983. And if I hadn't done that, where would I be now?

abr. 17, 2014, 4:02am

"Poveglia: 'World's most haunted island' up for anyone brave enough to buy it?"

abr. 17, 2014, 1:59pm

>163 alaudacorax:

I'm trying to imagine what might happen once it's been turned into a luxury hotel: a cross between J. G. Ballard and Lucio Fulci, perhaps?

Actually it's a sobering - or rather chilling - thought that the extravagant nastiness of Italian filmmakers like Fucli is sometimes merely reflecting reality.

Editat: abr. 18, 2014, 6:19am

>164 housefulofpaper:

I'm sure there are a few books and films inspired by that place. I'm think it's there, somewhere, in a couple of Tanith Lee's books (too lazy to look it up), and I was aware of it before them so must have read about it somewhere.

It's the kind of place, though, that, even if it didn't exist, authors and script-writers would have invented it multiple times. Come to that, sadly, real-worl parallels probably exist or existed elsewhere.

On Fulci, I've recently put Don't Torture a Duckling on one of my seemingly uncontrollably lengthening Amazon wish lists (can't remember why - I keep resolving to add notes, but usually forget - perhaps it's mentioned in the 'Gothic films' thead), but I can't say I've seen anything by him yet, to my memory, at least. I note that on IMDb his films' ratings run from down in three-point-something (lousy) to at least well up in the sevens (pretty well-regarded) - which is intriguing in itself.

maig 18, 2014, 2:22pm

My mental image of William Beckford author (of course) of Vathek, is of a young man. He actually lived into the Victorian age, dying age 84 in 1844*. Also, he knew Horace Walpole, or it might be better to say that their lives overlapped, and that they were aware of one another.

The Spring 2014 edition of The Book Collector features an article by Stephen Clarke entitled "BECKFORD AND NIMBY PAMBY: William Beckford's Notes in Horace Walpole's Works".

Rather than annotate the margins of a book he was reading, Beckford's practice was to make notes on separate sheets of paper and have then bound into the front of the book. He had a copy of Walpole's collected Works and duly made notes on it.

Clarke outlines some background to the tone of the notes: Walpole seems to have been barely aware of Beckford whilst Beckford was often dismissive of the older man, as the nickname of "nimby pamby" more than suggests. Beckford may have been 'eaten up' by the fact that although the richer man, he remained a commoner whilst Walpole was the 4th Earl of Orford.

Often Beckford does no more than copy down key words from a particular passage, or précis it. In many cases it's by no means clear whether this is an act of sneery ridicule or innocently marking a passage that Beckford actually liked (examples: (of being guided around Malvern Abbey) "N.P. pestered with Christ and K. David when he was hunting for John of Gaunt & Edward III"; "Boswell a greengoose"). Some are unambiguously approving :"delightful descript. of Hagley". Some are the opposite (of a poem Walpole wrote to a young lady as a piece of gallantry)"miserable verses".

* If Wikipedia can be trusted.

maig 23, 2014, 4:54am

Found a quite interesting thread -

- about people's scariest reads.

maig 23, 2014, 7:01am

>167 alaudacorax:

I can't actually work up a post for it; just can't pick one. Not a book, anyway, which is what the OP asked for - the scariest thing I've read in years and years (in a good, horror/ghost-story way, I mean) is a short story - Algernon Blackwood's The Empty House.

maig 23, 2014, 6:45pm

>168 alaudacorax:

There was a period in my childhood when I was afraid of ghosts. Intellectually, I didn't believe in them or in any sort of Afterlife but at a deeper level the idea had got to me, somehow.

The book that scared me the most was not, actually, scary at all. It's a novelization of a children's TV series from 1976. It's called Nobody's House by Martin Hall, and is about a family who move into a new home haunted by the ghost of a Victorian workhouse boy.

Reading it, and watching the series was, I suppose, a way of facing my fear.

Editat: ag. 15, 2017, 1:15pm

There are not enough photographs in this group, so I'm going to post one of my holiday snaps.

A gwrach-y-rhibyn lives up there. If you stay the night there - especially if you're a personable young man - there's a possibility that you'll be found in the morning with your clothes torn, scratches all over your body - and gibbering mad.

ETA - Pennard Castle, Gower Peninsula.

Editat: ag. 15, 2017, 1:19pm

Just because ...

juny 7, 2014, 7:14am

>171 alaudacorax:

Where is he? And how did you take the picture? Is he near the ground or did you have to lean out of a window or borrow a ladder?

Editat: ag. 15, 2017, 1:24pm

Church of St Mary, Totnes, Devon (I've been spending a week on Dartmoor). They were high on the walls and I used a zoom from a little way away and then used the Windows snipping tool on him.

Of all stupid things, it was only back at my flat at the end of the day that I realised that I'd not taken photos of the whole church, so I've got no context for them in my holiday snaps. I was so taken up with these chaps and I assumed I'd done that to start.

juny 7, 2014, 9:51am

Nice photos, thanks for the extra information.

juny 21, 2014, 1:11pm

Here's a short introduction on 'the Gothic' from the British Library, preparing the ground for their big exhibition in the Autumn. Perhaps the best thing about is that it's shot a Horace Walpole's Strawberry Hill.

juny 22, 2014, 1:38pm

>175 housefulofpaper: Thanks for the link - cannot wait for the exhibition.

juny 29, 2014, 8:14am

>175 housefulofpaper:

I'd love to see Strawberry Hill. I've been looking at the area on Google Street maps and wondering what are the chances of my driving down there and being unable to find a parking space. There doesn't seem to be a lot of parking space. I've been thinking of combining it with Hampton Court Palace for a full day out - perhaps it would be better to park there and walk or take a bus.

juny 29, 2014, 8:43am

>177 alaudacorax:

I've been thinking about visiting Strawberry Hill since its renovation but as a non-driver I'd have to use public transport. Somehow I'd got the impression that the journey would be too circuitous to allow enough time at the house. However, it looks as if a train into Waterloo, and another back west to Strawberry Hill station, doesn't take all that long.

Editat: ag. 21, 2014, 4:41am

Rembetis posted some great links here, and the first picture in my the second link reminded me of my visit to the ruins of Tintern Abbey, a month or two back.

I had a distinctly UN-weird experience, there.

Apart my actually wanting to see the place, I'd thought it might provide a photograph or two and a good post for this thread. However, the place failed to raise any sort of mood or emotion in me at all - completely lacking in atmosphere.

