General Bibliography/Links

This is a select bibliography of secondary criticism on gothic, supernatural and horror literature. Articles, books and book chapters are listed by author, specialist journals are listed as ‘[Various]’, while useful web links appear at the end of some sections. For author-specific works, see the page ‘Bibliography/Links (Author-specific)’ (in preparation).

This bibliography is a work in progress. Obviously, this is a vast field with hundreds of new publications appearing every year and no bibliography of the subject could hope to be completeley comprehensive. With this in mind, any suggestions of major works or useful websites that readers feel should be included would be greatly appreciated – please use the form on the ‘Contact’ page to send your suggestions.

American Gothic
The Ghost Story
18th Century Gothic/Supernatural Fiction (c.1750 to c.1830)
19th Century Gothic/Supernatural (c.1830 to c.1880)
20th century and Contemporary Gothic/Supernatural (1920 to the present)
Late-19th– and Early 20th-century Gothic/Supernatural (c.1880 to c.1920)
Primary Texts Online


Ascari, Maurizio, A Counter-History of Crime Fiction: Supernatural, Gothic, Sensational (Crime Files) (Palgrave, 2009) [an innovative new study examining the intersections between crime, horror and gothic narratives from medieval times to the present]

Botting, Fred, Gothic (New Critical Idiom),
2nd edition (London: Routledge, 2013) [classic account of the development of the Gothic genre from the 18th century to the present]

Groom, Nick, The Gothic: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2012) [a concise account of the development of the Gothic tradition]

Haggerty, George E., Queer Gothic (University of Illinois Press, 2006) [an in-depth discussion of the relationship between gothic and queer theory, arguing that same-sex desire is a pervasive underlying force/threat throughout the history of the Gothic genre]

Halberstam, Julian, Skin Shows: Gothic Horror and the Technology of Monsters (Duke University Press, 1995)

Hogle, Jerrold E. (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Gothic Fiction (Cambridge University Press, 2002) [collection of essays on numerous aspects of the Gothic genre in literature]

Hughes, William and Andrew Smith (eds.), Queering the Gothic (Manchester University Press, 2011) [essay collection on the intersections between queer theory and the Gothic]

Powell, Anna and Andrew Smith (eds.), Teaching the Gothic (Palgrave, 2006)

Punter, David, The Literature of Terror: A History of Gothic Fictions from 1765 to the Present, 2nd edition (London: Longman, 1996) [one of the standard texts on the history of the genre]

Punter, David (ed.), A New Companion to The Gothic (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012) [an expensive, but up-to-date version of this now standard work]

Punter, David and Glennis Byron, The Gothic (Blackwell Guides to Literature) (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2003) [a comprehensive introductory guide]

Massé, Michelle A. In the Name of Love: Women, Masochism, and the Gothic (Cornell University Press, 1992)

Sedgwick, Eve Kosovsky, The Coherence of Gothic Conventions (Arno Press, 1980)

Spooner, Catherine, Fashioning Gothic Bodies (Manchester University Press, 2004) [a highly original study of fashion and the Gothic]

Stevens, David, The Gothic Tradition (Cambridge Contexts in Literature) (Cambridge University Press, 2000) [a concise account of the Gothic influence in a range of media, including literature, film and music]

[Various], Gothic Literary Studies series (University of Wales Press, 2009- )

[Various], Gothic Studies journal (bi-annual, 1999-)

Wallace, Diana and Andrew Smith (eds.), The Female Gothic: New Directions (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009)

Williams, Anne, Art of Darkness: A Poetics of Gothic, 2nd edition (University of Chicago Press, 1995) [a successful and accessible attempt to theorise the Gothic as an impulse extending beyond the traditional location of the Gothic in late-eighteenth-century literature]

Web Links:

International Gothic Association

The Literary Gothic

Irish Journal of Gothic and Horror Studies [open-access journal]

The Gothic Imagination

American Gothic

Crow, Charles L., History of the Gothic: American Gothic (University of Wales Press, 2009)

Goddu, Teresa A., Gothic America: Narrative, History and Nation (Columbia University Press, 1997)

Lloyd-Smith, Allan, American Gothic Fiction: An Introduction (Contimuum Introductions to Literary Genres) (Continuum, 2004)

Martin, Robert K. and Eric Savoy (eds.), American Gothic: New Interventions in a National Narrative (University of Iowa Press, 2009)

The Ghost Story

Briggs, Julia, Night Visitors: The Rise and Fall of the English Ghost Story [a readable account of the history of the ghost story in Britain from the 1850s onwards]

Hay, Simon, A History of the Modern British Ghost Story (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011) [a contextual study of the ghost story from the Victorian period to the present, which argues for a reading of the ghost story alongside other major genres and literary modes, such as the novel and modernism]

Smith, Andrew, The Ghost Story 1840-1920: A Cultural History (Manchester University Press, 2010) [an intriguing study of the ghost story’s socio-political context during the period stated – the title is slightly misleading since, as the book’s introduction clarifies, this is more of a series of linked studies than a programmatic ‘history’ of the genre. This is still an excellent, insightful volume.]

