Gothic wonders

Charliedrac  It's Halloween weekend, and in Whitby, Yorkshire, where I now live, that means Goths!

Whitby, you see, is where Dracula was shipwrecked, and Bram Stoker partly wrote the book here, inspired by the ruined abbey on the cliffs. As it happens, some lovely morning light a few days ago let me take this atmospheric picture of the scene. You can click on it to see it enlarged. I am proud of it, but it's mainly that it was all being very photogenic right then.

Wmistymorningpan
I've put this and some other pictures on line here.

Back to Goth weekend. Twice a year, Goths from all over Britain come to Whitby, but of course Halloween is the big event. People of all ages dress up, there are dances and exhibitions and movie marathons. I'm told it's all very good humoured. I'll find out, because this will be my first experience.

There are some pictures part way down this page. And here. I'm hoping to take some pictures myself and if so, I'll add them to this blog.

Tfuk My next UK reissue is Tempting Fortune, and I think they've made Portia somewhat gothic. What do you think?

So what about gothic in romance? What would you say are the great gothic romances? Rebecca? Victoria Holt did some, yes? I confess that gothic has never been a big favourite of mine, though I did enjoy some Victoria Holt, I think. Mauleverer Hall? The Singing Sands? Or was it "shivering?" I'm deliberately not looking these up, just digging into my misty memories.

(Here's a very ungothicky picture of Whitby harbour, taken today. It was a gorgeous warm day.)

I'm told I can edit posts without destroying the blogosphere, so here goes with some pictures from the Goth Weekend. It's great to see so many people of all ages enjoying themselves.

Gothwithbaby Here's a stylish Goth mummy (that's mother, not corpse! Got to make that clear in such  context.

And here's a great Goth pram.Gothpram 

I loved these baby  Goth T-shirts.

Babygoth 

And the hearse.

Hearse2

There's also a huge selection of Goth clothes, including corsets.

Corsetcoloured

There are more images at my photo site

Whitbyfrombridge

When gothics dominated the genre in the '70s I pretty well stopped reading romance. I've been trying to think why the gothic doesn't really appeal. It is based in Victorian times, and I have a deep dislike of nearly everything Victorian except the pre-Raphaelites, who are anything but gothic!

Gothics also tend to lack humor, and I require a thread of humour in a book, not matter how grim everything else is. Anyone know a gothic with humour? (I'm trying to relearn British spelling, but I keep forgetting which is which or what is what!)

Then there is the fact that a gothic almost demands that the heroine do something really stupid.

I think the other killer for me was that the classic gothic romance had two men in it — the nice guy and the dark and dangerous guy, but we knew from the first page that the D&D guy was the hero, and the nice guy was either a useless wimp or the villain. Yawn.

O
h, and I'm not that keen on D&D guys, especially if they're snarly, and especially if they turn violent.

So, what's your opinion of gothic romance, past and present? Can you define what makes a romance a gothic? Any recommendation of one I might enjoy, given what I said above?Lwbnewsm

I'm chatting in the Barnes & Noble book club this week, mostly about Lord Wraybourne's Betrothed (which is selling really well, by the way) but it can be about anything.

Mlnukcrop

Next week I go on my mini book tour in southern England, visiting places that Cyn and Chastity visited during their adventures in My Lady Notorious — or Lady Notorious, as it is in the UK. If you're in England or Wales, check out the final itinerary here, and come along to meet me if you can.

I know I didn't pick a winner from my last blog, so here goes.

Randomly picked. From North America,  TC. From the UK, Larenda. Please contact me at jo@jobev.com with your address.

And talk to me of gothics and goths,

Jo

95 thoughts on “Gothic wonders”

  1. Rebecca is one of my favorite books. Sad, but I can’t tell you why. There was a period when I was reading gothics and I still have a pile of old ones I plan to read one day. I started one several month ago, got about half way through and stopped. It just didn’t appeal all that much. Everything was dark, gloomy, oppressive and yes, the heroine always does do stupid things. Hadn’t really thought of that last one until you mentioned it. I guess that is part of my problem with them now. Who wants a brainless twit for a heroine? Romance readers have gotten used to strong female characters and one that lets events push her around and who doesn’t assert herself, doesn’t appeal.
    Thank you for the lovely pictures. Good luck with the release of Lord Wraybourne’s Betrothed. The covers for that and Lady Notorious are very different, but I like them both.

    Reply
  2. Rebecca is one of my favorite books. Sad, but I can’t tell you why. There was a period when I was reading gothics and I still have a pile of old ones I plan to read one day. I started one several month ago, got about half way through and stopped. It just didn’t appeal all that much. Everything was dark, gloomy, oppressive and yes, the heroine always does do stupid things. Hadn’t really thought of that last one until you mentioned it. I guess that is part of my problem with them now. Who wants a brainless twit for a heroine? Romance readers have gotten used to strong female characters and one that lets events push her around and who doesn’t assert herself, doesn’t appeal.
    Thank you for the lovely pictures. Good luck with the release of Lord Wraybourne’s Betrothed. The covers for that and Lady Notorious are very different, but I like them both.

