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Posts Tagged ‘Gothic literature’

William Beckford – Vathek

Posted by demonik on June 12, 2009

William Beckford – Vathek (Four Square/ NEL, 1966)

Josh Kirby

Josh Kirby

Originally published in 1786. The Capith Vathek, whose evil eye is so lethal he can mutilate or even kill a man just by glaring at him, leads his men on a subterranean Black Pilgrimage to the Hall of Eblis at the earth’s core, where he hopes to meet his hero and the one entity who can satisfy his every cruel and terrible lust (essentially, Satan).  Beckford’s Oriental slant and taste for the exotic marks him out as a Clark Ashton Smith (or, at least, Frank Owen) of the early Gothic novel, while the sheer horror of the climax – which sees Vathek as completely damned as any character in the history horror fiction; Prayers On Fire! – makes this short novel as memorable in it’s way as M. G. Lewis’s more traditionally shocking The Monk.

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Rhiannon Hughes – Legends of the Mist

Posted by demonik on September 16, 2007

Rhiannon Hughes (ed.) – Legends of the Mist (Nel, 1972)




I. Legendary Tales
The Lady of the Fountain
Merlin and the History of Tom Thumb
The Legend of the Mountain Bard

II.Witchcraft and Satanism
Satan Playing Cards on Rhyd-y-Cae Bridge, Pentrevoelas
Satan Snatching a Man Up Into the Air
Satan Frightening a Man For Gathering Nuts On Sunday
Satan Taking Possession Of a Man Who Fished On Sunday
Satan Taking Possession Of a Man Who Travelled On Sunday
Satan Outwitted
The Devil’s Tree by Eglwys Rhos
Witches Transforming Themselves Into Cats
The Witches Revenge on Huw Llwyd
A Witch transformed into a Hare injured by one whom she tormented
Ceriden and Gwion (Gwiawn) Bach’s Transformation
How To Break, or Protect People From a Witch’s Spell

III. Supernatural
The Murderess
The Infidel
The Sighs of Ulla
The Curse of Pantannas
Goronwy Tudor and The Witches of Llanddona
Nansi Llwyd and The Dog of Darkness

From the land of the mist, this anthology brings together some of the best short fantasy fiction. From the legends of King Arthur and Merlin, the curious romantic tales of the Mabinogion, to the anecdotes and tales still related over the hearthstone, this collection is one to be treasured.
In ‘Legends of the Mist’, noted anthologist Rhiannon Hughes has brought alive again a rich vein of superlative Welsh storytelling to be enjoyed by readers everywhere.

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