A fascinating exploration of one of the most significant moments in gothic history – the night when Mary Shelley, Lord Byron and their cohorts gathered together in Lake Geneva to tell ghost stories.
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.