Category Archives: Critical thoughts

Hans Andersen’ s Dark Musings From A Discarded Christmas Tree

I have been reading Hans Andersen’s unsettling account of a Christmas fir tree that feels pain. I was reminded of this story last year when I came across Lars Ostenfeld’s beautifully sad and poignant adaptation of  The Fir Tree (Danish: Grantræet) on the … Continue reading

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How Scooby Doo Influenced A Whole Generation of Gothic Scholars

If you were one of those kids who rushed home from school in the 70s to watch Scooby Doo it might just have influenced you in your Gothic thinking and in your understanding of the way Gothic stories are told. … Continue reading

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What Happens to a Werewolf in the Harvest Moon?

The condition of  shapeshifting into a wolf in the full moon is, of course, known as lycanthropy. September brings us the full moon closest to the Autumn equinox.  The Harvest Moon will appear bigger and brighter tonight and will inspire … Continue reading

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Every Time A Bell Rings an Angel Gets His Wings

I am writing on Hans Andersen in my forthcoming book on shadow play and despite the discourse of suffering and redemption, the stories are full of imagination and sensibility, and are always heart-wrenchingly empathic. Many of the tales have a … Continue reading

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Twilight: feminism and fandom

It’s the ten-year anniversary of the first film of Stephenie Meyers’s Twilight series (Twilight, dir. by Catherine Hardwicke), the YA vampire paranormal romance which became a sensation. Both book and film, and the adulation both received, attracted much criticism, often … Continue reading

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Vampires: Dracula, James Joyce, Jane Austen, bats, and Marx

Again, a bit too late for Hallowe’en, but a handful of essays on vampires here: 1. Recent research at the London Library on Bram Stoker’s annotations to source material for Dracula: ‘The Books That Made Dracula‘. 2. Austen Gilkeson, ‘The … Continue reading

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Frankenstein: essays and 1910 film

A bit behind with blogging, so quite a few Frankenstein items have accumulated (it being, as I’m sure you’ll know, the 200th anniversary of the novel’s publication). First, a brief discussion, with some very useful links, of the claim by … Continue reading

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Slaying Vampires: Romantic Origins, Theatrical Afterlives

. @DrSamGeorge1 talks about the fascinating history behind this vampire slaying kit, which feeds into the research of the @OGOMProject.#halloween pic.twitter.com/VIKQyktHZV — University of Hertfordshire (@UniofHerts) October 31, 2018 ‘ but those mine enemies, which would not that I should … Continue reading

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Older than Dracula: in search of the English vampire

Older than Dracula: in search of the English vampire The Premature Burial. Antoine Wiertz (1854) Sam George, University of Hertfordshire The story of Count Dracula as many of us know it was created by Bram Stoker, an Irishman, in 1897. … Continue reading

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Deviant Burial of ‘Vampire’ Child in C15th Italy

I am mapping ‘deviant’ burials for a piece I am writing on Wharram Percy, the medieval English village that mutilated its own dead, including many women and children. Whatever these people believed eventually took hold completely and led to them … Continue reading

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