Gothic Britain

Dark Places in the Provinces and Margins of the British Isles

Editor(s) William Hughes,Ruth Heholt

Language: English

Genre(s): Literary Criticism

Series: Gothic Literary Studies

  • April 2018 · 272 pages ·216x138mm

  • · Hardback - 9781786832337
  • · eBook - pdf - 9781786832344
  • · eBook - epub - 9781786832351

About The Book

Gothic Britain is the first collection of essays to consider how the Gothic responds to, and is informed by, the British regional experience. Acknowledging how the so-called United Kingdom has historically been divided on nationalistic lines, the twelve original essays in this volume interrogate the interplay of ideas and generic innovations generated in the spaces between the nominal kingdom and its component nations and, innovatively, within those national spaces. Concentrating upon fictions depicting England, Scotland and Wales specifically, Gothic Britain comprehends the generic possibilities of the urban and the rural, of the historical and the contemporary, of the metropolis and the rural settlement – as well as exploring uniquely the fluid space that is the act of travel itself. Reading the textuality of some two hundred years of national and regional identity, Gothic Britain interrogates how the genre has depicted and questioned the natural and built environments of the island of Britain.


‘Gothic has very often been considered as a way of reimagining history; what this admirable collection of essays focuses on is the constant reimagining of geography. Centre and periphery, metropolis and province: all of these are connected in an intricate tangle of fears and anxieties, constantly remediated by changes in travel, transport, accessibility. Here, then, are the component parts of Britain seen through the quasi-infinite variety of Gothic lenses.’

-Professor David Punter, University of Bristol

‘This new Gothic geography forms the first collection of essays on regional Gothic in the UK. By mapping the dark contours of Gothic Britain, Hughes and Heholt have traced a topography of the uncanny, which will transform the landscape of Gothic Studies – an indispensable home-grown Baedeker for dark tourists.’

-Professor Marie Mulvey-Roberts, University of the West of England

‘Anyone seeking fresh insights into Gothic literature, film, and artefacts must read this volume, which explores the dark places of the British Isles. I was prepared for excellence, but this collection goes beyond “mere” excellence; Gothic Britain is a book to read and reread.’

-Professor Carol A. Senf, Georgia Institute of Technology

‘This eclectic, theoretically sophisticated collection of regionally arranged essays mines Britain’s uncanny physical and psycho-geographical peripheries. From the Isle of Man, Scotland, and the West Yorkshire moors, to Wales, Cornwall, Dover, and former British colonies, Gothic Britain carves out new scholarly territory in the domain of Gothic dark tourism, broadly defined.’
-Professor Carol Margaret Davison, University of Windsor

'The essays collected within Gothic Britain: Dark Places in the Provinces and the Margins of the British Isles provide a critical beginning to an innovative new avenue of research. The contributors offer fascinating insights into the Gothic culture and geography that have inspired so many seminal nineteenth- and twentieth-century Gothic texts. The collection’s contributors, and their esteemed Editors, have impressive credentials and represent the scholarly strength of both established and emerging voices in the field. The editors have created a unique and reliable framework through the collection, establishing a firm base for further investigation into the geography of Gothic studies in future scholarship.'
- Aeternum: The Journal of Contemporary Gothic Studies


Notes on Contributors
Introduction: William Hughes, ‘The Uncanny Space of Regionality: Gothic Beyond the Metropolis’
Part One: Re-imagined Gothic Landscapes: Folklore, Nostalgia and History
Chapter One: Catherine Spooner, ‘“Dark, and cold, and rugged is the North”: Regionalism, Folklore and Elizabeth Gaskell’s “Northern” Gothic’
Chapter Two:Chloe Buckley, ‘Jeremy Dyson’s The Haunted Book (2012), the Gothic Child and the West Yorkshire Moors’
Chapter Three: Richard Storer, ‘“Spook Business”: Hall Caine and the Moment of Manx Gothic’
Chapter Four:Gioia Angelletti, ‘“All those ancient stories that had their dark souls located in woods”: Rural Gothic, Scottish Folklore and Postmodern Conundrums in James Robertson’s The Testament of Gideon Mack’
Part Two: Unnatural Gothic Spaces
Chapter Five: Timothy Jones, ‘Entering the Darkness: Robert Aickman and the Regions’
Chapter Six: Minna Vuohelainen, ‘University Gothic 1880-1910’
Chapter Seven: Holly-Gale Millette, ‘Vampiristic Museums and Library Gothic’
Part Three: Border Crossings and the Threat of Invasion
Chapter Eight: Jamil Mustafa, ‘Lifting the Veil: Allegory, Ambivalence and the (Scottish) Gothic in Walter Scott’s Union Fiction’
Chapter Nine: Ben Richardson, ‘Cosmopolis Fever: Regionalism and Immunity in Mary Shelley’s The Last Man (1826)’
Chaper Ten: Ruth Heholt, ‘The Hammer House of Cornish Horror: The Inversion of Imperial Gothic in The Plague of the Zombies and The Reptile’
Chapter Eleven: Sara Ilott, ‘Black Immigrant/White Cliffs: Dover Gothic and the Borders of Britishness’

About the Editor(s)

Author(s): William Hughes

William Hughes is Professor of Medical Humanities and Gothic Fiction at Bath Spa University, a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, and the editor of the peer-reviewed journal Gothic Studies.

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Author(s): Ruth Heholt

Ruth Heholt is Senior Lecturer in English at Falmouth University, a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and the editor of the peer-reviewed journal Revenant.

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