The Routledge Handbook to the Ghost Story  book cover
1st Edition

The Routledge Handbook to the Ghost Story

ISBN 9781138184763
Published November 10, 2017 by Routledge
506 Pages

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USD $260.00

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Book Description

The Handbook to the Ghost Story sets out to survey and significantly extend a new field of criticism which has been taking shape over recent years, centring on the ghost story and bringing together a vast range of interpretive methods and theoretical perspectives. The main task of the volume is to properly situate the genre within historical and contemporary literary cultures across the globe, and to explore its significance within wider literary contexts as well as those of the supernatural. The Handbook offers the most significant contribution to this new critical field to date, assembling some of its leading scholars to examine the key contexts and issues required for understanding the emergence and development of the ghost story.

Table of Contents


Notes on Contributors


Scott Brewster and Luke Thurston

Section I. Ghostly Origins

Chapter 1. Gothic and Romantic Ghosts in Novels, Dramas, and the Chapbook

Diane Long Hoeveler

Chapter 2. The Ghost Story and the Victorian Literary Marketplace

Anthony Mandal

Chapter 3. The Ghost Story and Science

Sarah Bissell

Chapter 4. Oscar Wilde in the Fourth Dimension: Ghosts, Geometry and the Victorian Crisis of Meaning

Jarlath Killeen

Chapter 5. Ghost Stories and Sensation Fiction

Brittany Roberts

Chapter 6. Women Writers and Ghost Stories

Melissa Edmundson

Chapter 7. The Victorian Ghost Story and the Invention of Christmas

Dewi Evans

Section II. Vital Spirits

Chapter 8. Playful spirits: Charles Dickens and the Ghost Story

Claire Wood

Chapter 9. J. Sheridan Le Fanu

Alison Milbank

Chapter 10. Haunting Memories: Death, Mourning, and Memory in the Ghost Stories of Margaret Oliphant

Elizabeth McCarthy

Chapter 11. Algernon Blackwood

S. T. Joshi

Chapter 12. Conan Doyle’s Sceptical Reader: Ghost Stories, Science and Spiritualism

Kevin Mills

Chapter 13. M. R. James

Darryl Jones

Chapter 14. Jamesian Ghosts: Romance and History

T. J. Lustig

Chapter 15. Vernon Lee

Oliver Tearle

Chapter 16. "A Roaring and Discontinuous Universe": Edith Wharton’s Modern Hauntings

Emily Coit

Chapter 17. "German has a word for the total effect": Robert Aickman’s Strange Stories

Timothy Jones

Section III. Haunted Nations

Chapter 18. The English Ghost Story

David Punter

Chapter 19. The Ghost Story in Scotland

Timothy C. Baker

Chapter 20. Haunted Wales

Jane Aaron

Chapter 21. The American Ghost Story

Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock

Chapter 22. ‘If You Build It, They Will Come’: The Strange Case of the English-Canadian Ghost Story

Cynthia Sugars

Chapter 23. The Ghost and the Darkness: Creole Hauntings in Caribbean Literature

Lizabeth Paravisini-Gebert

Chapter 24. The Latin American Ghost Story

Enrique Ajuria Ibarra

Chapter 25. "There was more in this darkness": The New Zealand Ghost Story

Erin Mercer

Chapter 26. Australian Ghost Fiction

David Ellison and Penelope Hone

Chapter 27. Strange Ghosts: Asian Reconfigurations of the Chinese Ghost Story

Katarzyna Ancuta

Chapter 28. Indian Ghosts: A Love Affair

Tabish Khair

Chapter 29. Shades of Dissent: Notes on Haunting in South African Literary History

Rebecca Duncan

Section IV. Haunting Sites

Chapter 30. Haunted Landscapes

Lucie Armitt

Chapter 31. Transport and Trauma: Uncanny Modernities

Ralph Harrington

Chapter 32. Ghost Walking

Scott Brewster

Chapter 33. The Ghosts of War

Matt Foley

Chapter 34. Haunted Houses

Nick Freeman

Chapter 35. The Children’s Ghost Story

Beth Rogers

Section V. Ghosts On Screen and Stage

Chapter 36. Screening the Spectre: Ghosts on Film

Murray Leeder

Chapter 37. Enchanted Visions: Ghostly Media from E.T.A. Hoffmann to Alfred Hitchcock

Elisabeth Bronfen

Chapter 38. Spirits on the Air: Ghosts, Sound and the Radio

Richard J. Hand

Chapter 39. Ghosts and Television

Derek Johnston

Chapter 40. Performing the Ghost Story on the English Stage

Kelly Jones

Chapter 41. Cyber-hauntings: The Online Ghost Story and its Cultural Narratives

Lorna Piatti-Farnell

Section VI. Ghosts in Theory

Chapter 42. How Ghosts Became Disgusting

Pamela K. Gilbert

Chapter 43. Ghostly Animals

Kathryn Bird

Chapter 44. The Ghost Story and Feminism

Diana Wallace

Chapter 45. "Keeping an Eye On Me": Queer Specters

Ardel Haefele-Thomas

Chapter 46. Postmodern Ghost Stories

Maria Beville

Chapter 47. "Dead Letters": Postcolonial Haunting in the Work of a Materialist

Gerald Gaylard


Chapter 48. Stories Not like Any Others: Ghosts and the Ethics of Literature

Luke Thurston


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Scott Brewster is Reader in English at the University of Lincoln, UK. He has published widely on the Gothic, including essays on M. R. James and on the contemporary ghost film, and on modern poetry and Irish Literature. He participated in the British Library’s Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination exhibition in autumn 2014.

Luke Thurston is Senior Lecturer in Modern Literature at Aberystwyth University, UK and Director of the David Jones Centre. He has published widely on Joyce, modernist literature, and psychoanalysis.


"An excellent introduction and overview of critical approaches to a genre often as odd as its spectral denizens. These essays demonstrate that the ubiquity of the ghost story is, in part, what makes the genre compelling, almost a riddle: ghosts are everywhere and nowhere."

- Aran Ruth, Supernatural Studies Association