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“Traces of the exotic” in Vernon Lee’s “Oke of Okehurst; Or, The Phantom Lover”



Okehurst – the stately home in Vernon Lee’s “Oke of Okehurst; Or, The Phantom Lover” – is the epitome of English architecture, dating back to “Norman or Saxon” times. Yet inside, the house is populated with far-flung objects and traces of the exotic: Persian rugs, majolica ornaments, and “rose-leaves and spices put into china bowls.” The house and its contents are intoxicating, and nothing is more exotic, perfumed, or exquisite than Alice, who with her husband (and cousin) William Oke are the last members of the family’s line. Okehurst also reverberates with the presences of its previous inhabitants which drive the current Okes to repeat the family’s history of madness and murder. The haunting of Okehurst is particularly interesting when considered alongside material from Lee’s archive. This paper will consider the traces of Lee’s own complex ancestry and the problems of empire and matrilineal ancestral wealth and inheritance, whilst utilising correspondence from Lee to her mother, and her partner, Mary Robinson to suggest the possible inspiration for Cotes Common and Okehurst Manor. Throughout this consideration of haunted spaces – both inside and outside – this paper will also make reference to the 1886 manuscript of “Oke of Okehurst,” which has never previously been studied.
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“Traces of the exotic” in Vernon Lee’s “Oke of
Okehurst; Or, The Phantom Lover”
Sally Blackburn-Daniels & Sophie Geoffroy
To cite this article: Sally Blackburn-Daniels & Sophie Geoffroy (2021) “Traces of the exotic” in
Vernon Lee’s “Oke of Okehurst; Or, The Phantom Lover”, Women's Writing, 28:4, 569-588, DOI:
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Sally Blackburn-Daniels
and Sophie Georoy
Faculty of the Arts and Social Sciences, The Open University, Cheshire, UK;
Résidence Marie
Galante, Saint Gilles les Bains, France
Okehurst the stately home in Vernon LeesOke of Okehurst; Or, The Phantom
Lover”–is the epitome of English architecture, dating back to Norman or
Saxontimes. Yet inside, the house is populated with far-ung objects and
traces of the exotic: Persian rugs, majolica ornaments, and rose-leaves and
spices put into china bowls.The house and its contents are intoxicating, and
nothing is more exotic, perfumed, or exquisite than Alice, who with her
husband (and cousin) William Oke are the last members of the familys line.
Okehurst also reverberates with the presences of its previous inhabitants
which drive the current Okes to repeat the familys history of madness and
murder. The haunting of Okehurst is particularly interesting when considered
alongside material from Lees archive. This paper will consider the traces of
Lees own complex ancestry and the problems of empire and matrilineal
ancestral wealth and inheritance, whilst utilising correspondence from Lee to
her mother, and her partner, Mary Robinson to suggest the possible
inspiration for Cotes Common and Okehurst Manor. Throughout this
consideration of haunted spaces both inside and outside this paper will
also make reference to the 1886 manuscript of Oke of Okehurst,which has
never previously been studied.
KEYWORDS Vernon Lee; hauntology; intertextuality; colonialism; the fantastic; projection
Vernon Lee was the adopted name of Violet Paget (18561935), a writer
whose diverse literary legacy includes essays on art history and philosophical
aesthetics, open letters on vivisection, petitions against the demolition of the
historic centre of Florence, publications on womens rights, as well as novels,
novellas and short story collections. She wrote (and was published) from the
age of fourteen, until the last years of her life, and could do so in four
languages. Her pseudonym was not merely that; she wrote privately and
© 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDer-
ivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distri-
bution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered,
transformed, or built upon in any way.
CONTACT Sally Blackburn-Daniels
2021, VOL. 28, NO. 4, 569588
publicly as Lee, and was known as this by friends and lovers. Lees most
recognised works (and those that are now subject to the most critical scru-
tiny) are her three collections of fantastic tales: Hauntings: Fantastic Tales
(1890), Pope Jacynth and Other Fantastic Tales (1907) and For Maurice:
Five Unlikely Stories (1927). It is this rst collection of stories, Hauntings
that we wish to examine here.
On 23 April 1890, The Pall Mall Gazette published a review of Vernon
LeesHauntings. It began:
In Oke of Okehurst(a masterly story in its way) there is absolutely nothing
supernatural. Okesmaniac frownon which the narrator insists a little too
often, aords a perfectly natural key to the whole deplorable episode []
The thoroughly successful ghost-story, in short, must either be blood-curdling
fact or an unblushing ction. When the hypothesis of morbid self-deception is
possible, the case may be appalling as an instance of mental disease, but it is
not a true ghost story.
The Pall Malls review suggested that Lee had failed to fullthecontractof
the title Hauntings, by failing to provide the realor true supernatural experi-
ence. The review continues that Lees work was tested under the most tting
conditions:Hauntings was read at the witchesnoon, by the light of a single
candle, in the lonely wing of a house two centuries old.Despite the seemly
environment, the longed-for shiver never came.
By creating a tableau of
test conditions, the reviewer grandstands their knowledge of the traditions
of the supernatural as a genre: the haunted house, the noises that startle
the still night,the gures just out of sight, and, unfortunately for Lee, the
book is mauled for lack of these tropes. Oliver Tearle claims that Lees super-
natural stories privilege subjective sensory experience and individual
impressionwhich he argues breaks away from conventional Victorian
ction even the Victorian ghost story and gestures towards new territory.
Therefore, we contend that Leeslackofsuccessas a supernatural artistis
not because she has failed to recognise these conventions, or that she lacks the
writerly skill to conjure spectres, as she makes apparent in Hauntingspreface:
We were talking last evening asthebluemoon-mistpouredinthroughtheold-
fashioned grated window, and mingled with our yellow lamplight at the table []
tis the mystery that touches us, the vague shroud of moonbeams that hang about
the haunting lady [] scarcely outlined, scarcely separated from the surrounding
trees;orwalks,andsuckedback,evenanon,intotheickering shadows.
