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More Deadly than the Male: Masterpieces from the Queens of Horror

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Readers are well aware that Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein: few know how many other tales of terror she created. In addition to Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote some surprisingly effective horror stories. The year after Little Women appeared, Louisa May Alcott published one of the first mummy tales. These ladies weren’t alone. From the earliest days of Gothi Readers are well aware that Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein: few know how many other tales of terror she created. In addition to Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote some surprisingly effective horror stories. The year after Little Women appeared, Louisa May Alcott published one of the first mummy tales. These ladies weren’t alone. From the earliest days of Gothic and horror fiction, women were exploring the frontiers of fear, dreaming dark dreams that will still keep you up at night.  More Deadly than the Male includes unexpected horror tales by Louisa May Alcott and Harriet Beecher Stowe, and forgotten writers like Mary Cholmondely and Charlotte Riddell, whose work deserves a modern audience. Readers will be drawn in by the familiar names and intrigued by their rare stories.  In The Beckside Boggle, Alice Rea brings a common piece of English folklore to hair-raising life, while Helene Blavatsky, best known as the founder of the spiritualist Theosophical Society, conjures up a solid and satisfying ghost story in The Cave of the Echoes. Edith Wharton’s great novel The Age of Innocence won her the Pulitzer prize, yet her horror stories are known only to a comparative few. Readers will discover lost and forgotten women who wrote horror every bit as effectively as their male contemporaries. They will learn about their lives and careers, the challenges they faced as women working in a male-dominated field, the way they overcame those challenges, and the way they approached the genre—which was often subtler, more psychological, and more disturbing.


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Readers are well aware that Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein: few know how many other tales of terror she created. In addition to Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote some surprisingly effective horror stories. The year after Little Women appeared, Louisa May Alcott published one of the first mummy tales. These ladies weren’t alone. From the earliest days of Gothi Readers are well aware that Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein: few know how many other tales of terror she created. In addition to Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote some surprisingly effective horror stories. The year after Little Women appeared, Louisa May Alcott published one of the first mummy tales. These ladies weren’t alone. From the earliest days of Gothic and horror fiction, women were exploring the frontiers of fear, dreaming dark dreams that will still keep you up at night.  More Deadly than the Male includes unexpected horror tales by Louisa May Alcott and Harriet Beecher Stowe, and forgotten writers like Mary Cholmondely and Charlotte Riddell, whose work deserves a modern audience. Readers will be drawn in by the familiar names and intrigued by their rare stories.  In The Beckside Boggle, Alice Rea brings a common piece of English folklore to hair-raising life, while Helene Blavatsky, best known as the founder of the spiritualist Theosophical Society, conjures up a solid and satisfying ghost story in The Cave of the Echoes. Edith Wharton’s great novel The Age of Innocence won her the Pulitzer prize, yet her horror stories are known only to a comparative few. Readers will discover lost and forgotten women who wrote horror every bit as effectively as their male contemporaries. They will learn about their lives and careers, the challenges they faced as women working in a male-dominated field, the way they overcame those challenges, and the way they approached the genre—which was often subtler, more psychological, and more disturbing.

30 review for More Deadly than the Male: Masterpieces from the Queens of Horror

  1. 5 out of 5

    tightrope.to.the.sun

    "'Wal, I talked with Jed about it; and says I to Jed, says I, 'Now, ef you'll take my advice, jist you give that are old house a regular overhaulin', and paint it over with tew coats o' paint, and that are'll clear 'em out, if any thing will. Ghosts is like bedbugs,--they can't stan' fresh paint,' says I.'" -- Tom Toothacre's Ghost Story by Harriet Beecher Stowe *I received a review copy from the publisher in return for an honest review* Guys! This short story collection was amazing. All of the "'Wal, I talked with Jed about it; and says I to Jed, says I, 'Now, ef you'll take my advice, jist you give that are old house a regular overhaulin', and paint it over with tew coats o' paint, and that are'll clear 'em out, if any thing will. Ghosts is like bedbugs,--they can't stan' fresh paint,' says I.'" -- Tom Toothacre's Ghost Story by Harriet Beecher Stowe *I received a review copy from the publisher in return for an honest review* Guys! This short story collection was amazing. All of the horror stories included were written by female authors between 1830 and 1908. The majority of those included are not well known or frequently anthologized. Each story was prefaced with a short blurb by the editor, Graeme Davis, to give some background on the author and some context about the style, genre, or importance of the piece. I enjoyed reading these, because I am much less familiar with what was typical of stories during this time period and it was nice to have a little stylistic background. None of the stories included were frightening or scary, so if that is what you are looking for, you will probably be disappointed. However, being a fan of horror, it is great to see the history of specific horror sub-genres. All of the narratives were well crafted and interesting, and there was a huge variety of topics covered. Many of the pieces were hauntings/supernatural/ghost stories, but they also included vampires, mummies, sea stories, transformations, and psychological ruin. by far, my favorite story was The Beckside Boggle by Alice Rea. The Beckside Boggle was set in England's Lake District (near the Scottish border) and Rea wrote characters who spoke in dialect that was difficult to get the hang of, but greatly enriched the authenticity of the piece. I don't want to ruin the plot for those of you who have yet to read it, but she perfectly captures the sense of unease the characters feel, throws a couple of twists in, and provides a really unique method of murder. This is a small thing, and probably nit-picky, but I was a little disappointed that The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman was included in this collection. As much as I love that story, it felt out of place because of how well it is known. In so many of the before-story blurbs, Davis mentioned how little-known or less popular the stories he chose to include were. Finding such a popular story in this collection felt a little off-brand. Despite that, I loved reading all of these horror stories by badass female authors of the 19th and 20th centuries. They deserve so much more credit than they have been given by society, and I am so happy that Davis put this collection together. 4 Stars

