The Dark Thread: From Tragical Histories to Gothic Tales

Cover: The Dark Thread: From Tragical Histories to Gothic Tales
John D. Lyons

October 2019 • ISBN 978-1-64453-162-4 • $70.00

October 2019 • ISBN 978-1-64453-163-1 • $35.00

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The Early Modern Exchange

In The Dark Thread, scholars examine a set of important and perennial narrative motifs centered on violence within the family as they have appeared in French, English, Spanish, and American literatures. Over fourteen essays, contributors highlight the connections between works from early modernity and subsequent texts from the eighteenth through the twentieth centuries, in which incidents such as murder, cannibalism, poisoning, the burial of the living, the failed burial of the dead, and subsequent apparitions of ghosts that haunt the household unite “high” and “low” cultural traditions. This book questions the traditional separation between the highly honored genre of tragedy and the less respected and generally less well-known genres of histoires tragiques, gothic tales and novels, and horror stories.

About the Editor

John D. Lyons is Commonwealth Professor of French at the University of Virginia.

Reviews of 'The Dark Thread: From Tragical Histories to Gothic Tales'

Like Theseus following Ariadne’s thread through the labyrinth, The Dark Thread unravels these early modern connections between Gothic literature and its Dionysian progenitors.
- Muireann Maguire, Wadham College, author of Stalin’s Ghosts: Gothic Themes in Early Soviet Literature
This volume sheds new light on a number of nineteenth-century authors, while also examining little-known intertexts, and is highly recommended for readers interested in genres, intertexuality, and permutations of the gothic and tragic.
- Marilyn Mallia, University of Malta
This collection of essays argues that we see the Gothic as a ‘dark thread’ that extends the early modernity of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries to the heyday of modernity in the nineteenth. This is an innovative and well-conceived contribution to literary and cultural studies that will interest a wide range of readers.
- Lewis Siefert, Brown University, author of Manning the Margins: Masculinity and Writing in Seventeenth-Century France
For scholars who would like to delve into the scientific marvel in relation to the Gothic and the fantastic in a global report of the literature, this volume is an excellent starting point. Because of its cutouts, and its numerous bibliographical references, and its index, this volume can also conveniently serve as a source of research for a doctoral course focusing on the Gothic genre as part of a seminar on French literature or literature. comparative, or a resource for instructors wishing to build a course based on a spectrum of literary genres to be determined for third or fourth year teaching.
- Servanne Woodward, University of Western Ontario