Romanticism and Victorianism on the Net
Numéro 50, mai 2008
Mingled Measures: Gothic Parody in Tales of Wonder and Tales of Terror
Douglass H. Thomson
The two epigrams from the second title-page to Tales of Terror reflect the dual nature of the volume: one from Lucan’s Pharsalia [Civil War] (VI. 732-35) promising to “banish” the taste for literature with otherworldly themes; the other from William Drummond’s The Satires of Persius (London: W. Bulmer for J. Wright, 1799), expressing delight in Gothic subject matter.
“O wretched souls! Now I shall call you by your true names, and strand the dogs of the underworld in the light of the world above; I shall spy on you and track you through tombstones, through death-rites; I shall drive you from your tombs, banish you from all of your urns!”
Lucan. Phar. lib. 6
Not undelighted does my mind recall
Its infant joys in yonder Gothic hall;
Where still the legendary tale goes round,
Of charms and spells, of treasures lost and found,
Of fearful goblins, and malicious sprites,
Enchanted damsels, and enamoured knights.
Drummond’s Prologue to Persisus
Courtesy of the Sadleir-Black Collection of Gothic Novels, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library