Here, as a precursor to the book,Lee provides her reader with a fully ren-
dered experience that evokes the essence of the supernatural, and the spec-
tral. Lee highlights her role as mere raconteur and ascribes the eects of
her ghost story to its oral origins and to the active participation of the audi-
ence in building up the thrill experienced by the group of listeners. Lees
preface continues:
Hence, my four little tales are of no genuine ghosts in the scientic sense; they
tell of no hauntings such as could be contributed by the Society for Psychical
Research [] I can arm only one thing, that they haunted certain brains, and
have haunted, among others, my own and my friends.
Lee suggests that her ghosts are spurious, not those to be studied by Frederic
W. H. Myers and Edmund Gurneys Society for Psychical Research, which
was founded in 1882, eight years before the publication of Hauntings. The
society was the rst to empirically study psychic or paranormal events.
Tearle notes how Lee gently satirizes the accounts of such ghostly sightings
recorded by SPR members [] and draws attention to the commonplace
banality of the ghosts that feature in such real-life accounts.
was something Lee knew rst-hand. In a letter to her mother Matilda in
July 1885 Lees (private) critique is far from gentle. She writes that she and
Alice Callander went to a meeting of the SPR after Gurney sent her
tickets. Acerbically she notes [i]t was a very dull business, consisting
mainly of avowals of failed experiments. Gurney looks weary and embittered.
The rest singularly water on the brain.
A key text in Hauntings, and one pivotal for understanding Lees spurious
ghosts is Oke of Okehurst; Or, The Phantom Lover.In Lees dedication of
Oketo Peter Boutourline, Lee writes any charm that story [Oke of Oke-
hurst; Or, The Phantom Lover] may have,might be put down [] to the
way in which we had been working ourselves up, that relight evening, with
all manner of fantastic stu.
The dedication recalls Lee telling [Boutour-
line], one afternoon that [he] sat upon the hearth-stool at Florence, the story
of Mrs Oke of Okehurst, and his enthusiastic response to this winters tale of
Lees, and his encouragement to write it down:
You thought it a fantastic tale, you lover of fantastic things, and urged me to
write it out at once, although I protested that, in such matters, to write is to
exorcise, to dispel the charm; and that printers ink chases away the ghosts
that may pleasantly haunt us, as ecaciously as gallons of holy water.
The ghosts of Okehurstpresent at Lees hearth in Florence were partly
induced by their discussion of the fantastic which gave Okeits charm.
The reader is left wondering if this charm will be absent from their own
engagement with the tale as to write is to exorcise the story of its spirit.
Yet this notion did not dispel Lees writing of it, nor its publication.
Lee approached William Blackwood the publisher with Okeon 13 April
1886 for inclusion in his magazine.
Anthony Mandal notes that Blackwood
played a major role in nineteenth-century literary publication, with Black-
woods Edinburgh Magazine (18171980) intimately associatedwith
ghost stories gothic tales.
In a letter to her mother, Matilda, in June 1886
Lee expresses her surprise and delight that her pitch paid o:[O]n returning
I [found] an astounding letter from Blackwood, oering to publish Oke of
Okehurst as a shilling dreadful, which of course I shall accept.
Lees letter
by return to Blackwood was more pragmatic, with a detailed expression of
her terms:
I have always dearly wished to produce a shilling dreadful, little guessing that I
had produced one unconsciously. If you determine on the shilling dreadful;
which I think is the best plan, as my name may go some way, may I say that
I am quite pleased with the terms from a nancial point of view; but that I
should like the copyright to revert to me after some time, not from any
unseemly hope of money, but because I have two other tales one the
Medea which you thought too historical which I want at some distant
period to publish with Oke.
Lees desire to regain the copyright was by no means unusual. Mandal
suggests that this arrangement could secure the author an initial lump
sum while benetting from the reversion of rights for later publication in
cheap or edited editions.
That same year, Blackwood published Okeas A Phantom Lover: A Fan-
tastic Story, the second title the work was to be known by. Lees original title
Oke of Okehursthad the gure of Oke, and the house, Okehurst at the fore,
and revealed the interrelation between the space and its occupier. The 1886
publication focused upon a phantom lover a paranormal paramour and
was hugely successful: A delighted Lee wrote to her mother [a]ll along the
line from Leeds here I saw my Phantom Lover on the bookstalls. I felt cele-
Four years later, after the reversion of the copyright to Lee, Oke
was collated with Amour Dureand Dioneaand included in Hauntings,
Fantastic Tales (as we have seen).By now, the title had changed once
more to Oke of Okehurst; Or, The Phantom Lover;a bringing together
of the works previous identities.
Oke of Okehurst; Or, The Phantom Loveris narrated by an unnamed
artist as he reects upon the tragic events at Okehurst, a stately home
owned by the last surviving members of the Oke family. The Okes had
lived in Okehurst since the sixteenth century, and had served in the court
of kings, and dedicated themselves to public service since. William and
Alice, descendants of the Okes as well as cousins and spouses desire to
have their portraits painted to hang in the great hall of Okehurst alongside
those of their ancestors. The artist narrator is commissioned to join
William and Alice at their home, and attempts his task. The artist soon
notes that present-day Alice bears a striking physical similarity with her
ancestress, Alice Oke, which delights present-day Alice. Yet it is not just a
physical resemblance, present-day Alice becomes a conduit for ancestral-
Alices feelings for a young poet, who was murdered out on the moorland
at Cotes Common by ancestral-Alice. Oliver Tearle suggests, Mrs Okes
similarity to her seventeenth-century namesake, and her romancewith
her namesakes ghostly paramour, the Cavalier poet Lovelock, thwarts the
narrator in his artistic task,and the artist-narrator is unable to capture
present-day Alices likeness.
