The Book

From two acclaimed experts in the genre, a brand-new volume of supernatural stories showcasing the forgotten female horror writers from 1852–1923.

While the nineteen-year-old Mary Shelley may be hailed as the first modern writer of horror, the success of her immortal Frankenstein undoubtedly inspired dozens of female authors who wrote their own evocative, chilling tales. Weird Women, edited by award-winning anthologists Lisa Morton and Leslie S. Klinger, collects some of the finest tales of terror by authors as legendary as Louisa May Alcott, Frances Hodgson Burnett, and Charlotte Gilman-Perkins, alongside works of writers who were the bestsellers and critical favorites of their time – Marie Corelli, Ellen Glasgow, Charlotte Riddell – and lesser known authors who are deserving of contemporary recognition.

As railroads, industry, cities, and technology flourished in the mid-nineteenth century, so did stories exploring the horrors they unleashed. This anthology includes ghost stories and tales of haunted houses, as well as mad scientists, werewolves, ancient curses, mummies, psychological terrors, demonic dimensions, and even weird westerns. Curated by Klinger and Morton with an aim to presenting work that has languished in the shadows, all of these exceptional supernatural stories are sure to surprise, delight, and frighten today’s readers.

“Morton and Klinger refute the popular misconception that the early horror genre had few female writers—in reality, as they show, women writers were forerunners of the genre, often supporting their families through their work and gaining fame, only to be allowed to drift into obscurity and out of print. The two editors bring these authors back into the spotlight here … Feminist and horror-genre readers will jump on this compelling and spooky collection. ”

Booklist August 1, 2020 (starred review)

" absolute must-own for those interested in the women who helped shape the horror genre...Weird Women ultimately works because of the stories and authors Klinger and Morton chose. They present a cross-section of the women who published during the time period, focusing on tales that are not only well-written but are also genuinely creepy. They also provide a brief bio for each author so that you can learn more about the incredible women in this collection...I cannot recommend it enough if you are a fan of tales of the strange and unusual." Book Review 8/4/20

“… worth reading the supernatural dread and unexplained occurrences women recalled, and imagined, from an earlier time of homebound life.”

Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, “Booked and Printed”

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  • “The Old Nurse’s Story” (1852) by Elizabeth Gaskell
  • “The Moonstone Mass” (1868) by Harriet Spofford
  • “Lost in a Pyramid, or the Mummy’s Curse” (1869) by Louisa May Alcott
  • “What Was the Matter?” (1869) by Elizabeth Stuart Phelps
  • “Nut Bush Farm” (1882) by Mrs. J. H. (Charlotte) Riddell
  • “The Gray Man” (1886) by Sarah Orne Jewett
  • “In a Far-Off World” (1889) by Olive Schreiner
  • “The Giant Wistaria” (1891) by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
  • “The Lady with the Carnations” (1895) by Marie Corelli
  • “The Were-Wolf” (1896) by Clemence Housman
  • “An Itinerant House” (1897) by Emma Frances Dawson
  • “Transmigration” (1900) by Dora Sigerson Shorter
  • “The Wind in the Rose-Bush” (1902) by Mary E. Wilkins-Freeman
  • “The Banshee’s Halloween” (1903) by Herminie Templeton Kavanagh
  • “In the Closed Room” (1904) by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • “The Dream Baby” (1904) by Olivia Howard Dunbar
  • “The Third Drug” (1908) by Edith Nesbit
  • “The Pocket-Hunter’s Story” (1909) by Mary Austin
  • “Twilight” (1912) by Marjorie Bowen
  • “The Swine-Gods” (1917) by Regina Miriam Bloch
  • “Jordan’s End” (1923) by Ellen Glasgow

Weird Women will be published by Pegasus Books on August 4, 2020.