    Reply
  3. Rebecca is one of my favorite books. Sad, but I can’t tell you why. There was a period when I was reading gothics and I still have a pile of old ones I plan to read one day. I started one several month ago, got about half way through and stopped. It just didn’t appeal all that much. Everything was dark, gloomy, oppressive and yes, the heroine always does do stupid things. Hadn’t really thought of that last one until you mentioned it. I guess that is part of my problem with them now. Who wants a brainless twit for a heroine? Romance readers have gotten used to strong female characters and one that lets events push her around and who doesn’t assert herself, doesn’t appeal.
    Thank you for the lovely pictures. Good luck with the release of Lord Wraybourne’s Betrothed. The covers for that and Lady Notorious are very different, but I like them both.

    Reply
  4. Rebecca is one of my favorite books. Sad, but I can’t tell you why. There was a period when I was reading gothics and I still have a pile of old ones I plan to read one day. I started one several month ago, got about half way through and stopped. It just didn’t appeal all that much. Everything was dark, gloomy, oppressive and yes, the heroine always does do stupid things. Hadn’t really thought of that last one until you mentioned it. I guess that is part of my problem with them now. Who wants a brainless twit for a heroine? Romance readers have gotten used to strong female characters and one that lets events push her around and who doesn’t assert herself, doesn’t appeal.
    Thank you for the lovely pictures. Good luck with the release of Lord Wraybourne’s Betrothed. The covers for that and Lady Notorious are very different, but I like them both.

    Reply
  5. Rebecca is one of my favorite books. Sad, but I can’t tell you why. There was a period when I was reading gothics and I still have a pile of old ones I plan to read one day. I started one several month ago, got about half way through and stopped. It just didn’t appeal all that much. Everything was dark, gloomy, oppressive and yes, the heroine always does do stupid things. Hadn’t really thought of that last one until you mentioned it. I guess that is part of my problem with them now. Who wants a brainless twit for a heroine? Romance readers have gotten used to strong female characters and one that lets events push her around and who doesn’t assert herself, doesn’t appeal.
    Thank you for the lovely pictures. Good luck with the release of Lord Wraybourne’s Betrothed. The covers for that and Lady Notorious are very different, but I like them both.

    Reply
  6. Jo, your pictures are fab, and darling Charlie looks wonderfully campy with his blood-tinged Dracula fangs.
    I loved the old Gothic romances–cut my romance teeth on them. In fact, they were the gateway drugs that sucked me into romance. I must have read all the Victoria Holts, the Phyllis A. Whitneys, and their ilk. I wonder how they’d hold up now if I went back and reread them?
    Please continue posting pictures like you’ve been doing. Whitby is lovely, and I so enjoyed all the Goth costumes. The men really peacock it up, don’t they? They almost outshine the women.
    I loved your picture with that beautiful atmospheric light. Talk about Gothic! And that dog staring out to sea–I wonder what he is looking at? It’s a great picture with lots of character. One could almost weave a story just looking at it: the mysterious man walking toward you out of the mists, faithful dog at his heels, his other dog standing guardian farther up the path. The mists rolling in from the sea. The ancient ruins in the background . . .

    Reply
  7. Jo, your pictures are fab, and darling Charlie looks wonderfully campy with his blood-tinged Dracula fangs.
    I loved the old Gothic romances–cut my romance teeth on them. In fact, they were the gateway drugs that sucked me into romance. I must have read all the Victoria Holts, the Phyllis A. Whitneys, and their ilk. I wonder how they’d hold up now if I went back and reread them?
    Please continue posting pictures like you’ve been doing. Whitby is lovely, and I so enjoyed all the Goth costumes. The men really peacock it up, don’t they? They almost outshine the women.
    I loved your picture with that beautiful atmospheric light. Talk about Gothic! And that dog staring out to sea–I wonder what he is looking at? It’s a great picture with lots of character. One could almost weave a story just looking at it: the mysterious man walking toward you out of the mists, faithful dog at his heels, his other dog standing guardian farther up the path. The mists rolling in from the sea. The ancient ruins in the background . . .

    Reply
  8. Jo, your pictures are fab, and darling Charlie looks wonderfully campy with his blood-tinged Dracula fangs.
    I loved the old Gothic romances–cut my romance teeth on them. In fact, they were the gateway drugs that sucked me into romance. I must have read all the Victoria Holts, the Phyllis A. Whitneys, and their ilk. I wonder how they’d hold up now if I went back and reread them?
    Please continue posting pictures like you’ve been doing. Whitby is lovely, and I so enjoyed all the Goth costumes. The men really peacock it up, don’t they? They almost outshine the women.
    I loved your picture with that beautiful atmospheric light. Talk about Gothic! And that dog staring out to sea–I wonder what he is looking at? It’s a great picture with lots of character. One could almost weave a story just looking at it: the mysterious man walking toward you out of the mists, faithful dog at his heels, his other dog standing guardian farther up the path. The mists rolling in from the sea. The ancient ruins in the background . . .

    Reply
  9. Jo, your pictures are fab, and darling Charlie looks wonderfully campy with his blood-tinged Dracula fangs.
    I loved the old Gothic romances–cut my romance teeth on them. In fact, they were the gateway drugs that sucked me into romance. I must have read all the Victoria Holts, the Phyllis A. Whitneys, and their ilk. I wonder how they’d hold up now if I went back and reread them?
    Please continue posting pictures like you’ve been doing. Whitby is lovely, and I so enjoyed all the Goth costumes. The men really peacock it up, don’t they? They almost outshine the women.
    I loved your picture with that beautiful atmospheric light. Talk about Gothic! And that dog staring out to sea–I wonder what he is looking at? It’s a great picture with lots of character. One could almost weave a story just looking at it: the mysterious man walking toward you out of the mists, faithful dog at his heels, his other dog standing guardian farther up the path. The mists rolling in from the sea. The ancient ruins in the background . . .

