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American Gothic (Blackwell Anthologies)

American Gothic (Blackwell Anthologies) Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

This anthology fills a need which is long-standing but only recently recognized. Textbooks have generally ignored Leslie Fiedler's perception, of nearly forty years ago, that most of the powerful and innovative works of American literature have always been within the Gothic mode. This collection brings together, and sets into dialogue, Gothic works by a number of authors, men and women, black and white, which illuminate many of the deepest concerns and fears of nineteenth-century America.

Among the themes in this conversation are the horror at illness and bodily decay, in an age with many incurable infectious diseases; the mutual mistrust of men and women, as gender roles shifted radically; the relationship of humans and machines; the horror that may lurk within outwardly normal families; and, inescapably, the tragedy of race relations in America. In this journey through nineteenth-century shadows, present-day readers should not be surprised to find uncomfortable and challenging parallels with the present.

The collection contains short stories, novellas, and poems by some of America's best-known authors (Cooper, Hawthorne, Melville, Dickinson, Mark Twain), and others who are obscure or recently rediscovered, e.g. John Neal, Henry Clay Lewis, Alice Cary, Lafcadio Hearn. Writers long associated with the uncanny or supernatural appear, such as Charles Brockden Brown, Edgar Allen Poe, and Ambrose Bierce, as well as authors usually not placed within this tradition (Stephen Crane, Sarah Orne Jewett, and Frank Norris, for example). There is a strong representation of female Gothic, and African-American writers such as Charles Chesnutt who brilliantly anticipate the Gothic fiction of race in our own time.


This collection brings together, and sets into dialogue, Gothic works by a number of authors, men and women, black and white, which illuminate many of the deepest concerns and fears of nineteenth-century America.

About the Author

Charles L. Crow if Professor Emeritus of English at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. He is co-editor of The Haunted Dusk: American Supernatural Fiction, 1820-1920 and of The Occult in America: New Historical Perspectives, and author of numerous articles on such nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century American authors as Howells, Clemens, Norris, London and Cather. He is past-president of the Frank Norris Society and is a founding member of the International Gothic Association.

Table of Contents



"Abraham Panther": An Account of a Beautiful Young Lady.

Charles Brockden Brown (1771-1810): Somnambulism.

Washington Irving (1783-1859): Rip Van Winkle.

John Neal (1793-1876): Idiosyncrasies.

George Lippard (1822-54): from The Quaker City: or, The Monks of Monk Hall.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-82) The Skeleton in Armor.

James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851): from The Prairie.

Henry Clay Lewis (1825-1850): A Struggle for Life.

Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849): Hop Frog, The Cask of Amontillado, The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar, The Fall of the House of Usher, The Raven, The City in the Sea, Ulalume, Annabel Lee, Dream-Land,.

Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-64): Alice Doane's Appeal, Young Goodman Brown.

Herman Melville (1819-1891): The Bell Tower.

Alice Cary (1820-1871): The Wildermings.

Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888): Behind a Mask: or, A Woman's Power.

Harriet Prescott Spofford (1835-1921): The Amber Gods.

Emily Dickinson (1830-86) 9 Through lane it lay -through bramble, 281 Tis so appalling -it exhilarates, 414 Twas like a Maelstrom, with a notch, 512 The Soul Has Bandaged Moments, 590 Did you ever stand in a Cavern's Mouth, 670 One need not be a Chamber - to be Haunted, 1400 What mystery pervades a well!,1670 In Winter in my Room.

Samuel L. Clemens (Mark Twain) (1835-1910): from Life on the Mississippi.

Sarah Orne Jewett (1849-1909): The Foreigner.

Mary E. Wilkins Freeman (1852-1930): Old Woman Magoun, Luella Miller.

Henry James (1843-1916): The Turn of the Screw.

Kate Chopin (1851-1904): Désirée's Baby.

Charles W. Chesnutt (1858-1932): Po' Sandy, The Sheriff's Children.

George Washington Cable (1844-1925): Jean-Ah Poquelin.

Stephen Crane (1871-1900): The Monster.

Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914?): The Death of Halpin Frayser.

Frank Norris (1870-1902): Lauth.

Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935): The Giant Wisteria. .

Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906): from The Sport of the Gods.

Edwin Arlington Robinson (1868-1935): Luke Havergal, Lisette and Eileen, The Mill, Souvenir, Why He Was There.

Lafcadio Hearn (1850-1904): The Ghostly Kiss.

Edith Wharton (1862-1937): The Eyes.

Jack London (1876-1916): Samuel.


Index of Authors, Titles and First Lines.

Product Details

An Anthology 1787-1916
Crow, Charles L.
Crow, Charles L.
Crow, Charles L.
Crow, Charles L.
American - General
Anthologies (multiple authors)
American literature
American literature (collections)
Gothic literature
Horror tales, American
19th-century American literature
Blackwell Anthologies
Publication Date:
June 1999
Grade Level:
254 x 177.8 x 41.6 mm 35 oz

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Anthologies » General
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » Fantasy » Historical
Humanities » Literary Criticism » General

American Gothic (Blackwell Anthologies)
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Product details 496 pages Blackwell Publishers - English 9780631206514 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , This collection brings together, and sets into dialogue, Gothic works by a number of authors, men and women, black and white, which illuminate many of the deepest concerns and fears of nineteenth-century America.
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