These five stories represent the complete supernatural writing of D.H. Lawrence, the celebrated English modernist. All of the stories appear in The Woman Who Rode Away and other stories (1928) – the final collection of Lawrence’s short fiction to appear in his lifetime – and were written in the three or four years leading up to the publication of that volume. ‘Glad Ghosts’ received its first book publication in the short story collection of the same name, which appeared in 1926 – it had originally been written for Lady Cynthia Asquith’s Ghost Book. Asquith rejected it on account of its strange symbolism and difficult narrative style. ‘The Lovely Lady’ is a satiric vampire story. Each of the stories betray the bitter sarcasm characteristic of Lawrence’s work, and make for challenging and unsettling reading.
Stoker’s posthumous collection of uncollected tales includes a ‘deleted scene’ from his best known novel Dracula (1897), in which Jonathan Harker has a close encounter with a werewolf. The collection also contains ‘The Judge’s House’, a highly regarded haunted house mystery heavily influenced by the work of Stoker’s fellow Irishman Sheridan Le Fanu. The collection’s Wikipedia page contains details of the stories’ original periodical publication, where known.
Dracula’s Guest and Other Weird Stories, edited by Kate Hebblethwaite (Penguin, 2006)
Lisa Hopkins, Bram Stoker: A Literary Life (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007)
Critical studies (selected):
Carol A. Senf, Bram Stoker (Gothic Texts: Critical Revisions (University of Wales Press, 2010)
Bram Stoker’s Notes for Dracula: A Facsimile Edition, edited by Robert Eighteen-Bisang and Elizabeth Miller (McFarland, 2008)
David Glover, Vampires, Mummies and Liberals: Bram Stoker and the Politics of Popular Fiction (Duke University Press, 1996)
Here are two vampire stories from the early nineteenth century. Fans of horror fiction will not need to be told about the famous ghost story contest between the giants of Romantic literature that gave rise to Polidori’s tale (just in case they do, however, Polidori’s own ‘Introduction’ provides this!)
Polidori was secretary to Lord Byron, whose unfinished ‘fragment’ of a vampire story is said to have been the inspiration for Polidori’s more famous attempt. Both tales were first published in 1819.
‘Margery of Quether’ is Sabine Baring-Gould’s unusual vampire story. Published in 1891 in a collection also containing four non-supernatural tales, it tells the story of a very uncommon romance that blossoms between a young Dartmoor squire and a seventeenth-century witch who has been cursed with eternal life – but not eternal youth.
A Book of Ghosts is also included in this ebook. Published in 1904, it collects almost all of the many ghost stories composed by Baring-Gould in the second half of the nineteenth century for the periodical press. These tales were produced as part of an immensely prolific career, encompassing not just fiction, but topography, hagiography, antiquarian research and several well-known hymns (among them ‘Onward Christian Soldiers’).
Margery of Quether and Other Weird Tales, edited by Richard Dalby (Sarob Press, 1999) [as well as ‘Margery of Quether’, the collection also includes several very rare uncollected weird tales by Baring-Gould]
A Book of Ghosts, edited by Richard Dalby (Ash-Tree Press, 1996) [contains a comprehensive introduction, all the stories in the 1904 edition, plus an uncollected tale, ‘The Old Woman of Wesel’]
More information on Baring-Gould and his work can be found at the website of the Sabine Baring-Gould Appreciation Society. Details on his non-fiction Book of Werewolves (1865) can be found in an earlier post on this blog, together with a link to a downloadable version of the full text. I hope to produce a future ebook for this blog containing Baring-Gould’s uncollected ghost stories. In the meantime, two of these can be accessed on Wikisource:
The illustrations in this post are from the first edition of A Book of Ghosts and are by D. Murray Smith. For details of which particular stories and scenes they illustrate, see the HTML text, available at Project Gutenberg.