Horror Stories: Classic Tales from Hoffmann to Hodgson

ISBN : 9780199685448

Darryl Jones
560 Pages
129 x 196 mm
Pub date
Oct 2018
Oxford World's Classics
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  • A unique and wide-ranging anthology of horror fiction from the Victorian and Edwardian periods, that embraces the diversity of the genre to showcase its terrifying achievements.
  • Includes all horror types—from supernatural tales and ghost stories, to scientific, psychological, and colonial horror—and writers from the British, Irish, European, and American traditions.
  • A lively and accessible Introduction discusses horror's appeal and often controversial nature, its particular attraction to nineteenth-century writers and readers as a way of articulating cultural preoccupations and anxieties, and the importance of the periodical market to the history of the genre.
  • Includes comprehensive notes with brief accounts of the writers' lives and careers, full chronology, and select bibliography.

The modern horror story grew and developed across the nineteenth century, embracing categories as diverse as ghost stories, the supernatural and psychological horror, medical and scientific horror, colonial horror, and tales of the uncanny and precognition. This anthology brings together twenty-nine of the greatest horror stories of the period, from 1816 to 1912, from the British, Irish, American, and European traditions. It ranges widely across the sub-genres to encompass authors whose terror-inducing powers remain unsurpassed. 

The book includes stories by some of the best writers of the century — Hoffmann, Poe, Balzac, Dickens, Hawthorne, Melville, and Zola — as well as established genre classics from M. R. James, Arthur Machen, Bram Stoker, Algernon Blackwood, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and others. It includes rare and little-known pieces by writers such as William Maginn, Francis Marion Crawford, W. F. Harvey, and William Hope Hodgson, and shows the important role played by periodicals in popularizing the horror story. Wherever possible, stories are reprinted in their first published form, with background information about their authors and helpful, contextualizing annotation. Darryl Jones's lively introduction discusses horror's literary evolution and its articulation of cultural preoccupations and anxieties. These are stories guaranteed to freeze the blood, revolt the senses, and keep you awake at night: prepare to be terrified!


Note on the Text
Select Bibliography
E.T.A. HOFFMANN, The Sandman
WILLIAM MAGINN, The Man in the Bell
JAMES HOGG, George Dobson's Expedition to Hell
HONORÉ DE BALZAC, La Grande Bretêche
SHERIDAN LE FANU, Strange Event in the Life of Schalken the Painter
HERMAN MELVILLE, The Tartarus of Maids
CHARLES DICKENS, No. 1 Branch Line: The Signal-Man
ÉMILE ZOLA, The Death of Olivier Bécaille
RONALD ROSS, The Vivisector Vivisected
RUDYARD KIPLING, The Mark of the Beast
ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE, The Case of Lady Sannox
ROBERT W. CHAMBERS, The Repairer of Reputations
ARTHUR MACHEN, Novel of the White Powder
RICHARD MARSH, The Adventure of Lady Wishaw's Hand
W. W. JACOBS, The Monkey's Paw
M. R. JAMES, Count Magnus
FRANCIS MARION CRAWFORD, For the Blood is the Life
W. F. HARVEY, August Heat
E. F. BENSON, The Room in the Tower
Explanatory Notes

About the author: 

Edited by Darryl Jones, Professor, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, Trinity College Dublin
Darryl Jones has taught at Trinity College Dublin since 1994. Prior to this he taught in the University of Lodz, Poland. He has held Visiting Professorships at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, Babes Bolyai University, Cluj, Transylvania, and Tongji University, Shanghai. He is the author or editor of twelve books, including Horror: A Thematic History in Fiction and Film (Arnold/OUP 2002), It Came From the 1950s!: Popular Culture, Popular Anxieties(with Elizabeth McCarthy and Bernice M. Murphy, Palgrave Macmillan 2011), and for Oxford World's Classics, M. R. James, Collected Ghost Stories (OUP, 2011, 2013), Arthur Conan Doyle's Gothic Tales (2016), and H. G. Wells, The War of the Worlds (2017) and The Island of Doctor Moreau (2017).

"Horror Stories is no common schlock-fest. Darryl Jones has skilfully gathered the most beautifully written, unsettling stories in the English language." - Vulpes Libris, Moira Briggs

"a beautiful collection of nineteenth-century horror with enough set pieces to educate the novice and enough curiosities to delight the connoisseur." - Kirsty Jane McCluskey, Books of the year 2014, Tablet

"It is a beautifully finished book that you just want to take care of ... The content is as good as the production." - Lizzi Thomasson, These Little Words

"[A] superb collection of short fiction" - John Connolly, Irish Times

"As well as the general introduction, which provides a useful history of horror from its Gothic origins through a long nineteeth century, each story in the collection is accompanied by a set of notes explaining when and where it was published as well as providing the usual glosses for unfamiliar terms. This contextual emphasis on the nineteeth century periodicals where the readers would first have encounted the work of a writer such as Dickens is particularly illuminating for those interested in horror stories as a meeting of form and content ... Darryl Jone's anthology is a highly accessible guide to the major developments in horror writing during the nineteeth century, and an intriguing reminder that every aspect of Western societies' push for advancement during this period, from industrialization to colonial expansion, produced its own nightmares in the collective unconscious." - Sophie Devlin, The Times Literary Supplement

"As well as the general introduction, which provides a useful history of horror from its Gothic origins through a long nineteenth century, each story in this collection is accompanied by a set of notes explaining when and where it was published as well as providing the usual glosses for unfamiliar terms. Darryl Jones's anthology is a highly accessible guide to the major developments in horror writing during the nineteenth century." - Sophie Devlin, Times Literary Supplement

"Editing an anthology of this sort is a delicate balancing act ... Horror Stories does a good job here, and offers a bracing mixture of the classic but familiar and fresher material. This broad-ranging and well-researched anthology of horror is full of gruesome things: haunting, possession, revenge, witchcraft, vampires, crime even disease and madness." - Nicholas Daly, Guardian

"This compendium of ghoulish stories from 1816-1912 has a bit of everything. All are fab for reading aloud." - Lizzy Dening, Grazia

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