Sullivan, Jack, Elegant Nightmares: The English Ghost Story from Le Fanu to Balckwood (Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 1981) [an excellent history of the ‘golden age’ of the British ghost story]

Thurston, Luke, Literary Ghosts from the Victorians to Modernism: The Haunting Interval (Routledge, 2012)

Wilson, Neil, Shadows in the Attic: A Guide to Supernatural Fiction, 1820-1950 (British Library, 2000) [a useful bibliography of British supernatural writing]

Web Links:

A Guide to Supernatural Fiction [although no longer maintained, this is a useful bibliography of primary supernatural texts]


Auerbach, Nina, Our Vampires, Ourselves (University of Chicago Press, 1997)

Collins, Margo, Before the Count: British Vampire Tales, 1732-1897 (Zittaw Press, 2007) [an account of the vampire in British literature and culture before the publication of Stoker’s influential novel, with a representative selection of tales and documents]

Frayling, Sir Christopher, Vampyres: Lord Byron to Count Dracula (Faber, 1992) [a representative collection of stories and source documents on the vampire in fiction, with an essential introductory essay]

Gelder, Ken, Reading the Vampire (Popular Fictions Series) (Routledge, 1994)

Gordon, Jean and Veronica Hollinger, Blood Read: The Vampire as Metaphor in Contemporary Culture (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1997)

Twitchell, James B., The Living Dead: A Study of the Vampire in Romantic Literature (Duke University Press, 1981)


Easley, Alexis and Shannon Scott, Terrifying Transformations: An Anthology of Victorian Werewolf Fiction, 1838-1896 (Valancourt Books, 2012) [a representative collection of fiction with a wealth of contextual material and an informative introduction]


Daly, Nicholas, Modernism, Romance and the Fin de Siècle (Cambridge University Press, 2000) [Chapter 3 is an extensive analysis of the role of the mummy in fin de siècle fiction]

Luckhurst, Roger, The Mummy’s Curse: The true history of a dark fantasy (Oxford University Press, 2012) [entertaining and informative account of the popular craze surrounding the ‘curse’ of Tutenkhamen’s tomb, following Howard Carter’s excavation of 1922-23]

18th Century Gothic/Supernatural Fiction (c.1750 to c.1830)

Butler, Marilyn, Rebels and Reactionaries: English Literature and its Background 1760-1830 (Oxford University Press, 1981) [a fascinating introduction to the literature of the period, chapter 7 provides useful context for the Gothic fiction of Anne Radcliffe, Matthew Lewis etc)]

Clery, E.J., The Rise of Supernatural Fiction 1762-1800 (Cambridge University Press, 1999) [seminal study of the development of the supernatural as an acceptable form of fictional entertainment, useful for students of all aspects of supernatural and gothic fiction, but with a particular focus on the eighteenth century]

Clery, E.J. and Robert Miles, Gothic Documents: A Sourcebook 1700-1820 (Manchester University Press, 2000) [an essential collection of contextual material]

Davison, Carol Margaret, History of the Gothic: Gothic Literature 1764-1824 (University of Wales Press, 2009)

Ellis, Kate Ferguson, The Contested Castle: Gothic Novels and the Subversion of Domestic Ideology (University of Illinois Press, 1989)

Franz Potter, The History of Gothic Publishing 1800-1835 (Palgrave, 2005)

Hoeveler, Diane Long, Gothic Feminism: The Professionalization of Gender from Charlotte Smith to the Brontës (Pennsylvania State University Press, 1998)

Kilgour, Maggie, The Rise of the Gothic Novel (Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 1995) [a comprehensive account of the birth of the Gothic novel in the late eighteenth century; contains chapters on William Godwin, Mary Shelley, Matthew Lewis and Anne Radcliffe]

Pearson, Jacqueline, Women’s Reading in Britain 1750-1835 (Cambridge University Press, 1999) [useful for contextualising the reception of Gothic fiction in the period]

Web Links: 

The Gothic – Materials for Study

19th Century Gothic/Supernatural (c.1830 to c.1880)

