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Week 1 - Gothic and the Short Form
Week 2 - Early Forms: Fragments and Tales
Week 3
Week 4
Week 5
Week 7
Week 8
Week 9
Week 10


This is a LECTURE WEEK – see Tabula for time and location.

Research Aims:

  1. To discuss and try to get a firm grip on key theories relating to the Short Form and to “the Gothic” as style and “mode” and ascertain the relationship between the two aspects.
  2. Using set pre-reading (and any extra reading you did!), we will consider debates over the difference between “Terror” and “Horror” that characterise the works will we examine on the module.
  3. Drawing on that, we will then perform close readings of a variety of Gothic works (ballads, folklore, ghost stories, horror tales, fragments) to consider their form and genre.


  • Read and annotate the set critical reading detailed below. You should come to class prepared to discuss how different critics – both contemporaneous to our period and more modern – have delineated, separately, what “short” means, what “Gothic” means, and then what is suggested to be the relationship between the two. Feel free to do some wider reading. Recommendations on TalisAspire.
  • Read and annotate the set primary reading, detailed below, keeping in mind your discoveries from the critical material.

SET CRITICAL READING (in order of how you should read them):

[Please note that these were all set as summer reading suggestions, so if you read them earlier, do refresh your memory before class].


These are available in a collated hard copy in a box opposite my office (FAB 5.26) or as an e-copy here.

  1. [Anne Bannerman], “The Perjured Nun” from Tales of Superstition and Chivalry. Vernor and Hood, 1802, pp.39 – 48.
  2. “The Dead Devoured by the Living!” The terrific register: or, Record of crimes, judgments, providences, and calamities, vol.2. London: Sherwood, Jones, and co. 1825, pp.737-8.
  3. Edgar Allan Poe, “The Tell-Tale Heart” The Pioneer: a literary and critical magazine, 1, no.1, Jan 1843, pp. 29-31.
  4. [Rhoda Broughton] “The Truth, the Whole Truth, and Nothing but the Truth”. Temple Bar: a London magazine for town & country readers, vol.22, Feb 1868, pp. 340-8.
  5. R L S. “Thrawn Janet”. The Cornhill Magazine; 44: 262, Oct 1881; pp. 436-443.
  6. H.G. Wells, “The Sea Raiders”, The Plattner Story and Others. Methuen & co, 1897, pp.126-141. [originally published in The Weekly Sun literary supplement, 12 June 1896]
  7. Ambrose Bierce, “The Moonlit Road”, Cosmopolitan, 42:3, Jan 1907, pp.334-9.
  8. Katherine Mansfield, “The Woman at the Store”, Art Music Literature Quarterly. Vol. 1, No. 4, 1912, pp.7-21. [interspersed with art pieces]

Suggested further reading:

  • Extracts from [14] Ann Radcliffe, ‘On the Supernatural in Poetry’ (1826) reproduced in Gothic Documents : a sourcebook 1700-1820 / edited by Emma Clery & Robert Miles.
  • Extract from H.P. Lovecrafton the Weird Tale from Supernatural Horror in Literature (1927)
  • Andrew Smith,IntroductionThe Ghost Story, 1840-1920 : A Cultural History, Manchester University Press, 2013.
  • Extract from Darryl Jones,The Horror Story The Edinburgh Companion to the Short Story in English,Edited by Paul Delaney and Adrian Hunter, Edinburgh Uni Press, 2018, pp.175-192.
  • You might also use the critical reading to think about any wider reading of primary material you were able to do over the summer.
  • See Talis Aspire for even more inspiration.



Research Aims:

To consider two of the different types of short Gothic fiction that were vying for readership in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century and which have a close relationship with the kinds of tales we will read in subsequent sessions – the literary Gothic “Fragment” and the Gothic “Tale”. To differentiate between the forms that were used, we will mostly consider the style, content, and processes of adaptation, but also the kinds of readers who accessed them, the kinds of authors who worked with them and the companies/media that published them.


