“Melmoth the Wanderer”, a Gothic Horror Novel by Charles Robert Maturin, 1820 (an Excerpt & Links)


In his almost 200-year-old gothic novel, Melmoth the Wanderer, Irish author Charles Robert B7B9EA25-6E81-41BF-BE52-D01121CBFCF3Maturin tells the story of John Melmoth, a scholar who sells his soul to the devil in exchange for 150 extra years of life, and then spends the extra time searching for someone who will take over the pact for him. The story takes place in the “present” (1820); but the backstory is revealed through several “nested” story-within-a-story tales. These plot/narrative devices work back and forth through time (usually by means of information found in old books and manuscripts), until we gradually see the story of Melmoth’s life come together. The book also  includes interesting religious and socio-political commentary on early-19th-century England.

John Melmoth, student at Trinity College, Dublin, having journeyed to County Wicklow for attendance at the deathbed of his miserly uncle, finds the old man, even in his last moments, tortured by avarice, and by suspicion of all around him. He whispers to John:

“I want a glass of wine, it would keep me alive for some hours, but there is not one I can trust to get it for me,—they’d steal a bottle, and ruin me.” John was greatly shocked. “Sir, for God’s sake, let ME get a glass of wine for you.” “Do you know where?” said the old man, with an expression in his face John could not understand. “No, Sir; you know I have been rather a stranger here, Sir.” “Take this key,” said old Melmoth, after a violent spasm; “take this key, there is wine in that closet,—Madeira. I always told them there was nothing there, but they did not believe me, or I should not have been robbed as I have been. At one time I said it was whisky, and then I fared worse than ever, for they drank twice as much of it.”

John took the key from his uncle’s hand; the dying man pressed it as he did so, and John, interpreting this as a mark of kindness, returned the pressure. He was undeceived by the whisper that followed,—“John, my lad, don’t drink any of that wine while you are there.” “Good God!” said John, indignantly throwing the key on the bed; then, recollecting that the miserable being before him was no object of resentment, he gave the promise required, and entered the closet, which no foot but that of old Melmoth had entered for nearly sixty years. He had some difficulty in finding out the wine, and indeed stayed long enough to justify his uncle’s suspicions,—but his mind was agitated, and his hand unsteady. He could not but remark his uncle’s extraordinary look, that had the ghastliness of fear superadded to that of death, as he gave him permission to enter his closet. He could not but see the looks of horror which the women exchanged as he approached it. And, finally, when he was in it, his memory was malicious enough to suggest some faint traces of a story, too horrible for imagination, connected with it. He remembered in one moment most distinctly, that no one but his uncle had ever been known to enter it for many years.

Before he quitted it, he held up the dim light, and looked around him with a mixture of terror and curiosity. There was a great deal of decayed and useless lumber, such as might be supposed to be heaped up to rot in a miser’s closet; but John’s eyes were in a moment, and as if by magic, riveted on a portrait that hung on the wall, and appeared, even to his untaught eye, far superior to the tribe of family pictures that are left to molder on the walls of a family mansion. It represented a man of middle age. There was nothing remarkable in the costume, or in the countenance, but THE EYES, John felt, were such as one feels they wish they had never seen, and feels they can never forget. Had he been acquainted with the poetry of Southey, he might have often exclaimed in his after-life,

“Only the eyes had life,
They gleamed with demon light.”


“Melmoth” or “Interior of a Dominican Convent in Madrid”—illustrating Alonzo Monçada’s story from Charles Robert Maturin’s multi-volume novel Melmoth the Wanderer (1820). Painting by Eugène Delacroix, oil on canvas, 1831. (Wiki)

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Rue Morgue #176! Are You Reading It?




TWILIGHT OF THE GODS Series creators Bryan Fuller and Michael Green bring Neil Gaiman’s American Gods to network television. Plus: Vincenzo Natali on directing Crispin Glover, Dark Horse’s American Gods comic and a look back at Gaiman’s novel. By Andrea Subissati, Pedro Cabezuelo and Jess Peacock

THE GREAT AND SECRET SHOWMAN The life and legacy of cultural boogeyman Anton Szandor LaVey on the 20th anniversary of his death. Plus: the occult in fashion and a few words with 3teeth frontman Lex. By Sean Plummer, Benoit Black and Andrea Subissati

THE WONDER FEARS The Watcher in the Woods director John Hough takes us back to the Disney movie that traumatized a generation of tots. Plus: a look at Disney’s dark side. By Amy Seidman and Paul Corup

CHAINSAW AND DAVE’S CLASS REUNION Summer School’s lovable gorehounds celebrate 30 years of the characters who made being a horror fan cool. Plus: a dossier of horror devotees. By Jeff Szpirglas and Tal Zimerman


NOTE FROM UNDERGROUND Andrea says hello.

POST-MORTEM Letters from fans, readers and weirdos

DREADLINES News highlights, horror happenings

THE CORONER’S REPORT Weird stats, morbid facts and more

NEEDFUL THINGS Strange trinkets from our bazaar of the bizarre

CINEMACABRE The latest films, the newest DVDs and reissues feat. The Void


BOWEN’S BASEMENT The Horror of Party Beach

BLOOD IN FOUR COLOURS Comics feat. Not Drunk Enough

THE NINTH CIRCLE Book reviews feat. John Cornell’s Chalk

THE FRIGHT GALLERY The spooky works of Eric Millen

THE GORE-MET Human Pork Chop and Dr. Lamb

AUDIO DROME Music reviews feat. new album from Ghoultown

PLAY DEAD Game reviews feat. Resident Evil 7: Biohazard

CLASSIC CUT The Cat and the Canary

Source and Buying Info:


Goodreads? Follow Yours Truly…


Started this great horror novel by the great David Wellington.

Follow me over at Goodreads!


Meet Angélica Gorodischer—and Her Beautiful Novel: Prodigies (Small Beer Press)


French lavendar blossom. (Arboretum)


I love how life is full of surprises, especially the gentler ones…like coming home on a bright, warm Sunday afternoon to find the wild rosebush near the front steps bursting with little flaming buds the color of flamingo feathers; like discovering a hand-stitched quilt from UPS at your door, made by a great-aunt you only met once (you brought her a handful of flowers from her garden on a sunny day when she couldn’t get out of bed); and like finding a new book with prose so beautiful the pages open like lavendar blooms page after page after page.

Meet Angélica Gorodischer, an Argentine writer known for her short fiction, which belongs to a wide variety of genres, from science-fiction and fantasy, to crime and the weird. Many of her stories are told from a feminist perspective.


Author photo: alchetron.com.


Born in Buenos Aires, Gorodischer has lived in Rosario since she was eight, and this city appears very frequently in her work. In 2007, the City Council of Rosario awarded her the title of Illustrious Citizen.

Kalpa Imperial: Stories

In the English-speaking world, Gorodischer might be best known for Kalpa Imperial (a two-volume work, which appeared in her native Argentina (Volume 1 in 1983; and both Volumes by 1984). Its English translation was published in 2003 by US author Ursula K. Le Guin.

A collection of short stories, Kalpa Imperial details the history of a vast imaginary empire through tales of fantasy, fable, and allegory. The collecton gained Gorodischer many admirers who consider it to be one of the finest genre works published in Argentina. The collection has also gained supporters in the English-speaking world. (A part of the work appeared as a story in the American anthology Starlight 2.)

Read a review of Kalpa Imperial here…

SciFi and Feminist Themes

Gorodischer also produced many works before writing Kalpa Imperial, including the collections Opus dos (Opus two, 1967), Bajo las jubeas en flor (Under the Flowering Jubeas, 1973), and Casta Luna Electronica (Chaste Electric Moon, 1977). She had become, over the course of her career, a science fiction author noted for her work concerning the differences of power among men and women, focusing often on the pros and cons of power and it’s corruption of those in ruling positions.

A “Grand Dame” Female Detective

Gorodischer has authored two novels in the genre of detective fiction, creating an intriguing female detective, a grand dame, who reluctantly and haphazardly engages in the world of international intrigue. The character made her literary debut in 1985 in Gorodischer’s noveletta, Floreros de alabastro, alfombras de Bokhara; and reappeared later in a different form in Jugo de mango (1988).


I discovered Gorodischer by accident when I came across a book of hers, Prodigies, translated into English in the small backroom of local book Shop. Chapter after chapter I was enthralled. Prose this good is hard to come by. It’s a beautiful book and one I highly recommend. It will leave you illuminated and heart-warmed.


Chapter 1 from Prodigies…




Translations and Bibliography

Below is a list of Gorodischer’s translated work, a link to a comprehensive bibliography of her work, and some sample pages from Prodigy.

Translated Fiction:

  • Kalpa Imperial: The Greatest Empire That Never Was. Translated by Ursula K. Le Guin. Small Beer Press, 2003
  • Trafalgar. Translated by Amalia Gladhart, 2013
  • Prodigies. Translated by Sue Burke. Small Beer Press, 2015.



One of my favorite writers has a new limited edition novella out…You gotta check out: “The Account of David Stonehouse, Exile”!


From Daniel Mills’ website:

‘I am pleased to confirm that copies of limited edition chapbook “The Account of David Stonehouse, Exile” are still available from Dim Shores.

“David Stonehouse” is a long novella of 31,000 words: a found document of indeterminate providence, a tale of grief and repression, an unconventional ghost story and meditation on loneliness and exile, the spirit and the flesh.

The chapbook itself is beautiful, featuring stunning cover and interior artwork courtesy of the talented Steve G. Santiago. Dim Shores have truly outdone themselves here, and I could not be more pleased or proud of the final product.

