Title: Tales of Mystery and the Macabre
Author: Elizabeth Gaskell
Publisher: Wordsworth 2008
Genre: Classics - horror
Rating: 3/5 stars
Reading Challenges: UnRead Shelf; Women Authors; Horror
In the great mirror opposite I saw myself, and right behind, another wicked fearful self, so like me my soul seemed to quiver within me, as though not knowing to which similitude of body it belonged... Elizabeth Gaskell is better known today for her pioneering social novels such as Mary Barton (1848) but she also wrote some fascinating tales of the supernatural and the macabre, which are collected here in this volume. The real charm of this dark anthology is its variety. Unlike so many writers of this kind of material, Gaskell allows the story to fit the style rather than the other way around and as result there is a charming freshness to each tale. This remarkable author uses different voices, tones and topics to engage her readers and as you turn from one story to the next you cannot be quite sure what to expect.
I’ve read Gaskell’s North and South and Cranford, but didn’t realize that she had also wrote gothic horror stories. Overall, this volume was a mixed bag for me. I enjoyed some of the stories especially those that focused on a specific character. I wasn’t as much of a fan of some stories that just seemed to meander instead of heading to a point. I also couldn’t get behind many of the rambling sentences and asides.
Next up on the TBR pile: