[This is an edited version of an essay that was first published in Le Fanu Studies 4:2 (2009)]

Decorated initial J

oseph Sheridan Le Fanu was fascinated by art, and his writing is suffused with references to the complex visual cultures of his time. Several of his characters are painters, his descriptive style is a traditional version of what the Victorians called ‘picturing‘ or ‘painting in words’, and there are many allusions to artists, artistic techniques and art-works. He often focuses on paintings; as Robin Wilkinson observes, he makes ‘abundant use of portraits and painted landscapes, pictures and frames’ (277). Other allusions are more domestic, the sort of artefacts that feature in the street or the parlour. Le Fanu repeatedly speaks of tapestries and textiles, miniatures and cameos, prints, steel-etchings, wood-engravings, cartoons and illustrations in books, and his roving eye occasionally includes vernacular art such as inn-signs.

Le Fanu writes these objects as ekphrastic, plastic structures, emblematic texts within texts which visualize important information in a spatial form. Used as a mode of distillation, a means of focusing material which he takes out of the fast-flowing movement of the narrative, these ‘significant pictures’ have two principal roles: they visualize aspects of character; and they comment on the development of the plot.

Le Fanu presents this material in the form of visual clues which the interpreter is invited to decode and construct, sometimes by deciding how a visual artefact should be read, and sometimes by discovering information, inscribed in its imaginary surface, which is otherwise missing or submerged within the text. A character’s inner thoughts, or the development of the story, are thus embodied in a visual sign, and the reader/viewer is challenged to make sense of the structures that s/he can ‘see’. Taken as a given by the contemporary audience – which was used to reading the clues contained in the dense pictograms of Victorian paintings (Wood 10) – this reading transaction is (or should be) intensely involving, a means of drawing the reader into the text. However, it is important to note that the author’s treatment of the visual was a commonplace of Victorian fiction, and his inclusion of this device was not, in the absolute sense of the term, original.

On the contrary, he draws heavily on existing traditions. Pictorial representations of character and narrative are generally a property of Gothic, and it is here that he found a primary source. It is noticeable, for example, that his enigmatic pictures in ‘Schalken the Painter’ (1839) are echoes of Charles Maturin’s ‘significant’ portrait in Melmoth the Wanderer (1820), and Wilkinson suggests another influence (277) in the form of Balzac’s Le Chef-d’oeuvre Inconnu (1831). Le Fanu’s later representations of character might have been influenced by Poe’s ‘The Oval Portrait’ (1845, Poe 250-53), and Poe’s picturing of narrative, as typified by Roderick Usher’s daub in ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’ (1840, Poe 146), is surely traceable in Le Fanu’s visualizations of forthcoming doom in the symbolic pictures of The Rose and the Key (1871, 425).

This Gothic lineage is well-marked and predictable. But is only a part of the equation. Another element, and one which is usually overlooked, is the relationship between Le Fanu’s visual artefacts and those appearing in the Sensational fictions of his contemporaries, Wilkie Collins, Charles Reade and Mary Elizabeth Braddon. Le Fanu’s treatment of art in the 1860s and 70s was clearly influenced, I suggest, by these writers’ presentations of visual art.

Yet this relationship was anything but straightforward, not least because Le Fanu was, we might say, a reluctant Sensationalist, or at any rate one unwilling to accept the label. Critics such as S. M. Ellis and Winfred Hughes have classified Le Fanu as a practitioner in the style of Collins and Reade (Hughes 189), but the writer, aware of the charge as it was made in his own time, was careful to distance himself from this popular genre. Whenever possible he disavowed any relationship between himself and his more popular counterparts: he insists in his ‘Preliminary Word’ to Uncle Silas that the term ‘Sensationalism’ was ‘too promiscuously’ applied, and goes on to imply that his work should be read as an updated version of the ‘grand’ romance (US xxiii) of Walter Scott. Nevertheless, Le Fanu was an eclectic writer: he was careful to exploit whatever device could be turned to his advantage, and the Sensational writing of art was precisely the sort of ready-made convention that he characteristically takes for his own.

However, this is not to imply that he simply recreated what he read elsewhere. Rather, his approach was a complicated mix of borrowing and manipulation. Driven forward by the need to publish, he sometimes draws directly from Sensational texts, using the trope of Sensational picture-making as a pre-existing discourse that was understood by the contemporary audience of the 60s and 70s; yet, at the same time, his method was often a matter of stretching or testing the language, writing and re-writing the idea of the significant object as a means of creating a series of idiosyncratic effects. At once exploitative and inventive, Le Fanu uses Sensational texts, I suggest, as a rich source of material, a pre-existing semiotic which could function as it does in the writings of the Sensationalists, or could be shaped to his own, particular ends. In this essay I explore the author’s appropriation and refiguring of the Sensational language of the ‘significant picture’, focusing especially on the relationship between Le Fanu’s visual artefacts and those of his most influential contemporaries, Braddon and Collins.

The Influence of Collins

Le Fanu’s treatment of ‘narrative pictures’ was heavily influenced by the example of Collins. In Collins’s fictions, visual artefacts are typically used to enhance the reader’s involvement in the story by extending it backwards or forwards in time, and the same technique is adopted by Le Fanu. Le Fanu is notably influenced by Collins’s use of pictorial objects as the emblems of the past, so creating a contrast between what has been, and the present. Le Fanu’s writing of this technique, which is essentially a matter of stretching the narrative to reach outside its linear frame, can be demonstrated by tracing the parallels between Collins’s ‘pictures’, as they appear in a range of fictions, and his own.

Collins often deploys emblematic pictures as a means of creating a contrast between the innocence of a character’s past experiences and the iniquity of the present, and Le Fanu follows the same pattern. This process is initially realized in terms of a visual mapping of the character‘s history. There is a marked similarity, for instance, between the visual models in Basil (1852), which signify the hero’s childhood state of grace, and those appearing in Uncle Silas (1864).

Charles Stewart's frontispiece to Uncle Silas in the 1947 edition, courtesy of the Royal Academy.

The prime similarity is registered in terms of two cameos. In Basil, the narrator’s previous innocence is signalled by a ‘miniature portrait’ (201) in his father’s family tree, and in Uncle Silas the author shows us an enamel of Silas as he was, a ‘handsome’ child with ‘fair golden hair and large eyes. Both signs are the embodiment of ‘pretty naiveté (55), and Le Fanu is careful to recreate Collins’s notion of the cameo as a timeless distillation of some Edenic age. More importantly, Le Fanu highlights the dramatic disjuncture between past and present by recreating the Collinsian disjuncture of what was and what is. This is realized, once again, by following the model provided by Basil. In Collins’s text, the horrors of the present are embodied in the contrast between the boyish face in the portrait (201) and Basil’s adult visage, distorted with shame (200); and the same approach, making a contrast between the boy and the adult, is made in Uncle Silas.

Indeed, Le Fanu extends Collins’s technique, building a series of grotesque juxtapositions between Silas’s appearance as a child and his malign appearance as an old man. Once a ‘hero’ with a ’beautiful’ face (55), his later physiognomy, taken from the flesh, but described as if it were a ‘Dutch portrait’, is a matter of ‘fearful’ gaze and ‘strange eyes’ (189), even his golden curls (the conventional sign of hope and innocence) having given way to a menacing contrast of silver hair and black eyebrows. Figured as a ‘mystery’ (55) when he is a child, Silas is later revealed as unambiguously wicked, as if his innocence were somehow placed, as Cousin Monica implies, in the ‘coffin’ (55). The present has cancelled the events of the past, but here, as in the example provided by Collins’s text, the difference between what was and is dramatically embodied in the relationship between the unchanging signature of art, which arrests time, and the endless process of evil and corruption, which leaves its marks on the characters’ malleable faces.

Title page of the Downey & Co. edition in Project Gutenberg.