Note that this is a limited edition and as such is almost certain to sell out. At last count there were less than 20 copies remaining so if the novella is of interest to you I might recommend ordering soon…”

[Text & Bibliography (below) from DanielMills.net]

Click here to read more from Daniel Mills about “The Account of Daniel Stone”

If you’re like me, and you like to know what else your favorite writers wrote and where to find it:

A Daniel Mills Bibliography

  • “Below the Falls” (reprint). Will appear in Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror 2016 (ed. Paula Guran), Prime Books, 2016.
  • “The Account of David Stonehouse, Exile” (novella), Dim Shores, 2016.
  • “Canticle.” Will appear in Marked to Die (ed. Justin Isis), Snuggly Books, 2016.
  • “A Shadow Passing.” Appears in Autumn Cthulhu (ed. Mike Davis), Lovecraft eZine, 2016.
  • “Below the Falls.” Appears in Nightscript I (ed. C.M. Muller). 2015.☆☆☆☆
  • “The Breaking.” Appears in The Doom that Came to Providence (ed. Joseph S. Pulver, Sr). NecronomiCon Providence, 2015.
  • “The Lake.” Appears in Aickman’s Heirs (ed. Simon Strantzas). Undertow Press, 2015.
  • Pseudopod 414: “The Photographer’s Tale” (audio). Reading by George Cleveland. November 28, 2014.
  • “Isaac’s Room” (reprint). Appears in The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror 25 (ed. Stephen Jones). Robinson, 2014.
  • “Children of Light” (novella). Dunhams Manor Press, 2014. OOP.
  • “The Woman in the Wood” in The Children of Old Leech (ed. Ross Lockhart & Justin Steele). Word Horde, 2014.
  • The Lord Came at Twilight. Dark Renaissance Books, 2014. Collection includes:
    -The Hollow
    -MS Found in a Chicago Hotel Room
    -Dust from a Dark Flower
    -The Photographer’s Tale
    -Whistler’s Gore
    -The Wayside Voices
    -John Blake*
    -The Falling Dark
    -The Tempest Glass
    -House of the Caryatids*
    -The Naked Goddess
    -The Lord Came at Twilight
    * = original to the collection
  • “De Profundis” (reprint) in Strange Aeons #13 (ed. Ted E Grau), 2014.
  • “Whistler’s Gore” in Mighty in Sorrow: Stories Inspired by David Tibet & Current 93 (ed. Jordan Krall), Dunhams Manor Press, 2014.
  • “Isaac’s Room” in Black Static #35 (ed. Andy Cox). TTA Press, 2013.
  • “The Lord Came at Twilight” in The Grimscribe’s Puppets (ed. Joseph S. Pulver, Sr). Miskatonic River Press, 2013.
  • “The Other Boy” in Shadows & Tall Trees #5 (ed. Michael Kelly). Undertow Books, 2013.
  • “The Falling Dark” in Shadows Edge (ed. Simon Strantzas). Gray Friar Press, 2013.
  • “The Tempest Glass” in Supernatural Tales 23 (ed. David Longhorn). Supernatural Tales Press, 2013.
  • “Dust from a Dark Flower” in Fungi (ed. Orrin Grey & Silvia Moreno-Garcia). Innsmouth Free Press, 2012.☆☆☆
  • “The Photographer’s Tale” (reprint) in The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror 23 (ed. Stephen Jones). Robinson, 2012.
    Unhallowed Ground (novella). DarkFuse, 2012.
  • “The Wayside Voices” in Black Static #30 (ed. Andy Cox). TTA Press, 2012.
  • “MS Found in a Chicago Hotel Room” in A Season in Carcosa (ed. Joseph S. Pulver, Sr). Miskatonic River Press, 2012.
  • “The Hollow” in Phantasmagorium #4 (ed. Joseph S. Pulver, Sr). Gorgon Press, 2012.
  • Three Poems in Sacrum Regnum I (ed. Daniel Corrick & Mark Samuels). Hieroglyphic Press, 2012.
  • “De Profundis” in Classical Horror (ed. DF Lewis). Megazanthus Press, 2012.
  • “Whisperers” in Aklonomicon (ed. Joseph S. Pulver, Sr & Ivan McCann). Aklo Press, 2012.
  • “Testing Spark” in Dadaoism: An Anthology (ed. Quentin S. Crisp & Justin Isis). Chomu Press, 2012.
  • “Wolf Hour” in Supernatural Tales 20 (ed. David Longhorn). Supernatural Tales Press, 2011.
  • “The Naked Goddess” in Delicate Toxins (ed. John H. Smith). Side Real Press, 2011.
  • “Silently, Without Cease” in Historical Lovecraft (ed. Silvia Moreno-Garcia & Paula Stiles). Innsmouth Free Press, 2011.
  • “The Photographer’s Tale” in Theaker’s Quarterly Fiction 36 (ed. Stephen Theaker). TQF, 2011.
  • Revenants. Chomu Press, 2011.
  • “The Corn” in Willard & Maple. Champlain College, 2010.
  • “Port Judith in Winter” (novella) in Shadeworks (ed. Gordon Clemmons), 2010.
  • “Lilacs in November” in Shadeworks (ed. Gordon Clemmons), 2010.
  • “Sanctuary Run” in Strange Tales III (ed. Rosalie Parker). Tartarus Press, 2009.

NOS4A2 Artwork for Cemetery Dance Limited Edition of the Novel by Joe Hill