The Joss: A Reversion (1901)

Richard-Marsh-Portrait

Best known for The Beetle (1897), Richard Marsh was a hugely prolific fin de siècle writer whose output includes several highly entertaining works characteristic of the late-Victorian mode of the Gothic. This novel, first published in 1901, begins with a haunted house and ends with a truly bizarre story of an Englishman’s transformation or, as the subtitle has it, his ‘reversion’. The nature of this horror is revealed gradually through multiple narrators, initially focussing on Mary Blyth, whose unfair dismissal from her job as a draper’s assistant turns out to be one of the least terrible events in what transpires to be the most horrific week of her life!

The novel deals in typical fashion with characteristic late-Victorian fears about racial degeneration and contamination by a foreign other. The setting too is highly characteristic, depicting London as a labyrinthine metropolis at the heart of Empire, in which mystery lurks behind the façade of every building and down every dark alley – the London of Bram Stoker, Arthur Machen, Conan Doyle and Stevenson – and is a must-read for any fans of the period’s Gothic tales.

The Joss: A Reversion [Kindle]

The Joss: A Reversion [Epub]

The Joss: A Reversion [PDF]

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2 thoughts on “The Joss: A Reversion (1901)

  1. cmikoljCarol M

    Many thanks for uploading this book – I have been meaning to obtain a copy for some while, having read ‘The Beetle’, which is an extraordinary book told in a similar style from different viewpoints. Marsh also issued some collections of short stories which are worth a look, notably ‘Curios’, lighthearted stories about the doings of rival collectors, and ‘The Complete Adventures of Judith Lee’, about a young woman who solves mysteries and crimes using her skill at lip reading.

    Reply

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