The place is chock-full of Gothic arches, with ruinous walls looming high, high above you, but the problem, I think, was that it was just too well-manicured and 'touristified' - safety rails, bowling-green style lawns, 'mind you head' notices. It didn't even give me any of that feeling of reverence that old places of worship sometimes seem to compel from you, let alone anything Gothic and menacing.

Worse, I took fifty-four photographs and (this is probably down to my shortcomings as a photographer) I failed to get any of them to have any atmosphere, either - not to my eye, anyway.

Having seen the picture in Rembetis's link, I'm wondering if it was always like that. It's noticeable that the people in the picture have enhanced their experience of the sublime by exploring after dark with the aid of moonlight and flaming torches. Next time I'm down that way I'll have to check for late opening times.

ETA - It's worth visiting Tintern for the Stella Books shop alone - I could probably have happily spent the day just in there.

oct. 9, 2014, 11:02am

I just referred to Lovecraft on another thread and checking his dates threw up this, dated two days ago:

I'm sure we've discussed this here somewhere - doesn't seem to be in this thread, though and I haven't time to look further at the moment. So I thought I'd just post the link anyway ...

des. 9, 2014, 3:01pm

These exhibitions may be of interest to anyone able to travel to London: the first one is on now at the British Museum

This one is at the Royal Academy from 20 December

des. 10, 2014, 6:33pm

>181 housefulofpaper: I went to the 'Witches and wicked bodies' exhibition last week. It's in Room 90 on the 4th floor. I found it fascinating, with stunning prints on display, and also ancient Greek pottery, including a beautiful vase showing Jason with Medea, and the stunning 'Siren' vase (Odysseus tying himself to the mast of a ship whilst passing the Sirens). Well worth a visit for anyone nearby - and it's free! I still haven't been to the gothic exhibition at the British Library. Life keeps getting in the way, but I am determined to get there before it finishes.

des. 10, 2014, 7:18pm

>182 Rembetis:

I hope you manage to get there. It's well worth it.

I should have said that I have seen the exhibition at the British Museum - I went on Monday. The prints are stunning, like letterpress printing, a print is always sharper and more immediate than a reproduction.

Wearing my "Weird Tradition group" hat, I was delighted to find a Sidney Sime in the exhibition, whilst my "Chapel of the Abyss" self liked the Odilon Redons and the Simeon Solomon.

There are a couple of prints by Fuseli that dovetail nicely with the paintings at the British Library's Gothic exhibition, and a vigorous preparatory cartoon in ink by (I think) Salvator Rosa was reminiscient of Quentin Blake!

This exhibition was mounted at the National Galleries, Scotland, last year and an exhibition catalogue is available.

feb. 25, 2015, 4:33am

This may be of interest to Gothicists (is that a word?) as an extracurricular sort of thing:

BBC Radio 3's 'The Essay' is a series of talks given by individual thinkers on various subjects, nightly on weekdays. This week's subject is 'Fear itself' and the five talks may be of varying amounts of interest to Gothicists (I'm liking that word!)

The first two are already available online (just click through the links) and the others will be so, shortly after broadcasting. It looks like they will remain available for quite some time.

abr. 7, 2015, 5:20am

A radio dramatization of The Picture of Dorian Gray (90 minutes) - Sunday, April 12th, 10:00pm UK time, and to be made available online shortly afterwards.

abr. 15, 2015, 6:58pm

Radio 3 is evidently having a bit of a Gothic phase. The drama on Sunday 19th April is Vampyre Man "Joseph O'Connor's drama about the collaboration and intense friendship between Bram Stoker and his muse, the famous Shakespearean actor Henry Irving, also the inspiration for Count Dracula" (from the Radio Times).

Scheduled for broadcast 10:00 - 11:30 pm, with Darragh Kelly as Stoker and Anton Lesser as Irving.

Editat: maig 17, 2015, 5:19am

Aquest missatge ha estat suprimit pel seu autor.

maig 17, 2015, 5:21am

maig 17, 2015, 5:22am

maig 17, 2015, 5:23am

Holiday snaps ...

maig 17, 2015, 5:57am

...and you lived to tell the tale!

juny 6, 2015, 10:10am

Had another holiday - walking on Dartmoor again.

Finally made it to Foxtor Mires - supposedly Conan Doyle's 'Great Grimpen Mire' from The Hound of the Baskervilles.

I have to admit to growing scepticism on this. The place is not spectacular - pretty featureless, in fact, with the hills around being rather uninteresting - especially as there are comparatively close-by hilltops crowned with spectacular tors. The only reasons for going there, as opposed to elsewhere on the moor, would seem to be the Conan Doyle connection or to visit Childe's Tomb.

The 'Childe' was a long ago local land owner who got caught on the moor in a blizzard, so killed and disembowelled his horse and hid inside to keep warm, but froze to death anyway (there is more to the story). The tomb had been reconstructed not many years before 'The Hound ...' was published, so presumably that was Conan Doyle's reason to visit the place. Otherwise, the place is just a mire like many others on the moors, and it's almost fourteen miles as the crow flies from Ipplepen, where CD used to stay with Bertram Fletcher Robinson - there are nearer mires.

I now won't be happy until I find out exactly why it this particular mire that is associated with Great Grimpen Mire, so I suppose I have some reading in front of me.

I suppose, in the interest of fairness I should admit that I circled round it rather than attempted to walk across it, especially as there'd been some serious rain in the previous week or so. I'm rather regretting that now as I don't really think the place is worth a precious day out of some future holiday. From a safe distance, it's so featureless than I couldn't take an interesting photo - all of it (if you can find it) is in each of these pictures, one from the Tomb side and one from the opposite side - the cloudy weather didn't help. I make no claims to being a photographer.

