Gothic Literature & Film Recommendations

Pagan X

One of the things I found delightful in the thread for the Bohemian Gothic 1st Edition was the discussion of gothic literature. Wordsworth is a UK publisher mining the "out of copyright 19th century" and has turned out several very affordable editions of Gothic literature ($7 or less), including Varney the Vampire, which I can say with pride I managed to read! (The middle portion gets very...deathly dull. Stick with it, it picks up steam) The King of Cups is right out of Varney; the makeup for the film Nosferatu clearly is meant to portray Varney, not Dracula, right to the ratlike fangs and skeletal fingers. I think Bram Stoker owes more to Varney than is generally recognized today.

Amazon doesn't carry the Varney, but it's at Half Price Books all over the US and maybe other stores too.

I recommend from Amazon:

An Anthology of Gothic stories:

The Haunted Hotel & Other Stories by Wilkie Collins

Collected Ghost Stories by MR James

House by the Churchyard by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu

I just finished Wilkie Collins "Woman in White". While it is not supernatural, it is Gothic -- sort of the Gothic becoming the Romance Novel becoming the Detective Story. Ripping good yarn, I read it in one day, couldn't put it down. The influence on Bram Stoker in writing Dracula is well-recognized.

Under $13 is the Wordsworth Book of Horror Stories, which contains not one, but two Arthur Conan Doyle stories with Mummies! who knew! And two AC Doyle stories that had a lot of influence on HP Lovecraft. This anthology has many of the stories in the above collections by James, Le Fanu, and Collins, so it's the most Gothic bang for the buck. And it's going for $4 at Half Price Books in the US.

If it weren't for the Bohemian Gothic, I would've missed out on a lot of Gothic Goodness.

Pagan X

As for film:

After you've read Varney (or skimmed for the Good Bits) have a home double feature of Nosferatu (Murnau) and Shadow of the Vampire (which is well... a creative account of the Making of Nosferatu and quite amazing in its own right).

On another evening, rent the 2010 version of The Wolfman. It's like watching a movie with sets and costumes by Baba Studios.

I do think Karen and Alex would have had a better script though. It's a fun movie, quite sumptious, but it's better if your expectations are not too high. Del Toro is a moody cutie.


Thank you for those recommendations, they look like just the sort of thing I'm in the mood for this time of year!

And also for reminding me of that movie - must see if I can rent it somewhere. :)


Théophile Gautier of course, who wrote beautiful romantic gothic short stories, including La morte amoureuse, a story about a vampire. If you can manage to get your hands on some english translation, I see Amazon (com) has quite a few books in English from him. Also Guy de Maupassant wrote as well many short gothic stories, his most renown one being Le Horla.