Pam Webb

a writer's journey as a reader

Archive for the tag “Wuthering Heights”

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?

Literary Spoilers or Have You Finished Your Assigned Summer Reading Yet?

Charlotte and Susan Cushman (the Cushman siste...

Charlotte and Susan Cushman (the Cushman sisters) in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet in 1846 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



However, if curiosity gets the best of you I shall not reveal the title, only the ending.

  1.  Juliet and Romeo die.  In fact, a lot of people die.
  2. The Navy comes in the nick of time for Jack.
  3. Ponyboy manages to pass English.
  4. Elizabeth finally says “yes” to Darcy
  5. However, it is not so happy for Heathcliff, Catherine and Edgar.
  6. Boo finally comes out.
  7. Gatsby doesn’t get the girl.
  8. George and Lennie go for a walk.  Lennie returns alone.
  9. Huck decides to hit the road.
  10. Gulliver decides to become The Man Called Horse

Now, finish up diddling on the Internet and get back to reading.

Blue Skies,


One Shot Authors

Cover of "To Kill a Mockingbird: 50th Ann...

Cover via Amazon

This summer I have pledged to really, really get going on getting my manuscripts out and into the hands of editors, agents, and/or publishers.  It’s time for a published book.  After years of published articles and magazine stories I should be content, but I’m not.  One of my B.I.G. (Before I Get–too old, too tired, too complacent, etc) goals is to be able to walk into a bookstore or a library and find my book on the shelf.  Or better yet, watch someone reading my book while I am on a plane, train, or passing through the library.  I’m not looking for fame or even fortune–truly.  I’m merely looking for shelf status.

Then I start to wonder the “what if”? What if I do get a manuscript published and a novel is born? And what if it is the only book that bears my name?  That can be a disconcerting “what if.”  Who would want to be a one shot author? on the other hand, I would be in good company.  I found this post in a surfing session and it’s so well done I’m reprinting it. Giving credit where credit is due, click on the title to thorughly check it out.

10 Acclaimed Authors Who Only Wrote One Book

1.  Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird: This notoriously reclusive author was terrified of the criticism she felt she would receive for this classic American novel. Of course, the novel didn’t tank and was an immediate bestseller, winning great critical acclaim, including the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1961. While Lee spent several years working on a novel called The Long Goodbye, she eventually abandoned it and has yet to publish anything other than a few essays since her early success and none since 1965.

Cover of "Invisible Man (Modern Library)&...

2. Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man: Invisible Man is Ellison’s best known work, most likely because it was the only novel he ever published during his lifetime and because it won him the National Book Award in 1953. Ellison worked hard to match his earlier success but felt himself stagnating on his next novel that eventually came to encompass well over 2000 pages. It was not until Ellison’s death that this novel was condensed, edited and published under the title Juneteenth.

3. Boris Pasternak, Dr. Zhivago: Pasternak’s inclusion here by no means limits him as a one hit wonder, as he was and is known as one of the greatest poets of the 20th century. But when it came to writing novels, Pasternak was to only create one work, the epic Dr. Zhivago. It was a miracle that even this novel was published, as the manuscript had to be smuggled out of Russia and published abroad. Even when it won Pasternak the Nobel Prize in 1958, he was forced to decline due to pressure from Soviet authorities, lest he be exiled or imprisoned. Pasternak died two years later of lung cancer, never completing another novel.

Cover of "Doctor Zhivago"

Cover of Doctor Zhivago

Cover of "Gone with the Wind"

4. Margaret Mitchell, Gone With the Wind: Margaret Mitchell never wanted to seek out literary success and wrote this expansive work in secret, only sending it to publishers after she was mocked by a colleague who didn’t believe she was capable of writing a novel. She turned out to be more than capable; however, and the book won a Pulitzer and was adapted into one of the best known and loved films of all time. Mitchell would not get a chance to write another novel, as she was struck and killed by a car on her way to the cinema at only 49 years of age.

5. Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights: As part of a family of women who enjoyed writing, Emily did work on a collection of poetry during her life, though the vast majority of her work was published under a more androgynous pen name at first. While Wuthering Heights received criticism at first for it’s innovative style, it has since become a classic and was edited and republished in 1850 by her sister under her real name. It is entirely possible that Emily may have gone on to create other novels, but her poor health and the harsh climate she lived in shortened her life, and she died at 30 of tuberculosis.

Wuthering Heights (1998 film)

Wuthering Heights (1998 film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

6. Anna Sewell, Black Beauty: Sewell didn’t start off her life intending to be a novelist. Indeed, she didn’t begin writing Black Beauty until she was 51 years old, motivated by the need to create a work that encouraged people to treat horses (and humans) humanely, and it took her six years to complete it. Upon publication it was an immediate bestseller, rocketing Sewell into success. Unfortunately, she would not live to enjoy but a little of it as she died from hepatitis five months after her book was released.

English: Cover of the novel Black Beauty, firs...

English: Cover of the novel Black Beauty, first edition 1877, published by London: Jarrold and Sons (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

These represent novels of authors whose work we tend not to associate beyond their books.  There are other writers, like Oscar Wilde and Sylvia Plath, whom we recognize for their other writings, such as poetry, which were spotlighted in the post. I thought how sad it must have been for Margaret Mitchell and Anna Sewell to have only produced one book.  Then again, what about Nelle?  I wouldn’t mind becoming a one shot author if my one lone book would have as much impact as Harper Lee’s has over time.

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: