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Creating a Best Gothic Romance List
#41
Monique Devereaux Wrote:Maisonvivante, why would you include Flowers in the Attic on this list but remove The Thirteenth Tale? Your own rule states gothic ROMANCES only. I'd hardly call Flowers in the Attic a romance no matter which way you look at it. At least The Thirteenth Tale has a romantic subplot as strong as any in Jane Eyre or any other classic, it's just not the thrust of the entire book.

Hi, Monique--no offense meant--I just had to make some rapid judgment calls based on what I knew about the various books. You said it was "Gothic, not Gothic Romance," so I excluded it solely on that count. If you feel "The Thirteenth Tale" should be included, we'll definitely re-add it to the list. I haven't read it yet, and I wasn't sure whether there was a romance plot in it.

I included "Flowers in the Attic" because--gulp--the romance between Cathy and her brother is a huge part of the story and spans across the other novels as well. It takes the idea of a "dark romance" (traditional to gothics) and makes it about as "dark" as it comes: incest. Likewise, Cathy has other affairs that are similarly gothic in tone--like her mother's husband, Bart, the dark, mysterious, brooding guy who seems directly descended from Mr. Rochester. Andrews' writing is pretty bad, but she did turn elements of the Gothic romance on their head in ways that were quite inventive. In the end, I can't characterize her books as mysteries or horror (despite where bookstores shelve them). They are, in essence, gothic romances; in fact, a prominent doomed romance is a major part of the Andrews' formula, including all the books written by the ghostwriter. If you disagree, feel free to share your thinking with me.

As for "The Thirteenth Tale," if you want to include it, I think that would make it #39.
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#42
#19 still needs a title, if "The Thirteenth Tale" wants to take that slot. We would still be back at #37, or is it #38?
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#43
I went ahead and updated the list, and I included Anne Maybury's "The Midnight Dancers." If someone has a better choice to represent her, let me know, but that seems one of her better known books, and I think she should have a place on this list.
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#44
maisonvivante Wrote:13. THE SHIVERING SANDS BY SUSAN HOWATCH


wow I just noticed this:
The Shivering Sands is by Victoria Holt
Susan Howatch's book is The Waiting Sands
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#45
Penfeather Wrote:My own list would have to include The Evil of Time by Evelyn Berckman. A somewhat banal title for an outstanding book. Berckman writes with authority, style and cultivated intelligence equal to Stewart or Holt, and her ability to generate (and maintain) suspense and atmosphere aren't far behind, either. I highly recommend this book and this little-discussed author.

I just finished this novel, and placed a review on Amazon (since there was no description). Great Post WW2 (immediately after WW2), gothic with mystery. Enjoyed it!
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#46
Hi all,

I am an avid reader of the gothic and a literature graduate but have never heard of these titles you have mentioned. Are they all by American writers? We may not get those across the pond.
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#47
Hello, black tulip. And, welcome.

Not all the books are by American writers. Many of them were English: Victoria Holt, Mary Stewart, Susan Howatch, Dorothy Eden, John Dickson Carr, Daphne du Maurier (you mentioned her works in other posts), Margaret Erskine, Norah Lofts, Jill Tattersall, and others. You may or may not be the only British member, but there are a few members around the world. I believe most of us are Americans. However, I recently moved to the UK and I would agree with you. It is so difficult to find these older Gothics. Either people in Britain have burned those books ages ago, or they are clinging tight to them. Sometimes your best bet is to request it from your local library.
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#48
paigenumber Wrote:Hello, black tulip. And, welcome.

Not all the books are by American writers. Many of them were English: Victoria Holt, Mary Stewart, Susan Howatch, Dorothy Eden, John Dickson Carr, Daphne du Maurier (you mentioned her works in other posts), Margaret Erskine, Norah Lofts, Jill Tattersall, and others. You may or may not be the only British member, but there are a few members around the world. I believe most of us are Americans. However, I recently moved to the UK and I would agree with you. It is so difficult to find these older Gothics. Either people in Britain have burned those books ages ago, or they are clinging tight to them. Sometimes your best bet is to request it from your local library.

Thanks paigenumber, I will check out my local library.
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#49
paigenumber Wrote:Not all the books are by American writers. Many of them were English: Victoria Holt, Mary Stewart, Susan Howatch, Dorothy Eden, John Dickson Carr, Daphne du Maurier (you mentioned her works in other posts), Margaret Erskine, Norah Lofts, Jill Tattersall, and others. You may or may not be the only British member, but there are a few members around the world. I believe most of us are Americans. However, I recently moved to the UK and I would agree with you. It is so difficult to find these older Gothics. Either people in Britain have burned those books ages ago, or they are clinging tight to them. Sometimes your best bet is to request it from your local library.

You think the UK poses a challenge, you should try getting hold of old gothics in Australia.
If the library offers no joy try used book shops. I occasionally hit some luck that way.
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#50
I think someone needs to review and re-create this list. I can't tell which number we're at but this list needs to include:

A Dark and Splendid Passion (or The Man in Gray) by Lady Eleanor Smith
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