Yet the contrast between past and present is not always a calculated clash between the golden age and the blighted present. In Collins’s fiction art-works often point to a past which is corrupt and menacing, with continuing implications for the present, and the same applies to Le Fanu. A particular focus is realized in terms of full-size portraits, signs of the past which symbolize a lingering anxiety or shameful act. In Collins’s fictions this usually takes the form of pictures which are literally rotten: written as symbolic exemplifications of some morally ‘rotten’ act, they function as a sort of cancer, a wound that will never heal. In The Dead Secret the ‘bulging’ (22) frames of the portraits signal the presence of a wicked deception, while in novels such as Le Fanu’s Checkmate the ‘perfectly rotten’ (7) picture infects the present with a moral disease that is yet to be cured. The symbolism of The Dead Secret also recurs in the form of the decomposing portrait in Le Fanu’s The Wyvern Mystery (63), the ‘mildewed’ tapestry in ‘Squire Toby’s Will’ (James 26), and the ‘disgusting picture’, linked with insanity and ‘illness’, that menaces the characters in ‘The Haunted Baronet’ (Bleiler 158). In Le Fanu’s pictures, as in Collins’s, the power of the past can never be overcome, but will always return; as Collins puts it in No Name, ‘nothing in this world is hidden forever’ (21), and consequences will always take their course.

Of course, the notion of the past extending forward and ruining the present is deeply fatalistic, and it is noticeable that both writers explore the idea of human behavior as being limited or trapped by malign predestination. What has been will continue to fester. In Le Fanu’s world, as in Collins’s, secrets are never dead ones, but will always return, embodied in the form of revenants or events, to blight the present.

Equally menacing is the future, and this time significant pictures are used to predict what will happen as the narrative unfolds. Always aiming to manipulate his readers and build the maximum impression of unendurable suspense, Collins provides an extended model in which future events are ‘purposely foreshadowed’ (Preface to No Name): tension is built through the provision of clues and the reader’s expectations are heightened by a process of anticipation. His approach is partly expressed in Hide and Seek, in which Matt’s return from America is prefigured (in analogue) in one of Valentine Blyth’s ridiculous allegorical paintings (239), a pastiche of contemporary historical epics. However, his treatment is most clearly exemplified by the writing of art in The Moonstone. In this novel, the chaos caused by the stealing of the jewel is predicted in the form of an amateur painting by Franklin and Rachel Verinder. The effect, as the butler Betteredge reports, is the very emblem of bewilderment, noting how ‘The griffins, cupids, and so on, were, I must own, most beautiful to behold; though so many in number, so entangled in flowers and devices, and so topsy-turvy in their actions and attitudes, that you felt them unpleasantly in your head for hours … (94). Never less than a ‘mess’ (94), this picture suggestively points to the ‘entangled’ complications, the ‘topsy-turvy’ confusion that will unfold as the narrative traces the vicissitudes of the jewel’s pursuit. Crystallizing its information in the form of another symbolic exemplification, it shows in a still moment how time, the workings of the narrative, will unfold.

The same technique is used, moreover, in Le Fanu’s reworking of this motif. There is a half-echo of Collins’s emblematic griffins in the form of the inn-sign that hangs outside the ‘George and Dragon’ in ‘The Haunted Baronet’ (Bleiler 61), and symbolic figures and arabesques – the tokens of forthcoming confusion and doom – recur elsewhere. Collins’s iconography is briefly rewritten in the form of the heraldic panel in ‘The Room in the Dragon Volant’ (In a Glass Darkly 121). This shows a bird ominously holding a stone: a metaphor for what is to come. Le Fanu uses heraldic devices to best effect, however, in Uncle Silas. The ‘indescribable foreboding’ (169) of Maud’s predicament is exemplified by the details of a tapestry by the Dutch painter of landscape and genre, Philips Wouvermans. Replete with scenes of ‘falconry, and the chase, dogs (and) hawks’ (3), this emblem figures the unfolding story, symbolically pointing to Maud’s sense of pursuit, of being placed in the position of a victim persecuted by hostile forces. The chase-motif is later taken up and made more explicit when Maud contemplates a ‘large quarto with coloured prints’ (337), one of which is an image of a ‘girl … flying in terror’, menaced by the threat of being ‘devoured and fought over by beasts of prey’ (338). The artefacts work, in other words, to give a symbolic representation of the direction in which the narrative develops. Grotesque in effect, they strip bare the reality of Maud’s situation, showing what will happen, and what is to come, and what should be feared. Like the griffins and cupids in The Moonstone, they point to a future which is both ‘topsy-turvy’ and heavy with fear.

