It is about 110 degrees in here. Therefore, I post a poll.

[Poll #1190074]

From: [identity profile]

Doh! Forgot to list one of my own favorites, Lois Duncan's Down a Dark Hall, which is a Gothic with psychic kids.

Also forgot to give heroine and heroine the characteristic of impersonating someone.

From: [identity profile]

Lois Duncan warped me. Or maybe she just showed me the way I was always going to grow.

From: [identity profile]

I'm a big fan of Mary Stewart's Wildfire at Midnight. (I'm not honestly sure which of Wildfire, Nine Coaches, This Rough Magic, or her Merlin/Mordred series is my favorite of hers.)

Also, I need to go find my copy of The Ivy Tree and read it again, it's been too long.

Oh, and in the 'other' category, there's a particularly cracktastic one by Andre Norton (which reads like none of her other books, I think she stole Mary Stewart's brain for a bit, it's the only explanation I have) called Velvet Shadows which involves the Voodoun community in San Francisco.

Also, my love for Rebecca is not only because of the name. (Especially since the title character is evil. Eeeevil.)

From: [identity profile]

Man, I took a class on the Gothic in American Fiction, and I don't recognize any of those! I think the only British Gothic I've read is Jane Eyre, if that counts.
octopedingenue: (yaone overcome)

From: [personal profile] octopedingenue

Also favorite gothic: Phantom by Susan McKay, which is probably cheating as it is PotO fanfic but I don't care. Opium addiction!! Frustrated architectural dreams!! A snooty Persian cat!!

From: [identity profile]

Northanger Abbey, definitely. (: Though I'm also a sucker (groan) for anything with lesbian vampires.

Edited because Jane Austen did not write a book about rabbits!

From: [identity profile]

Hee! I imagine the social lives of bunnies would be rather different from her point of view.

From: [identity profile]

I read so many Mary Stewarts in junior high and high school; I think I read them all, starting with the Merlin series. And Wolves of Willoughby Chase! I never read the rest of that series, but I loved that one.
seajules: (DOOM!)

From: [personal profile] seajules

What, no Ann Radcliffe? Also, I don't remember the titles of all the Mary Stewart Gothics I've read, but I loved them.

From: [identity profile]

Mary Stewart's Madam Will You Talk is my favorite--hero chases heroine in fast cars through the south of France.

From: [identity profile]

Also Jane Eyre, if that counts.

(Also also, can Northanger Abbey be both a parody of gothic romances and /also/ a gothic romance, at the same time? I'm sure others have discussed this ad nauseum.)
larryhammer: a low-fidelity picture of a man, label: "some guy" (Default)

From: [personal profile] larryhammer

You can *cough* get whole term papers out of that subject.


From: [identity profile]

There is apparently some interesting critical work on whether or not the Gothic genre was satirizing itself right out of the gate (see esp: Otranto, Castle Of, and Monk, The) but sadly grad school made me allergic to critical jargon so I dod not actually read it.

From: [identity profile]

Other: Northanger Abbey and Jane Eyre.

Oh, and...


From: [identity profile]

Jane Eyre. And what about Wieland? One of the greatest and most bizarre Gothic novels, and it's set in the US.

Some of the early Barbara Michaels was brilliant and very very dark. Ammie Come Home is my favorite, and it's one of the greatest of all ghost stories. But The Crying Child, The Dark on the Other Side, House of Many Shadows, Someone in the House, The Sea-King's Daughter, Be Buried in the Rain are all wonderful, and they're mostly concerned with horrors in the family of origin -- incest, murder, adultery, jealousy, abuse, lethal envy.

I had a hard time with some of the Mary Stewart Gothics because she seemed so damned sexist. ("I'll talk about this sensibly, which means not like a woman.") Also, no cigarette smoker is not going to notice that she's smoking hash instead. But I love The Ivy Tree for its structural perfection, its lovely language, and above all for the evocation of *home*. Some of the plot echoes Brat Farrar, but it has its own fascinating twists.

Stewart's earliest books, the ones immediately post-war, are clearly about how hard it was to deal with a husband who came home scarred by the war -- aka, with PTSD. And about coming to grips with loving a man you know has killed people.

Look at Madame, Will You Talk? The heroine has lost her daring, happy-go-lucky husband in the war. Later, she keeps encountering the hero -- a veteran who has been accused and acquitted of murder. He seems to be pursuing his young son, whom she's trying to protect from his threats. His rage and violence frighten her, but she also feels deeply drawn to him -- "as though something so linked this dark and dangerous man with myself that I could not escape him." They even pretend to be married at one point.

She'll never get back the light-hearted husband she lost, but by talking with the hero (finally) and helping him understand the horrors of his war experience, she can stop worrying that he's a killer and learn to love him as he is now.

Then there's the stunningly beautiful French second wife -- talk about a symbol for the anxiety of who he's been sleeping with while he was away.

And the "primitive reaction" -- the heroine's sexual arousal when the hero is in a murderous fight. That one shows up repeatedly.

From: [identity profile]

I'm so bad on my literature eras, but doesn't The Counte of Monte Cristo fall into the Gothic time? LOVE that book.

From: [identity profile]

Nothing beats Rebecca. I love that fucking book.

A story you probably already know but that never fails to amuse me: when they were filming the Rebecca movie, it was of course awkward, because the heroine is never named. Alfred Hitchcock got into the habit of calling her "Daphne." Hee.

From: [identity profile]

Hey wait, Nine Coaches Waiting is a gothic? Oops. Moonspinners is, definitely, but I'd put Coaches and about half of Mary Stewart into the "romantic suspense" column rather than real Gothicky Gothics.

This could also be a distinction without a difference if you're looking at things in more general categories. Does a Gothic have to have supernatural elements (perhaps only in someone's imagination, but as something the characters react to)? Or is atmoshere enough?

Another fondly remembered gothic from the bad old days is Mistress of Mellyn by Victoria Holt. I *think* that one was mostly atmosphere, but you could cut that atmosphere with a knife and watch it bleed.

Another candidate, somewhat out of the category but interestingly congruent with it, is Checkmate by Dorothy Dunnett (last volume of the Lymond Chronicles). This has so much historical-romantic-political-tragical matter that you might nearly miss that several crucial character developments hinge on psychic powers, future-telling fortune-tellers, and communications from the dead, or at least from someone masquerading as dead. Or insane. Or both. There are ruined castles, ruined maidens, exploding water-borne towers, and various other shenanigans redolent of atmosphere in spades.

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