  • We will be building on the Killick and Ilot chapters set over summer/week 1, so ensure to bring those.
  • Douglass H. Thomson and Diane Long Hoeveler. "Shorter Gothic Fictions: Ballads and Chapbooks, Tales and Fragments." Romantic Gothic: An Edinburgh Companion, Angela Wright and Dale Townshend. Edinburgh University Press, 2015, pp.147-166.


All collated as an e-copy here

FRAGMENTS [c.30pp]

  1. “Sir Bertrand” and its imitators:
    a) John and Anna Letitia [Barbauld] Aikin, “On the Pleasure Derived from Objects of Terror; with Sir Bertrand, A Fragment” (1773);
    b) Anon., “Edwy: An Ancient Gothic Tale”, in Walker’s Hibernian Magazine (August, 1788), pp. 409-11.
    c) PR, R. "Sir Egbert; A Gothic Fragment." The Ladies' Monthly Museum,4 (1816): 85-88;

  2. Francis Walsh, Junior. “Leonto and Almeria: A Gothic Story”. The General magazine and impartial review; Aug 1789; pp. 342-8.

  3. G. Lewis “Alonzo the Brave, and Fair Imogine” in An Apology for Tales of Terror, ed. Walter Scott (Printed at the Mail office, 1796), pp.58-63.

  4. Lord Byron, “A Fragment” [1816], Mazeppa, John Murray, 1819, pp.59-69.


  1. J. K-wl-y. “The Sybil. A Tale”. The Lady's Magazine; or, Entertaining companion for the fair sex, appropriated solely to their use and amusement.Vol.VI, Jan 1775, pp.20-1. AND Vol. IX, Jan 1778, pp.26-7.

  2. “The Castle of Costanzo” Universal Magazine, vol.75, Aug 1784, pp.74-77.

  3. Sarah Wilkinson, "The Spectre; Or, the Ruins of Belfont Priory." United Kingdom, J. Ker, 1806. pp.7-30.

  4. “The Castle-Goblin, or the Tower of Neuftchaberg”, The London Magazine, Vol. 2; no.9, Sept 1820, pp.247-9.


NB: We only looking at one “Chapbook” because they are generally quite long (even for “short” fiction) and dense in style but do have a look at some of the other examples below:

Sarah Scudgell Wilkinson. The White Pilgrim; or, Castle of Olival: An Interesting and Affecting Tale, Founded on Singular Facts. London: Dean & Mundy, c. 1805. [25pp]. Look at the Frontispiece in colour.

Anon. Tales of Wonder. Containing The Castle of Enchantment or The Mysterious Deception. The Robbers Daughter or The Phantom of the Grotto. The Magic-Legacy &c. London: J. Roe, 1801.

Anon. Eliza, or the Unhappy Nun: Exemplifying the Unlimited Tyranny Exercised by the Abbots and Abbesses Over the Ill-Fated Victims of Their Malice in the Gloomy Recesses of a Convent. Including the Adventures of Clementina, or The Constant Lovers, a True and Affecting Tale. London: Tegg and Castleman, 1803. [second tale listed]

Father Innocent, Abbot of the Capuchins; Or, the Crimes of Cloisters. London: Tegg and Castleman, c. 1805.

Anon. Fatal Jealousy; or, Blood Will Have Blood! Containing the History of Count Almagro and Duke Alphonso; Their Combat in the Dreadful Tournament and the Death of the Beautiful Bellarmine, Through the Artifice of Sophronia, Her Rival. London: T. and R. Hughes, 1807.

The Gothic Story of Courville Castle; or the Illegitimate Son, a Victim of Prejudice and Passion: Owing to the Early Impressions Inculcated with Unremitting Assiduity by an Implacable Mother Whose Resentment to Her Husband Excited Her Son to Envy, Usurpation, and Murder; but Retributive Justice at Length Restores the Right Heir to His Lawful Possessions. To Which is Added the English Earl: or the History of Robert Fitzwalter. London: S. Fisher, 1801.