Such analogies suggest the extent of Le Fanu’s indebtedness to Collins. Collins’s writing of symbolic objects provides him with a code which is well-defined and laden with implication, easily subsumed within an apparently realistic surface and, at the same time, intelligible to a contemporary audience that was already familiar with the conventions of the Sensational ‘picture’. Le Fanu may have distanced himself from Sensationalism, but in his writing of art, as in his emphasis on mystery and the need for readers to decode, he used Collins’s texts as a fertile source.

The Influence of Braddon

Braddon’s novels were equally significant, and Le Fanu’s approach to her treatment of visual artefacts is again characterized by a dynamic mixture of acceptance, experimentation and questioning. This process of borrowing and adapting is especially applied to his writing of pictorial emblems which, as Lynette Felber explains in a suggestive article on Victorian picturing and the ‘literary portrait’, ‘conspicuously’ function to ‘establish character’ (471).

At least half of Le Fanu’s response is a matter of literary recreation in which he revisits Braddon‘s visual writing of her personae. He is especially interested in her representation of personality through a process of association, a technique in which essential traits are revealed by linking an individual to a significant object. The influence of this approach is suggested by the relationship between the art-work in Braddon’s Vixen and the pictures in ‘Squire Toby’s Will’. In Vixen, Braddon unambiguously reveals Mrs. Tempest’s sensuality by connecting her with the ‘Cupids and Graces’ which dance with the ‘airiest attitudes’ on her illustrated fan (13). Likewise, in ‘Squire Toby’s Will’, Le Fanu identifies the dead squire’s malevolence by making one of his sons return to his favourite room, a place that once contained a tapestry of King Herod (James 26-7), the murderer of innocents. Both treatments use minor detail emblematically as a means to underline aspects of character, and there are many instances when Le Fanu’s characters, like Braddon’s, are subtly exposed through their association with what is apparently only an insignificant part of the décor.

There is a close linkage, it can be argued, between Braddon’s unmasking of Lancelot Darrell in Eleanor’s Victory, and Le Fanu’s revelations of the duplicitous Lady Vernon in The Rose and the Key. In Braddon’s text, Lancelot’s essential wickedness is revealed by the ugliness of his painting (382); and in Le Fanu’s the ‘saturnine’ pictures point to her curious combination of wickedness and despair, sensuality and a sort of melodramatic madness (425). Both writers conflate aesthetics and morality, and bad taste becomes a symbol, in line with Ruskinian aesthetics, of bad character. Of course, this in itself is a complicated idea, and it is noticeable that Le Fanu is far more open-minded as to what constitutes ‘good taste’ than Braddon (who surprisingly condemns her characters for liking Pre-Raphaelitism).

Le Fanu was more generally influenced by Braddon’s technique of inscription, of writing character into a material form. Braddon’s model is exemplified by the much discussed portrait of Lady Audley in Lady Audley’s Secret. This voyeuristic image mediates between surface and inner depth, appearance and reality in the form of a Pre-Raphaelite painting, for ‘No one but a Pre-Raphaelite would have painted, hair by hair, those feathery masses of ringlet … but I suppose the painter had copied quaint medieval monstrosities until his brain had grown bewildered, for my lady ... had something of the aspect of a beautiful fiend (Lady Audley’s Secret 70–71).

By looking through the surface of the painting, so Braddon implies, it is possible to ‘see’ the essential personality which, it seems, is usually a contradiction of the smooth and duplicitous exterior. This technique, a means of revealing inner in the fabric of the outer, is taken up by Le Fanu, and finds a parallel expression in several of his texts. However, his response to Braddon’s notion of the inscription of personality is subject to the process of re-interpretation. Proceeding from the idea that pictures might show a person’s inner appearance, he writes a series of portraits which are indebted to Braddon, but offer a much greater complexity and suggestiveness. Often this reveals the characters’ innermost thoughts and anxieties even when they themselves are only half-aware of their mental and emotional condition.

