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Distributed for University of Wales Press

Women’s Ghost Literature in Nineteenth-Century Britain

Throughout nineteenth-century Britain, female writers excelled within the genre of supernatural literature. Much of their short fiction and poetry uses ghosts as figures to symbolize the problems of gender, class, economics, and imperialism, thus making their supernatural literature something more than just a good scare. Women’s Ghost Literature in Nineteenth-Century Britain recovers and analyzes for a new audience this “social supernatural” ghost literature, as well as the lives and literary careers of the women who wrote it.

256 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 | © 2013

Gothic Literary Studies

Literature and Literary Criticism: General Criticism and Critical Theory

Women's Studies

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“This groundbreaking study makes a persuasive case that nineteenth-century women authors wrote ghosts into their fiction and poetry not just in order to entertain but also as a vehicle for social criticism. Through the figure of the ghost, they drew attention to religious, gender, and class-based inequality within British society, and to the human costs of empire and the industrial revolution.”

Paula Feldman, University of South Carolina

Table of Contents


1. Female Revenants and the Beginnings of Women’s Ghost Literature
2. Ghostly Lovers and Transgressive Supernatural Sexualities
3. ‘Uncomfortable Houses’ and the Spectres of Capital
4. Haunted Empire: Spectral Uprisings as Imperialist Critique


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