Tales of Terror from the House of Blackwood

Although any horror story might be designated a ‘Tale of Terror,’ this term has come to have a particular association with the short sharp shockers of Regency and early-Victorian monthly magazines – particularly Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine – a form most perfectly realised in the work of Edgar Allan Poe. Unlike the subtler phantasmagoria of eighteenth… Continue reading Tales of Terror from the House of Blackwood

De Quincey and The Gothic

Dore Ancient Mariner

Thomas De Quincey (1785 – 1859) was a prolific periodical writer. He is usually aligned historically with the early English Romantics, and is best known for his remarkable autobiography Confessions of an English Opium Eater (1821), and the satirical treatise ‘On Murder Considered as One of the Fine Arts’ (1827). De Quincey rarely wrote gothic… Continue reading De Quincey and The Gothic

Drugs and Addiction in Romantic Literature

Opium Den

That drugs might be used to aid the creative process remains a contentious issue to this day, but during the period under consideration social attitudes towards narcotics were quite different. In 1790, for example, the clergyman and poet George Crabbe was plagued by vertigo and fearful of apoplexy; his physician prescribed opium, which the author… Continue reading Drugs and Addiction in Romantic Literature