    Reply
  10. Jo, your pictures are fab, and darling Charlie looks wonderfully campy with his blood-tinged Dracula fangs.
    I loved the old Gothic romances–cut my romance teeth on them. In fact, they were the gateway drugs that sucked me into romance. I must have read all the Victoria Holts, the Phyllis A. Whitneys, and their ilk. I wonder how they’d hold up now if I went back and reread them?
    Please continue posting pictures like you’ve been doing. Whitby is lovely, and I so enjoyed all the Goth costumes. The men really peacock it up, don’t they? They almost outshine the women.
    I loved your picture with that beautiful atmospheric light. Talk about Gothic! And that dog staring out to sea–I wonder what he is looking at? It’s a great picture with lots of character. One could almost weave a story just looking at it: the mysterious man walking toward you out of the mists, faithful dog at his heels, his other dog standing guardian farther up the path. The mists rolling in from the sea. The ancient ruins in the background . . .

    Reply
  11. I too used to read gothics all the time during the 70s; I had a friend who had a huge stash of Fawcetts that she shared with me. I was not long out of university, where we were told that fiction written for or about women was inherently of less value than that written by, for or about men, so I glommed on to these books which were actually about young women coming of age, only with ghosts 😉
    But after a while I began to find them disappointing; not enough romance, not enough meaningful interaction between hero and heroine; not enough supernatural, or too much. Whatever. They just ceased to satisfy. I went back to reading & rereading Jane Austen & Georgette Heyer to get my ‘women’s lives do so matter’ fix.
    I’ve read some more recent gothics, but all those tropes of spooky castle/old house, deep secrets, impassive ambiguous hero, etc. now seem too familiar. Too much TV, I guess.

    Reply
  12. I too used to read gothics all the time during the 70s; I had a friend who had a huge stash of Fawcetts that she shared with me. I was not long out of university, where we were told that fiction written for or about women was inherently of less value than that written by, for or about men, so I glommed on to these books which were actually about young women coming of age, only with ghosts 😉
    But after a while I began to find them disappointing; not enough romance, not enough meaningful interaction between hero and heroine; not enough supernatural, or too much. Whatever. They just ceased to satisfy. I went back to reading & rereading Jane Austen & Georgette Heyer to get my ‘women’s lives do so matter’ fix.
    I’ve read some more recent gothics, but all those tropes of spooky castle/old house, deep secrets, impassive ambiguous hero, etc. now seem too familiar. Too much TV, I guess.

    Reply
  13. I too used to read gothics all the time during the 70s; I had a friend who had a huge stash of Fawcetts that she shared with me. I was not long out of university, where we were told that fiction written for or about women was inherently of less value than that written by, for or about men, so I glommed on to these books which were actually about young women coming of age, only with ghosts 😉
    But after a while I began to find them disappointing; not enough romance, not enough meaningful interaction between hero and heroine; not enough supernatural, or too much. Whatever. They just ceased to satisfy. I went back to reading & rereading Jane Austen & Georgette Heyer to get my ‘women’s lives do so matter’ fix.
    I’ve read some more recent gothics, but all those tropes of spooky castle/old house, deep secrets, impassive ambiguous hero, etc. now seem too familiar. Too much TV, I guess.

    Reply
  14. I too used to read gothics all the time during the 70s; I had a friend who had a huge stash of Fawcetts that she shared with me. I was not long out of university, where we were told that fiction written for or about women was inherently of less value than that written by, for or about men, so I glommed on to these books which were actually about young women coming of age, only with ghosts 😉
    But after a while I began to find them disappointing; not enough romance, not enough meaningful interaction between hero and heroine; not enough supernatural, or too much. Whatever. They just ceased to satisfy. I went back to reading & rereading Jane Austen & Georgette Heyer to get my ‘women’s lives do so matter’ fix.
    I’ve read some more recent gothics, but all those tropes of spooky castle/old house, deep secrets, impassive ambiguous hero, etc. now seem too familiar. Too much TV, I guess.

    Reply
  15. I too used to read gothics all the time during the 70s; I had a friend who had a huge stash of Fawcetts that she shared with me. I was not long out of university, where we were told that fiction written for or about women was inherently of less value than that written by, for or about men, so I glommed on to these books which were actually about young women coming of age, only with ghosts 😉
    But after a while I began to find them disappointing; not enough romance, not enough meaningful interaction between hero and heroine; not enough supernatural, or too much. Whatever. They just ceased to satisfy. I went back to reading & rereading Jane Austen & Georgette Heyer to get my ‘women’s lives do so matter’ fix.
    I’ve read some more recent gothics, but all those tropes of spooky castle/old house, deep secrets, impassive ambiguous hero, etc. now seem too familiar. Too much TV, I guess.

