Elizabeth Gaskell's chilling Gothic tales blend the real and the supernatural to eerie, compelling effect. "Disappearances", inspired by local legends of mysterious vanishings, mixes gossip and fact; "Lois the Witch", a novella based on an account of the Salem witch hunts, shows how sexual desire and jealousy lead to hysteria; while in "The Old Nurse's Story" a mysterious child roams the freezing Northumberland moors. Whether darkly surreal, such as "The Poor Clare", where an evil doppelganger is formed by a woman's bitter curse, or mischievous like "Curious, if True", a playful reworking of fairy tales, all the stories in this volume form a stark contrast to the social realism of Gaskell's novels, revealing a darker and more unsettling style of writing.
- Electronic book text
- 01 Sep 2003
- Penguin Books Ltd (Digital)
- United Kingdom
About Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell
Elizabeth Gaskell was born in London in 1810 but spent most of her life in Cheshire, Stratford-upon-Avon. She married the Reverend William Gaskell and had four daughters by him. She worked among the poor, travelled frequently and wrote for Dickens' magazine Household Words. Mrs Gaskell was friends with Charlotte Bronte, and consquently went on to write her biography. Patricia Ingham is a fellow of St Anne's College, Oxford, and has written widely on the Victorian novel.