Pam Webb

a writer's journey as a reader

Just Another Gothic Girl

English: Gothic girl.

English: Gothic girl. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


I have admittedly strayed from my AP book list and I am in the midst of coasting in my reading tastes: the gothic romance novel. oh yeah.

I’m not talking your acceptable-found-on-the-list novel like Frankenstein, Wuthering Heights, and Jane Eyre. Nope, I’m talking about the forgotten books by a forgotten author that needs rediscovering.  Maybe I will start a resurgence of Dorothy Eden readers. You  never know.

Intrigued by what constitutes a gothic romance novel I Googled to find a most excellent site called Virtual Salt, which is written by Robert Harris, former professor and general busy guy.  He’s got an exciting menu of topic choices on his website and it is a recommended stop by.  I chose “Element of the Gothic Novel” and will definitely be borrowing from and referring to his article once I get to Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre in AP Lit.

Currently I’m cheat reading and have discovered amidst the buried “E”s when I was last shelf shopping,  Dorothy Eden, who had once upon a time a long writing career spanning from the 1940s into the 1980, being known primarily for writing these smashing gothic romances with heroines exhibiting contemporary tendencies.  I’m deep into my second one and these are exactly what I need,  having come off of a grading campaign of freshmen poetry notebooks.

Here is Gothic Romance Elements 101 in a Nutshell.  For in-depth article investigation I encourage you to investigate Robert Harris’s site.

A Gothic Romance needs to have the following:
1.  a castle
2. inexplicable events
3. suspense
4. a damsel in distress
5. overwrought emotions
6. metonymy of gloom and horror *

*refresher for metonymy: it’s a type of metaphor.  For instance, in movies to get some immediate gloom and horror tone going the script will throw in some approaching footsteps and of course you gotta have the sudden torrential downpoour complete with thunder and lightning.

Here’s what Dorothy Eden fare I’ve dined upon so far–the title alone, let alone the cover art, indicate a GR is within the grasp.

The Shadow WifeI couldn’t improve on Amazon:

There was something about the tall, dynamic Dane that disturbed Luise Amberley. But he was so attentive, so charming, that she silenced the small warning voice within her and yielded to his passionate persuasions. The wedding ceremony was hasty, almost furtive, but Luise was too wildly infatuated to care. Even his insistence that their marriage be kept a secret did not seem unreasonable. Otto Winther was, after all, a Count…a man whose ancestors were royalty in Denmark. Not until they left the small seaside resort where they had met and arrived at Maaneborg Castle did Luise become aware that something was wrong. It was not merely the coolmess of the welcome. There was an atmosphere of desperation and danger. They were hiding something. And Luise was determined to find out their secret, no matter what the risk. She did not want to remain a SHADOW WIFE.
It’s actually much better than the description. Considering the publishing date was 1967 I found myself surprised that the following being mentioned: a)computers b)open love affairs within a marriage c)abortion.  Plus Luise is no fainting Melba.  She does not easily whimper off or get locked up in a dungeon.  She reminds me a lot of Jane Eyre, one of my all time fave heroines.
I’m in the middle of Winterwood and once again I will let Amazon do the honors.
 WinterwoodSee the castle?  See the damsel in distress?  Gloom and suspense?  And you know that inexplicable event is about to happen.
Enough of the blogging.  I must return to my saga of the socialite forced by circumstance to become governess to the wealthy family consisting of handsome husband, aloof wife with a myriad of light illnesses, and two spoiled children.  I did mention the dying, extremely rich aunt, did I not?

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5 thoughts on “Just Another Gothic Girl

  1. Wow, those sound like fun reads. I haven’t read a gothic novel in a LONG time.

  2. Pingback: Whatsa matta with myah Zemanta? « cricketmuse

  3. Pingback: Jane Eyrror « cricketmuse

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