    Reply
  16. I’ve just written a Victorian Gothic novel and had a lot of fun with it. Night Garden comes out with New Concepts Publishing after Christmas (sorry, plug) and has a twist on the old theme. My heroine isn’t stupid either.
    Maggi Andersen

    Reply
  17. I’ve just written a Victorian Gothic novel and had a lot of fun with it. Night Garden comes out with New Concepts Publishing after Christmas (sorry, plug) and has a twist on the old theme. My heroine isn’t stupid either.
    Maggi Andersen

    Reply
  18. I’ve just written a Victorian Gothic novel and had a lot of fun with it. Night Garden comes out with New Concepts Publishing after Christmas (sorry, plug) and has a twist on the old theme. My heroine isn’t stupid either.
    Maggi Andersen

    Reply
  19. I’ve just written a Victorian Gothic novel and had a lot of fun with it. Night Garden comes out with New Concepts Publishing after Christmas (sorry, plug) and has a twist on the old theme. My heroine isn’t stupid either.
    Maggi Andersen

    Reply
  20. I’ve just written a Victorian Gothic novel and had a lot of fun with it. Night Garden comes out with New Concepts Publishing after Christmas (sorry, plug) and has a twist on the old theme. My heroine isn’t stupid either.
    Maggi Andersen

    Reply
  21. Jo, I saw these gorgeous pix when you posted them on Twitter. You are a fine camerawoman. The pattern of waves in particular caught my eye.
    I too read gothics and stopped. I recently found an author writing them, but they were so grim and gloomy that even though her prose was wonderful, I quit buying her. I mean, most of the time a simple question asked would answer all the “mystery” of the dark and brooding hero (although that can probably be said for a lot of books. Hello, Jane Eyre.).

    Reply
  22. Jo, I saw these gorgeous pix when you posted them on Twitter. You are a fine camerawoman. The pattern of waves in particular caught my eye.
    I too read gothics and stopped. I recently found an author writing them, but they were so grim and gloomy that even though her prose was wonderful, I quit buying her. I mean, most of the time a simple question asked would answer all the “mystery” of the dark and brooding hero (although that can probably be said for a lot of books. Hello, Jane Eyre.).

    Reply
  23. Jo, I saw these gorgeous pix when you posted them on Twitter. You are a fine camerawoman. The pattern of waves in particular caught my eye.
    I too read gothics and stopped. I recently found an author writing them, but they were so grim and gloomy that even though her prose was wonderful, I quit buying her. I mean, most of the time a simple question asked would answer all the “mystery” of the dark and brooding hero (although that can probably be said for a lot of books. Hello, Jane Eyre.).

    Reply
  24. Jo, I saw these gorgeous pix when you posted them on Twitter. You are a fine camerawoman. The pattern of waves in particular caught my eye.
    I too read gothics and stopped. I recently found an author writing them, but they were so grim and gloomy that even though her prose was wonderful, I quit buying her. I mean, most of the time a simple question asked would answer all the “mystery” of the dark and brooding hero (although that can probably be said for a lot of books. Hello, Jane Eyre.).

    Reply
  25. Jo, I saw these gorgeous pix when you posted them on Twitter. You are a fine camerawoman. The pattern of waves in particular caught my eye.
    I too read gothics and stopped. I recently found an author writing them, but they were so grim and gloomy that even though her prose was wonderful, I quit buying her. I mean, most of the time a simple question asked would answer all the “mystery” of the dark and brooding hero (although that can probably be said for a lot of books. Hello, Jane Eyre.).

    Reply
  26. “I mean, most of the time a simple question asked would answer all the “mystery” of the dark and brooding hero (although that can probably be said for a lot of books. Hello, Jane Eyre.).”
    LOL! Yes, I’ve never been a fan of Jane Eyre, I’m afraid, or the Brontes.
    The earlier gothic novelists like Monk Lewis and the Minerva novelists were so over the top it’s clear they weren’t being serious. I’m always worried that the Brontes were absolutely serious in their depiction of the underlying nature of life.
    Jo

    Reply
  27. “I mean, most of the time a simple question asked would answer all the “mystery” of the dark and brooding hero (although that can probably be said for a lot of books. Hello, Jane Eyre.).”
    LOL! Yes, I’ve never been a fan of Jane Eyre, I’m afraid, or the Brontes.
    The earlier gothic novelists like Monk Lewis and the Minerva novelists were so over the top it’s clear they weren’t being serious. I’m always worried that the Brontes were absolutely serious in their depiction of the underlying nature of life.
    Jo

    Reply
  28. “I mean, most of the time a simple question asked would answer all the “mystery” of the dark and brooding hero (although that can probably be said for a lot of books. Hello, Jane Eyre.).”
    LOL! Yes, I’ve never been a fan of Jane Eyre, I’m afraid, or the Brontes.
    The earlier gothic novelists like Monk Lewis and the Minerva novelists were so over the top it’s clear they weren’t being serious. I’m always worried that the Brontes were absolutely serious in their depiction of the underlying nature of life.
    Jo

    Reply
  29. “I mean, most of the time a simple question asked would answer all the “mystery” of the dark and brooding hero (although that can probably be said for a lot of books. Hello, Jane Eyre.).”
    LOL! Yes, I’ve never been a fan of Jane Eyre, I’m afraid, or the Brontes.
    The earlier gothic novelists like Monk Lewis and the Minerva novelists were so over the top it’s clear they weren’t being serious. I’m always worried that the Brontes were absolutely serious in their depiction of the underlying nature of life.
    Jo

    Reply
  30. “I mean, most of the time a simple question asked would answer all the “mystery” of the dark and brooding hero (although that can probably be said for a lot of books. Hello, Jane Eyre.).”
    LOL! Yes, I’ve never been a fan of Jane Eyre, I’m afraid, or the Brontes.
    The earlier gothic novelists like Monk Lewis and the Minerva novelists were so over the top it’s clear they weren’t being serious. I’m always worried that the Brontes were absolutely serious in their depiction of the underlying nature of life.
    Jo

    Reply
  31. I loved My Cousin Rachel when I was a teenager. And I remember reading tons of Victoria Holt. This was before I discovered Georgette Heyer and headed down the road to romance. But it was a good stepping stone. I agree that the gothics didn’t have enough romance in them. Another problem I had with them was that they were mostly written in first person, and I really like to get more than one view of the story. When I read romance I like to be told what’s happening and not rely on my own imagination, because sometimes my imagination isn’t all that great.