Editat: juny 6, 2015, 10:37am

>192 alaudacorax: - Always some excuse to buy more books - I've just ordered an used copy of The Hound of the Baskervilles: Hunting the Dartmoor Legend by Philip Weller. It seems as if it should tell me what I want to know - or, at least, be a good starting place.

juny 6, 2015, 4:00pm

>192 alaudacorax: It looks like a nice place in the photographs. I love the solitary tree in the near distance in the bottom picture.

juny 11, 2015, 6:09am

How unreliable is my mind! Thumbing through The Hound of the Baskervilles: Hunting the Dartmoor Legend has rather sharply showed that my memories of reading Conan Doyle's story have been completely swamped by my watching of various screen versions over the last year or two. How often this sort of thing happens.

juny 11, 2015, 10:52am

juny 11, 2015, 12:01pm

Too bad!

juny 11, 2015, 12:41pm

He should have lived forever. YOU ARE NOT DEAD, YOUR AWFUL GRACE!

juny 11, 2015, 2:09pm

I was beginning to think he had a Faustian bargain.

juny 12, 2015, 12:24pm

Me too - thought he was immortal.

juny 12, 2015, 12:50pm

John Carradine! It's taken half-hour before it dawned on me who he was (>197 LolaWalser:).

juny 12, 2015, 1:05pm

>192 alaudacorax: - "Finally made it to Foxtor Mires - supposedly Conan Doyle's 'Great Grimpen Mire' from The Hound of the Baskervilles.

I have to admit to growing scepticism on this.

That was a daft thing to write. Didn't Sherlock Holmes say something about speculating before one's data?

juny 18, 2015, 2:57pm

Anyone happen to see this? It's hysterical! Given that we're probably the only group of people who have actually read most of what is being referenced, I think we may be the target audience!

juny 18, 2015, 3:28pm

>204 veilofisis:

I've seen that one before, but I've got a vague recollection I may have been sent there from here that time too!

juny 18, 2015, 6:10pm

>204 veilofisis: I enjoyed that. Thank you!

jul. 7, 2015, 10:28am

I've just noticed that digital radio station BBC Radio 4 Extra is currently repeating Vincent Price's old horror anthology series The Price of Fear Monday-Thursday at 6:00 p.m. (British Summer Time), with a midnight repeat.

Thursday's scheduled episode, "Guy Fawkes Night" may be of particular interest because, looking around the internet, this one does not appear to be available anywhere else - some sites even speculating that it no longer exists.

jul. 11, 2015, 12:14pm

>207 housefulofpaper:

Damn - have I missed that? Just got back from a week in the Lakes ... Ah! They're on the iplayer.

jul. 11, 2015, 12:14pm

I'll look forward to listening.

ag. 20, 2015, 3:53am

I'm quite excited. The latest issue of The Green Book (Issue 6, from the Swan River Press) has a ... well, I'll just quote them:

"It’s not every day one discovers a forgotten story by Bram Stoker. But there it was, on page three of an equally forgotten daily newspaper. It appeared quite unexpectedly in the far right-hand column. There’s nothing quite like that rush of excitement one feels when making such a discovery in the otherwise subdued and dimly-lit microfilm room of the National Library. The thrill of reading that recognisable prose, filled with masculinity, adventurous seafaring, nefarious murder, teetotalling, a clever fiancée, and a ghost. Did I not mention it’s a ghost story too? It is, and also the second (known) story Stoker had ever published. No, it’s not every day that one discovers a forgotten story by Bram Stoker. But they’re out there, just waiting to be uncovered. And we’re happy to be able to share this one, which has lain dormant for nearly 150 years, with you."

Didn't hesitate - ordered the issue as soon as I read that.

ag. 20, 2015, 6:30am

>210 alaudacorax: I have it ordered too. It is a great little publication.

ag. 20, 2015, 1:36pm

>211 pgmcc:
Yes it is!

ag. 29, 2015, 8:04am

Found this fascinating photographer - Katerina Plotnikova - while pottering about online. Mostly not particularly Gothic-relevant, but I just had to share this particular photograph.

oct. 29, 2015, 7:03pm

Here's something I found online. Some interesting little snippets of information in the captions by Matthew Sweet.

oct. 30, 2015, 5:55am

>214 housefulofpaper:

A lot of interesting stuff, there. Thanks for that.

nov. 13, 2015, 5:16am

Happy Friday 13th, everyone!

nov. 13, 2015, 9:11am

Templars beware!

nov. 13, 2015, 11:27am

And Happy Birthday to Robert Louis Stevenson and Oliver Onions!

març 16, 2016, 10:09pm

>219 Rembetis:

I'm confused by that article - are the chapters by Lovecraft or not? After all that talk about Lovecraft, the article seems to suggest at the very bottom that they're all by C M Eddy.

març 17, 2016, 12:54am

>219 Rembetis:

Thanks, Rembetis - I started off reading that article; then I noticed a link on the bottom to the controversy about Lovecraft's bust being dropped as the World Fantasy Award; read that, then the whole of the comments below; then I read what Joshi had to say about it on his blog; and so it went on ...

... and now it's ten to five in the morning and I haven't been to bed yet. I do tend to get carried away, sometimes ...

Incidentally, on purely aesthetic grounds, if I'd ever won one of those awards I think I'd have had to put a paper bag over the damn thing - couldn't have lived with that thing staring at me ...

març 17, 2016, 5:57am

>221 alaudacorax:

I should have learned by now, NOBODY ever benefits from reading the comments section on a web page.

març 17, 2016, 6:40am

>220 alaudacorax: You're right, the article does suggest that Eddy wrote the bulk of the material. Sorry you stayed up so late (am often guilty of that myself - damn internet!)

març 17, 2016, 6:12pm

I can't help thinking that Gahan Wilson intentionally gave Lovecraft "the Innsmouth look" when he sculpted that bust.

I do know that C M Eddy was one of Lovecraft's "revision" customers, basically his main income was from running a correspondence course-type business for aspiring authors, which ran from lightly editing their stories to rewriting them from scratch. Eddy was one of his customers.

Lovecraft was also a scarily prolific letter writer with very many correspondents.

So, although Eddy may have written the bulk of the work, Lovecraft may have heavily edited it, and it may have been developed from correspondence between Lovecraft and Eddy, with Lovecraft having more to do with it, than would be apparent from the manuscript.

març 17, 2016, 8:17pm

For anyone in or visiting London before 29 July, The Royal College of Physicians (near Regents Park) currently has what looks like a fascinating exhibition on John Dee called "Scholar, courtier, magician: the lost library of John Dee". It's free to boot!