Present-day Alices infatuation with the mur-
dered poet resurrects Lovelock in the mind of William Oke, who witnesses
the poets spectral gure in the grounds of Okehurst. In an attempt to stop
Alices supposed extra-marital, supernatural aair, William takes his
shotgun and aims at what he believes is the poet, but instead he hits Alice,
and kills her immediately. Consumed by despair and madness, he attempts
suicide, eventually dying days later.
The translation of A Phantom Loverinto French in the daily newspaper
Le Matin: derniers télégrammes de la nuit, in nine instalments as Le Feuil-
leton du Matin(daily series) on 10 August and 1120 October 1900 was
similarly titled: LAmoureux fantôme. A century later, in 1990, Michel
Desforgess translation of the story into French is entitled Alice Oke with
the cover bearing a photograph portrait of Julia Jackson by Julia Margaret
Cameron. Whilst the title and image is clearly feminine, it is distinctly sug-
gestive of melancholy, perhaps even madness, rather than the fantôme gure
the title has led the reader to expect.
This shift suggests a return to Lees
subtitle A Fantastic Tale and traction within literary circles of Tzvetan
Todorovs theory of the fantastic. TodorovsIntroduction à la littérature fan-
tastique (1970) is concerned with the space between psychological or super-
natural explanations for events, and the hesitation between this is, or the is
In thinking about haunting as both meta-psychological and supernatural,
we require a methodological framework that is able to apply itself to mani-
festation of phantoms in both the internal space of the psyche, alongside
natural landscapes and architectural spaces. As many critics before us, we
will utilise as the foundation of our framework Jacques Derridas term haun-
tology (hantologie in French), a portmanteau of haunting and ontology. This
term appeared (briey) in Spectres of Marx (1993) as a means to critique the
historic spectre of communism. More recently, critics such as Peter Buse and
Andrew Stott have conceptually expanded the term beyond haunting as
metaphorin literary and cultural studies, to suggest a particular form of
atemporality present at the site of a haunting, and the resulting diculty
therefrom of conceptually solidifying the past.They explain that:
Ghosts arrive from the past and appear in the present. However, the ghost
cannot be properly said to belong to the past, even if the apparition represents
someone who has been dead for many centuries, for the simple reason that a
ghost is clearly not the same thing as the person who shares its proper name.
Does then the historicalperson who is identied with the ghost properly
belong to the present? [] Derrida has been pleased to term this dual move-
ment of return and inauguration a hauntology, a coinage that suggests a spec-
trally deferred non-origin within grounding metaphysical terms such as
history and identity. Any attempt to isolate the origin of language will nd
its inaugural moment already dependent upon a system of linguistic dier-
ences that have been installed prior to the originarymoment.
Whilst Buse and Stott suggest a form of prior embodiment as a prerequisite
for the eect of hauntology, and Derridas spectre is ideological, Edyta Lorek-
Jezińska develops these notions further, by intertwining hauntology with
textual interconnectivity, more broadly known as intertextuality. As Lorek-
Jezińska recognises, the intertextual reading can become expansive, so we
wish to interrogate the text using the specic focus of paratextuality. Para-
texts are the borderlands of the text,described by Gérard Genette as all
those things which we are never certain belong to the text of a work but
which contribute to present or presentify’–the text by making it into a
The paratext is a transitional and transactional zone that exists
between the text and the non-text, a sort of textual liminality, which
allows us as readers to establish the kind of text we are presented with,
and how to read it. Moreover, the paratext can be divided into two further
categories: peritextual elements, for example; titles, chapter titles, prefaces
and notes; and epitextual elements, such as interviews, announcements,
reviews, private letters and other authorial or editorial decisions. In this
sense, we can suggest that the traditional terms of the ghost story (the
gure of the phantom and the notion of haunting as frequent supernatural
presence within a signicant location, with something to communicate to
a signicant character) are disrupted by the iterability of the peritextual
titles for Oke”–both as the short story/ novella, and as an element of the
collection Hauntings and the apparent disconnect between them and the
Hauntology, in eect, provides us with a framework for examining the
traces present within the text; the disembodied persons, historical acts that
linger, the past becoming present. Tearles essay on Lee recognises this as
a feature of the ghost narrative, particularly those stories produced by Lee
in which the ghost implies [an] emphasis on the past, and the return of
the past, [and] the interruption of history into the present moment.
would like to argue that a certain number of these hauntological remnants
are shared between Lee and Alice Oke; Lees biography and experience
feed into the text as disembodied gures and haunted spaces. It is Genettes
paratext that provides us with the impetus for excavating the genetic material
of the text, and the semantic lexicon to discuss these artefacts. It is the para-
textual elements which lie on the peripheries of the text the titles, letters,
press reviews that enable us to recognise the potential inspiration behind
the hauntological traces found in Oke.
With this methodology in mind, this essay will consider the ways in which
Lees ancestry and her visits to Coates and Godinton manifest themselves
within the originary moment the haunting of the text. We will focus
particularly upon the paratextual borderlands of the text, and the hauntolo-
gical makeup of the Alice Oke/s of Okehurst. In suggesting the importance of
Lees own intertext on Alice, we will consider Lees family history to suggest
how the concept of the phantom is representative of a transgenerational
silence and her colonial family past.
The MSS as a Haunted, Haunting Object
In December 1887, Vernon Lee had the manuscript of Oke of Okehurst
(dated April 11, 1886) bound, with other works and had it sent to the
writer, and her partner, Agnes Mary Frances Robinson as a Christmas
present (Figure 1). This MSS currently part of the digitisation project Holo-
graphical-Lee (HoL)
is an interesting object per se. One might even say, a
haunted object suggestive of the persistent presence of Lees personal ghosts.