    Reply
  32. I loved My Cousin Rachel when I was a teenager. And I remember reading tons of Victoria Holt. This was before I discovered Georgette Heyer and headed down the road to romance. But it was a good stepping stone. I agree that the gothics didn’t have enough romance in them. Another problem I had with them was that they were mostly written in first person, and I really like to get more than one view of the story. When I read romance I like to be told what’s happening and not rely on my own imagination, because sometimes my imagination isn’t all that great.

    Reply
  33. I loved My Cousin Rachel when I was a teenager. And I remember reading tons of Victoria Holt. This was before I discovered Georgette Heyer and headed down the road to romance. But it was a good stepping stone. I agree that the gothics didn’t have enough romance in them. Another problem I had with them was that they were mostly written in first person, and I really like to get more than one view of the story. When I read romance I like to be told what’s happening and not rely on my own imagination, because sometimes my imagination isn’t all that great.

    Reply
  34. I loved My Cousin Rachel when I was a teenager. And I remember reading tons of Victoria Holt. This was before I discovered Georgette Heyer and headed down the road to romance. But it was a good stepping stone. I agree that the gothics didn’t have enough romance in them. Another problem I had with them was that they were mostly written in first person, and I really like to get more than one view of the story. When I read romance I like to be told what’s happening and not rely on my own imagination, because sometimes my imagination isn’t all that great.

    Reply
  35. I loved My Cousin Rachel when I was a teenager. And I remember reading tons of Victoria Holt. This was before I discovered Georgette Heyer and headed down the road to romance. But it was a good stepping stone. I agree that the gothics didn’t have enough romance in them. Another problem I had with them was that they were mostly written in first person, and I really like to get more than one view of the story. When I read romance I like to be told what’s happening and not rely on my own imagination, because sometimes my imagination isn’t all that great.

    Reply
  36. I never liked dark and dangerous “heroes”, either. I hated “Wuthering Heights” because I hated that slimeball, Heathcliff. I liked “Jane Eyre” because she’s a strong, independent woman in a time when strength in a woman was viewed as a bad thing. Although I never could understand her attraction to Mr. Rochester.
    I don’t mind ghosts and dark, drafty castles with secrets in the dungeons. This kind of story is “play” horror. It’s not really that terrifying. The graphic slasher stuff nowadays is scary.
    I never cared for Victoria Holt because her heroines were wimps who let the Heathcliff-type hero abuse them.
    Several recent gothics (I think they’re gothics, I may be wrong), are Naomi Bellis’s books, “Step Into Darkness”, “Draw Down the Darkness”, and “Theft of Shadows”, and Donna Lea Simpson’s “Lady Anne and the Howl in the Dark”.
    All of these are historical gothics with strong heroines and not a dark and dangerous hero in sight. I liked all of them and I’m waiting for more.

    Reply
  37. I never liked dark and dangerous “heroes”, either. I hated “Wuthering Heights” because I hated that slimeball, Heathcliff. I liked “Jane Eyre” because she’s a strong, independent woman in a time when strength in a woman was viewed as a bad thing. Although I never could understand her attraction to Mr. Rochester.
    I don’t mind ghosts and dark, drafty castles with secrets in the dungeons. This kind of story is “play” horror. It’s not really that terrifying. The graphic slasher stuff nowadays is scary.
    I never cared for Victoria Holt because her heroines were wimps who let the Heathcliff-type hero abuse them.
    Several recent gothics (I think they’re gothics, I may be wrong), are Naomi Bellis’s books, “Step Into Darkness”, “Draw Down the Darkness”, and “Theft of Shadows”, and Donna Lea Simpson’s “Lady Anne and the Howl in the Dark”.
    All of these are historical gothics with strong heroines and not a dark and dangerous hero in sight. I liked all of them and I’m waiting for more.

    Reply
  38. I never liked dark and dangerous “heroes”, either. I hated “Wuthering Heights” because I hated that slimeball, Heathcliff. I liked “Jane Eyre” because she’s a strong, independent woman in a time when strength in a woman was viewed as a bad thing. Although I never could understand her attraction to Mr. Rochester.
    I don’t mind ghosts and dark, drafty castles with secrets in the dungeons. This kind of story is “play” horror. It’s not really that terrifying. The graphic slasher stuff nowadays is scary.
    I never cared for Victoria Holt because her heroines were wimps who let the Heathcliff-type hero abuse them.
    Several recent gothics (I think they’re gothics, I may be wrong), are Naomi Bellis’s books, “Step Into Darkness”, “Draw Down the Darkness”, and “Theft of Shadows”, and Donna Lea Simpson’s “Lady Anne and the Howl in the Dark”.
    All of these are historical gothics with strong heroines and not a dark and dangerous hero in sight. I liked all of them and I’m waiting for more.

