Tag Archives: Women in horror month

Beyond Victorian Vampirism

Good Lady Ducayne   by Mary Elizabeth Braddon (1896)

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror    February 9, 2015    Classic Tales from Women In Horror 

imgres

This is the second week of celebrating Women in Horror Month. Are you ready to explore the short stories of Mary Elizabeth Braddon?

 

They were dreamers—and they dreamt themselves into the cemetery.

Young and healthy Bella Rolleston takes a job as a companion with Old Lady Ducayne. Bella quickly learns that Ducayne’s previous two companions became ill and died while caring for her. Mosquito bites? Or something more sinister? When Bella begins to show the same symptoms, dreams of whirring of wheels, sinking into an abyss, and struggling to regain consciousness, she is too innocent to see the truth of her employer and the local physician Dr. Parravicini.

6a00d8341c464853ef01901c067109970b

What is curious in this story is how the author Mary Elizabeth Braddon uses science and medicine instead of the supernatural to build a chilling story of suspense. Aging and vanity vs. youth and beauty are the hallmarks of this story not to mention poverty vs. money. The subtext runs a lovely quiet horror tone that is smoothly written by a master writer.

300px-Mary_Elizabeth_Maxwell_(née_Braddon)_by_William_Powell_Frith

Mary-Elizabeth-Braddon-horse-228x300Mary Elizabeth Braddon, born in London in 1835, wrote some ninety books, short stories, essays, and plays and was revered for her ‘sensation novels.’ She was rated alongside Wilkie Collins and admired by Charles Dickens and Henry James. Lady Audley’s Secret was her most popular novel. She introduced one of the first female detectives Eleanor Vane in Eleanor’s Victory (1863) and then again in 1864 created sleuth Margaret Wilmot in Henry Dunbar. At Chrighton Abbey, Dead Love Has Chains, and The Doctor’s Wife are worthy of rediscovery.

 

 

theatre-208x300

 

You can read Good Lady Ducayne online at Gutenberg.net.au. Scroll down to the title.

Listen to audio versions of Braddon’s short stories (Sorry, Lady Ducayne is not among them but other short stories here are quite good) at Librivox.org Library.

 

I can highly recommend Braddon’s At Chrighton Abbey. This is Downton Abbey with a ghost. Sarah Chrighton returns to her homestead Chrighton Abbey, to the wintery “fairy forests and snow wreathed trees.” The abbey  is a stately grey stone, ivy- and moss-covered estate. Carriage rides, drawing room firesides,  hunts and hounds, a servant’s ball, and of course the Butler Truefold and Housekeeper  Mrs. Marjurum make this short story a snuggle-up read. Not to mention the family curse coupled with shadowy presences that only Sarah can see. I found this story to be one of Braddon’s most gracefully written ghost stories ever. Read it here at Gutenberg.net.au.

 

 

promoted-media_54cd8750654fa

 

http://www.womeninhorrormonth.com/

 Facebook:   https://www.facebook.com/WomenInHorrorMonth

 

Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Bibliophilica       Lovecraft Ezine     HorrorAddicts.net  

Horror Novel Reviews    Hell Horror    HorrorPalace

HorrorSociety.com       Sirens Call Publications

 Monster Librarian  Tales to Terrify       Spooky Reads

HorrorNews.net     HorrorTalk.com

 Rob Around Books    The Story Reading Ape Blog

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed

Don’t forget to view the INDEX above of more free Tales of Terror classic authors.

1 Comment

Filed under Christmas ghost stories, fiction, ghost stories, horror, horror blogs, literary horror, literature, quiet horror, short stories, soft horror, supernatural, tales of terror, vampires, Women In Horror, Women in Horror Month

The Feet of the Dead

Bewitched  by Edith Wharton (1926)

 Tuesday’s Tale of Terror, February 3, 2015   Classic Tales from Women In Horror

 

It’s February, Women in Horror Month. This is the time to recognize your favorite women horror writers, buy their books, read their stories, comment, and give your support. As a horror reader and author myself, especially ghost stories, I so enjoy sharing my favorite women authors in our history with you this month.

