The vilification of Islam has reached such heights that when the Muslim Sultan Mehmet II is cast opposite history’s bloodiest psycho-tyrant, it’s Dracula who emerges as the tragic hero.
Recipe for traditional Gothic literature: take one part decay of surroundings, society and add a heaping dose of repression. Next? A few dashes of melodrama, a sprinkling or, in some instances, a whole cup of romance, and one fall from grace. Shake well, top with a floater of eeeevil, and imbibe on a Scottish moor.
We think we know all about Conan Doyle’s immortal detective, with his pipes, dressing-gown and cocaine – but do we really, asks Sam Leith
Ghostly doings are afoot in Edwardian London. Choking fog rolls over the treacle- black Thames. Braziers cast eerie shadows in grimy alleyways. Two sinister doctors hunch beside a dying fire in the appropriately-named Printer’s Devil Court, ‘a dark house, with steep, narrow stairs’. Having supped on a hearty repast of lamb stew and treacle pudding, the ‘shadowy’ Dr Walter reveals his dastardly scheme. ‘We are proposing… to bring the dead back to life.’ Our hero young Dr Meredith is appalled. This is diabolical! Derivative of Frankenstein! Not quite. The experiment results in a phantom rather than a monster.
Halloween is the perfect time to curl up with a bloody good book and nothing is as satisfying as a vampire novel. While lesbian vampire fiction seems like a new subset of the horror genre, it has actually been around for centuries.
This study of the three du Maurier sisters is part of a trend that involves suggesting, with varying degrees of subtlety, that the lesser-known siblings of superstars are the equals, or in some respect even the superior, in talent. This trend was slyly mocked by the witty Oxford novelist Barbara Trapido, who titled her debut “Brother of the More Famous Jack,” upending the relative renown of artist John Butler Yeats and his infinitely more famous brother the poet William Butler Yeats.