“Her covering was torn from her face. It was a face that he knew. In spite of the protruding upper lip and that slobber of blood, it was a face that he knew. She kept on putting her hand up to the gap and screaming.”
‘The Case of Lady Sannox’ – Arthur Conan Doyle
The modern horror story grew and developed across the nineteenth century, embracing categories as diverse as ghost stories, the supernatural and psychological horror, medical and scientific horrors, colonial horror, and tales of the uncanny and precognition. This anthology brings together twenty-nine of the greatest horror stories of the period, from 1816 to 1912, from the British, Irish, American, and European traditions. It ranges widely across the sub-genres to encompass authors whose terror-inducing powers remain unsurpassed.
Horror Stories: Classic Tales from Hoffmann to Hodgson, edited by Darryl Jones and due to be published 1st October by Oxford University Press, includes 29 stories by some of the best writers of the century – Ernst Theodor Wilhelm Hoffmann, Edgar Allan Poe, Balzac, Charles Dickens, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Zola – as well as established genre classics such as M. R. James, Arthur Machen, Bram Stoker, Algernon Blackwood, Charlotte Perkins Gilman and others.
It also includes rare and little-known pieces by writers such as William Maginn, Francis Marion Crawford, W. F. Harvey, and William Hope Hodgson, and shows the important role played by periodicals in popularizing the horror story. Wherever possible stories are reprinted in their first published form, with background information about their authors and helpful, contextualizing annotation. Darryl Jones’s lively introduction discusses horror’s literary evolution and its articulation of cultural preoccupations and anxieties.
These are stories guaranteed to freeze the blood, revolt the senses, and keep you awake at night: prepare to be terrified!
Darryl Jones has taught at Trinity College Dubin since 1994, and has previously edited the Collected Ghost Stories of M. R. James for OUP.