Tag Archives: Wilkie Collins

The Many Lives of “The Woman in White”

ENThe Woman in White is a Victorian “Sensation Novel” written in 1859-1860 by Wilkie Collins. I discovered it more than 10 years ago, and since then it is one of my favorite novels. Why is it so appealing? What inspired it?

https://wiki.uiowa.edu/download/attachments/41136006/415px-Wilkie-Collins.jpg?api=v2
Wilkie Collins

Most facts here come from John Sutherland’s notes and introduction to The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins, Oxford World’s Classics.

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Caspar David Friedrich: Cloister Cemetery in the Snow, 1817-19

The Graveyard Scene

English

In my previous article, Graveyards and the City, I said my fascination with graveyards began with graveyards scenes in books. I think it was a scene from The Phantom of the Opera, by Gaston Leroux.

When I think about “The Graveyard Scene”, She’s in Parties by Bauhaus is always stuck in my head.

The Graveyard Scene… The golden years… She’s in parties…

The pre Romantic and Romantic artists were fascinated with death and specifically graveyards.

The Graveyard Poets were some gloom-oriented English poets from 18th Century, among them Thomas Gray wrote An Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard. Gothic Literature, Victorian Gothic Literature and then Edwardian Literature featured this kind of settings. Early 20th century movies – a lot of book adaptations –  also had a Gothic feel about them (see German Expressionist Movies). The themes and settings survived in later gothic/horror/fantasy books, paintings, movies and video games.

Here are some of my favorite Graveyard Scenes (click the pictures for more details!):

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