 

6165890_1071303709Today we are recognizing Edith Wharton. She wrote 38 novels, some 50 short stories, and wrote her first novel at age 11. Did you know that Wharton could not sleep in a room with a book containing a ghost story? She was that haunted. I think we can say that a good deal of her ghost stories evolved from a true and immediate sense of the supernatural. She is one of our most prestigious Women of Horror.

 

Bewitched is a story that has everything for a winter’s bleak reading experience. We are on the dark side of New England. A stinging wind with snow is falling thickly upon the old and isolated Rutledge house in Starkfield, an abandoned stretch of land between North Ashmore and Cold Corners.

Prudence Rutledge is dressed in black calico and a grey woolen shawl. She tells her three visitors at the door …

“There’s a spell been cast over Mr. Rutledge.”

The Deacon looked up sharply, an incredulous smile pinching his thin lips. “A spell?”

“That’s what I said: he’s bewitched.”

Mrs. Rutledge is accusing her husband Saul of adultery with the dead woman Ora Brand.

This is more than just any old haunting. We’ve got adultery and necrophilia and insanity going on. And more.

images-1

 

This Pulitzer-prize winning (The Age of Innocence) author is known for her patterns of imagery and psychological insights. What is so amazing about Wharton’s writing is that you can read her stories again and again and still find them deliciously haunting. You can read more about her ghostly history at The Mount, her home in Lennox, Massachusetts, where ghosts are said to still haunt her property: http://www.edithwharton.org/programs-and-events/ghosts/

 

 

index

 

Read Bewitched at Ebook.Adelaide.edu

 

wharton

 

I couldn’t find an audio version of Bewitched but did find Tales of Men and Ghosts, which includes several of Wharton’s ghost stories. I can personally recommend “The Eyes” and “Afterward.”

Listen to the audio version of Bewitched at Librivox.org

 

 

 

 

promoted-media_54cd8750654fa

For more about Women in Horror Month, visit their web site

http://www.womeninhorrormonth.com/

 

 Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WomenInHorrorMonth

TalesOfTerrorWomanHorror

 

 

Stop by the Horror Society this month to see their tribute to Women In Horror

 

Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Bibliophilica       Lovecraft Ezine     HorrorAddicts.net  

Horror Novel Reviews    Hell Horror    HorrorPalace

HorrorSociety.com       Sirens Call Publications

 Monster Librarian  Tales to Terrify       Spooky Reads

HorrorNews.net     HorrorTalk.com

 Rob Around Books    The Story Reading Ape Blog

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed

Don’t forget to view the INDEX above of more free Tales of Terror classic authors.

7 Comments

Filed under classic horror stories, fiction, ghost stories, horror, horror blogs, psychological horror, short stories, supernatural, tales of terror

Where is Death?

Death and the Woman   by Gertrude Atherton  (1892)

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror, February 25, 2014    Women In Horror Month

220px-MortDeath as persona is a classic technique in horror stories. Today, I thought I’d try something different: instead of creating an introduction of the story, I’d string a few lines from the text to tempt you to read this author, Gertrude Atherton. She wrote some 40 novels and five volumes of short stories as well as nonfiction. Her fiction was quite modern for the American woman seeking emancipation at the turn of the century. A woman writing about women, their inner conflicts and struggles in society, politics, and sexuality, and in this story, Death and the Woman, a wife facing the terror of her husband’s death.

220px-Gertrude_Atherton_-_Project_Gutenberg_eText_14256

If you’ve ever stood at the bedside of a dying relative or friend, this story will certainly punctuate that experience of awe and fear. If you’ve never witnessed death enter, well, this story will give you a foreboding peek into the final moments of life.

Where was Death?

She had heard of the power of the corpse to drive brave men to frenzy, and had wondered …

She knew that it was Death who was coming to her through the silent deserted house; knew that it was the sensitive ear of her intelligence that heard him, not the dull, coarse-grained ear of the body.

