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Dead Authors Can Still Thrill Readers

WOMEN IN HORROR MONTH, February 2014When we think of women authors in horror, Mary Shelley immediately comes to mind. If we want to look ahead to our destiny readers in this category, it can be enlightening to look back. During this month dedicated to Women in Horror, I’d like to honor the forgotten classic authors who remain in their graves but live on in our reading life. The past may be ashes but ghosts remain. I am haunted every day by dead authors. And I love it.

Charlotte Perkins Gilman is famous for her best-selling short story The Yellow Wallpaper in 1892. Such a benign title for a story about a woman’s struggle with sanity versus madness that becomes a terrifying blur into the supernatural. It’s a story streaming with imagination, symbolism, and psychological tension to say nothing of feminism and repression. What a delicate adventure and a courageous one for a 19th-century woman writer.

As writers we all seek courage to become imaginative craftsmen employing the tools of language. In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, she wrote more than a frightening story with compelling characters. Shelley, like Charlotte Perkins Gilman, illustrated a philosophy of horror about being human. And so have many of their literary sisters and daughters written novels and short stories with these same goals.
If the past is present in our future, as some say, then we might visit the Dead Authors Society of Women in Horror. Let the ghosts of these writers prevail on a dark and lonely evening by candlelight. Be haunted!

Dead Authors Society of Women in Horror:

Amelia B. Edwards, The Phantom Coach and Other Short Stories
Angela Carter  The Bloody Chamber: And Other Stories
Ann Radcliffe  The Mysteries of Udolpho (Oxford World Classics)
Charlotte & Emily Bronte  Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights (Gothic)
Charlotte Perkins Gilman  The Yellow Wallpaper and Other Short Stories
Charlotte Riddell  Weird Stories (Irish Horror)
Clara Reeve  The Old English Barron (1777) (Gothic)
Daphne du Maurier  Don’t Look Now and Selected Short Stories
Edith Nesbit   The Power of Darkness (Supernatural Short Stories)
Edith Wharton  The Ghost Stories of Edith Wharton
Eleanor Sleath  The Orphan of the Rhine (Gothic)
Eliza Parsons  The Castle of Wolfenbach (Gothic)
Elizabeth Bowen  The Demon Lover
Elizabeth Gaskell  The Short Stories of Elizabeth Gaskell
Evangeline Walton  She Walks in Darkness
Gertrude Atherton  The Bell in the Fog and Other Stories
Helena Petrovna Blavatsky  Nightmare Tales
Jane Austen  Northanger Abbey (Gothic)
Joan Aiken  The Wolves of Willoughby Chase
Louisa May Alcott  The Long Fatal Love Chase (Gothic)
Margaret Oliphant  The Beleagured City & Tales of the Seen and Unseen
Margery Lawrence Terraces of the Night
Marjorie Bowen  The Bishop of Hell & Other Stories
Mary Elizabeth Braddon  At Chrighton Abbey
Mary Shelley The Collected Works of Mary W. Shelley
May Sinclair  Uncanny Stories (Mystery & Supernatural)
Mary Stewart  Thornyhold
Mary Wilkins Freeman The Wind in the Rose Bush & Other Supernatural Tales
Regina Maria Roche  Clermont, A Tale (Gothic)
Shirley Jackson  The Lottery & Other Short Stories
V.C. Andrews  Flowers In the Attic
Vernon Lee  The Vernon Lee Compendium (10 books)
Violet Hunt The Complete Uneasy Tales

Post by: Paula Cappa
Author Bio: Paula Cappa’s novels include Night Sea Journey, A Tale of the Supernatural and from Crispin Books (Crickhollow) The Dazzling Darkness, which won the Gothic Readers Book Club Choice Award for outstanding fiction in 2013. Her short fiction has appeared in Whistling Shade Literary Journal, SmokeLong Quarterly, Every Day Fiction, Fiction365, Twilight Times Ezine, and in anthologies. Cappa’s writing career began as a freelance journalist for newspapers in New York and Connecticut. She writes a weekly blog, Reading Fiction, Tales of Terror, on her Web site http://paulacappa.wordpress.com

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Written by Mitchell Wells

Founder and Editor in Chief of Horror Society. Self proclaimed Horror Movie Freak, Tech Geek, love indie films and all around nice kinda guy!!