Hallowe’en Highlights from Ashgate Publishing

Posted by Hattie Wilson, Marketing Executive

Rather than donning costumes and engaging in some trick or treating, we thought that we would take you on a tour of some of our most ghoulish publications to date.

Literary and Cinematic MonstersTo start us off, this time last year we published The Ashgate Encyclopedia to Literary and Cinematic Monsters, a useful A-Z from J.K Rowling’s acromantula through to zombies. In a similar vein, The Ashgate Research Companion to Monsters and the Monstrous is now available in handy paperback format. A must-have for all beast buffs.

Staying in the supernatural world, the Sociology list launched The Ashgate Research Companion to Paranormal Cultures late last year. The companion explores internet phenomena (such as Slenderman and Creepypasta), mediumship, and the paranormal in subcultures and its role in social change to name but a few.

American Imperial GothicIn April, the Sociology list produced The American Imperial Gothic. The book contends that the peril faced by the world in popular culture is related to our current global instability. Kirsten Lacefield’s The Scary Screen discusses similar issues. She scrutinizes many interpretations of The Ring and how they express anxieties of new media and technologies. The horror genre is a popular field of academic research of late. Anne Hermanson investigates this topic in The Horror Plays of the English Restoration. She makes a comprehensive analysis of monstrosity, madness, disease and the macabre on the London stage in the 1670s.

Gothic, Horror and Gore genres are often related to the study of science and medicine. Wounds in the Middle Ages researches representations of broken bodies and charts the perceptions and treatment of wounds within religious belief, writing on medicine, and surgical practice. Surgical dissection and post-mortem is the subject of Piers Mitchell’s 2012 publication Anatomical Dissection in Enlightenment England and Beyond. He examines discoveries by biological anthropologists (alongside experts from British medical schools and the Royal College of Surgeons) who have unearthed new evidence about how bodies were dissected and autopsied in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Continuing within the nineteenth century, The Ashgate Research Companion to Nineteenth Century Spiritualism and the Occult covers the relationship between science and Victorian spiritualism, the occult and politics, and the culture of mystical practices.

To conclude our whistle-stop journey, we can’t neglect to mention witches! Marks of an Absolute Witch by Orna Alyagon Darr explores the crime of witchcraft in early modern England, and how we can observe the social and judicial attitudes towards crime and punishment through the witch trials and the ‘evidence’ presented at them. Moving swiftly to early modern Germany, H.C Erik Midelfort collects together some of his work on the history of madness, demonology, witchcraft and the social history of religious change in his 2013 Variorum title Witchcraft, Madness, Society, and Religion in Early Modern Germany. Finally, Sarah Williams explores the roles of broadside ballads in the early modern witch craze and the connections the music made between degrees of female crime, the supernatural and cautionary tales for and about women in Damnable Practices: Witches, Dangerous Women, and Music in Seventeenth-Century English Broadside Ballads.

Happy Hallowe’en!

Other titles of Interest:

  • English Catholics and the Supernatural, 1553-1829
  • Women and the Material Culture of Death
  • Domestic Murder in Nineteenth-Century England
  • Narratives of Women and Murder in England, 1680-1760
  • Women, Infanticide and the Press, 1822-1922
  • Supernatural and Secular Power in Early Modern England
  • The Late Victorian Gothic
  • Transnational Gothic
  • The Geneaology of Cyborgothic

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