What ever happened to Gothic Romances?

Extollager

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(For amusing contrast with the previous, Gothic-style cover, how about this kind of trippy version withan image by -- I suppose -- Dürer?)

tumblr_nskk77S32o1qi4em3o1_500.jpg
 

Extollager

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Has anyone read The Heir of Starvelings?

51w%2BH3Z3W7L._SX319_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg


It seems to me that my eye used to be caught, many years ago, by the title, on a book on the library shelf -- probably a dustjacketless hardcover, I don't know. I'm just a little curious; it fits into the category of books that caught my eye and remained in memory for years, without being things I ever owned or read....
 

dask

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Shades of dark shadows! Used to see this stuff all over the place. Library book sale coming up next week. Guess what's on my list.☺
 

Toby Frost

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I'm surprised to find that there isn't a cover like this for Sheridan le Fanu's Carmilla, which is a romance, albeit not quite of the sort intended.
 

J Riff

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The Lair of the White Worman? Also note that the woman running from the mansion is oft clad in a nightie, suggesting she has been chased or frightened out, leaving the light on - by the guy in the cape? This suggests that he was in the house, in the dark, and is pursuing her into the marshes. Bats are common as well, so maybe it all harkens back to Stoker and Dracula?
Or maybe it was just violin lessons, like nails on a blackboard, drove this poor girl into the night.
gothe19cab.jpg
 

Randy M.

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Wonder if they're even half as good as they look. Surprising the New York Times even reviewed them back then. I'd give the bottom right one a try based on the cover blurb alone.

And you can! It was been reissued by Valancourt Books in 2015. I've been debating about ordering it, myself, since it would be far less expensive than the Midnight House edition published in 2001. The novel itself was first published in 1937 according to ISFDB.


Randy M.
 

Randy M.

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I'm surprised to find that there isn't a cover like this for Sheridan le Fanu's Carmilla, which is a romance, albeit not quite of the sort intended.

It was filmed by Hammer Studios as The Vampire Lovers (1970) so I've looked around on-line to see if there's a cover for a novelization. The only cover I've seen so far features stills from the movie, front and back. (The movie is relatively faithful to its source. I don't think I'm stretching the word "relatively" to the snapping point, but others could legitimately disagree.)

There must have been something in the air in the late '50s through the early '70s. Besides American International's Poe movies, there was Hammer Horror, and later Amicus. On the literary level, there was Shirley Jackson, particularly The Haunting of Hill House, and Ray Russell writing "Sardonicus" (filmed in 1961 as Mr. Sardonicus) among other Gothic stories. As for Gothic Romances, I see others have mentioned the Brontes and Daphne Du Maurier as influences, but no mention of the play Gaslight (in the U.S. Angel Street according to Wikipedia) by Patrick Hamilton. And somewhere at home I have the '40s novel Dragonwyck by Anya Seaton, culled from a box of old books I was given because I saw the Gene Tierney/Vincent Price movie (also from the '40s) when I was a kid and enjoyed it. Still haven't worked up to reading it, though.


Randy M.
 

Amelia Faulkner

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I'm genuinely loving the creativity in some of those titles. The Rest is Silence and The Bridge of Strange Music are glorious. After those, The Man in the Shadow feels like they were running out of titles that weren't already taken :D
 

Extollager

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Illustration for the magazine serialization of The Turn of the Screw:
800px-The-Turn-of-the-Screw-Collier%27s-3.jpg
 

Extollager

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Is the cover of this Ace Books Gothic by Jack Gaughan? I assume so. Certainly the drawing is signed in his characteristic manner.

dark-shore-prologue.jpg
the-dark-shore-by-susan-howatch.jpg


I've read a couple of Howatch's novels -- books which, as far as I remember, weren't "Gothics," namely Mystical Paths and Glamorous Powers. Offhand I hardly remember anything, but as I recall they were decent reads.

Ace got into the Gothic fad pretty vigorously:
ACE Image Library - ACE Cameo Gothic Romances - ACE five-digit letter-number series - paperback author and cover artist information

Some perspective on the 1960s Gothics publishing fashion:

https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/bfm:978-1-349-06127-3/1.pdf
 
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Extollager

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Now I'm starting to visualize an imaginary Mad magazine cover, with a fleeing form in the foreground showing an Alfred E. Neuman-type gap-toothed face, and some menacing figure in the background in front of the old house with the one light on. We shall imagine the cover as appeaing on an issue published between 1968 and 1972. Your nominations for the menacing figure? I propose Spiro Agnew or Tiny Tim.

I see Dell had a gothic romance magazine:
gothic_romances_197011_v1_n1.jpg


And there was this:

gothic_secrets_197108_v1_n1.jpg
 
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Victoria Silverwolf

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Nifty idea. It should definitely be the White House as the old dark mansion. The cover says something like "Special Goth-Sick Issue" and somewhere in smaller print something to the effect of "What was the horrible secret of Watergate?" Nixon in a cloak in the background, with some plumbers, etc.
 

Toby Frost

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I would definitely read that. A more modern version springs to mind, involving one candidate fleeing from the small, wandering hands of another.

I wonder if anyone ever thought of repackaging the Gormenghast novels this way? Might there be any overlap with the Tenessee Williams Southern Gothic style? Too bad the only woman in Lovecraft turned out to be her own father's rotting corpse, and the person leaving the mansion in Pigeons From Hell was a chap with an axe in his head.
 

J Riff

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Well, Ican't find the cover of The Bat that I once had... most versions feature an actual bat on the cover, but this one shows us the typical gothic setting, as seen in bat-vision.
batks.jpg
 

dask

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And you can! It was been reissued by Valancourt Books in 2015. I've been debating about ordering it, myself, since it would be far less expensive than the Midnight House edition published in 2001. The novel itself was first published in 1937 according to ISFDB.


Randy M.
Thanks for the info. Definitely will keep and eye open for this one. Really would like to find the 60 center Victoria posted.
 

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