  2. 4 out of 5

    Becky Spratford

    Review coming to blog and Booklist soon

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lukas Holmes

    I got to meet/listen to Davis talk about this book at The Bookies in Denver and enjoyed the heck out of his talk and then the heck out of the book. The stories were, of course great, but the concept and the research are top notch as well. Great pickup and I even got a signed one for my daughter.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Genevieve Taylor

    An incredible collection of lesser-known ghost stories from female writers of the 18th and 19th centuries. The collection includes stories from an array of famous female writers who weren’t known for horror, like Louisa May Alcott and Harriet Beetcher Stowe, in addition to lesser known authors lost to history, and the best ghost advice I’ve encountered all year: nothing drives off ghosts like a fresh coat of paint.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ruth

    Good old stories that illuminate society of >100 years ago. The highlight was The Yellow Wall Paper, a story of sinking into madness. Always good to have evidence that women have been full participants in literature since long before it was acceptable. However, none of these stories were at all scary or "horror."

  6. 4 out of 5

    Amelia

    So good, especially for fans of gothic horror. I love the creepy castles, the ghosts, the prophecies, twists of fate. It's all so good. And I love the stories the editor decided to compile for this anthology. Fun to read, and I was introduced to many female authors who I need to read more of!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Liam Thomas

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mary

  9. 5 out of 5

    Lynn

  10. 5 out of 5

    Anastacia Russell

  11. 4 out of 5

    Marily

  12. 4 out of 5

    Tallon Kennedy

  13. 5 out of 5

    Storm

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jayda

  15. 5 out of 5

    Charlene Morris

    Stories included: The Transformation by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley The Dark Lady by Mrs. S. C. Hall Morton Hall by Elizabeth Gaskell A Ghost Story by Ada Travanion An Engineer's Story by Amelia B Edwards Lost in a Pyramid by Louisa May Alcott Tom Toothacre's Ghost Story by Harriet Beecher Stowe Kentucky's Ghost by Elizabeth Stuart Phelps At Chrighton Abbey by Mary Elizabeth Braddon The Fate of Madame Cabanel by Eliza Lynn Linton Forwarned, Forarmed by Mrs J.H Riddell The Portrait by Margaret Oliphant The Sh Stories included: The Transformation by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley The Dark Lady by Mrs. S. C. Hall Morton Hall by Elizabeth Gaskell A Ghost Story by Ada Travanion An Engineer's Story by Amelia B Edwards Lost in a Pyramid by Louisa May Alcott Tom Toothacre's Ghost Story by Harriet Beecher Stowe Kentucky's Ghost by Elizabeth Stuart Phelps At Chrighton Abbey by Mary Elizabeth Braddon The Fate of Madame Cabanel by Eliza Lynn Linton Forwarned, Forarmed by Mrs J.H Riddell The Portrait by Margaret Oliphant The Shrine of Death by Lady Dilke The Beckside Boggle by Alice Rea The Hidden Door by Vernon Lee Unexplained by Mary Louisa Molesworth Let Loose by Mary Cholmondely The Cave of the Echos by Helena Blavatsky The Yellow Wall Paper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman The Mass for the Dead by Edith Nesbit The Tyburn Ghost by Countess of Munster The Duchess at Prayer by Edith Wharton The Vacant Lot by Mary E. Wilkins-Freeman An Unscientific Story by Louise J Strong A Dissatisfied Soul by Annie Trumbull Slosson The Readjustment by Mary Austin

  16. 5 out of 5

    Peter Taylor

  17. 5 out of 5

    Heather Campbell

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mark

  19. 5 out of 5

    FoxInTheSnow

  20. 5 out of 5

    Anais

  21. 4 out of 5

    Alishia

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sara Prier

  23. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kevy Lamb Anderson

  25. 4 out of 5

    Molly Carlson

  26. 5 out of 5

    Katie

  27. 5 out of 5

    Megan

  28. 4 out of 5

    Abhik Mukherjee

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jon Recluse

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Mccarthy

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