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The Darker Sex: Tales of the Supernatural and Macabre by Victorian Women Writers

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  83 ratings  ·  13 reviews
Ghosts, precognition, suicide, and the afterlife are all themes in these thrilling stories by Britain and America's greatest Victorian women, proving their talent for creating dark, sensational, and horrifying tales of the supernatural. This anthology showcases some of the best and most representative work by female writers during this period, including Emily Bronte, Ma
Paperback, 245 pages
Published July 1st 2009 by Peter Owen Limited (first published January 1st 2009)
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Nancy Oakes
All but two stories in this book were new to me, and for the most part, they're great examples of women writers at the top of their game. More shortly.
Feb 16, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror-macabre
An interesting, if somewhat mixed, collection of stories. Most of them are atmospheric and engaging; one is the most dreadful piece of writing I have ever forced myself to read!

My favourite was Luella Miller by Mary Wilkins Freeman, a story of evil that is totally unaware of and unconcerned with the devastation it causes.

The Shadow in the Corner by Mary E. Braddon is a more "conventional" ghost story, but the most chilling and poignant of the collection.

Elizabeth Gaskell's The Old Nurse's Story
I picked up this book and it's sister volume, The Dreaming Sex: Early Tales of Scientific Imagination by WomenThe Dreaming Sex: Early Tales of Scientific Imagination by Women, after stumbling across them randomly during a late night Internet stroll. Most of the stories in this book are well done, a few are so-so, and none are bad, so overall quite enjoyable, though it did take me a little while to get into the groove as regards the Victorian style(s) of the works. Definitely recommend it. ...more
Olean Public Library
Aug 20, 2010 rated it really liked it
-This was a diverse mix of tales. A few were conventional ghost stories; all were well written and entertaining.
Oct 30, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: knihovnička
Nikdy nic nečíst od George Eliot (spoustu blábolů pro nic)!

Zbytek byl navzájem podobný, většina povídek byla o domu, kde straší. Ale četlo se to dobře a navodilo to tu správnou podzimní atmosféru.

Nebýt posledních dvou povídek, klidně bych dala i 4*.
Jenny Addison
Aug 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent collection of dark stories written by female authors. Worth re-reading a few times.
Jan 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018atyin52books
This book was rated four stars until I got to the last story (The Presence). I don't know what the editor was thinking to add that at the end! The Presence is the internal monologue of a woman while the rest of the collection contains narrated stories. It doesn't fit; I had trouble reading it.

Otherwise, a good collection of stories that were well written and mildly ghostly.
Moved to Library Thing adaorhell
the emily bronte alone makes it worth it.
Kiki von Cougar
Sep 12, 2011 rated it liked it
Ok, ok: Rebecca's review swayed me into upgrading my rating from two to three stars. I was frustrated by some of the editor's choices, but many of the stories are were memorable enough to hold the collection together. I particularly enjoyed Mary Wilkins Freeman's "Luella Miller" for its witchy premise and its narrator's distinctive voice, which made me feel included in the intimate act of spinning a spooky yarn over the kitchen table.

Others were ruined for me by the editor's decision to clump st
Mar 18, 2012 rated it liked it
If these had all been written by the same author, I would probably have given it 2 stars, but one or two of the stories really are better than that. This collections is definitely for the reader specifically interested in the genre of victorian supernatural stories. There is some variety in the stories themselves but by&large they are written about the same kinds of characters (for example all of the protagonists are are more or less from the same income bracket, the same place in society, have ...more
Vanessa Wu
Jul 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
The stories in this collection are variable but they are all fascinating in their different ways. I think women are often much better at writing about the supernatural than men are. There is one story in here that I particularly recommend. It is called Sir Nigel Otterburne's Case by Louisa Baldwin.

If, like me before I read this story, you have never heard of Louisa Baldwin, don't be put off by that. She was a remarkable woman from a remarkable family. She was painted many times by the Pre-Raphae
Sep 17, 2011 rated it liked it
I rated this book one star higher than everyone in my book group. They felt that the editor could have done a better job at just about everything, from compiling the stories to providing some historical and literary context to the pieces in his little write-ups that prefaced each selection. I agree with all their grumbles, but I have decided that the stories themselves earned a solid three stars from me. Only one or two are actually creepy, but many of them are well-written and entertaining. My ...more
Apr 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
Favourite was the shadow in the corner by Braddon.
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Michael Raymond Donald Ashley is the author and editor of over sixty books that in total have sold over a million copies worldwide. He lives in Chatham, Kent.

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