The volume can be read both ways: starting from page 1 to page 130, is the
handwritten narrative Oke of Okehurst.And backwards, starting from the
back cover, Lees eleven-page tale The Legend of Hilarion, How he Wit-
nessed the Nativity of Our Lord; set forth in words, after the panel of
Brother Philip Lippi, by Vernon Lee(Figure 2). The tale, clearly an ekphra-
sis, is illustrated by Fra Lippis panel, and inscribed To dear Mouse [Mary
Robinson] / with a merry Xmas(Figure 3). This story, added several
months after Oke was published, testies to the paratextual edges of Oke
of Okehurst.Whilst Robinson is not immediately connected with the nar-
rative, her relationship with Lee haunts the peripheries of the text, as a com-
panion through haunted landscapes, as we shall see below.
Back, Back and Forth and Forth
Four years prior to the publication of A Phantom Lover:A Fantastic Tale Lee
had travelled from London with Mary to stay in a cottage at Waltham Park,
near Pullborough in West Sussex. Whilst there, Lee often visited friends the
Callwells, and the artist Arthur Lemon and his family who were staying
close to Fittleworth, a village renowned for attracting artists. In a letter to
her mother Matilda Lee wrote [y]esterday evening we walked across the
common and hills to Coates Farm. The Callwells & Lemons walked back
with us & Mr Lemon told us some very weird ghostly experiences he has
had. He has a very haunted head.
It is not only Lemons haunted-ness that remains with Lee, she frequently
describes the landscape: Lee explains to her mother that the surrounding
common land between the farm at Waltham and Coates has the loveliest
pink & white & purple patches of heathers, & the oak and pinewoods in
the distance.
Even for July, her letter suggests, the weather is very cold,
with rain every day, so it seems tting that Lees friend and amateur
painter Annette Callwell has given her a very pretty sketch of a piece of
boggy commonwhich she will bring back to Florence with her. Our
research suggests that it is Coates Common (see Figure 4), that provides
inspiration for Cotes Common where Alice Oke murders the poet Lovelock.
Whilst the landscape of Cotes is not haunted by a spirit, it is subject to an
interweaving of complex topography and histories. Mark Riley suggests
that in this way, landscape can be intensied by personal and collective
It is these personal and public histories, according to Merlin
Figure 1. Vernon Lee, Oke of Okehurst, MSS, title page, 1886, Spring to August. With the
kind permission of Geneviève Nouard.
Coverley, that reside within the environment, and that is what makes the
supernatural in Lee insubstantial and associative.
It is therefore signi-
cant that Lee situates Okein England, the rst of the only two fantastic
tales in her oeuvre not set on the continent.
As we discuss below, this is
in part due to Lees experiences as a British ex-pat, whose colonial heritage
is tied to her maternal familieshomeland. In order to excavate these para-
textual layers of personal history that haunt the landscapes of Oke of Oke-
hurstwe need to consult the private epitext; particularly Lees
Figure 2. Vernon Lee, The Legend of Hilarion, MSS, title page, 1886, December. With the
kind permission of Geneviève Nouard.
Figure 3. Fra Filippo Lippi, The Legend of Hilarion, Nativity by Filippo Lippi and dedication
to Mary Robinson, 1886. With the kind permission of Geneviève Nouard.
Figure 4. Section taken from the map of Lower Horncroft 18971900. Copyright: The
Francis Frith Collection.
correspondence. The originary moment in Okebelow condenses the topo-
graphical and elemental details present within Lees correspondence, layer-
ing them tightly with the stories of (ancestral) Alice Oke and Lovelock,
and (present-day) Alice Oke and the Artist Narrator:
At last we got to an open space, a high-lying piece of common-land []it
seemed quite preternaturally high up, giving a sense that its extent of at
heather and gorse, bound by distant rs, was really on top of the world []
A cold wind swept in our faces.
What is the name of this place?[]
It is called Cotes Common,answered Mrs. Oke, who had slackened the pace
of the horse, and let the reins hang loose about his neck. It was here that
Christopher Lovelock was killed.
During Alice and the Artists visit to the common, the pinks and whites of
the heather are tainted by the dying sunlightscrimson ripplesand the psy-
chogeographic resonances of Lovelocks spilled blood. Lees narration men-
tions repeatedly the yellow gravel-pitson the common, a sight still evident
today. Local guides to the area suggest that the gravel-pits are a landmark;
Coates Common [] has a mosaic of oak and birch woodland, conifer
plantations, open sandy heaths and rough grazed pasture, with an area of
specic environmental interest called the sandpit.
Lees visit with
Lemon provided topographical and nominative inspiration for the narrative,
that when combined with Lemons weird ghostly experiences, haunted the
writers mind. The temporal return to Coates in Oke of Okehurstis one
of many examples in which Lees personal experiences haunt her textual
output. Coates, the personal experiences in the present, and the projection
of narratives of the supernatural onto the site presents the place as palimp-
sest, with each layer existing within its own temporality, and cumulatively as
a temporal palimpsest xed within the West Sussex landscape.
It is not only the wind-swept and heather strewn common of Coates that
provided inspiration for location in Oke of Okehurst.The stately home
Godinton, Kent, haunts Lees text as a model for Okehurst Manor. Whilst
Emma Liggins notes that the Female Gothic has traditionally been associated
with the fear of connement within the home, she also notes the ways in
which the genre is subversive and pushes against patriarchal structures
and entrapment within the domestic sphere.
Lee directly connects Alice
Oke to the manor house, emphasising a sense of belonging. Lee visited God-
inton in August 1885, again with Mary Robinson. She wrote of the house to
This morning he [Mr Austin] took Mary & me over the real manor house,
called Goddington [sic], a perfect house of the early 17th century, with a
most beautiful hall, carved replaces & stairs & panelling. I think I shall use it
up in a ghost story I am projecting.
Lee visited Godinton again in September 1886, ve months after Black-
woods had accepted Lees manuscript for publication. In a letter to Robinson
(who was not with her on this occasion) she notes that she felt quite eery on
seeing Goddinton [sic]once more, and that she was sure exactly on which
side of the house the yellow room is.
