“An absence of presence: domestic records”


I found this brisk article at Historia, which is the online magazine for The Historical Writers’ Association. My interest comes because I recently read The Familiars by Stacey Halls and am always curious to hear more from writers themselves. I was very disappointed to cancel my tickets for a Waterstones event in February headlined by Hall as I had a dreadful migraine, but at least reading this piece gave me a small view in to what sparked her interest for this time period in England, witches and women’s lives.

An absence of presence: domestic records by Stacey Halls, 6/2/2019 at Historia

Familiar things, like household accounts, can be the only traces that can lead us to the everyday lives of women in previous centuries. For author Stacey Halls, domestic records painted a detailed picture of 17th century life.


SÉANCE by Darkfield

Last week included a visited to the Vault Festival to experience the twenty minute uncanny audio experience SÉANCE. I recommend for those in London or looking to visit in the next few weeks. It is an interesting audio immersion art experiment for all those who dig the Gothic, suspense, eerie and the premise of Victorian spiritualism.

“Being Buried Alive Was So Common in the Victorian Era That Doctors Used these 10 Methods to Prevent It”


A bit of light fare looking at common Victorian era quackery used to prevent being buried alive. The author of this piece also mentions Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and other short nods to Gothic interests over at History Collection.

What Is On the Very Edge of the Wood?

theme announcement whm

As the founding editor of the literary magazine, The Wild Hunt, I’m super excited for our first theme issue: What Is On the Very Edge of the Wood? Once you’re done carving pumpkins and filling up on too many sweets, send us your fiction! The deadline is the 1st of November 2018. Anything spooky, weird, Gothic, dark, etc. is welcome as long as it interprets the theme to some degree. If you have questions, feel free to drop me a note in the comments.

More info here.

Tasmanian Gothic



Only today did I hear of the term “Tasmanian Gothic” to describe the blend of European Gothic traditions with the wild and remote island of Tasmanian. How I have lived my life not realizing this?!

While reading the Wikipedia page, I saw that I have already encountered a few of these works, but never knew of their own distinction. Hopefully, some free time this weekend will allow me to explore more of this and update my notes.

Book Post: Jame Hogg’s The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner


The post arrived this week with a new copy of The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner by James Hogg (Vintage). It is a personal favourite and I’m delighted to be part of an edition slated for next year. I have to get cracking as I’m writing an introduction to a new American edition. I’ve already started digging through the catalogue at the British Library and after months of my absence from the stacks, this is a perfect reason to dust off my Readers card.

Justified Sinner is an 1824 novel by Scottish Writer James Hogg. It’s wicked and mysterious and of course an example of early Gothic literature. It will be a big project–and of course I’m already busy with loads of other things–but happy to be back to writing literary interest essays for public consumption.

I’m sure I’ll be posting more snippets of my notes while researching and writing this project.

Watching: The Haunting of Hill House

I must admit that I didn’t hear of this television adaptation till I received the Netflix recommendation newsletter on Friday. When I got home–with the English nights wrapping the sky sooner rather than later–I eagerly watched the first two episodes.

As a lover of both Shirley Jackson and The Haunting of Hill House, I was over the moon. The adaptation’s plot strays from the original text, but, so far, I’m digging it. It actually has scared me on a number of occasions.

Although, the weather has warmed up, I think wispy Autumn should return soon. Perfect ambience for such Gothic horror.

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