Transformation by Mary Shelley (1831)
Tuesday’s Tale of Terror February 4, 2014 Women in Horror Month (WiHM)
If any author could successfully mix romance with fiendish pride and the power of evil, it’s Mary Shelley. Frankenstein is not considered supernatural, but Transformation certainly is a necromantic adventure.
For never was a story of more woe than Juliet and her Guido (if I may borrow the line from Shakespeare). We are not in Romeo and Juliet’s fair Verona; we are in Genoa. Juliet and Guido have been in love since childhood and have pledged to marry. She is angel-faced and loyal. He is rich, handsome, and worldly. Because Guido squanders his wealth, falls into the trap of vanity, and engages in violence, the authorities ban him from Genoa on pain of death.
Mad with loneliness, guilt, and struggling with regret, he wanders the seaside during the darkest of storms. Here he meets a mysterious dwarf …
‘The voice of the wretch was screeching and horrid, and his contortions as he spoke were frightful to behold. Yet he did gain a kind of influence over me, which I could not master, and I told him my tale. When it was ended, he laughed long and loud: the rocks echoed back the sound: hell seemed yelling around me. …
… His supernatural powers made him an oracle in my eyes; yet a strange unearthly thrill quivered through my frame as I said, “Speak!–teach me–what act do you advise?”’
This hideous dwarf (a cousin of Lucifer?) makes our poor Guido an offer he cannot refuse.
Read Transformation at Columbia.Edu
Listen to the short story at Librivox (scroll down to Number 10)
WOMEN IN HORROR MONTH, February 2014
Many of you know February is Women in Horror Month (WiHM). Each Tuesday I will be featuring all women authors from the 19th century and posting a recommendation of a contemporary author as well. Women are under-represented in this genre and the goal of WiHM is to encourage reading, recognition, and support of women horror authors. So I encourage you to read women authors this month, buy their short stories, their novels, and recognize the talents of so many women writers that have been overlooked and underrated.
To that aim, I’d like to recommend award-winning author Susan Hill. Hill is a British author of novels and short stories. The Woman in Black is a dark atmospheric novel, a winner of a ghost story, historical, and a cunning mystery. You might also like these ghost stories: Printer’s Devil Court (short story), The Small Hand, The Man in the Picture, Dolly, Hunger (short story), Man in the Mist.
Visit Susan Hill’s Web site in the UK.
Check out what Julienne Snow has to say about WiHM at Dark Media.
Other Reading Web Sites to Visit