Editat: març 17, 2016, 8:35pm

There's a 5 minute film on youtube about the John Dee exhibition:

and Jeanette Winterson's opening speech on the exhibition in January (17m):

març 18, 2016, 5:45pm

>225 Rembetis:

I do intend going to this exhibition. Obviously the emphasis is on Dee's books, but I've seen the Ashmolean portrait before (in the Ashmolean Museum, naturally), and his obsidian scrying mirror in the British Museum (not sure if that one's been loan out, though).

març 19, 2016, 7:20am

> I usually visit Regents Park (and their beautiful rose garden) every summer, so plan to take in the exhibition at the same time, late June or early July (should be a good day out!) I saw Dee's scrying mirror in the British Library's 'gothic' exhibition. Haven't seen the portraits before - the one of Dee 'performing' before Queen Elizabeth I looks very evocative.

març 19, 2016, 1:58pm

If you're interested in Dee, you really shouldn't miss Gustav Meyrink's The angel of the west window! Any fans? I know Dee has been the subject of quite a few fictions, but I doubt there are any stranger, more powerful than this one.

març 19, 2016, 6:08pm

>229 LolaWalser:

Not yet! He's a fascinating person though. I read The House of Doctor Dee when it was first published and to be honest I've forgotten nearly everything about it. Dee's only obliquely in it, I think - it's another of Ackroyd's alternative history/timeslip/ghost story things, from what I remember.

However, I read a biography of Dee a few years ago, The Queens Conjuror and of course he's always popping up where you might not expect - the subject of an opera (not only Damon Albarn's but John Harle's as well, which I remember being premiered in a Proms concert 15 or so years ago), or translating The Necronomicon(!)

març 19, 2016, 6:40pm

>229 LolaWalser: Thanks for the tip. The only book of Meyrink's I've read is 'The Golem'.

>230 housefulofpaper: I also read Ackroyd's book when it was first published and I enjoyed it at the time, but can't remember much about it now either. Haven't read 'The Queen's Conjuror' - another one to add to the ever growing book list!

març 20, 2016, 9:51am

>219 Rembetis:

This analysis of what the "lost Lovecraft manuscript" actually is, and who actually wrote it, looks pretty definitive:

març 20, 2016, 2:24pm

>232 housefulofpaper: Thanks for the interesting link. That is crafty of the auction house :-)

maig 1, 2016, 7:30pm

There was a mention of William Beckford in the Winter 2015 issue of The Book Collector.

Number 39 in a series entitled "Unfamiliar Libraries" is all about Brodick Castle Library. Of medieval origins, Brodick Castle is in Scotland. To quote from the article, "on the Isle of Arran in the firth of Clyde"..."The building was extended greatly in the early 1840s, in full, if relatively restrained, Scottish mock-baronial style, by the Hamilton family."

The Beckford connection is this: Beckford's daughter Susan (1786-1859) married the tenth Duke of Hamilton and some of his library went to Brodick. Famously, most of his library was sold after his death, so there's some interest in these volumes which escaped the sale.

However for the most part they don't date from the time of Vathek. There are two author's presentation copies from Benjamin Disraeli, one of them Contarini Fleming which Beckford had apparently described as "that transcendent work".

Other books once owned by Beckford and now at Brodick Castle include Victor Hugo "Notre Dame, a Tale of the 'Ancien Regime'" (the title of the first English translation, I assume), a couple of titles by Washington Irving, and a volume of Shelley's prose works.

The library is not currently open to the public.

maig 2, 2016, 6:17am

>234 housefulofpaper:

I should also have mentioned that the 10th Duke of Hamilton was quite a Gothic character himself, if his Wikipedia entry is anything to go by.

maig 2, 2016, 8:48am

>234 housefulofpaper:
I'd love to live in a place big enough to have my own library - not sure about a castle though ...

>235 housefulofpaper:
Mummy! I wonder if the Canopic jars are in there with him, too.

maig 2, 2016, 10:11am

Um ... do you think there'd be much posting in a 'Gothic Ballet' thread?

maig 2, 2016, 10:13am

>237 alaudacorax:

Having posted that, I've just noticed the price of tickets ...

... well, ballet's not really my thing, anyway ...

maig 2, 2016, 11:25am

>236 alaudacorax:

I remember when I first visited the Victoria and Albert Museum, and went through the British gallery which is a series of domestic interiors in chronological order. Stepping into the wood-panelled interior (17th Century I think) salvaged from a room in a castle I had a real feeling of homecoming. Dream on..

And on the subject of the Gothic Duke, don't forget the Scottish Freemasonry connection. He really seems to be a real-life counterpart (inspiration?) for these steampunk-style stories that mix up high level conspiracy, Egyptology, secret societies, and Lovecraftian Cosmic Horror (there's a lot of this in Mike Mignola's Hellboy comics, too).

On the ballet, it's not really my thing either*, but I'll at least look at those Youtube uploads embedded in the ROH website. There's at least one Dracula ballet, Guy Maddin made a film of it; I'll just open another window to check the title..Dracula: Pages from a Virgin's Diary. It's closer to the novel than most of the "straight" adaptations and has at least one scene all the others leave out - where one of the heroes slashes at Dracula with a knife, and instead of blood coins flow out.

* I should qualify that by confessing I've never seen it live. Hoofers in an end-of-the-pier show on family holidays nearly 40 years ago, yes; world class ballet, no.

Editat: maig 3, 2016, 6:39am

>239 housefulofpaper: - He really seems to be a real-life counterpart (inspiration?) for these steampunk-style stories that mix up high level conspiracy, Egyptology, secret societies, and Lovecraftian Cosmic Horror (there's a lot of this in Mike Mignola's Hellboy comics, too).

You see, there's a whole genre of stuff, there, that I've never looked into - and it sounds right up my street, too. Steampunk is yet another of of these things that I've vaguely wondered about and meant to investigate, but never got round to (unless you count some Michael Moorcock decades ago - somewhere or other, recently, I saw him described as 'the father of steampunk', or some such thing).

ag. 20, 2016, 8:19pm

Forgot to ask my niece if she and her new husband were horror film fans - I think they must be.

Sitting at their wedding a few hours ago; the documents were being signed; a song playing through the sound system was strangely familiar - it took me a minute or so to place it, then it hit me - 'Willow's Song' from The Wicker Man (1973). I was half-expecting human sacrifice at the reception ...

ag. 23, 2016, 5:12pm

>241 alaudacorax:

I can't match that!

But there were a couple of interesting items in Summer 2016 Book Collector's reports of sales.

A sale on 2 March by Dominic Winter included "the relics of the close friendship between M.R. James and his illustrator James Mcbride were dispersed"..."James's 28 letters making £3000. Copies of James' children's story The Five Jars and his translation of Hans Andersen, "written out in a calligraphic hand and illustrated" by Mcbride's widow Gwen, sold for £1550 and £1500 respectively.

