New Publications

Monstrous Women and Ecofeminism in the Victorian Gothic, Penny Dreadfuls: Investigations of Pernicious Tales of Terror and Penny Bloods: Gothic Tales of Dangerous Women

Monstrous Women and Ecofeminism in the Victorian Gothic, 1837-1871

Published by Rowman & Littlefield
Release date, 15 November 2022
Author: Nicole C. Dittmer

Nicole C. Dittmer offers a reimagining of the popular Gothic female “monster” figure in early-to-mid-Victorian literature. Regardless of the extensive scholarship concerning monstrosities, these pre-fin-de-siècle figurations have often been neglected by critical studies or interpreted as fragments of mind and body which create a division between culture and nature. In Monstrous Women and Ecofeminism, Dittmer deploys monism to delineate from and contest such dualism, unifies the material-immaterial aspects of fictional women, and blurs the distinction between nature-culture. Blending intertextual disciplines of medical sciences, ecofeminism, and fiction, she exposes female monstrosities as material and semiotic figurations. This book, then, identifies how women in the Victorian Gothic are informed by the entanglement of both immaterial discourses and material conditions. When repressed by social customs, the monistic mind-body of the
material-semiotic figure reacts to and disrupts processes of ontology, transforming women into “wild” and “monstrous” (re)presentations.

Penny Dreadfuls: Investigations of Pernicious Tales of Terror

Published by University of Wales Press
Release date, 23 January 2023
Editors: Nicole C. Dittmer and Sophie Raine

Penny Dreadfuls and the Gothic breaks new ground in uncovering penny titles which have been hitherto largely neglected from literary discourse revealing the cultural, social and literary significance of these working-class texts. The present volume is a reappraisal of penny dreadfuls, demonstrating their cruciality in both our understanding of working-class Victorian Literature and the Gothic mode. This edited collection of essays provides new insights into the fields of Victorian literature, popular culture and Gothic fiction more broadly; it is divided into three sections, whose titles replicate the dual titles offered by penny publications during the nineteenth century. Sections one and two consist of three chapters, while section three consists of four essays, all of which intertwine to create an in-depth and intertextual exposition of Victorian society, literature, and gothic representations.

Penny Bloods: Gothic Tales of Dangerous Women

Published by The British Library Press
Release date, 25 May 2023
Editor: Nicole C. Dittmer

Her cheeks were pale, and her eyes had the wild and stolid glare which Rodolph had observed when she awakened from the slumber of the grave; she quitted the castle, and after gazing around her, as if uncertain which way to go, she proceeded towards the village. In the mid 1800s, the inexpensive publications known as penny bloods were all the rage in Britain. Spinning tales of high Gothic drama, violence and monstrosity, this literary phenomenon was significant for its depictions of dangerous and transgressive women which inspired such milestone Gothic works as
Sheridan Le Fanu’s Carmilla. Collecting ten tales from classic – and truly obscure – penny publications and featuring newly edited text and insights from Dr Dittmer’s research, this new volume revives a company of witches, femme fatales, vampire mistresses and deadly criminals to enthrall a new generation of readers.