Phantasmagoria: The Weird Fiction, Poetry, and Criticism of Sir Walter Scott
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Published by our friends at Hippocampus Press! Edited by S. T. Joshi. Cover art by Aeron Alfrey. Cover design and custom title lettering by Dan Sauer. 6x9 Paperback, 274 pages.
This volume includes stories, poetry, and essays by Sir Walter Scott (1771–1832), the Scottish novelist who worked extensively in the Gothic vein. Aside from writing such celebrated stories as “The Tapestried Chamber” and “Wandering Willie’s Tale,” Scott translated spectral poems by Goethe (“The Erl-King”) and G. A. Bürger (“William and Helen,” “The Wild Huntsman”), as well as writing weird poems based on Scottish legendry.
Perhaps most significant of all, Scott emerged as one of the earliest and most penetrating critics of the Gothic movement. His reviews of Maturin’s Fatal Revenge and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein are included here, as well as a long essay on the weird work of E. T. A. Hoffmann and several chapters on Gothic writers from his Lives of the Novelists (1825). Altogether, Scott’s prose and poetic work represents a landmark in the development of Gothic horror.
Table of Contents
Introduction, by S. T. Joshi
The Story of an Apparition
Wandering Willie’s Tale
The Tapestried Chamber or The Lady in the Sacque
My Aunt Margaret’s Mirror
William and Helen
The Wild Huntsman
The Eve of St. John
Glenfinlas; or, Lord Ronald’s Coronach
Essays and Reviews
[Review of Maturin’s Fatal Revenge]
Remarks on Frankenstein
On the Supernatural in Fictitious Composition
Appendix: Narrative of a Fatal Event
The Classics of Gothic Horror series seeks to reprint novels and stories from the leading writers of weird fiction over the past two centuries or more. Ever since the Gothic novels of the late 18th century, supernatural horror has been a slender but provocative contribution to Western literature. Edgar Allan Poe, Ambrose Bierce, the Victorian ghost story writers, the “titans” of the early twentieth century (Arthur Machen, Algernon Blackwood, Lord Dunsany, M. R. James, H. P. Lovecraft), the Weird Tales writers, and many others contributed to the development and enrichment of weird fiction as a literary genre, and their work deserves to be enshrined in comprehensive, textually accurate editions. S. T. Joshi, a leading authority on weird fiction, has done exactly that in establishing this series. Using scholarly resources honed over decades of wide-ranging research, he has assembled volumes featuring not only the complete weird writings of the authors in question, but exhaustive bio-critical introductions and bibliographical data.