And earlier, on 27 January Chiswick Auctions sold "the property of a gentlemen" including occult books and a copy of The Mystery of the Sea presented by Bram Stoker to Lord Northcliffe.

ag. 24, 2016, 4:40am

Wonder who bought the letters - one would hope a university library or some such snapped them up.

set. 13, 2016, 7:39am

Not sure where this should go, so I'm putting it here ... probably shouldn't be in this group at all ...

I've recently watched the film The Most Dangerous Game (1932), and read the short story it was based on - The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell.

I was under the impression that I'd seen the film and read the story decades ago, now I'm in several minds.

It turns out that this is definitely a film I've seen, but this is definitely not the short story I'm remembering. I include the words, 'I'm remembering' because I now find myself unsure if my memories are of, possibly, a different story or, possibly, a second film. It's a long time ago and the memory is very vague, but one scene has stuck in my mind where Zaroff (or the Zaroff character) boasts about hunting and killing someone's sister, who, being a trapeze artist or the like, had given a great hunt from Zaroff's point of view by swinging through the trees - which scene is definitely not in this film or story. And I can't now remember anything about the brother and his part in the story.

Anyone have any ideas as to what I'm remembering?

set. 14, 2016, 10:15am

set. 14, 2016, 1:32pm

>245 pgmcc: - No, having looked at the Wikipedia page for it, I don't think that's it. I've remembered, now, that there was a revenge element in the story I read - either the main character or a secondary one was the brother I mentioned, deliberately come to the place looking for revenge (I think - wouldn't swear my memory isn't playing tricks on me).

set. 14, 2016, 2:06pm

>246 alaudacorax: I am going on slim similarities but could it have been Iain Banks' A Song of Stone?

set. 15, 2016, 3:46pm

>247 pgmcc: - Nope. Looking at the descriptions on here, I'm sure I haven't read that.

I have a suspicion it might be in one of several anthologies of short stories I have here, so I might have a hunt through them at some point.

set. 26, 2016, 1:56am

I think I've got the beginnings of some sort of horror story ...

Back in June, I spent a week in Snowdonia and one day drove from where I was staying to Porthmadog, via Barmouth.

Somewhere between Barmouth and Porthmadog, I passed a castle in some woodland. I'm not talking about one of Edward I's big showpieces, like Harlech Castle. This was a much smaller affair, but a dark, forbidding job, very high-walled and square-looking - could have easily stood in for Childe Roland's Dark Tower. For some reason, for which I've since been kicking myself, I decided to keep driving - I'd investigate on the return journey.

I looked out for it on the way back and never saw it. This was partly explained (I thought) when I found myself approaching where I was staying from the opposite direction to how I'd left. Apparently, relying on the local signposting rather than the map, I'd inadvertently driven back over a different route.

I was staying in the same place last week. Well, to cut a long story short, I simply couldn't find it. I didn't pass it on the road I thought I'd taken first time; I couldn't find it marked on my maps. On the assumption that I might have taken a wrong turning without realising but ended where I was going by accident, I even wasted an hour or two searching online satellite views of the likely roads - the thing doesn't seem to exist.

So, for the moment, I'm stumped: I've either managed to lose a whole castle or I've imagined the whole thing. I'm definitely going back in the spring, though (not just to look for the castle - I've thoroughly enjoyed walking the hills to the north of the Mawddach estuary), but ... if, somewhere around next June, you stop seeing posts from me, you'll know that the castle definitely does not exist and that I found it anyway.

set. 26, 2016, 6:23pm

if, somewhere around next June, you stop seeing posts from me, you'll know that the castle definitely does not exist and that I found it anyway.

Can't decide if this is better as a first or last sentence for a story. :)

set. 26, 2016, 6:52pm

>249 alaudacorax:
That's strange!

>250 LolaWalser:
As a first sentence, it seems somewhat Lovecraftian.

set. 27, 2016, 3:31am

>250 LolaWalser: - Now, that's a thought ...

nov. 12, 2016, 5:41am

I found this article rather appealing ...

nov. 12, 2016, 6:14am

>253 alaudacorax:

I read Drogin's book years ago. The subject didn't really hold enough variety to justify the length, but it's not bad.

nov. 15, 2016, 3:46am

I see the Irish Journal of Gothic and Horror Studies has a new home on WordPress: - a moment of panic there when I clicked on the old site and found it AWOL!

Still the same Kindle-unfriendly pdfs, though ...

des. 13, 2016, 8:07pm

Seeing as I'm spending so much money at the moment - Xmas presents - I thought I'd buy myself a little present - Carol Senf's The Vampire in Nineteenth-Century English Literature.

I'd like a paperback so I can annotate and underline. I couldn't possibly bring myself to underline and annotate a hardcover. New copies of the paperback cost at least twice as much as new copies of the hardback.

Result: mental paralysis - I just can't bring myself to order either.

Anyone else have these dilemmas?

Editat: des. 14, 2016, 3:21am

>256 alaudacorax: I understand your pain.

I have underlined and annotated hardback books, but they would be books that I would not consider collectible. E.g. I would never underline or annotate any of my Tartarus Press or Swan River Press books, but I am currently underlining and annotating a hardcopy of The Corporation Wars: Insurgence as it is a fiction book that I am reading for the political content and ideas, and I want to make copious notes for future comment. This does not mean I will not throw myself off a cliff at some time in the future because I have desecrated this volume.

ETA: The Vampire in Nineteenth-Century English Literature does sound interesting.

des. 14, 2016, 8:16pm

I don't make notes in books. You'll have noticed how vague I can be in these threads ("I think I read somewhere...sorry I can't give proper credit but i can't remember the author..").

I am, though, much readier to make a correction, especially if some text is actually missing. I've mentioned the Gollancz edition of Lovecraft, The Necronomicon, before (it's up to its 18th printing, at least, now, but the copy I looked at in Waterstones shows no signs of being reset yet). I also once supplemented an evidently incomplete 17th Century lyric in The Oxford Anthology of English Poetry with stanzas copied from the booklet for a CD of Early Music. This must have been before I was online, because I remember being quite proud of finding that text!

Editat: des. 15, 2016, 2:43am

>258 housefulofpaper: - I don't make notes in books.

Far too many academics are not exactly clear and concise in their writing - or are putting down genuinely complex thinking - and commenting in the margins and underlining key points is the only way I can be sure of fully grasping their arguments. It's not so much for future reference as to force me to keep 100% concentration.