Le Fanu’s rewriting of Braddon is exemplified by the portrait in Carwell, Alice’s new home in Le Fanu’s The Wyvern Mystery. Supposedly a picture of a previous mistress, this image is a decayed surface, a ‘rotten’ (63) concoction of canvas and paint which not only suggests the presence of some undisclosed secret but implies the psychological state of the new occupant. Thus far, Alice has only been possessed by ‘the faintest image of horror’ in ‘one dark corner of her mind’ (52). This is what is in her conscious mind; however the portrait provides a much deeper representation of what lies in her troubled subconscious. Imaged as a fragmentary surface, a melee of bare surfaces, flaking paint and fading, the picture provides an apt visual metaphor for mental disintegration. The painting’s subject literally comes apart, and so does Alice’s psyche as she struggles with fearful uncertainty. All that survives on the painted surface is ‘a bit o’ the mouth, red, and smilin’…’ (63), an ominous sign that unambiguously links the image to Alice – who is noted for her ‘brilliant red’ mouth (15) – while grotesquely suggesting that all that will be left of her is the semblance of outer beauty.

The portrait in The Wyvern Mystery reads, in short, as a new treatment of Braddon’s picture making. The portrait of Lady Audley reveals the character’s true personality and according to Sophie Andres, is a sign of a female writer’s ‘transgressions of gender’ (4); but the portraits of Le Fanu reveal the workings of mind in terms of a dense ambiguity and strangeness which defies any simple process of labelling and is expressed in the shape of visual distortions and visual uncertainty. His treatment is usually applied to his ‘neurotic’ females, and it is noticeable that the most extensive writing of art is gender-orientated. Braddon voyeuristically gives us a salacious glimpse of the inner fiend, and Le Fanu offers pictorial images which have a troubling psychological complexity, and only allow us to see ‘darkly’. This experimental treatment of Braddon’s Sensational pictures is taken to an absolute extreme in his later fictions, especially in his writing of the artefacts associated with his own, supernatural ‘fiend’, the vampire Carmilla of In a Glass Darkly (1872).

‘Carmilla’ and Symbolic Art-Works

Carmilla is initially linked to a tapestry representing Cleopatra (In a Glass Darkly 258), an image Braddon manipulates as a means of underlining the voluptuousness of Aurora Floyd (Aurora Floyd 29). Working with Braddon’s sign, Le Fanu classifies Carmilla as another femme fatale. However, he enhances the range of association, using even the smallest details to suggest psychological nuance. For example, he specifies the asp at Cleopatra’s bosom, an emblem that suggests the parasitic act of vampirism, the sucking of blood at the bosom of her victims that leads not to her death, but to theirs. It further implies her satanic wickedness as a type of evil spirit; her ability to change shape; and her sexual indeterminacy. Later to demonstrate the masculinized ‘ardour of a lover’ (In a Glass 246), Carmilla’s asp is a surrogate penis, the sign of her capacity to ‘puncture’ (247) her victims as if she were a man.

The golden-haired Carmilla looks back at a funeral in M. Fitzgerald's illustration for the 1871-72 edition of Dark Blue from the University of Chicago library (c1.v.2, facing p. 596).

Such sexual destructiveness is the central part of her character, and Le Fanu inscribes other negative messages in the morbid fabric of Carmilla’s room. The ‘sombre classic scenes’ suggest the underlying melancholy of Carmilla’s character, as does the ‘gloom’ of the tapestry, which seems (like Carmilla herself) to be timeless. And equally important is the combination of splendour and fading. She herself is a ‘little faded’ (258) in the spiritual sense, but, like the exotic gilding, is characterized by lush corporeality. Repeatedly described in terms of her physical beauty, Carmilla’s essential showiness is signalled by the details of ‘gold carving’ and ‘rich and varied colour’. Indeed, Le Fanu stresses the connection by making explicit links between the description of the images and their decorations and Carmilla’s appearance. The decorations are ‘gold’ (258) and so is Carmilla’s hair, which contains ‘something of gold’ (262); the surrounds are ‘rich and varied’ (258), and her complexion ‘rich and brilliant’ (268). Such echoes point to a sort of confusion between the art-works and the character; the artefacts are merely illusion, visual lures that conceal an inner emptiness, and the same is true of Carmilla.

