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A Gothic Treasury of the Supernatural: Six Novels

by Henry James Robert Louis Stevenson Oscar Wilde Horace Walpole Bram Stoker Mary Shelley

A GOTHIC TREASURY OF THE SUPERNATURAL. What sends chills down our spine when we read a good horror story? Contrary to some modern trends, it is not merely how much blood is spilled or how grotesquely an alien creature or monster is portrayed. Rather, the thrill of terror comes in exploring the depths of the human soul and in discovering the capacity for evil that lies hidden there: the monsters that lurk within us are the most frightening ones of all. These six gothic masterpieces of supernatural horror and suspense provide a wealth of such terrors. The first true gothic novel appeared in 1764: Horace Walpole's The Castle of Otranto. Inspired by a dream in which Walpole saw a huge, armored hand in an ancient castle, the story contains all the elements that have become the earmarks of the gothic novel: a medieval castle, a lost heir who must prove himself in order to claim his fortune, a villain, a love interest, and various supernatural phenomena. The Castle of Otranto influenced countless literary works throughout the nineteenth century. In Geneva during the summer of 1816, Lord Byron, John Polidori, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin (later Mary Shelley) amused one another by making up ghost stories. Mary Shelley's tale was the seed from which her timeless novel Frankenstein grew. Subtitled The Modern Prometheus, it is the spellbinding story of Victor Frankenstein, a doctor who plays God by creating a living being from the bodies of the dead; the tragic monster is ultimately seen as Frankenstein's alter ego. A similar theme appears in The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. A doctor discovers a potion that has the power to transform him into a fiend whose deeds become more and more horrifying. Awakened by a nightmare, Robert Louis Stevenson feverishly wrote Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in three days, destroyed it, and wrote it again in another three days. In Dracula, Bram Stoker created a monstrous being founded in folklore and legend; it is a tale made the more horrifying by the enduring belief in the possible existence of real vampires. With superhuman power, the vampire Count Dracula lures victims into his clutches and drains them of life until they too join the living dead. Oscar Wilde portrays a beautiful, ever-youthful Adonis who leads a life of decadence in The Picture of Dorian Gray. As Dorian ruins and corrupts those around him, his portrait strangely alters with each new crime he commits. We follow him down this path of decay to a shattering, inevitable climax. In The Turn of the Screw, Henry James, the master of ambiguity, tells the story of a governess, her two charges, and the spiritual presence of a dead valet and a dead governess. If we cannot be sure that these ghosts are real or imagined, there is no doubt about the terror this tangled tale inspires. Complete and together in one volume, these six gothic classics of the supernatural, by great writers who are masters of the macabre, provide new insights--and heightened terrors--with each reading.

La isla del tesoro

by Robert Louis Stevenson

La isla del tesoro (1883), una vibrante historia sobre la búsqueda de un tesoro enterrado, presenta el bien bajo la forma de Jim, un niño que se ve envuelto en la aventura y que a su vez debe descubrir por sí mismo la cara del bien y del mal entre sus bondadosos amigos y los piratas Pew y Long John Silver.

Kidnapped

by Robert Louis Stevenson

Classic coming-of-age story.

Kidnapped

by Robert Louis Stevenson

When young David Balfour is orphaned, he discovers some surprising truths about his family. His meeting with his uncle Ebenezer turns out to have disastrous consequences leading to kidnap and imprisonment on board a ship bound for the Carolinas. The voyage is full of incident and, after violent conflict and a shipwreck, David finds himself in a daredevil chase across the Scottish Highlands in the company of the irrepressible warrior Alan Breck Stewart.

The Master of Ballantrae

by Robert Louis Stevenson Andrea Barrett

Stevenson's brooding historical romance demonstrates his most abiding theme--the elemental struggle between good and evil--as it unfolds against a hauntingly beautiful Scottish landscape, amid the fierce loyalties and violent enmities that characterized Scottish history. When two brothers attempt to split their loyalties between the warring factions of the 1745 Jacobite rising, one family finds itself tragically divided. Stevenson's remarkably vivid characterizations create an acutely moving, psychologically complex work; as Andrea Barrett points out in her Introduction, "The brothers' characters, not the historical facts, shape the drama."This Modern Library Paperback Classic includes illustrations reproduced from the original edition.From the Trade Paperback edition.

Robert Louis Stevenson

by Robert Louis Stevenson Michael A. Cramer

He wrote stories of chance and peril, pirates, and buried gold. He told tales of good and evil, of men struggling with the darkest parts of their souls. Acclaimed Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson was a master whose works offer compelling insight into our hearts and minds. His novels should be studied and treasured.Featuring the full texts of Treasure Island, Prince Otto, Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Kidnapped, The Black Arrow, The Master of Ballantrae, and David Balfour, this Canterbury Classics edition of Robert Louis Stevenson also includes an introduction by a renowned Stevenson scholar that illuminates his meanings and intentions.

St. Ives

by Robert Louis Stevenson

English adventure. none

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

by Robert Louis Stevenson

The most infamous of horror stories--a disturbing examination of man's capacity for evilOne pitch-black London morning, a ghoulish little man tramples a young girl and continues heedlessly on his way. Caught by a passerby and returned to the scene of the crime, the man is forced to pay £100 in restitution. He produces ten pounds in gold and a check for the remainder. Curiously, the check bears the signature of the well-regarded Dr. Henry Jekyll. Even stranger, Dr. Jekyll's will names this same awful and mysterious little man, Mr. Hyde, as the sole beneficiary. Troubled by the coincidence, Dr. Jekyll's attorney visits his client. What he uncovers is a tale so strange and terrifying it has seeped into the very fabric of our consciousness.An immediate success upon its publication in 1886 and a cultural touchstone to this day, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is one of the most disturbing stories ever told. This ebook has been professionally proofread to ensure accuracy and readability on all devices.

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

by Robert Louis Stevenson

A London doctor discovers a drug which can split a person's personality and physical appearance into two distinct parts, good and evil.

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