Deadly Dolls - Midnight Tales of Uncanny Playthings

British Library Tales of the Weird

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Deadly Dolls: Midnight Tales of Uncanny Playthings, edited by Elizabeth Dearnley / From the British Library's "Tales of the Weird" series / ISBN 9780712355704 / 272-page paperback published in 2024


'The sleeping wood had wakened. Her pearl teeth crashed against his with the sound of cymbals and her warm, fragrant breath blew around him like an Italian gale.'

Dolls, mannequins, humanoid toys and dummies are the quintessential symbols of the uncanny, referenced by Freud in his foundational essay on the phenomenon of the familiar-turned-unsettling, and remaining a terrifying recurring menace of horror media today.

In this new collection, Elizabeth Dearnley revives a sinister troupe of uncannily animated figures from tales across the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, by authors including E T A Hoffmann, Angela Carter, Vernon Lee, Algernon Blackwood and Rosemary Timperley.

Terror and nightmares await when the doors of the doll house swing open and its denizens come out to play.

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Down the rabbit hole...