Lee utilised the same term eeryto
both Blackwoods and to Robinson to describe the narrative and the house.
Godinton was inhabited by the Toke family, who had lived in the house from
1440, and would continue to do so, until 1895. The Toke family had plenty of
charismatic Nicholas Tokes including Captain Nicholas Toke (15851677)
living at the time of Alice Oke (née Pomfret, 1626), who died at the age of 92,
on the way to London to marry his sixth wife.
His desire to marry at such a
ripe old age, was driven by the desire to have a son and heir, to keep God-
inton in the family. Unfortunately, Toke was unable to consummate his
nal marriage, and the house was inherited by his nephew, John Toke.
The portrait of a dashing Captain Nicholas Toke hangs currently in the
Great Hall at Godinton.
Lee describes (and transcribes to Oke of Oke-
hurst) the Great Hall as a huge hallwith an immense replace of deli-
cately carved and inlaid grey and black stone, and its rows of family
portraits, reaching from the wainscoting to the oaken ceiling, vaulted and
ribbed like a ships hull.
Why does Lees narrator repeatedly liken the
ceiling in the Great Hall to that of a ships hull?
Like the nave (literally: ship) in churches and sacred buildings which
symbolises the vetero-testamentary trials and tribulations of the exiled
elect people, the hull shaped hall may metaphorically recall the peregrina-
tions of some close friends of the Pagets, fellow expatriates from distant
colonies. An example of this is Lees early literary mentor, Jamaica-born
novelist Henrietta Jenkin, and her husband Captain Jenkin. Henrietta
addressed the slavery issue in her novel Cousin Stella: Or, Conict (1859).
More importantly, it is reminiscent of Lees familys maritime ventures (on
her fathers side, the de Fragnier-Pagetline as well as her step-brothers
side, such as Eugenes father: Captain Lee-Hamilton) and colonial pursuits
(Lees maternal ancestry).
The decadent objects artistically displayed throughout Okehurst (and its
model Godinton) are ample proof that members of the family have travelled
extensively, and share a colonial legacy akin to that of Lees family. William
Okes study materially reveals his colonial pursuits in his younger days; he
has a polar bear beneath his feetand on the walls displayed whips,
guns, and shing-rods.
Alice too, is imbibed with traces of the exotic;
she is described by the artist as rare and exotic, and a [m]arvellous,
weird, exquisite creature, whom both Oke and himself want to contain
Oke in Okehurst, and the artist, on the canvas. Even the artists rooms are
decorated with Oriental artefacts, he sits in reverie amongst the Persian
rugs and majolica,the vague scents of rose-leaves and spices, put into
china bowls by the hands of ladies long since dead, and encounters a
kind of voluptuousness, peculiar and complex and indescribable, like the
half-drunkenness of opium or haschisch.
The artists voyage into the
heady daydream inspired by the colonial antiquities, certainly suggests that
this decadence is intoxicating. William Oke notes that his family, in particu-
lar Nicholas, had a wanderlust, and had sought adventures in America.
Okes reticence to discuss Nicholas in any details, and his embarrassment
at hearing his name mentioned is often in part due to the connection to
Lovelocks murder. Yet we would like to argue that perhaps to some
extent, William Oke shares some of Lees personal embarrassment at her
colonial heritage, and slave-owning ancestry.
AbadamFamily Values
Vernon Leesrst biographer, Peter Gunn, provides little more than a short
paragraph on Lees ancestry; focusing on her maternal grandfather, and
hinting at his involvement with the West Indian slave trade.
mother, Matilda Adams (18151896) was the daughter of Edward Hamlin
Adams (17771842), who was born in Jamaica, and who Peter Gunn
acknowledges to have been a rich man, coming from an old colonial
family,”“with extensive business interests in the West Indies, including a
banking house in Jamaica.
Research in the Jamaican & Barbados
Church of England Parish Register Transcripts, 16641879, census
records, and the Caribbean Birth Death and Marriage Index information,
reveals that the family presence in the West Indies stretched back to colonial
plantation settlements in the 1640s.
Currently, there are no records showing Edward Hamlin Adamss (Lees
grandfather) ownership of plantations, yet he was trustee for the Hungerford
Spooner Charlottenburg Estate in Jamaica, which increased its slave popu-
lation from 101 at the start of Edwards trusteeship to 208 at the end of
his association in 1826. The main crops of the Charlottenburg Estate were
sugar and rum.
Edward was also a retired partner for the Kingston Mer-
chant House in Jamaica, but despite being heavily involved within the mer-
chant trade he found employment as a lawyer and banker. On Edwards
return to England after abolition he bought Middleton Hall in Carmarthen-
shire in 1824 from Sir William Paxton, undoubtedly with a fortune amassed
from prots from slavery, earned and inherited. The beautiful park has now
become the National Botanic Park of Wales.
Lees mother, Matilda Adams (18161896) was the seventh (and last)
child of Edward and his wife Amelia, and was for a long time deprived of
her rights to the family estate by her eldest brother Edward Hamlin Middle-
ton Abadams, who inherited the house and property in 1842 and added the
prexAbto Adamsto suggest royal descent from Adam.
Lee writes to A. Mary F. Robinson after visiting her cousin Lucy at Mid-
dleton Hall in 1882:
Saturday I went to Middleton inhabited by my eldest cousin & husband. The
park is very large & said to be the nest in three counties. The house is very
large, like an Italian villa, built in Louis XVI style. Anything more gloomy
than two people (my cousin in law Lawrence is jealous as a moor & has the
temper of a end) shut up in this house you cant conceive. And I question
whether any house has seen so much family folly, misbehaviour & wickedness,
such violence & misery in forty years, as this has. It is much worse to me than
any amount of Wuthering Heights: a complication of wrongs & folly & wretch-
edness & violence in a large family. The house is full of portraits brought from
the West Indies, & it is curious how like all these people are to my mother,
brother & cousins. The odd part is that I am per all these rather amiable, intel-
ligent, easily rakish but tolerably normal looking West Indians seem to have
been curdled into something bad by the mixture of a strong & violent type
in the shape of an iron New Englander, a godfearing [sic] soldier of Washing-
ton, whose legend is that he had the arm which was blown o, rearmed in the
canon & red back on the enemy.
