Friday, October 22, 2010
The White Lady. A legend found around the world. Often a harbinger of death. These are tragic women who have suffered a trauma in life. She might be a banshee and a bitch, but she is also fragile. If you see her, if you are inclined to believe in such things, she's on a rural highway late at night, mostly in the summer, dressed in Victorian garb: the diaphanous dress, the veil, the gloves, the pearls. Is she a ruin or is she a menace?
Victorian Ghosts in the Noontide: Women Writers and the Supernatural (review). Victorian Studies - Volume 42, Number 4, Summer 1999/2000, pp. 677-679. Indiana University Press
In the Preface to Victorian Ghost Stories by Noted Women Writers (1988), Richard Dalby asserts that women have produced more than half of the best British ghost stories. His claim remains uncontested, and in Victorian Ghosts in the Noontide, Vanessa D. Dickerson seeks to explain the attraction that writing about the supernatural held for Victorian women. She posits that, although the wanderer in Matthew Arnold's "Stanzas from the Grand Chartreuse" (1855) exemplified a pervasive Victorian condition of haunted "in-betweenness" (9), women were singularly situated in a spectral indeterminacy.