Carmilla’s mysteriousness is finally visualized in her portrait. This painting is written as an emblematic representation of a series of uncertainties. Figured as a mirror image of its subject – a point stressed by the anagram ‘Mircalla’, which reverses Carmilla’s name – the portrait locates her mysterious status by complicating the idea of reflection. If the picture is a mirror, a Mircalla to represent a Carmilla, then it should be viewed as one half of an opposition that contrasts art and life, death and life, and timelessness and time. However, Le Fanu complicates the process by effacing or at least blurring the differences between the painted image and its motif. The picture should represent death – but its representation of Carmilla seems ‘to live’ at the very moment that Carmilla herself is described in funereal terms as an ‘effigy’. The portrait should be a purely timeless artefact – and yet it is Carmilla who is unchanged by the process of ageing, while the painting is almost ‘obliterated’ with the ‘smoke and dust’ of time (272). The painting should also represent the inert qualities of the constructed object, and yet it is Carmilla, whose appearance has the visual qualities of an idealized beauty by Titian, and seems to have been assembled, out of a series of lush female signifiers, as the perfect feminine type (262).

This doubling and muddling of picture and pictured has the effect of unsettling the outlines of Carmilla’s identity. Placed before the reader/viewer’s mind’s eye, the confusion of character and motif is designed to generate a series of questions. Presented with a calculated obfuscation of the truth, we are invited to ask who (or what) is the ‘real’ Carmilla? Is it the ‘living’ body, which possesses the timeless properties of the eternal dead, or is it the picture (that appropriately shows its age)? Is Carmilla ‘alive‘, given the fact that the picture shows her to be alive, while the inscription, dated 1698, proves that she can only be dead? These questions are created by the interaction of painting and model, creating an oscillation of uncertainty. In the terms of Julian Wolfreys, it presents a ‘structural undecidability’ (15), a sense of oddness and defamiliarization in which the picture and its motif haunt each other, and the character’s ‘true’ identity is dissolved, made ever more elusive, fearful and strange.

This ‘strangeness of framing and borders’ (Royle 2) is written, in other words, in terms which allow it to be analysed within the frameworks established by Freud’s theory of the uncanny (1919). Indeed, the interaction of the subject and her painted image closely conforms to many of the features identified in Freud’s influential essay. The confrontation of doubles invokes feelings of dread, with the ‘double’ – whichever that is – acting as a ‘harbinger of death’ (‘Uncanny’ 9). Most tellingly, the construction of the picture and its subject is a prime example of Freud’s belief that the uncanny will typically arise when it is impossible to differentiate between art and life, impossible to tell whether ‘an object is alive or not’ (8). In Le Fanu’s treatment of this most confusing of portraits, the ‘homely’ and ‘unhomely’ characteristically collide and commingle into one: what was ‘hidden’ (12) returns, and the baffling reality of Carmilla’s eternal ‘life’ is re-injected into the domestic circle of Laura’s pedestrian home. Significantly, Laura wants to hang the portrait in her bedroom, the very room where she first made her appearance during Laura’s childhood (In a Glass 272). The repressed returns to the place it first appeared, and Laura’s response, as if in recognition of the release of some pent-up psychological energy, is one of possessive (and regressive) ‘wonder’ (272).

Laura’s experience of the uncanny picture is not unique, however. A parallel treatment appears in Wylder’s Hand. On this occasion the uncanny impression is made more explicit, literally endowing the painted image with the power to come alive. This takes place in the form of a terrifying dream in which the narrator is suddenly aware that ‘the face of the portrait … was presented on its surface, confronting me like a real countenance, and advancing towards me with a look of fury … I felt myself seized by the throat and unable to sit or breathe … (18 –19).