All the frightful earnestness & obstinacy is from him. The melancholy thing is
to see everywhere, in this house, where the only thing aspired after was supre-
macy, the only thing preserved is enmity & indulgence was rampant, the good
quiet motto of grandpapa, too cold to conceive that his children might be
trained to self restraint [sic]:
Aspire, Persevere, Indulge Not.
For Lee, the Adamss family portraits bear a close resemblance to those of her
cousins, mother and brother. Lee falls short of including herself in this phy-
siognomic analysis, writing [t]he odd part is that I am per all.In crossing
out I am per,Lee was beginning to state I am perhapsor I am person-
ally,which may have aligned Lee more with her fathers image, or, more
than likely, it was an attempt to distance herself away from the colonial por-
traiture. In striking out the denitive IamLee returns to an impersonal
critique of her family in which the West Indies colonisersblood is
curdled by that of a colonial New Englander. William Oke bears the same
critique of the Oke family: it is the mixing of familial lines that leads to dis-
aster: the rst time an Oke [Nicholas] married a Pomfret [ancestral
In the extract above, Lee only uses the rst-person singular pronoun
twice: I wentand I question.This seems to perfectly sum up the relation-
ship Lee has with this branch of the family tree. Lee is unlike them in looks
and in beliefs. This consideration of lineage through portraiture is connected
thematically with Oke of Okehurst.Kamilla Elliott argues that the painted
portrait invert[s] and join[s] absent presence,and that in writing these
works of art into a text authors inscribe narratives of present absence that
promise future usurpation. The past is absent, but its presence as absence
proclaims that, just as what is past is absent now, so too, what is now
present will be absent in future.
Therefore the picture of ancestral Alice
that hangs in the hull-like hall of Okehurst is both a presence and an
absence. It is a hauntological remnant, a version of ancestral Alice that
exists within the space of Okehurst, and signies the lack of ancestral
Alice simultaneously. Not only does this portrait highlight that ancestral
Alice is a historical gure, but that present-day Alice, in sitting for her por-
trait, will also soon be an absent gure, represented or memorialised on
canvas. Drawing a parallel here between Lees own experience of the Middle-
ton portraits and those of the Okes, the hull-like hall of Okehurst metaphori-
cally carries the Adamsfamily portraits back to Britain from the West
Indies. But Alice wants to identify with her ancestress, despite her outlying
position within the family, whereas Lee refuses her place in the Middleton
family gallery.
Elliott also believes that the gender politics of paintings are signicant,
with matriarchal picture identications in Gothic ctionhaving the
ability to undermine, overthrow, and reform patriarchs.
Alice Okes friendship with, and subsequent murder of, the poet Lovelock
had the potential to disrupt and potentially undermine the Oke line. Further-
more, present-day Alices presence at Okehurst appears to full a prophecy
made by Nicholas Oke on his deathbed, that when the head of his house and
the master of Okehurst should marry another Alice Oke, descended from
himself and his wife, there should be an end to the Okes of Okehurst.
Alice is disrupting the familial line and its visual representation the portrait
gallery by identifying herself with her namesake. She becomes indenable
object/ subject, one that exists hauntologically, both as her past and present
self. The connection between ancestral Alice and present-day Alice is not just
simply through the institution of marriage and descendance, but through a
shared aesthetic ideal and a deep admiration of Lovelock and his poetry.
This visit to the family home in Carmarthenshire also reveals to Lee her
own ancestral familys tendencies towards claiming supremacy, fostering
enmity and indulgence. These qualities evident in the Adams family seem
in diametric opposition to the grandfathers motto of Aspire, Persevere,
Indulge Notwhich suggests a do as I say, not as I doapproach to child
rearing. But perhaps these ascetic values were aimed at moderating
Adamss large sta(and not just those resident in Carmarthenshire) rather
than the multitudes of children, grandchildren and in-laws (for indeed, if
it was an attempt to morally educate the Adams family, it doesnt appear
to have worked). The aristocratic lineage, putting slaves to work for prot
and the benet of a lavish and indulgent lifestyle is something Lee returns to
in her oeuvre as an antithesis to her own moral erectness, as can be seen in
works such a Baldwin: Being Dialogues on Views and Aspirations (1886).
Unlike Adamss family with their sprawling network of cousins and
distant relatives, the Okes only appear to have one another. Both William
and Alice discuss their lineage, but never mention close relations; event
when discussing their childhood, it appears that they were each others
only family, with their seventeenth-century relations used to scare.
William tells the artist narrator: They used to tell it us when we were chil-
dren [] and to frighten my cousin I mean my wife and me with stories
about Lovelock.
The theyof Williams anecdote are disembodied
gures, without an identity. One can assume that for a family such as the
Okes at Okehurst, the children would have been taken care of by a nanny
or governess, or perhaps left to be entertained by the servants. The tale of
adulterous ancestors and murdered poets seems unlikely to have been
polite table talk amongst the family at meal-time. The absence of the pres-
ence of others apart from the artist narrator at Okehurst is conspicuous
by their absence. Lee suggests that the house is staed more than adequately
when William says to Alice for mercys sake, dont talk about such things
before the servants.
Alice responds: The servants! Gracious heavens!
Do you suppose they havent heard the story? Why, its as well known as
Okehurst itself in the neighbourhood.
The way in which the Oke family
manages its help so that it remains an unseen and un-thanked support
system brings the reader back once more to the paratextual correspondence
of Lee. Middletons servants, many brought over to Britain from the West
Indies, existed in the shadows of the ancestral home. These servants, past
and present, appear in passing comments between Alice and William, and
they haunt Okehurst. They are not fully embodied, but the reader is aware
they are there as how would a house like Okehurst function without
them? Who would indulge Alices whims and wishes?
