Out of the Past - Tales of Haunting History

British Library Tales of the Weird


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Out of the Past - Tales of Haunting History, edited by Aaron Worth / From the British Library's "Tales of the Weird" series / ISBN 9780712355605 / 300-page paperback published in 2024


A tale of callous murder and deranged revenge rings out from fifteenth century Italy. A witch-finder’s great triumph is also the herald of his own doom in sixteenth-century Britain. A prisoner’s fate at the hands of the Inquisition in seventeenth-century Mexico leads to an encounter with the bestial and bizarre beneath the waves.

Readers and writers have been fascinated with the past long before the term ‘historical fiction’ became recognised as its own genre of writing. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, tellers of strange tales saw the weird potential in setting stories within the realms of previous centuries, and the chance to evoke terrors throughout time.

This new collection summons stories from the eras of witchcraft, the English Civil War, tall-ship high seas exploration and ante-revolution New England, with contributions by M P Shiel, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Elizabeth Gaskell, Mary Shelley and many more.

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