First off, I have to mention (by the rules) that I received a copy of this book through a giveaway Weiser hosted on GoodReads.com
With my reading being halfway taken with literature textbooks, this book fits in perfectly. The set-up is a short introduction of the author and then a key piece of literature by them in the horror genre with occult tones but not focused in one movement (Realism, Naturalism, Gothic, etc). Going through the book made me wish more of these stories had made into the Norton Anthologies of English and American Literature because they add so much more depth the literary movements covered. Not including the horror elements through all literary movements makes the subjects covered in classes very bland. The only hint of horror is the study of the Gothic movement in a short section. While this text doesn’t go into the movements of the time they were written, there are mentions of the periods.
This text is going on my literature study shelf. Aside from the occult tones, which is often overlooked when talking about spiritualism that inspired society, the horror aspects are additions to what inspired authors outside of the mainstream. Many studies in literary movements forget the darker aspects of human life and works. In this collection, you’ll find a contemporary to Louisa May Alcott who wrote horror and was a lead female author often overlooked. Included is also a story by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle of Sherlock fame.