In conclusion, to approach Hauntings, and more specically Oke of Oke-
hurst, or A Phantom Lover,without recourse to the paratextual examples
provided, is not to miss out on any of the narrative pleasure. Yet Lees title
Hauntings an example of what Genette would term defective,brings
about a question of accuracy as the review from the Pall Mall pointed
Lee playfully signposts this inaccuracy, or does she? Is this, in eect
a title for the reader to indicate what to expect, or is Lee writing purely for
herself and for those who knew her Lemon, Robinson and Boutourline?
In bringing to the fore autobiographical details from Lees life, and epitextual
material, we are able to see that the roots of the places and events in Oke of
Okehurstare xed in the soil of reality. The spaces and people Lee trans-
poses into Okewere once living or were forms to be physically experi-
enced. Lee emphasises the eetingness of experience and feeling, as those
moments experienced, or persons embodied are no longer in Lees presence/
present. But it is evident from the paratextual material that these disembo-
died acts and historical places lingered in Lees memory; they are that
which haunts Lee; or, are Lees hauntings.
LeesHauntings are of the purely mnemic kind: the spurious ghosts
encountered are those that have haunted Lees mind, not spooky houses.
The hauntological exists in the traces of the exotic; both in Alices psycho-
logical makeup and the ephemera that decorates Okehurst. And whilst
these apparitions are ephemeral and intransigent, on our initial reading of
the text, the paranormal entities manifest more often, and with more
clarity, when considered alongside the paratextual evidence.
1. Anon., Vernon Lees Hauntings,Pall Mall Gazette, April 23, 1890. British
Library Newspapers, GALE Y3200422904.
2. Ibid.
3. Oliver Tearle, Vernon Lee,inThe Routledge Handbook to the Ghost Story,
eds. Scott Brewster and Luke Thurston (New York and Abingdon: Routledge,
2018), pp. 15058 (p. 155).
4. Vernon Lee, Preface,inHauntings and Other Fantastic Tales, eds. Catherine
Maxwell and Patricia Pulham (Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview Editions,
2006), p. 37.
5. Ibid., p. 40.
6. Tearle, p. 151.
7. Vernon Lee to Matilda Paget, July 1112, 1885, in Selected Letters of Vernon
Lee 18561935,Volume II, eds. Sophie Georoy and Amanda Gagel
(London and New York: Routledge, 2021), pp. 5962.
8. Sophie Georoy, Vernon Lees Life and Letters 18851889,inSelected
Letters, Vol. II, p. xlvi. About Robinsons Songs, see Ana Parejo Vadillo,
Immaterial Poetics: A. Mary F. Robinson and the Fin-de-Siècle Poem,in
The Fin-de-Siècle Poem: English Literary Culture and the 1890s, ed. Joseph
Bristow (Athens: Ohio University Press, 2005), n. 57 (p. 260). Peter
(Pierre) Boutourline (Petr Dmitrievich Buturlin; 18591895), born in Flor-
ence, was a Russian diplomat and poet. In January 1885, Lee writes to Mary
Robinson that he had just gone to Kiev; and the dedication reads like a
letter of invitation to return; he comes back for his sisters wedding in
October 1885 and stays on a few months in Florence, making plans for the
staging of Marys garden play (February 1, 1886): I told Peter Boutourline
about yr garden play, & he is wild to act it at Careggi.He has chosen the
actors Bellamy, you; Hilaria, Zina or Miss Elaguine; & he & his brother Alex-
andre the women. He has conceived marvellous dresses for himself (with
pearls! Dear Miss Paget –“avec beaucoup de jais, nest-ce-pas surtout beau-
coup de jais!) and conceived marvellous scenes with orange trees in the dis-
tance & a rampe of real jonquils planted in the ground!Feb. 13, 1886: Elena
French oers to hire peacocks, as Boutourline refuses to act without them &
many hidden pots of violets!Mary Robinson will eventually publish her
play in Songs, Ballads, and a Garden Play (London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1888).
The play, entitled Our Lady of the Broken Heart, refers to Robinsons jea-
lousy and heartbreak over Lees friendship for Alice Callander and attraction
to Lady Archie(Archibald Campbell) and emulated the latters Coombe pas-
toral plays.
9. Vernon Lee to William Blackwood, April 13, 1886, Selected Letters, Vol. II,
p. 175.
10. Anthony Mandal, The Ghost Story and the Victorian Literary Marketplace,
in The Routledge Handbook to the Ghost Story, pp. 3239 (p. 36).
11. Vernon Lee to Matilda Paget, June 8, 1886, Selected Letters, Vol. II, p. 174.
12. Vernon Lee to William Blackwood, June 8, 1886, Selected Letters, Vol. II,
p. 175.
13. Mandal, pp. 3334.
14. Vernon Lee to Matilda Paget, August 25, 1886, Selected Letters, Vol. II, p. 225.
15. Oke of Okehurst; Or, A Phantom Loverhas recently (2020) been repackaged
and republished for the #ReclaimHerName campaign organised by the Baileys
Prize for Womens Fiction. In a rather misguided attempt to publish Lee under
her birth name, the campaign reproduced a copy of A Phantom Lover by Violet
Paget (2020).
16. Tearle, p. 151.
17. Vernon Lee, Alice Oke; roman traduit de langlais par Michel Desforges (Tou-
louse: Ombres, 1990).
18. Tzvetan Todorov, The Fantastic: A Structural Approach to a Literary Genre,
trans. Richard Howard (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1975), p. 157.
19. Peter Buse and Andrew Stott, Introduction: A Future for Haunting,in
Ghosts: Deconstruction, Psychoanalysis, History, eds. Peter Buse and Andrew
Stott (London: Palgrave, 1999), pp. 120 (p. 11).
