Gothic Machine

Textualities, Pre-cinematic Media and Film in Popular Visual Culture 1670-1910

David J. Jones

Gothic Machine

David J. Jones

Distributed for University of Wales Press

240 pages | 5 halftones | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 | © 2011
Cloth $82.00 ISBN: 9780708324073 Published February 2012 For sale in North and South America, Australia, and New Zealand only
E-book $120.00 ISBN: 9780708324080 Will Publish October 2019 For sale in North and South America, Australia, and New Zealand only

In Gothic Machine, David Jones reveals the intriguing relationships between Gothic literature, film, and the media existing prior to the advent of the cinema. Jones tracks the Gothic horror genre from its earliest days as literature, through phantasmagoria and the magic lantern shows of the Victorian period, to the early films of the 1890s, and finally to the first motion picture adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein in 1910. Among the numerous personalities that appear in Jones’s study are the Marquis de Sade; Étienne-Gaspard Robert, or “Robertson”; Friedrich Schiller, and the Lumière brothers.

List of Illustrations

1. Memento Mori, Griendel and the Forerunners, Schröpfer and Schiller: German Popular Visual Culture 1670–1800. Friedrich Schiller’s Der Geisterseher/The Ghost-Seer, Sturm und Drang and Magic-Lantern Shows
2. Matthew Lewis’s The Monk, the Marquis de Sade and Inter-Medial Influence: The Publishers, Readership, Visual Spectacle and the Staging of the Gothic 1790–1830
3. Etienne-Gaspard Robertson’s Gothic Fantasmagorie and E. T. A. Hoffmann
4. Gothic Renewal and Bifurcation: Sheridan Le Fanu, Edward Bulwer-Lytton’s The Strange Tales, Charles Dickens, Pepper’s Ghost and Etienne-Jules Marey. The Daguerreotype and Diablerie in French Visual Media
5. ‘In or around the Winter, 1895”: From the Prelude to Cinema Proper. French Gothic Symbolism, Villiers de L’Isle-Adam, J.-K. Huysmans, the féeries of Georges Méliès and Alice Guy Blanché’s Esmeralda
6. ‘Another Kind of Showman’: Robert Louis Stevenson, Bram Stoker, Robert Paul, Albert Smith and Film’s First Frankenstein. Anglo-American Gothic in the Age of the First Films 1895–1910
7. Conclusion: French Extremity

Review Quotes
Alan Halsey | Stride Magazine

Gothic Machine should be regarded as essential reading for a long time to come.”

Xavier Aldana Reyes, University of Lancaster | Gothic Imagination
“Aside from being a very thorough introduction to the role of visual technology and optical illusion up until the release of the first Frankenstein adaptation, Jones’s book manages to achieve what only good academic volumes do: it creates an awareness of the pressing need to consider what had, until now, only been invoked as part of a niche area of study.”
Magic Lantern Gazette
“This well-researched and well-written book makes a major contribution to the history of the magic lantern and its relationship to literature. . . . Gothic Machine combines the author’s first-hand familiarity with the magic lanterns and phantasmagoria and a deep knowledge of gothic literature to describe the interrelationships of visual media and literature from the late 1600s to the twentieth century. . . . It is impossible in a short summary to do justice to the richness of the scholarship in this book. . . . The depth of scholarship . . . makes it a ‘must read’ for anyone with serious interest in the history and culture of the magic lantern in relation to literature.”
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