Basham, Diana, The Trial of Woman: Feminism and the Occult Sciences in Victorian Supernatural Literature and Society (New York University Press, 1992)

Bown, Nicola, Carolyn Burdett and Pamela Thurschwell (eds.), The Victorian Supernatural (CambridgeUniversity Press, 2009)

Dickerson, Vanessa D., Victorian Ghosts in the Noontide: Women Writers and the Supernatural (University of Missouri Press, 1996)

Killeen, Jarlath, History of the Gothic: Gothic Literature 1825-1914 (University of Wales Press, 2009)

Frye, Lowell T. “The Ghost Story and the Subjection of Women: The Example of Amelia Edwards, M. E. Braddon, and E. Nesbit”, Victorians Institute Journal 26 (1998), pp. 167-209

Heller, Tamar. “Recent Work on Victorian Gothic and Sensation Fiction”, Victorian Literature and Culture 24 (1996), pp. 349-366

Mighall, Robert, A Geography of Victorian Gothic Fiction: Mapping History’s Nightmares, new edition (Oxford University Press, 2003)

Milbank, Alison, Daughters of the House: Modes of the Gothic in Victorian Fiction (St. Martin’s Press, 1992)

O’Malley, Patrick R. Catholicism, Sexual Deviance, and Victorian Gothic Culture (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2006)

Robbins, Ruth, and Julian Wolfreys (eds.), Victorian Gothic: Literary and Cultural Manifestations in the Nineteenth Century (Palgrave, 2000)

Smith, Elton E. and Robert Haas (eds.), The Haunted Mind: The Supernatural in Victorian Literature (Scarecrow Press, 1999)

Tropp, Martin, Images of Fear: How Horror Stories Helped Shape Modern Culture, 1818-1918 (McFarland, 2000) [an underrated and very accessible study]

Wolfreys, Julian, Victorian Hauntings: Spectrality, Gothic, the Uncanny and Literature (Palgrave Macmillan, 2001) [densely-written application of Derrida’s theory of ‘spectrality’ to Victorian writing; a difficult, but highly-acclaimed book]

Late-19th– and Early 20th-century Gothic/Supernatural (c.1880 to c.1920)

Brantlinger, Patrick, Rule of Darkness: British Literature and Imperialism 1830-1914 (Cornell University Press, 1990) [a useful survey, chapter 8 is a discussion of the ‘imperial’ Gothic]

Daly, Nicholas, Modernism, Romance and the Fin de Siècle (Cambridge University Press, 2000)

Hurley, Kelly, The Gothic Body: Sexuality, Materialism, and Degeneration at the Fin de Siècle (Cambridge University Press, 1996) [major study of the monstrous body in late-Victorian Gothic fiction]

Luckhurst, Roger, (ed.) Late Victorian Gothic Tales (Oxford University Press, 2005) [a representative selection with a useful introduction]

Smith, Andrew, Victorian Demons: Medicine, Masculinity and the Gothic at the Fin de Siècle (Manchester University Press, 2004)

Web Links: 

Ghosts & Scholars [although focusing on M.R. James, the site is also a good starting point for information on James’s contemporaries and their supernatural creations]

20th century and Contemporary Gothic/Supernatural (1920 to the present)

Armitt, Lucie, History of the Gothic: Twentieth Century Gothic (University of Wales Press, 2009)

Palmer, Pauline, The Queer Uncanny (Gothic Literary Studies) (The University of Wales Press, 2012) [examines the use of the uncanny in contemporary gay and lesbian fiction]

Spooner, Catherine, Contemporary Gothic (Reaktion Books, 2006)

Primary Texts Online


Project Gutenberg

Ebooks at Adelaide

Bran’s Island

6 thoughts on “General Bibliography/Links

  1. Pingback: New Page Added | Mystery and Imagination

  2. Alex

    I’ll recommend an author here, too. H R Wakefield wrote somewhat in the tradition of M R James, but is almost forgotten; of course, he suffers the disadvantage of being in copyright in most of the world. His ghost stories are worth reading if you can find a copy.

    1. stylesofdying Post author

      Wakefield’s tales are among Ash-Tree Press’s marvellous range of Kindle e-books of classic ghost stories. I’ve been planning to get my hands on them for a while – they do look excellent.

  3. Al_de_Baran

    I am sorry to see that this bibliography tends heavily toward identity politics and ideology-based materials. Those who seek better balanced and less biased studies of the Gothic should simply do a search engine search for “Gothic literature bibliography”, as there are many excellent online resources avalaible.

    1. burnyourbones

      Ah, the old “see what random stuff google throws up” method, I see you’ve played searchy enginey before.


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