    Reply
  39. I never liked dark and dangerous “heroes”, either. I hated “Wuthering Heights” because I hated that slimeball, Heathcliff. I liked “Jane Eyre” because she’s a strong, independent woman in a time when strength in a woman was viewed as a bad thing. Although I never could understand her attraction to Mr. Rochester.
    I don’t mind ghosts and dark, drafty castles with secrets in the dungeons. This kind of story is “play” horror. It’s not really that terrifying. The graphic slasher stuff nowadays is scary.
    I never cared for Victoria Holt because her heroines were wimps who let the Heathcliff-type hero abuse them.
    Several recent gothics (I think they’re gothics, I may be wrong), are Naomi Bellis’s books, “Step Into Darkness”, “Draw Down the Darkness”, and “Theft of Shadows”, and Donna Lea Simpson’s “Lady Anne and the Howl in the Dark”.
    All of these are historical gothics with strong heroines and not a dark and dangerous hero in sight. I liked all of them and I’m waiting for more.

    Reply
  40. I never liked dark and dangerous “heroes”, either. I hated “Wuthering Heights” because I hated that slimeball, Heathcliff. I liked “Jane Eyre” because she’s a strong, independent woman in a time when strength in a woman was viewed as a bad thing. Although I never could understand her attraction to Mr. Rochester.
    I don’t mind ghosts and dark, drafty castles with secrets in the dungeons. This kind of story is “play” horror. It’s not really that terrifying. The graphic slasher stuff nowadays is scary.
    I never cared for Victoria Holt because her heroines were wimps who let the Heathcliff-type hero abuse them.
    Several recent gothics (I think they’re gothics, I may be wrong), are Naomi Bellis’s books, “Step Into Darkness”, “Draw Down the Darkness”, and “Theft of Shadows”, and Donna Lea Simpson’s “Lady Anne and the Howl in the Dark”.
    All of these are historical gothics with strong heroines and not a dark and dangerous hero in sight. I liked all of them and I’m waiting for more.

    Reply
  41. I was raised on Victoria Holt. My mom used to buy them at a small bookstore near our cottage and then pass them down to my sister and me. I still have many of them. And it’s The Shivering Sands. There is also a book titled The Singing Stones, but that’s Phyllis Whitney, another of my favorites. I used get so mad when the heroine did something stupid, even at 13 or 14 I knew better. I haven’t pulled them off the shelf in years. I just might curl up with a one some day soon.

    Reply
  42. I was raised on Victoria Holt. My mom used to buy them at a small bookstore near our cottage and then pass them down to my sister and me. I still have many of them. And it’s The Shivering Sands. There is also a book titled The Singing Stones, but that’s Phyllis Whitney, another of my favorites. I used get so mad when the heroine did something stupid, even at 13 or 14 I knew better. I haven’t pulled them off the shelf in years. I just might curl up with a one some day soon.

    Reply
  43. I was raised on Victoria Holt. My mom used to buy them at a small bookstore near our cottage and then pass them down to my sister and me. I still have many of them. And it’s The Shivering Sands. There is also a book titled The Singing Stones, but that’s Phyllis Whitney, another of my favorites. I used get so mad when the heroine did something stupid, even at 13 or 14 I knew better. I haven’t pulled them off the shelf in years. I just might curl up with a one some day soon.

    Reply
  44. I was raised on Victoria Holt. My mom used to buy them at a small bookstore near our cottage and then pass them down to my sister and me. I still have many of them. And it’s The Shivering Sands. There is also a book titled The Singing Stones, but that’s Phyllis Whitney, another of my favorites. I used get so mad when the heroine did something stupid, even at 13 or 14 I knew better. I haven’t pulled them off the shelf in years. I just might curl up with a one some day soon.

    Reply
  45. I was raised on Victoria Holt. My mom used to buy them at a small bookstore near our cottage and then pass them down to my sister and me. I still have many of them. And it’s The Shivering Sands. There is also a book titled The Singing Stones, but that’s Phyllis Whitney, another of my favorites. I used get so mad when the heroine did something stupid, even at 13 or 14 I knew better. I haven’t pulled them off the shelf in years. I just might curl up with a one some day soon.

    Reply
  46. I read a ton of Gothics simply because, like Mt. Everest, they were there. And in those days, I finished every book I started. (Gone are the days…) I like first person, too, which helped. But they were just one of many types of books that I read then, and when they died out, I didn’t mourn.
    Mary Jo, whose preferred genres then were sff and historical novels.

    Reply
  47. I read a ton of Gothics simply because, like Mt. Everest, they were there. And in those days, I finished every book I started. (Gone are the days…) I like first person, too, which helped. But they were just one of many types of books that I read then, and when they died out, I didn’t mourn.
    Mary Jo, whose preferred genres then were sff and historical novels.

    Reply
  48. I read a ton of Gothics simply because, like Mt. Everest, they were there. And in those days, I finished every book I started. (Gone are the days…) I like first person, too, which helped. But they were just one of many types of books that I read then, and when they died out, I didn’t mourn.
    Mary Jo, whose preferred genres then were sff and historical novels.

    Reply
  49. I read a ton of Gothics simply because, like Mt. Everest, they were there. And in those days, I finished every book I started. (Gone are the days…) I like first person, too, which helped. But they were just one of many types of books that I read then, and when they died out, I didn’t mourn.
    Mary Jo, whose preferred genres then were sff and historical novels.

    Reply
  50. I read a ton of Gothics simply because, like Mt. Everest, they were there. And in those days, I finished every book I started. (Gone are the days…) I like first person, too, which helped. But they were just one of many types of books that I read then, and when they died out, I didn’t mourn.
    Mary Jo, whose preferred genres then were sff and historical novels.

