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Old 08-14-2013, 09:41 PM   #1
Critteranne
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Old Gothic Novels

I finally decided to start reading Matthew Gregory Lewis' notorious Gothic, The Monk. I even sprang for an Oxford edition to get the introduction and other stuff.

Then I started to see what else was out there in eBook editions. I knew there were eBook editions of the famous Gothic titles -- The Castle of Otranto, the Ann Radcliffe books, etc. But I didn't realize there were eBook editions of quite a few of the less well known titles. There are a couple of companies that specialize in these books. Some of the books are so rare there only only a couple of known copies in existence. Some of them can be pricey, but they include really nice introductions, and it's the only way to read these titles other than microfiche.

So has anyone else read these books? Suddenly there are so many to choose from. Which ones do you recommend? Also, do you know of any other publisher reprinting the ultra-rare Gothics?

One of the publishers is Valancourt Books. Here are at least some of their Gothics on Amazon. I don't think they have them on B&N.

Another is Zittaw Press, although they only have a few titles in Kindle editions.
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Old 08-15-2013, 03:53 AM   #2
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Thank you for the link! I also love the occasional Gothic book, especially this time of year. I always get them from Project Gutenberg or from the MR library but those in your link aren't easily available so I might just of to buy some of them.
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Old 08-15-2013, 05:09 AM   #3
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I found the following Goodreads list of the best Gothic novels. Many of them are available right here at MR though not all of course.

Best Gothic Novels

Wikipedia also has quite a list of Gothic Literature.

List of Gothic Fiction Works

Last edited by crich70; 08-15-2013 at 05:11 AM.
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Old 08-15-2013, 06:16 PM   #4
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Check our site for many of these - they're free.

I'm a huge fan of Wilkie Collins, who wrote many gothic mysteries.

Most of tihe books you mention I have read, when I was working on my Ph.D in English Literature.

"The Monk" is an especially labyrinthine tale, and a wonderful read. [Correction: I was thinking of "Melmoth The Wanderer," by Charles Maturin - a wonderful gothic novel, full of twists and tales-within-tales.]




Don

Last edited by Dr. Drib; 08-15-2013 at 06:52 PM.
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Old 08-15-2013, 11:22 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by crich70 View Post
I found the following Goodreads list of the best Gothic novels. Many of them are available right here at MR though not all of course.

Best Gothic Novels

Wikipedia also has quite a list of Gothic Literature.

List of Gothic Fiction Works
I like those lists, particularly because they have both newer and older books on them. There sure are some tempting titles on them, especially newer titles I might not have thought about getting yet. Uh-oh, here we go again...

But they often don't have the really really old and obscure stuff. Probably because most people don't know they exist. Even people who study Gothic literature can't always find a copy of them. The Valancourt website mentions driving 40 hours just to read old books on microfiche. Now that's devotion. I feel silly driving 45 minutes to get to a used bookstore I like, or a special sale at a bookstore. And I shouldn't feel silly.
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Old 08-16-2013, 12:16 AM   #6
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I remember trying to get hold of a copy of a very old book that I'd read about in another book titled "The 19th century Internet." it referenced a book about a couple who courts over the telegraph system. Never have found a copy myself.
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Old 08-17-2013, 07:28 AM   #7
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I remember trying to get hold of a copy of a very old book that I'd read about in another book titled "The 19th century Internet." it referenced a book about a couple who courts over the telegraph system. Never have found a copy myself.
Wow, that could sorta be considered the first novel about on-line dating.
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Old 08-17-2013, 07:40 AM   #8
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Check our site for many of these - they're free.
That's true. It's a treasure trove. But I often end up wanting some title that turns out to be too rare, too niche, or too unknown for people to scan. Such as the memoirs of Hector Berlioz in English. (I've found them on-line in French.) Or of course, Gothic novels by "Anonymous" that used to be available primarily on microfiche.

I also doin't mind buying if I get a really nice introduction that puts everything into context, tells us what we know about the author (if anything), tells us what some words meant back in the day, etc. As long as I don't wind up paying for what turns out to be less well formatted than the MobileReads copies, which is often the case.
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Old 08-19-2013, 02:34 PM   #9
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Wow, that could sorta be considered the first novel about on-line dating.
Yep. And just the other day now I finally found it. Wired Love is the title. There was a copy uploaded in prc format (a form of mobi) but not epub so I remade a copy I found at Gutenberg and uploaded a fresh copy in both formats.
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Old 08-20-2013, 11:16 AM   #10
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I also doin't mind buying if I get a really nice introduction that puts everything into context, tells us what we know about the author (if anything), tells us what some words meant back in the day, etc.
It's an interesting point about the changing meaning of words. A case in point occurred to me recently. I was reading Jane Austen's "Mansfield Park", and came across this passage:

Quote:
Having visited many more rooms than could be supposed to be of any other use than to contribute to the window-tax, and find employment for housemaids, "Now," said Mrs. Rushworth, "we are coming to the chapel, which properly we ought to enter from above, and look down upon; but as we are quite among friends, I will take you in this way, if you will excuse me."

