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Horror and the supernatural have fascinated people for centuries, and many of the most central figures appear over and over again. These figures have gained iconic status and continue to hold sway over popular culture and the modern imagination. This book offers extended entries on 24 of the most enduring and significant figures of horror and the supernatural, including The Sea Creature, The Witch, The Alien, The Vampire, The Werewolf, The Sorcerer, The Ghost, The Siren, The Mummy, The Devil, and The Zombie. Each entry is written by a leading authority on the subject and discusses the topic’s essential features and lasting influence, from the classical epics of Homer to the novels of Stephen King. Entries cite sources for further reading, and the Encyclopedia closes with a selected, general bibliography. Entries include illustrations, sidebars of interesting information, and excerpts from key texts.
Read widely and studied at all levels, supernatural literature is one of the most significant and enduring types of writing. Comprehensive in scope, this encyclopedia provides thorough coverage of literature of the supernatural. The most exhaustive work of its kind, it includes entries on authors, works, and numerous topics, including alien abduction, drama, ghouls, and Latin literature. Entries draw on current scholarship, with special attention to recent writers.
British writer Montague Rhodes James (1862-1936) is the most influential author of ghost stories in literary history, but his work has not received the attention it deserves. Warnings to the Curious, the first volume on James to be devoted entirely to his ghostly fiction, features a wealth of material old and new about the scholarly author and his supernatural writing. The volume opens with memoirs of James by such friends as Stephen Gaselee and Shane Leslie, and early criticism by H. P. Lovecraft, Mary Butts, and others.
Simon MacCulloch contributes an exhaustive discussion of the theme of “forbidden knowledge” in James and Lovecraft, while such critics as Ron Weighell, David G. Rowlands, Jacqueline Simpson, and Steve Duffy probe specific aspects of James’s ghost stories. Studies of individual tales by such leading Jamesians as Helen Grant, Rosemary Pardoe, Martin Hughes, and Nicholas Connell…[more]
Alfred Galpin (1901-1983) was among H. P. Lovecraft’s most brilliant and stimulating correspondents: a youthful prodigy, he had already become so knowledgeable in literature and philosophy that by 1921 Lovecraft wrote: “He is intellectually exactly like me save in degree. In degree he is immensely my superior-he is what I should like to be but have not brains enough to be.”
In this volume, Lovecraft’s fascinating letters to his friend are collected for the first time, with footnotes and detailed commentary by the editors. Also included are the surviving letters to the Gallomo, a round-robin correspondence cycle including Galpin, Lovecraft, and Maurice W. Moe. In these letters we find fascinating accounts of Lovecraft’s dreams, remarks on the inspirations for his early horror tales, and further details on amateur journalism controversies. Lengthy letters written jointly…[more]
Ramsey Campbell is one of the world’s leading writers of supernatural stories, although he has received far less attention than other practitioners of the genre. Joshi focuses in a thematic rather than chronological approach on the whole of Campbell’s rich and varied work, from his early tales to the powerfully innovative stories collected in Demons by Daylight (1973). Campbell’s many novels from The Doll Who Ate His Mother (1975) to Silent Children (1999) are also examined in detail. Throughout this book, the author places Campbell’s oeuvre within the context of contemporary horror literature.
A prolific and fascinating letter writer, the renowned science fiction writer H.P. Lovecraft chronicled the most minute particulars of his life in his correspondence. Whether he is describing the antics of his favorite cats, evaluating baked beans or cheese, or debating the purchase of a suit, Lovecraft’s remarkable letters reveal much about him as a writer and as a man. They also outline his views on history, aesthetics, society, politics, and economics—among a myriad of subjects that engaged his wide-ranging intellect. This selection of Lovecraft letters and essays, some of which have never been published, bring to light much about the era, the circle in which he worked, and his candid and sometimes surprising reactions to the circumstances of his life.