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Research Article

Realism and the Supernatural in Ghost Stories of the Fin de Siècle

Nick Freeman    University of Loughborough, UK    



This article examines the uses of realism in fin-de-siècle ghost stories by Vernon Lee, Ella D’Arcy, Rudyard Kipling, and Gertrude Atherton, It argues that forms of realist practice were central to the sophistication of these stories, and draws connections between their use in supernatural fiction and the work of modernists such as Joseph Conrad. Examining works from the late 1880s to 1905, it maintains that the dismissal of realism by modernists such as Woolf underestimated its importance and its versatility, and that the ghost story’s importance as a vehicle for literary experiment is insufficiently acknowledged.

Keywords: Ghost Story. Realism. Supernatural. Henry James. Virginia Woolf. Ruyard Kipling. Joseph Conrad.

Language: en

Submitted: Oct. 16, 2020
Accepted: Dec. 12, 2020
Published: Dec. 21, 2020

permalink: http://doi.org/10.30687/EL/2420-823X/2020/01/006

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License