They entered. Fanny's imagination had prepared her for something grander than a mere spacious, oblong room, fitted up for the purpose of devotion: with nothing more striking or more solemn than the profusion of mahogany, and the crimson velvet cushions appearing over the ledge of the family gallery above. "I am disappointed," said she, in a low voice, to Edmund. "This is not my idea of a chapel. There is nothing awful here, nothing melancholy, nothing grand. Here are no aisles, no arches, no inscriptions, no banners. No banners, cousin, to be 'blown by the night wind of heaven.' No signs that a 'Scottish monarch sleeps below.'"
The interesting part of this is the phrase "there is nothing awful here". How many modern readers would understand this in the sense that Austen uses it, of "inspiring awe", I wonder?
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Old 08-20-2013, 02:23 PM   #11
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The interesting part of this is the phrase "there is nothing awful here". How many modern readers would understand this in the sense that Austen uses it, of "inspiring awe", I wonder?
yeah, I came into the old meaning of awful quite a lot in old books. may be a bit surprising, but the meaning is certainly in there.

it's quite different from pathetic, though...
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Old 08-20-2013, 05:41 PM   #12
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Check our site for many of these - they're free.

I'm a huge fan of Wilkie Collins, who wrote many gothic mysteries.

Most of tihe books you mention I have read, when I was working on my Ph.D in English Literature.

"The Monk" is an especially labyrinthine tale, and a wonderful read. [Correction: I was thinking of "Melmoth The Wanderer," by Charles Maturin - a wonderful gothic novel, full of twists and tales-within-tales.]

Don
Did you have any difficulty keeping track of what was going on when you read it? I have this in paperback but I haven't gotten around to reading it * --partly because it seems a little intimidating when you pick up a random page and find the tale of a completely different character.

* My TBR pile is large both physically and virtually.
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Old 08-20-2013, 08:36 PM   #13
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Did you have any difficulty keeping track of what was going on when you read it? I have this in paperback but I haven't gotten around to reading it * --partly because it seems a little intimidating when you pick up a random page and find the tale of a completely different character.

* My TBR pile is large both physically and virtually.


I'm one of these strange individuals who reads more than one book at once. However, when I read this it was part of what I was required to read for a Gothic class toward a Ph.D.

I was always aware of this book, but had never gotten around to reading it. I remember being absolutely entranced by it when I started it. It has stories-within-stories (as mentioned), but I love this type of story-telling, so I fell right into it.

I was reading other things, too, since at that time since I was required to take three doctoral level classes and teach two classes on composition.

I'm getting ready to tackle my re-reading of Proust (in order, this time), and am trying to get all my current reading down to zero, except for a zombie novel (something light and stupid) when I tire of reading Proust's delicious sentences [in translation].




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Old 08-23-2013, 11:05 AM   #14
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I'm one of these strange individuals who reads more than one book at once. However, when I read this it was part of what I was required to read for a Gothic class toward a Ph.D.

I was always aware of this book, but had never gotten around to reading it. I remember being absolutely entranced by it when I started it. It has stories-within-stories (as mentioned), but I love this type of story-telling, so I fell right into it.

I was reading other things, too, since at that time since I was required to take three doctoral level classes and teach two classes on composition.

I'm getting ready to tackle my re-reading of Proust (in order, this time), and am trying to get all my current reading down to zero, except for a zombie novel (something light and stupid) when I tire of reading Proust's delicious sentences [in translation].

Don
I also read several things at once but I've found that I personally don't fully enjoy reading multiple novels at the same time. For me, their effect seems diluted when I do that.

I've read other works with tales within tales (Don Quixote comes to mind) and enjoyed those. I may well read Melmoth after finishing Musashi. Thanks for the recommendation.
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Old 08-24-2013, 09:40 AM   #15
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I also read several things at once but I've found that I personally don't fully enjoy reading multiple novels at the same time. For me, their effect seems diluted when I do that.

I've read other works with tales within tales (Don Quixote comes to mind) and enjoyed those. I may well read Melmoth after finishing Musashi. Thanks for the recommendation.

I'm actively trying to stop myself of that habit because, like you, I feel it dilutes the overall effect and the full enjoyment of reading only one book at one time.

I just read "The Passage," by Justin Cronin and was fully immersed in the story. I attribute that to concentrating only on that book, in addition to the wonderful writing by Cronin.



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