Friday, December 23, 2016

Lost Souls and Murder in the Closet

A couple of interesting essay collections recently published by McFarland:

Elizabeth McCarthy and Bernice M. Murphy, Lost Souls of Horror and the Gothic: Fifty Four Neglected Authors, Actors, Artists and Others
Foreward: “Welcome to the Island of Lost Souls” (Sir Christopher Frayling)
Introduction (Bernice Murphy and Elizabeth McCarthy
Evelyn Ankers (Elizabeth McCarthy)
Morris Ankrum (Bill Warren)
Theda Bara (Maria Parsons)
Ralph Bates (Peter Hutchings)
Charles Beaumont (Edward O’Hare)
Ingrid Bergman (Mark Jankovich)
Guy Boothby (Ailise Bulfin)
John Buchan (Anna Powell)
Susan Cabot (Tom Weaver)
Oscar Cook (Darryl Jones)
Marie Corelli (Caitriona Kirby)
Aleister Crowley (Clive Bloom)
Danielle Dax (Catherine Spooner)
Dulcie Deamer (Jim Rockhill)
Maya Deren (Wendy Haslem)
The Erkenwald Poet (Brendan O’Connell)
John Farris (Xavier Aldana Reyes)
Nicholas Fisk (Katherine Farrimond)
Charles Fort (Tania Scott)
Dion Fortune (Kristine Larson)
Charles Gemora (Mark Cofell)
Gregory of Tours (Peter Dendle)
Victor Halperin (Murray Leeder)
Edward Jerningham (Peter N. Lindfield and Dale Townshend)
Jerome K. Jerome (William Hughes)
Skelton Knaggs (John Exshaw)
Alfred Kubin (Tracy Fahey)
Francis Lathom (David Punter)
Ira Levin (Bernice M. Murphy)
Jeff Lieberman (Jon Towlson)
Stephen Mallatratt (Madelon Hoedt)
Carl Mayer (Jim Rockhill)
Robert M. McCammon (Neil McRobert)
Shinji Mikami (Eoin Murphy)
Joseph Minion (George Toles)
Paula Modersohn-Becker (Wendy Mooney)
Fitz-James O’Brien (Kevin Corstorphine)
Sandy Petersen (Rachel Mizsei Ward)
Leonora Piper (Dara Downey)
Edogawa Rampo (Colette Balmain)
Charlotte Riddell (Clare Clarke)
Philip Ridley (Douglas Keesey)
Regina Maria Roche (Christina Morin)
Vincent Schiavelli (Sorcha Ni Fhlainn)
William Buehler Seabrook (Roger Luckhurst)
Sydney Sime (Maria Beville)
Tod Slaughter (Jarlath Killeen)
Lionel Sparrow (James Doig)
Montague Summers (Frank Furedi)
Team Silent Hill (Ewan Kirkland)
Peter Van Greenaway (Edward O’Hare)
Stephen Volk (James Rose)
Tom Waits (Jenny McDonnell)
Fredric Wertham (Sarah Cleary)

Curtis Evans (ed.), Murder in the Closet: Essays on Queer Clues in Crime Fiction Before Stonewall
Introduction (Curtis Evans)
Part One: Locked Doors
The Queer Story of Fergus Hume (Lucy Sussex)
A Redemptive Masquerade: Gender Identity in Samuel Hopkins Adams’ The Secret of Lonesome Cove (J. F. Norris)
Dropping Hairpins in Golden Age Detective Fiction: Man-Haters, Green Carnations and Gunsels (Noah Stewart)
"Queer in some ways": Gay Characters in the Fiction of Agatha Christie (John Curran)
Agatha Christie: Norms and Codes (Michael Moon)
The Unshockable Mrs. Bradley: Sex and Sexuality in the Work of Gladys Mitchell (Brittain Bright)
"Less beautiful in daylight": Josephine Tey and the Anxiety of Gender (J.C. Bernthal)
"Mutually devoted": Female Relationships in Josephine Tey’s Miss Pym Disposes (Moira Redmond)
"The man with the laughing eyes": Socialism and ­Same-Sex Desire in G. D. H. Cole’s The Death of a Millionaire (Curtis Evans )
Humdrum Ecstasies: C. H. B. Kitchin and His Detective, Malcolm Warren (Michael Moon)
"Two young men who write as one": Richard Wilson Webb, Hugh Callingham Wheeler, Male Couples and The Grindle Nightmare (Curtis Evans)
Queering the Investigation: Explanation and Understanding in Todd Downing’s Detective Fiction (Charles J. Rzepka)
"A bad, bad past": Rufus King, Clifford Orr, College Drag and Detective Fiction (Curtis Evans)
Foppish, Effeminate, or "a little too handsome": Coded Character Descriptions and Masculinity in the Mystery Novels of Mignon G. Eberhart (Rick Cypert)
Part Two: Skeleton Keys
"The finest triumvirate of perversion, horror and murder written this spring": Frank Walford’s Twisted Clay (James Doig)
Wayne Lonergan’s Long Shadow: A Forties Murder and Its Literary Legacy (Drewey Wayne Gunn)
"Claude was doing all right": Homosexuality, ­Hard-Boiled Crime Fiction and the Evolution of Ross Macdonald (Tom Nolan)
"Elegant stuff …⁠ of its sort": Gore Vidal’s Edgar Box Detective Novels (Curtis Evans)
"Adonis in person": Same-Sex Intimacy and Male Eroticism in the Detective Novels of Beverley Nichols (J. F. Norris)
More Than Fiction: Troublesome Themes in the Life and Writing of Nancy Spain (Bruce Shaw)
Man to Man: The ­Two-Men Theme in the Novels of Patricia Highsmith (Nick Jones)
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang: Joseph Hansen’s Known Homosexual (Josh Lanyon)

I Am the Most! Camping It Up in George Baxt’s Pharoah Love Mystery Series (J. F. Norris)


  1. Skimming this, I initially assumed that each of the 'Lost Souls' cited had written a gothic novel of some description. I'll leave it up to you to guess how far down the list I got before surprise and delight gave way to incredulity!

  2. A few of the choices in the first book are questionable as far as "neglected" goes, but overall it sounds pretty good. The 2nd book could have included an essay on The Mystery of Edwin Drood.

  3. Just perusing my copy now. I have to say the essay on Montague Summers focuses solely on his anti-witchcraft position, but astonishingly the author appears unaware of Montie's ambivalent relationship to the dark side, viz the black mass he held in his garden and his volume of decadent paederastically-inclined verse, Antinous.
    Most of the essays are awfully short, and while it was gratifying to read something on rarely covered figures like the strangely visaged and named actors Skelton Knaggs and Tod Slaughter at all, one could have desired a bit more detail. I yield to few in my admiration of Aleister Crowley, but as he has been the subject of a stack of biographies and was named one of the great Brits of all time in a BBC poll he is hardly "neglected".
    A friend leafing through it said rather unkindly but truthfully, "It's a cheaply-produced looking book by academics who don't seem to know there's a vast and knowledgeable literature on the people they're writing about". Cruel? You judge. McFarland books are rather pricy but while they publish some worthy stuff one gets the impression with some titles that because of the specialised nature there's nobody at the office able to judge the quality of what's delivered.