The dying man took no notice of her, and she opened his gown and put her cheek to his heart, calling him again.

grim_reaper_1

Read Death and the Woman at American Literature.    https://americanliterature.com/author/gertrude-atherton/short-story/death-and-the-woman

Listen (by candlelight as flickering shadows will add a thrilling atmosphere to the fine prose) to the audio at Librivox 

Read more short stories by Gertrude Atherton at  American Literature  https://americanliterature.com/author/gertrude-atherton 

1796515_10152579730360558_1087184371_nWomen In Horror Month (WiHM). One of the most prolific authors in gothic and dark literature in our modern day is without question Joyce Carol Oates. Who doesn’t know this author’s reputation for her visceral and surreal twisted stories and psychological horrors. Many know her work in this genre from Haunted: Tales of the Grotesque. You won’t find a ghost haunting a house so much as you’ll find the inner hauntings of the self and these are often times more horrific than any mere ghost.

Oates says in Reflections on the Grotesque … “…This is the forbidden truth, the unspeakable taboo—that evil is not always repellent but frequently attractive; that it has the power to make of us not simply victims, as nature and accident do, but active accomplices.”

Where Are You going, Where Have You Been? (1996) is about a teenage girl and a sinister stalker. This is not a typical horror story, but a powerful and chilling tale with high tension writing. Do read it slowly and thoughtfully to get full potency. If you’ve ever felt yourself alone and vulnerable, this tale will get into your head and under your skin. Some find the ending powerful; others find it too subtle. You decide.

Read Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? at University of San Francisco

oates.2

Joyce Carol Oates

http://www.usfca.edu/jco/

Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

WiHM Contemporary Horror Short Stories at Sirens Call Publications

Horror Novel Reviews   Hell Horror    HorrorPalace

HorrorSociety.com

 Monster Librarian  Tales to Terrify       Spooky Reads

 Lovecraft Ezine      Rob Around Books    The Story Reading Ape Blog

     The Gothic Wanderer

Fussy Librarian

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed

 

10 Comments

Filed under fiction, haunted mind, Hauntings, horror, literary horror, short stories, tales of terror, Women In Horror

Women in Horror Month, 2014 (WiHM)

Would you like to participate in celebrating women authors in the horror genre?

1796515_10152579730360558_1087184371_nThere is quite a lot of information that women are under-represented in this genre and have been for a long time.  Julie Crisp at TOR-UK has reported (Sexism in Genre Publishing)  that of the 503 submissions for last year only 17% were manuscripts from women authors.  So, it’s clear that women writers have got to get their boots on the ground and start flooding the markets with submissions if we are going to increase our presence.  And in a recent review by Cinriter this year, the percent of women authors published in small presses is at 9% (Women in the Horror Small Press).

So, having a month devoted to recognizing women authors in horror is really important for our visibility. We are encouraging readers to spend some time this month reading, purchasing, supporting women authors wherever you can. And let’s start here, today, at Reading Fiction, Tales of Terror.

I have a guest blog at HorrorSociety.com Dead Authors Can Still Thrill Readers. If you are following this blog and like to read classic horror stories, you’ll find my blog post at Horror Society to be very helpful in discovering lots of classic women writers in horror. And, this month all my posts here will be women authors.

There are plenty of sites celebrating women horror writers in February, so please stop by these sites, enjoy, make comments, and if you are of the mind, explore a new author.  We make our living selling our stories and novels and hope that this month of all months, readers will recognize and appreciate our creativity with comments, reviews, support, and book and short story purchases.

This is the official Women in Horror Month site:  http://womeninhorrormonth.com/

Some interesting sites featuring WiHM:

HellNotes.com

DarkGeisha.com

Thank you to everyone who is following my blog here and those who have bookmarked it and stop in regularly. And special thanks to those who have read my short stories and made comments and emails, and to those who have purchased my novels The Dazzling Darkness and  Night Sea Journey, A Tale of the Supernatural (soon to be released in soft cover by Crispin Books). Every single sale is ever so meaningful!

Happy Reading …

Paula

10 Comments

Filed under fiction, horror, horror blogs, Night Sea Journey, Reading Fiction, supernatural, tales of terror, The Dazzling Darkness, Women In Horror, Women in Horror Month