    Reply
  51. I read a lot of gothic novels when I was in High School. My fav was Mary Stewart with Victoria Holt coming in second. Holt did write the Shivering Sands but I don’t recognize the other title you mentioned. she also did Mistress of Mellyn, I have not read her recent ones – will need to see if they are in the library.

    Reply
  52. I read a lot of gothic novels when I was in High School. My fav was Mary Stewart with Victoria Holt coming in second. Holt did write the Shivering Sands but I don’t recognize the other title you mentioned. she also did Mistress of Mellyn, I have not read her recent ones – will need to see if they are in the library.

    Reply
  53. I read a lot of gothic novels when I was in High School. My fav was Mary Stewart with Victoria Holt coming in second. Holt did write the Shivering Sands but I don’t recognize the other title you mentioned. she also did Mistress of Mellyn, I have not read her recent ones – will need to see if they are in the library.

    Reply
  54. I read a lot of gothic novels when I was in High School. My fav was Mary Stewart with Victoria Holt coming in second. Holt did write the Shivering Sands but I don’t recognize the other title you mentioned. she also did Mistress of Mellyn, I have not read her recent ones – will need to see if they are in the library.

    Reply
  55. I read a lot of gothic novels when I was in High School. My fav was Mary Stewart with Victoria Holt coming in second. Holt did write the Shivering Sands but I don’t recognize the other title you mentioned. she also did Mistress of Mellyn, I have not read her recent ones – will need to see if they are in the library.

    Reply
  56. I’ve just edited my post to add some images from the Goth Weekend going on now. People of all ages having fun and playing dress-up. Wonderful!
    Alas, it’s pouring with rain right now, which will literally put a damper on the Halloween events going on in the ruined abbey.
    Jo

    Reply
  57. I’ve just edited my post to add some images from the Goth Weekend going on now. People of all ages having fun and playing dress-up. Wonderful!
    Alas, it’s pouring with rain right now, which will literally put a damper on the Halloween events going on in the ruined abbey.
    Jo

    Reply
  58. I’ve just edited my post to add some images from the Goth Weekend going on now. People of all ages having fun and playing dress-up. Wonderful!
    Alas, it’s pouring with rain right now, which will literally put a damper on the Halloween events going on in the ruined abbey.
    Jo

    Reply
  59. I’ve just edited my post to add some images from the Goth Weekend going on now. People of all ages having fun and playing dress-up. Wonderful!
    Alas, it’s pouring with rain right now, which will literally put a damper on the Halloween events going on in the ruined abbey.
    Jo

    Reply
  60. I’ve just edited my post to add some images from the Goth Weekend going on now. People of all ages having fun and playing dress-up. Wonderful!
    Alas, it’s pouring with rain right now, which will literally put a damper on the Halloween events going on in the ruined abbey.
    Jo

    Reply
  61. Love Victoria Holt, love Mary Stewart…I think those two are my favs from early on. I read them all.
    As for the H/Hn relationships and their wuss-factors, it’s all cyclical, I think. Now we have UF with kick-a** heroines, where, fifteen or 20 years ago, I have to wonder if they’d have ever seen the light of day. (I don’t really care for UF, btw. I need an HEA at the end of my reads)
    I do think one can still write gothic novels with a more updated H/Hn relationship though. And humor. 🙂
    Side note: I love the pics! I want that corset though. 😉

    Reply
  62. Love Victoria Holt, love Mary Stewart…I think those two are my favs from early on. I read them all.
    As for the H/Hn relationships and their wuss-factors, it’s all cyclical, I think. Now we have UF with kick-a** heroines, where, fifteen or 20 years ago, I have to wonder if they’d have ever seen the light of day. (I don’t really care for UF, btw. I need an HEA at the end of my reads)
    I do think one can still write gothic novels with a more updated H/Hn relationship though. And humor. 🙂
    Side note: I love the pics! I want that corset though. 😉

    Reply
  63. Love Victoria Holt, love Mary Stewart…I think those two are my favs from early on. I read them all.
    As for the H/Hn relationships and their wuss-factors, it’s all cyclical, I think. Now we have UF with kick-a** heroines, where, fifteen or 20 years ago, I have to wonder if they’d have ever seen the light of day. (I don’t really care for UF, btw. I need an HEA at the end of my reads)
    I do think one can still write gothic novels with a more updated H/Hn relationship though. And humor. 🙂
    Side note: I love the pics! I want that corset though. 😉

    Reply
  64. Love Victoria Holt, love Mary Stewart…I think those two are my favs from early on. I read them all.
    As for the H/Hn relationships and their wuss-factors, it’s all cyclical, I think. Now we have UF with kick-a** heroines, where, fifteen or 20 years ago, I have to wonder if they’d have ever seen the light of day. (I don’t really care for UF, btw. I need an HEA at the end of my reads)
    I do think one can still write gothic novels with a more updated H/Hn relationship though. And humor. 🙂
    Side note: I love the pics! I want that corset though. 😉

    Reply
  65. Love Victoria Holt, love Mary Stewart…I think those two are my favs from early on. I read them all.
    As for the H/Hn relationships and their wuss-factors, it’s all cyclical, I think. Now we have UF with kick-a** heroines, where, fifteen or 20 years ago, I have to wonder if they’d have ever seen the light of day. (I don’t really care for UF, btw. I need an HEA at the end of my reads)
    I do think one can still write gothic novels with a more updated H/Hn relationship though. And humor. 🙂
    Side note: I love the pics! I want that corset though. 😉

    Reply
  66. Jo, like you, I’ve never found Gothic appealing. I get too impatient with dim-witted heroines. But I do like Northanger Abbey – deliciously tongue in cheek.
    Halloween in Whitby sounds like fun. Your pictures are lovely. Are you dressing up?

