In the Shadow of Edgar Allan Poe: Classic Tales of Horror, 1816-1914
Leslie S. Klinger
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A masterful collection of horror fiction by widely acclaimed authors whose contributions to the genre have been lost in the shadow of Poe, by one of America's foremost anthologists.
Edgar Allan Poe did not invent the tale of terror. There were American, English, and Continental writers who preceded Poe and influenced his work. Similarly, there were many who were in turn influenced by Poe’s genius and produced their own popular tales of supernatural literature. This collection features masterful tales of terror by authors who, by and large, are little-remembered for their writing in this genre. Even Bram Stoker, whose Dracula may be said to be the most popular horror novel of all time, is not known as a writer of short fiction.
Distinguished editor Leslie S. Klinger is a world-renowned authority on those twin icons of the Victorian age, Sherlock Holmes, and Dracula. His studies into the forefathers of those giants led him to a broader fascination with writers of supernatural literature of the nineteenth century. The stories in this collection have been selected by him for their impact. Each is preceded by a brief biography of the author and an overview of his or her literary career and is annotated to explain obscure references.
Read on, now, perhaps with a flickering candle or flashlight at hand . . .
Stories by: Ambrose Bierce, Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, Theodor Gautier, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Arthur Conan Doyle, Lafcadio Hearn, M. R. James, Bram Stoker, and many others.
commencing the story in a significant and original manner, calculated to arrest your attention. To begin with “Once upon a time,” the best beginning for a story, seemed to me too tame; with “In the small country town S____lived,” rather better, at any rate allowing plenty of room to work up to the climax; or to plunge at once in medias res8, “‘Go to the devil!’ cried the student Nathanael, his eyes blazing wildly with rage and fear, when the weather-glass hawker Giuseppe Coppola”—well, that is
tube and return to my bed when I distinctly heard the crunch of wheels beneath my window and the pawing of an impatient horse. I crossed the room, threw open the window and looked out. A horse and gig were now standing under the window, and the man, Thompson, who had summoned me on the first night, was staring up at me. “For God’s sake, come, sir,” he said. “The young lady is mortal bad.” “I will be with you in a minute,” I said. I dressed myself trembling. In an incredibly short space of time
walked side by side instead of following each other, and their voices sank to the low tone that betokens confidence. “You don’t say that you really put faith in all them old stories?” “It ain’t accident altogether, noways you can fix it in your mind,” maintained Mrs. Downs. “Needn’t tell me that cussin’ don’t do neither good nor harm. I shouldn’t want to marry amon’st the Holts if I was young ag’in! I r’member when this young man was born that’s married to-day, an’ the fust thing his poor
of Valmonde. She walked across a deserted field, where the stubble bruised her tender feet, so delicately shod, and tore her thin gown to shreds. She disappeared among the reeds and willows that grew thick along the banks of the deep, sluggish bayou; and she did not come back again. Some weeks later there was a curious scene enacted at L’Abri. In the center of the smoothly swept back yard was a great bonfire. Armand Aubigny sat in the wide hallway that commanded a view of the spectacle; and it
I shouldn’t think he’d ever get over it, having words with poor Edward the very night before he died. Edward was enough sight better disposition than Henry, with all his faults. I always thought a great deal of poor Edward, myself.” Mrs. Brigham passed a large fluff of handkerchief across her eyes; Rebecca sobbed outright. “Rebecca,” said Caroline admonishingly, keeping her mouth stiff and swallowing determinately. “I never heard him speak a cross word, unless he spoke cross to Henry that last