I did, on one occasion once, come unstuck with this method. This was the essay 'The 1790s: the effulgence of Gothic' by Robert Miles in The Cambridge Companion to Modern Fiction. The man hardly used a surplus word and every sentence was crystal clear - no need for margin notes and I either had to underline everything or nothing - I almost felt aggrieved.

Editat: des. 28, 2016, 7:28am

Does anyone know what happened to Ceased to exist? Moved to a different URL?

ETA - Or is it simply down just now as I'm looking for it for the first time?

des. 28, 2016, 1:19pm

>260 alaudacorax:

I don't know. Couldn't find any news online. Hopefully it's just a temporary issue with the server.

des. 30, 2016, 7:59am

For those in the UK, there is a new adaptation of Radcliffe's 'The Mysteries of Udolpho' on Radio 4 tomorrow (New Year's Eve) at 2.30pm. Catch-up here once it is broadcast:
The same cast is also doing an adaptation of Austen's Northanger Abbey in 10 x 15 minute parts. Catch-up:

des. 30, 2016, 6:43pm

>262 Rembetis:

Thanks, I would have missed this. I thought it was a repeat of the version R$ broadcast a couple of years ago (a version which, I see from the relevant thread here, was actually made back in 1996).

des. 31, 2016, 8:53pm

Happy New Year everyone. It's 1:50am, 2017, here; I'm off to bed; if your's hasn't come yet, Happy New Year when it comes ...

gen. 1, 2017, 6:22am

Got poured into a cab and just got home myself...definitely time for bed... Happy New Year to you, too, Paul, and everyone else! May it salt the scorched earth that was 2016 and plow a whole new field...

gen. 1, 2017, 7:01am

Happy New Year everyone! Currently on the train home from the New Year cruise.

gen. 1, 2017, 8:35am

Happy New Year!

feb. 24, 2017, 7:14am

Can anyone here confirm that W. J. McCormack's Sheridan Le Fanu and the same author's Sheridan Le Fanu and Victorian Ireland are two, distinct works?

feb. 24, 2017, 6:30pm

>268 alaudacorax:

Hello! I haven't got either book, but I've done some digging and I'm not certain, but I think they're the same work, or substantially so.

I found three books listed on AbeBooks:
Sheridan Le Fanu and Victorian Ireland (OUP/Clarendon Press 1980) (hardcover)
Sheridan Le Fanu and Victorian Ireland (2nd, enlarged edition, Lilliput Press 1991)(softcover)
J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Sutton Publishing 1997) (softcover).

I was able to cross-reference this against some information in a book I do own, is a collection of essays on Le Fanu, entitled Reflections in a Glass Darkly.

W. J. McCormack contributed the foreword to this book, which he starts with a brief reminiscence about the reception given to mark the first publication of his book. Here's the passage that suggests we're talking about just one book: "Since 1980, two paperback editions from other publishers have appeared." And as I've noted above, the OUP book was listed as a hardcover, whereas the Lilliput Press and Sutton Publishing books as softcovers.

Editat: feb. 25, 2017, 5:28am

>268 alaudacorax:

Many thanks, houseful, you've done my donkey work for me! When I was trying to figure this out last night I completely forgot about Reflections in a Glass Darkly, which I'm part-way through at the moment and where I'd actually read about the McCormack book in the first place!

I'm still trying to get grips with this business, which I've mentioned elsewhere in this group, about whether Le Fanu and Christina Rossetti could really have been intentionally spicing things up in Carmilla and 'Goblin Market' with a bit of 'girl on girl action'.

To this end I'm reading Sharon Marcus's Between Women - which has already quite transformed my ideas of the Victorians and my readings of the relevant passages in the two writers in surprising (to me, at least) ways - it's a quite complex business and I'll write about it somewhere or other in due course, and I've ordered biographies of Rossetti and, now, Le Fanu (I've just ordered the Sutton edition, supposedly 'almost as new'). It seems we are not over-supplied with biographies on either writer.

març 2, 2017, 6:19pm

>270 alaudacorax:

Interesting. Quite by chance I'd started Vulgar Tongues when I read you post, and in an unformed sort of why I thought to myself that the simple existence of different types of slang used and understood by closed communities and sub-groups would have to be factor (a potentially massively complicating one)in the understanding of historical literature, or almost any text. And something that seems obvious once you consider it - not everyone in the group has a perfect, or the same understanding, of that group's own jargon. There was no going online to check the Urban Dictionary or some such in 1866!

I've also been reading The Ceremonies by T.E.D Klein but it's been slow going. My fault, I think although having read the original short story The Events at Poroth Farm, I think I can see (as some reviews also mention) the effect of padding - the books over 550 pages long. As if to mock me, the main character is reading though the classics of gothic and horror fiction to prepare a college course, and has just powered through The Mysteries of Udolpho...:)

maig 2, 2017, 7:47pm

I note the interest in 'Penda's Fen' in the 'gothic movies' thread. In case anyone in or around London is interested, the National Film Theatre is holding an all day symposium (10am - 6pm) on 'Penda's Fen' on June 10th. They are also (separately) showing 'Penda's Fen' at 6.30pm. The symposium includes a Q&A with the screenwriter, David Rudkin.

maig 3, 2017, 4:52pm

>272 Rembetis:
Thanks for this.

maig 4, 2017, 5:21pm

>272 Rembetis:, >273 housefulofpaper:

I caught a copy on YouTube (thanks houseful!), the video quality was poor but you can tell what a brilliant piece of work it is. Will be getting it on DVD. There's that same rhythmical, musical cadence to the speech we've been talking about, that in itself seems to mark a dislocation into the mythological, dream-space so well hardly any special effects are needed.

I'd love to hear that symposium. If anyone learns of something placed online, please let me know.

maig 4, 2017, 8:30pm

>274 LolaWalser: Hi Lola, will do.

You might be interested to know that 'Strange Attractor Press' will be producing a critical anthology of writing on 'Penda’s Fen', which will include outcomes from the symposium. Their web page is here:
The 'call for papers' on the symposium is here:

The BFI often upload extracts of their talks and symposiums on you-tube (though I don't know if these are viewable outside the UK)

maig 5, 2017, 11:32am

>275 Rembetis:

Thanks, subscribed!

Editat: juny 12, 2017, 7:03am

>249 alaudacorax: - ... if, somewhere around next June, you stop seeing posts from me, you'll know that the castle definitely does not exist and that I found it anyway.

