1st Edition

The Routledge Handbook to the Ghost Story

Edited By Scott Brewster, Luke Thurston Copyright 2018
    506 Pages
    by Routledge

    506 Pages
    by Routledge

    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.


    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



    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