"Mr. Hooper, a gentlemanly person, of about thirty, though still a bachelor, was dressed with due clerical neatness, as if a careful wife had starched his band, and brushed the weekly dust from his Sunday's garb. There was but one thing remarkable in his appearance. Swathed about his forehead, and hanging down over his face, so low as to be shaken by his breath, Mr. Hooper had on a black veil."
In a sleepy little New England village stands a dark, weather-beaten, many-gabled house. This brooding mansion is haunted by a centuries-old curse that casts the shadow of ancestral sin upon the last four members of the distinctive Pyncheon family.
The Quaker City is set in a Philadelphia mansion named "Monk Hall," which serves as a private gentlemen's club that is also secretly a brothel and opium den patronized by some of the city's most respected citizens, many of whom engage in acts of debauchery.
When Pierre Glendinning's lifelong desire for a sister is seemingly realized on the eve of his marriage, his world is suddenly turned upside down, for he must choose between acknowledging his illegitimate half-sister or perpetuating his unsullied family legacy.
Urban street waif Capitola is mysteriously brought to New York City from Virginia as an infant by a domestic trying to save her life and ends up returning there as ward of Ira Warfield, "Old Hurricane." Not content with life as a plantation belle, Capitola ranges around the countryside on horseback looking for adventures, a self-styled female version of Don Quixote.
Circumstance, 1860; The Amber Gods, 1863 & Her Story, 1872
Written under the pen name A. M. Barnard, it tells the story of Jean Muir, the deceitful governess of the wealthy Coventry family. With expert manipulation, Jean Muir obtains the family's love, respect, and, eventually, its fortune.
The Grandissimes chronicles the adventures and romances of various members of the Grandissime family—Black, white, mixed-race, rich and poor alike. The story begins when Honoré Grandissime, the scion of the white branch of this powerful New Orleans clan, takes in Joseph Frowenfeld, a young man from Philadelphia whose entire family has died from yellow fever.
The Portrait of a Lady, 1881 & The Turn of the Screw, 1898
Author: Henry James, 1843-1916 Below are the Gothic titles by this author. See the supplementary material for more information about Henry James' life and work, including biography and context, literary criticism, and searchable online texts.
When Isabel Archer, a young American woman with looks, wit, and imagination, arrives in Europe, she sees the world as 'a place of brightness, of free expression, of irresistible action'. She turns aside from suitors who offer her their wealth and devotion to follow her own path. But that way leads to disillusionment and a future as constricted as 'a dark narrow alley with a dead wall at the end'.
Owen North is a physician caught between the scientific realm and a desire for life beyond the body. A near-death experience causes him to question doctors and the discourse of science as he develops an interest in the supernatural.
The Giant Wistaria, 1891 & The Yellow Wallpaper, 1892
A story in two parts, the first takes place at least one hundred years before the second and concerns a young woman's punishment by her parents, especially her father, for bearing a child out of wedlock. The second part takes place in the late nineteenth century as a group of young people discover a house's horrific secret.