Gothic Chapbooks, Bluebooks and Shilling Shockers, 1797–1830

Author(s): Franz J. Potter

Language: English

Genre(s): Literary Criticism

Series: Gothic Literary Studies

  • January 2021 · 240pages · 216x138mm

  • ·Hardback - 9781786836700
  • · eBook - epub - 9781786836724
  • · eBook - mobi - 9781786836731
  • · eBook - pdf - 9781786836717

About The Book

This study breaks new ground surveying the origins of the Gothic chapbook, its publishers and authors, in order to establish conclusively the impact these pamphlets had on the development of the Gothic genre. Considered the illegitimate offspring of the Gothic novel, the lowly chapbook flooded the market in the late eighteenth century, creating a separate and distinct secondary market for tales of terror. The trade was driven by a handful of individuals who were booksellers and dealers, circulating library proprietors, stationers, and small publishers – what they produced were more than four hundred chapbooks, bluebooks and shilling shockers containing Gothic tales from magazines, redactions of popular novels, extractions of entire inset tales, and original tales of terror. This book responds to the urgent and pressing need to contextualise the Gothic chapbook in ascertaining a more concise and comprehensive view of the entire Gothic genre.


‘Chapbooks represent, undeservedly, one of the least-studied aspects of the Gothic. Potter’s meticulous scholarship addresses this situation, providing not merely an authoritative introduction to these ephemeral pamphlets and their relationship to mainstream Gothic, but also lucid insight into the complexities of their authorship, publishing and circulation. Clearly written and beautifully illustrated, this book will set the standard for future scholars.’
-ProfessorWilliam Hughes, University of Macau


List of Illustrations
1Chapbooks, Bluebooks and Shilling Shockers
2The Rise of the Gothic Chapbook: Simon Fisher, Thomas Hurst and The Monk, 1797–1801
3The Art of Marketing: Ann Lemoine and John Roe
4The Golden Age of the Shilling Shocker: Thomas Tegg and the Chapbook Magazines
5The Profiteers: Isaac Crookenden and Sarah Wilkinson
6The Decline of the Gothic Pamphlet
Appendix: Gothic Pamphlets

About the Author(s)

Franz J. Potter

Professor Franz J. Potter teaches at National University, San Diego.

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