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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 aventura iniciática de un joven en busca del tesoro perdido de un pirata. La novela de aventuras por excelencia. Jim Hawkins regenta, junto a sus padres, la posada Almirante Benbow. Su vida discurre tranquila entre la barra y las mesas hasta que, un día, un viejo marinero entra en su fonda acarreando un pesado cofre de madera que oculta un valioso mapa. . . De la noche a la mañana, el joven Jim se encuentra en la cubierta de La Hispaniola, rodeado de rudos mercenarios, ansiosos por encontrar el codiciado tesoro del capitán Flint. Durante la mayor hazaña de su vida, irá conociendo mejor a John «el Largo» Silver, el viejo pirata que lo empujó a la aventura, personaje fascinante y contrapunto perfecto al carácter sencillo e inocente de Jim. «Resume todo lo que yo le pido a la literatura. » Eduardo Mendoza

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.

Jekyll and Hyde

by Robert Louis Stevenson

In September of 1884, Robert Louis Stevenson, then in his mid-thirties, moved with his family to Bournemouth, a resort on the southern coast of England, where in the brief span of 23 months he revised A Child's Garden of Verses and wrote the novels Kidnapped and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.<P><P> An intriguing combination of fantast thriller and moral allegory, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde depicts the gripping struggle of two opposing personalities -- one essentially good, the other evil -- for the soul of one man. Its tingling suspense and intelligent and sensitive portrayal of man's dual nature reveals Stevenson as a writer of great skill and originality, whose power to terrify and move us remains, over a century later, undiminished.

Kidnapped

by Robert Louis Stevenson

ENDURING LITERATURE ILLUMINATED BY PRACTICAL SCHOLARSHIP The adventures of David Balfour, a young orphan, as he journeys through the dangerous Scottish Highlands in an attempt to regain his rightful inheritance. THIS ENRICHED CLASSIC EDITION INCLUDES: A concise introduction that gives the reader important background information A chronology of the author's life and work A timeline of significant events that provides the book's historical context An outline of key themes and plot points to guide the reader's own interpretations Detailed explanatory notes Critical analysis, including contemporary and modern perspectives on the work Discussion questions to promote lively classroom and book group interaction A list of recommended related books and films to broaden the reader's experience Enriched Classics offer readers affordable editions of great works of literature enhanced by helpful notes and insightful commentary. The scholarship provided in Enriched Classics enables readers to appreciate, understand, and enjoy the world's finest books to their full potential. SERIES EDITED BY CYNTHIA BRANTLEY JOHNSON

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.

Kidnapped (Timeless Classics)

by Robert Louis Stevenson Janice Greene

On the run from his kidnapper, an orphaned boy acquires an unexpected travelling companion. Is Alan Breck the notorious outlaw that people say he is? Or is he really a patriotic hero? This is the Timeless Classics version adapted by Janice Greene.

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.

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