This is the deadly confusion which looks forward to the intermingling of art and mind in Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891), while also invoking the example of Poe’s ‘The Oval Portrait’ (1845). Yet Le Fanu’s writing of the haunted portrait is irreducible: it is not limited to the substitutions of life and art that we find in Poe and Wilde and exists, as we have seen, to confuse rather than to make a moral or philosophical point. Le Fanu seems to fit in a wider Victorian context, but, like his shape-shifting creations, is ultimately difficult to classify. That much can certainly be said of his relationship with the ‘Sensational picture’. In part a matter of borrowing and appropriation, a means of building suspense and enhancing character, in Le Fanu’s treatment the visual artefact is finally developed into a new and complicated form. Always willing to exploit an existing discourse, Le Fanu transforms the ‘significant pictures’ of Collins and Braddon into terrifying representations of unsettling stories, psychological extremes and supernatural uncertainties.

Works Cited

The works of Collins, Braddon and Le Fanu have never been issued in the form of a ‘standard edition’. Citation is therefore a complicated process. Numerous modern editions of most of their fictions are available, although the original printings are generally extremely scarce. For reasons of clarity I have only referred to a range of accessible imprints.

Andres, Sophie. ‘Mary Elizabeth Braddon’s Ambivalent Pre-Raphaelite Ekphrasis.’ Victorian Newsletter (2005). Reproduced at www.the freelibrary.com

Bleiler, E. F., ed. Best Ghost Stories of J. S. Le Fanu. New York: Dover, 1964.

Braddon, Mary Elizabeth. Aurora Floyd. 1862; London: Virago, 1984.

----. Eleanor’s Victory. 1863; Stroud: Sutton, 1996.

----. Lady Audley’s Secret. 1862; Oxford: OUP, 1987.

----. Vixen. 1879; Stroud: Sutton, 1993.

Collins, Wilkie. Basil. 1852; Oxford: OUP, 1990.

----. The Dead Secret. 1857; Stroud: Sutton, 1986.

----. Hide and Seek. 1854; Oxford: OUP, 1993.

----. The Moonstone. 1868; Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1986.

----. No Name. 1863; Oxford: OUP, 1986.

-----. The Woman in White. 1860; Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1985.

Ellis, S. M. Wilkie Collins, Le Fanu and Others. London: Constable, 1931.

Felber, Lynette. ‘The Literary Portrait as Centrefold: Fetishism in Mary Elizabeth Braddon’s Lady Audley’s Secret’. Victorian Literature and Culture 35 (2007): 471–88.

Freud, Sigmund. ‘The Uncanny.’ 1919; reproduced at http://www-rohan.sdsu.edu/~am tower/uncanny.html

Hughes, Winifred. The Maniac in the Cellar: Sensational Novels of the 1860s. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1980.

James, M. R., ed. Madam Crowl’s Ghost and Other Tales of Mystery. 1923; Ware: Wordsworth, 1994.

Le Fanu, Joseph Sheridan. Checkmate. 1871; Stroud: Sutton, 1997.

----. In a Glass Darkly. 1872; Oxford: OUP, 1991.

----. The Rose and the Key. 1871; New York: Dover, 1982.

----. Uncle Silas. 1864; Oxford: OUP, 1981.

----. Wylder’s Hand. 1864; New York: Dover, 1978.

----. The Wyvern Mystery. 1869; Stroud: Sutton, 1994.

Poe, Edgar Allan. Selected Writings. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1977.

Royle, Nicholas. The Uncanny. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2003.

Wilkinson, Robin. ‘Schalken the Painter/Le Fanu the Writer.’ Etudes Anglaise 56:3 (2003): 275–84.

Wolfreys, Julian. Victorian Hauntings: Spectrality, Gothic, the Uncanny and Literature. London: Palgrave, 2002.

Wood, Christopher. Victorian Panorama: Paintings of Victorian Life. London: Faber & Faber, 1976.

Created 15 November 2020