    Reply
  67. Jo, like you, I’ve never found Gothic appealing. I get too impatient with dim-witted heroines. But I do like Northanger Abbey – deliciously tongue in cheek.
    Halloween in Whitby sounds like fun. Your pictures are lovely. Are you dressing up?

    Reply
  68. Jo, like you, I’ve never found Gothic appealing. I get too impatient with dim-witted heroines. But I do like Northanger Abbey – deliciously tongue in cheek.
    Halloween in Whitby sounds like fun. Your pictures are lovely. Are you dressing up?

    Reply
  69. Jo, like you, I’ve never found Gothic appealing. I get too impatient with dim-witted heroines. But I do like Northanger Abbey – deliciously tongue in cheek.
    Halloween in Whitby sounds like fun. Your pictures are lovely. Are you dressing up?

    Reply
  70. Jo, like you, I’ve never found Gothic appealing. I get too impatient with dim-witted heroines. But I do like Northanger Abbey – deliciously tongue in cheek.
    Halloween in Whitby sounds like fun. Your pictures are lovely. Are you dressing up?

    Reply
  71. “Halloween in Whitby sounds like fun. Your pictures are lovely. Are you dressing up?”
    Not this year, Jennie, but I could be tempted next year. Or in April. They do this twice a year. 🙂
    Jo

    Reply
  72. “Halloween in Whitby sounds like fun. Your pictures are lovely. Are you dressing up?”
    Not this year, Jennie, but I could be tempted next year. Or in April. They do this twice a year. 🙂
    Jo

    Reply
  73. “Halloween in Whitby sounds like fun. Your pictures are lovely. Are you dressing up?”
    Not this year, Jennie, but I could be tempted next year. Or in April. They do this twice a year. 🙂
    Jo

    Reply
  74. “Halloween in Whitby sounds like fun. Your pictures are lovely. Are you dressing up?”
    Not this year, Jennie, but I could be tempted next year. Or in April. They do this twice a year. 🙂
    Jo

    Reply
  75. “Halloween in Whitby sounds like fun. Your pictures are lovely. Are you dressing up?”
    Not this year, Jennie, but I could be tempted next year. Or in April. They do this twice a year. 🙂
    Jo

    Reply
  76. I started out reading gothics by all the old favorites. They have remained some of my favorites. Kathleen Woodiwiss was my first introduction to romance after that but there’s still a place in my heart for those old gothics.

    Reply
  77. I started out reading gothics by all the old favorites. They have remained some of my favorites. Kathleen Woodiwiss was my first introduction to romance after that but there’s still a place in my heart for those old gothics.

    Reply
  78. I started out reading gothics by all the old favorites. They have remained some of my favorites. Kathleen Woodiwiss was my first introduction to romance after that but there’s still a place in my heart for those old gothics.

    Reply
  79. I started out reading gothics by all the old favorites. They have remained some of my favorites. Kathleen Woodiwiss was my first introduction to romance after that but there’s still a place in my heart for those old gothics.

    Reply
  80. I started out reading gothics by all the old favorites. They have remained some of my favorites. Kathleen Woodiwiss was my first introduction to romance after that but there’s still a place in my heart for those old gothics.

    Reply
  81. I like Naomi Bellis a lot, only I never thought of her as a gothic writer; I think of her books as regencies with paranormal elements – but mainly regencies.
    I wish she’d do some more regencies 🙂

    Reply
  82. I like Naomi Bellis a lot, only I never thought of her as a gothic writer; I think of her books as regencies with paranormal elements – but mainly regencies.
    I wish she’d do some more regencies 🙂

    Reply
  83. I like Naomi Bellis a lot, only I never thought of her as a gothic writer; I think of her books as regencies with paranormal elements – but mainly regencies.
    I wish she’d do some more regencies 🙂

    Reply
  84. I like Naomi Bellis a lot, only I never thought of her as a gothic writer; I think of her books as regencies with paranormal elements – but mainly regencies.
    I wish she’d do some more regencies 🙂

    Reply
  85. I like Naomi Bellis a lot, only I never thought of her as a gothic writer; I think of her books as regencies with paranormal elements – but mainly regencies.
    I wish she’d do some more regencies 🙂

    Reply
  86. I thought someone else would get to this sooner— but I guess not.
    “The singing sands” is a wonderful mystery by Josephine Tey.”
    Merry

    Reply
  87. I thought someone else would get to this sooner— but I guess not.
    “The singing sands” is a wonderful mystery by Josephine Tey.”
    Merry

    Reply
  88. I thought someone else would get to this sooner— but I guess not.
    “The singing sands” is a wonderful mystery by Josephine Tey.”
    Merry

    Reply
  89. I thought someone else would get to this sooner— but I guess not.
    “The singing sands” is a wonderful mystery by Josephine Tey.”
    Merry

    Reply
  90. I thought someone else would get to this sooner— but I guess not.
    “The singing sands” is a wonderful mystery by Josephine Tey.”
    Merry

    Reply

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