Well, I'm back. I spent last week in the North Wales hills; got rained-off one day (about sixteen hours solid rain); spent the day driving around ... and still couldn't find my castle. I was working on the assumption that I'd taken a wrong turning, spotted a signpost to where I was going, followed that and got back on the right road, all without ever realising I'd gone off my route. I'm sure I've tried every likely detour I might have taken. All I can think is I must have been pretty oblivious to time passing, even for me, and gone spectacularly far off my route (either that or I dozed off and dreamed it, driving a mile or two while fast asleep!)

... and you wouldn't believe the time I've spent poring over maps, and websites of Welsh castles ...

ETA - I'm starting to wonder if, perhaps, it wasn't a castle - perhaps a power station or some such thing disguised as a castle - I've seen mobile phone masts disguised as trees ...

juny 13, 2017, 12:17pm

'The Quietus' have published an article on 'Penda's Fen' here:

There is a (short) twitter feed on Saturday's 'Penda's Fen' symposium here:

juny 13, 2017, 12:59pm

Thank you very much, excellent article. I'll quote this for the literary references that might interest the group:

Appropriately, there are several works from this same period that strikingly pre-figure Penda’s Fen. Machen’s 1922 novel The Secret Glory relates the history of a Midlands public school boy whose ecstatic visions of the Holy Grail facilitate his escape from his outsider misery, and redeem his failure to fall into step with the system. John Buchan’s 1899 short story “The Far Islands” concerns another public schoolboy beset by visions — this time inspired by his Celtic ancestral inheritance — that again compromise his ability to take his rightful place in the establishment.

juny 13, 2017, 1:06pm

Re: tweets, "And don't forget the milkman!" Ha!

Too bad about the empty seats, how could there be empty seats... People don't know what they missed...

It really is a shame to lump it with '70s horror, or any genre for that matter, it's so much richer than, well, practically anything I can think of.

juny 13, 2017, 6:56pm

There's more - a great deal more - about David Rudkin in this blogpost (should like to the first of 4 parts, if I've linked to it correctly). Most of what I know of Rudkin's work, I got from this - although I do have Artemis '81 on DVD.

What becomes clear is that he's a writer who revisits and reworks certain core images and ideas (as Dennis Potter was also able to do on TV between the mid '60s and his death in the early '90s).

>277 alaudacorax:
I had better luck, although my ambitions were much more modest; I found a sacred well within walking distance of my house (well, an alleged sacred well; definitely a medieval well, but the rest of it might be pious wishful thinking).

juny 14, 2017, 7:36pm

>281 housefulofpaper: Many thanks for the link, fascinating.

Good to hear that you didn't find that Welsh castle so we can continue to benefit from your posts! (Maybe it's like Brigadoon, only appearing one day a century?!) This is a long shot, but did you by any chance visit Portmeirion on that first trip? In the woods on the drive down to Portmeirion, lies Castell Deudraeth - was this the Castle you saw?

juny 15, 2017, 1:35pm

>282 Rembetis:

No, not Castell Deudraeth: the one I saw looked much more grim and purposeful - four-square and dark grey with no frills. It looked purpose-made to play the part of some evil robber-baron's keep in a film.

Having written that, though, by now I've got so puzzled by this that I'm starting to wonder if I'm seriously misremembering what it looked like!

juny 15, 2017, 9:06pm

>283 alaudacorax: Another long shot, but as you can find no trace of a Castle on maps of the area etc, it might be that what you saw was indeed an elaborate façade or set put up for filming? I had an eerie experience one night back in 1996 when I was walking from the Barbican cinema to Blackfriars Station (after seeing 'The Gorgon') and took a short cut through the lanes leading down to St Andrew's Church on Queen Victoria Street. One of these lanes was converted for what I assume was a film about Jack the Ripper - gas lights, Victorian shops and a pub, lots of 'Wanted for murder' posters for Jack the Ripper / Leather Apron pasted on the walls, and blood splashed up one wall. I was with a friend and we both found the atmosphere in the deserted lane quite unnerving so we walked through pretty sharpish. Walking the same route again about a week or so later (after a Hammer 'Dracula' all day event) the lane had reverted back to normal.

juny 15, 2017, 9:20pm

>284 Rembetis:

it might be that what you saw was indeed an elaborate façade or set put up for filming?

I had the same thought--Jonathan Creek!

juny 16, 2017, 4:22am

>284 Rembetis:, >285 LolaWalser:

I wonder. It's become very frustrating and the idea growing on me that I might never find the place ... well, as I said, 'very frustrating'.

I've even, since >282 Rembetis: and >283 alaudacorax:, been doubting my memory, staring at photos of Castell Deudraeth, wondering if I'd glimpsed that and my memory had then significantly altered the appearance and surroundings.

As I've never got round to visiting Port Meirion, though, it would have taken some pretty heavy-duty absentmindedness on my part to drive past Castell Deudraeth without ever realising I'd got lost. Those parts are not on a road to anywhere else and I'd have had to drive round in quite a small circle and then back over the way I'd just come, all without noticing.

I suppose it's just possible ...

Editat: juny 16, 2017, 4:32am

>286 alaudacorax:

The moral of the story, of course: if you are on holiday and your time is your own to use how like, and you spot something interesting - ALWAYS STOP TO INVESTIGATE!

juny 16, 2017, 12:30pm

>286 alaudacorax: As you can see from a map, Castell Deudraeth is very much inside Portmeirion grounds (a few minutes drive from the village itself) and I think you probably would have seen the signs for Portmeirion and known where you were. The Castell does look quite foreboding from the road though, partially obscured by trees, and you can't see the modern bits attached at the back.

I can recommend Portmeirion if you are in the area again. I stayed there about 20 years ago (I used to be obsessed with the 1967 tv series 'The Prisoner' which was filmed there).

You're right about memory being faulty. I occasionally recall scenes in some films that play out rather differently when I re-watch them, which is always unnerving.

juny 24, 2017, 7:02am

>288 Rembetis: - You're right about memory being faulty. I occasionally recall scenes in some films that play out rather differently when I re-watch them, which is always unnerving.

