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Gothic Read.

April 8, 2011

While you’re out in the sun, you might fancy sitting down for a read. For those who like a touch of gothic fiction or equally want to delve into a tale that explores feminist studies, then I’d strongly recommended The Yellow Wallpaper, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. First published in 1892, the story explores one woman’s battle to take control of her wellbeing, while trapped in a patriarchal household.  Having been prescribed the rest cure, (the same cure had been prescribed to Gilman by her physician, Dr. S. Weir Mitchell; the result was this short tale.) Dispite her wishes both her brother and husband coerce the narrator to stay in the at the top of the house. Forbidden to partake in any stimulus, she writes in secret, spilling out her inner frustrations regarding her husband, her home life and lack of energy, each made worse by her long neglected, hated surroundings. However, as each night passes, the room begins to give up it’s secrets, releasing the woman, as other women had done before, from her male tormentors  forever.

On a much camper note, fans of the wit of Oscar Wilde and P.G. Wodehouse will love Saki (H.H.Munro): The Complete Short Stories. Within these tales the acid-light tongue of Reginald gentle pulls apart the carefully constructed world of the Edwardian middle classes. Clovis’ character is a little darker; in one tale he prescribes an ‘unrest’ cure for a brother and sister slipping too quickly into middle age.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The latter stories also embrace gothic images entwined within the macabre tales. In the short tale, The Open Window, Saki’s mischievous young niece unnerves her mother’s house guest, Mr. Framton Nuttel, from the start; sending him screaming into the woods before he had even been offered afternoon tea.

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