New England's Gothic Literature History and Folklore of the Supernatural From the Seventeenth Through the Twentieth Centuries
|Author: ||Ringel, Faye|
This comprehensive comparative approach to the folklore, fantasy, and horror literature of New England stretches from the earliest European exploration to Stephen King, John Updike, and Shirley Jackson. Along the way it examines the Puritan witch trials as examined by Hawthorne, Arthur Miller, H.P. Lovecraft, and others; folk tales of the Windham Frogs and ghost ships; Hawthorne in Salem, Poe in Providence; the flowering of spiritualism and mysticism from 1848-1900; the New England Vampire Belief in reality and fiction from Mary Wilkins Freeman and H.P. Lovecraft to Stephen King; to the present day - King, Charles Grant, Peter Straub, Rich Hautala, Richard Matheson, Shirley Jackson. Includes interviews with Les Daniels, Grant, and other horror writers who reside or set their stories in New England.
". . . a stimulating and refreshing study that displays the author's wide range, exhaustive erudition, and aesthetic sensitivity, and constitutes one of the most signal contributions to the field in recent years. . . . so full of remarkable research - that old-time philological and historical research which involves poring through old newspapers, obscure treatises, and little-read works of fiction - that each page contains some illuminating insight. Some parts of the work read like a novel, as Ringel acts as a kind of scholarly detective hunting down some faint thread of superstition through the ages." - Studies in Weird Fiction
"Ringel's sweep is broad and illuminating. . . . the book has much to offer: its survey of a New England Gothic tradition and the associated medievalism, its treatment of folk belief, and its linkage of modern horror tales to ideologies that would create greater horrors yet." - New England Quarterly
"It is an excellent scholarly work, thoroughly researched and lucidly written. . . . The material is very rich, with a world of examples that have definite reader appeal. Her research is meticulous, and the materials gathered here have not been the focus of any earlier scholarly work, so that the book will have real significance." -- Charlotte Spivack