Reading old journals is unnerving. If I go back decades, I've been quite startled by how radically different my memories can be to what I wrote down at the time. It makes me very uneasy about criminal trials - for instance, some of the celebrity historic sexual abuse trials there have been recently - where witnesses are telling, on oaths, things that happened twenty or thirty years ago.

juny 24, 2017, 10:51am

>289 alaudacorax:

I suspect sexual abuse is the kind of thing that tends to etch itself in one's memory.

juny 25, 2017, 11:23am

>290 LolaWalser:

Agreed - I was thinking of the more peripheral witnesses.

ag. 1, 2017, 9:25am

Have you noticed that however you spell 'weird' it looks weird?

ag. 1, 2017, 2:50pm

It's an "i before e - oh, no hang on" word; but you're right. If you study it for any length of time it looks wrong.

ag. 1, 2017, 2:51pm

Is there a word for it, something like onomatopoeia, but the word in question embodies the quality it describes?

ag. 24, 2017, 12:11pm

>111 alaudacorax:

I've finally figured out who Robert Aickman is. I've been reading his story The Fully-Conducted Tour, which was the opening piece in Wormwood,' Number 5, and, reading Glen Cavaliero's 'Afterword' to it, light finally dawned.

I have his story The Hospice in an anthology here (somewhere) and it has been puzzling me for years. I hadn't remembered who wrote it.

Normally, if I can't get into a story I'm not going to read it again, and that's supposing I finish it in the first place; but I've periodically re-read The Hospice and it just won't leave me alone. He's one of those rare writers where you read a story and, rather than wanting to move on to the next, you want to read this one again, feeling you've still to get to the bottom of it.

If I ever get hold of a collection of his stories they'll probably give me a nervous breakdown.

ag. 24, 2017, 4:34pm

>294 housefulofpaper:

An adjective that describes itself is said to be "autological".

One that doesn't is "heterological".

ag. 24, 2017, 5:43pm

>295 alaudacorax:

There was quite a substantial discussion of "The Hospice" in the Weird Tradition group in2014:

>296 AndreasJ:
Thank you!

ag. 25, 2017, 4:23am

>297 housefulofpaper:

Thanks for the link, houseful - I decided to accept the risk to my sanity and bought Aickman's Cold Hand in Mine; so I'll look forward to reading that thread after I've re-read 'The Hospice', yet again.

Actually, I tried to read it last thing last night, but fell asleep half-way through and dreamed that all of my nieces had got together to stage an 'intervention' and tidy my house. They were turning out all my boxes and bags of 'pre-computer-&-internet' papers and files and notebooks ... and binning everything! I started awake in the traditional blue funk.

Told you so - starting to lose my marbles already ...

ag. 25, 2017, 8:35am

>296 AndreasJ:

Between yourself and Clark Ashton Smith I'm learning lots of new words lately ...

Editat: ag. 25, 2017, 1:38pm

>299 alaudacorax:

Being mentioned in a breath with Clark Ashton Smith is not an honour I can recall receiving before. But yeah, I'm noted for an unusually large vocabulary - primarily in my native Swedish, but acc'd online vocabulary tests my English one is more typical of highly educated native speakers than of second language speakers of any educational attainment.

(The catch is that my English vocabulary is skewed towards formal, literary, or technical words - I'm not particularly good with slang. This is, of course, the result of having acquired it mostly through books.)

Editat: set. 5, 2017, 7:12pm

Last week I stayed in a tiny cottage in the Brecon Beacons and I was reading my way through short stories by H. P. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith and Robert Aickman in the evenings.

I must have had the perfect setting for it.
The place was well out in the countryside and was quite dark after sunset and was silent expect for the odd tawny owl calling and the occasional barking of dogs on distant farms.
But ... I have never stayed in a noisier cottage. After dark the place was alive with little scratchings in the walls and odd creakings. Okay, so I suppose the scratchings were down to the numerous house martins roosting under the eaves, and all old cottages creak, but what the hell were the footfalls on the ceiling (I had the place to myself)? Many times I'd be distracted from the page by a footstep or two on the ceiling - only to remember that, not only was there no upstairs over the living room, but there was no ceiling, either - you looked up at the sloping undersides of the roof, with the apex some ten or fifteen feet above your head. So it was quite beyond me to work out what the footsteps were.

nov. 28, 2017, 6:36am

I've just downloaded The Irish Journal of Gothic and Horror Studies 16 (Autumn 2017).

I know I've previously written on how impressed I am with this journal, but this one seems a particularly mouth-watering edition - and I've only looked at the list of contents, so far! The list of non-fiction book reviews alone has me eager to get started (and worried for my bank account).

It's a wonder to me how this can be a free resource - they don't even ask for donations - obviously simply a labour of love.

nov. 28, 2017, 7:04am

Not sure if this counts as Gothic or not. On BBC Radio 3 on Dec 3rd and online thereafter.

David Suchet stars as Satan - and a bible's-worth of other characters, human and animal - in this comic, gripping, poetic and pungent hell's-eye view of the Passion of Christ, written by renowned satirist, playwright and actor Justin Butcher.

nov. 29, 2017, 5:19am

>302 alaudacorax: - The list of non-fiction book reviews alone has me eager to get started (and worried for my bank account).

And now the IJGHS has put me in a grumpy mood ...

I sat down to read the book reviews last night:

Medieval Studies and the Ghost Stories of M. R. James: That sounds fascinating; I'd love to have a copy of that; check on Amazon; cheapest print copy - £64-42. Oh.

Bram Stoker and the Gothic: Formations to Transformations: I have got to have that. Amazon? £56-33. Oh.

Dangerous Bodies: Historicising the Gothic Corporeal: Okay, daunting title, but, from the review it sounds ... £46-35? Ah.

Bullocks, bollards, rowlocks ...

I stopped reading at that point.

nov. 29, 2017, 2:55pm

>304 alaudacorax:

Thanks for reminding me of the Journal's existence. I keep forgetting about it!

I've seen complaints from several quarters about the cost of academic publishing. There doesn't seem to be change to the current state of affairs in the offing. It can only keep the interested amateur away from, and ignorant of, current thinking in - well, any topic that catches their eye. It's not so long ago that you would see a few academic titles in Blackwells or Waterstones (and this was Reading, not a flagship store in London, or in Oxford or Cambridge).

At the risk of hitting your wallet even more, have you seen this:

nov. 30, 2017, 4:03am

>305 housefulofpaper:

Oops! Another one for the wish lists ...

Editat: nov. 30, 2017, 4:04am

This thread is taking a bit long to load - starting another one.
En/na More Gothic gossip. ha continuat aquest tema.