20. Gérard Genette, The Proustian Paratext,SubStance: A Review of Theory and
Literary Criticism, 17.2 (1988) 6277 (63).
21. Tearle, p. 150.
22. To view the complete MSS, see Holographical-Lee (HoL),<https://eman->.
23. Vernon Lee to Matilda Paget, July 15, 1882, in Selected Letters of Vernon Lee
18561935 Volume I,eds. Amanda Gagel and Sophie Georoy (London and
New York: Routledge, 2017), pp. 37879.
24. Vernon Lee to Matilda Paget, July 13, 1882, Selected Letters Vol. I, p. 377.
25. Mark Riley, Place as Palimpsest: Paul Celan and Martin Heidegger and the
Haunting of Todtnauberg,inHaunted Landscapes: Super-Nature and the
Environment, eds. Ruth Heholt and Niamh Downing (London: Rowman &
Littleeld, 2016), pp. 2340 (p. 23).
26. Merlin Coverley, Hauntology: Ghosts of Futures Past (Harpenden: Oldcastle
Books, 2020), p. 52.
27. The other fantastic tale written by Lee and situated in Britain is The Hidden
Door, published in Henry Norman (ed.), Unwins Annual, 1887: The Witch-
ing Time, Tales for the Years End (London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1886).
28. Lee, p. 133.
29. Fittleworth Parish Council, Fittleworth Neighbourhood Development Plan,
20182033, (2018), 12 Aug. 2020 <
30. Emma Liggins, The Haunted House in Womens Ghost Stories: Gender, Space
and Modernity, 18501945 (Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Gothic, 2020), p. 7.
31. Vernon Lee to Matilda Paget, August 21, 1885, Selected Letters, Vol. II, p. 87.
32. Vernon Lee to Mary Robinson, September 3, 1886, Selected Letters, Vol. II,
p. 232.
33. Sarah Stuart, In Want of an Heir,Kent Life (November 2016), 28 Jul. 2020
34. Captain Nicholas Toke, 28 Jul. 2020 <>.
35. Lee, p. 111.
36. Ibid., p. 118.
37. Ibid., p. 110.
38. Ibid., p. 112.
39. Ibid., p. 121.
40. Peter Gunn. Vernon Lee, Violet Paget, 18561935 (London: Oxford University
Press, 1964), p. 14.
41. Ibid.
42. The Adamss family tree was traced back using Sally Black-
burn-Daniels has produced a family tree, including searchable Census,
Birth, Death and Marriage Indexes, and other records. See Sally Blackburn-
Danielss doctoral thesis The Scholars Copy Bookand the Blotting-Book
Mind: Stratigraphic Approaches to Interdisciplinary Reading and Writing in
the Work of Vernon Lee (2019).
43. Edward Hamlin Adams, Prole & Legacies Summary,Legacies of British
Slave-Ownership, 10 Oct. 2017 <
44. Jill Davies, Vernon Lee and her Abadam cousins,Vernon Lee Online. https://
45. Vernon Lee to Mary Robinson, August 8, 1882, Selected Letters, Vol. I, p. 394.
46. Lee, p. 121.
47. Kamilla Elliott, Portraiture and British Gothic Fiction: The Rise of Picture
Identication, 17641835 (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press,
2012), p. 5.
48. Ibid., p. 17.
49. Lee, p. 131.
50. See Sally Blackburn-Danielss doctoral thesis, The Scholars Copy Bookand the
Blotting-Book Mind: Stratigraphic Approaches to Interdisciplinary Reading
and Writing in the Work of Vernon Lee (2019).
51. Lee, p. 124.
52. Ibid.
53. Ibid.
54. Gérard Genette, Paratexts: Thresholds of Interpretation (Cambridge: Cam-
bridge University Press, 1987), p. 57.
55. Vernon Lee, Oke of Okehurst, MSS, title page, 1886, Spring to August. With the
kind permission of Geneviève Nouard. Editor: Projet EMAN, Holographi-
cal-Lee, Sophie Georoy, Université of La Réunion & Institut des textes et
manuscrits modernes, CNRS-ENS. Consulted 07/06/2021, platform EMAN:
56. Vernon Lee, The Legend of Hilarion, MSS, title page, 1886, December. With the
kind permission of Geneviève Nouard. Editor: Projet EMAN, Holographi-
cal-Lee, Sophie Georoy, Université de La Réunion & Institut des textes et
manuscrits modernes, CNRS-ENS. Consulted 07/06/2021, platform EMAN:
57. Fra Filippo Lippi, The Legend of Hilarion, Nativity by Filippo Lippi and dedica-
tion to Mary Robinson, 1886. With the kind permission of Geneviève
Nouard. Editor: Projet EMAN, Holographical-Lee, Sophie Georoy, Univer-
sité de La Réunion & Institut des textes et manuscrits modernes, CNRS-ENS.
Consulted 07/06/2021 platform EMAN: <
58. Anon., Map of Lower Horncroft 18971900, RNC769395. Copyright: The
Francis Frith Collection.
Disclosure Statement
No potential conict of interest was reported by the author(s).
Notes on contributors
Dr Sally Blackburn-Daniels is currently a Research Assistant in the department of
English and Creative Writing at The Open University, UK. She is working currently
working on turning her thesis a single author study of Vernon Lee into a mono-
graph. Sally is a reviewer of Victorian Poetry for the YearsWork in English Studies
and is co-editing a special issue on Vernon Lee. Her current publications include:
“‘Struggling with the tempter: the Queer Archival Spaces of Vernon Lee, Mary
Robinson, and Amy Levy,in Volupte: Interdisciplinary Journal of Decadence
Studies (2020), and A Theatrical Performance of Vernon Lees The Ballet of the
Nations,in Skenè. Journal of Theatre and Drama Studies (2020). Sally is the Com-
munications Ocer for the International Vernon Lee Society (IVLS). sally.
Sophie Georoy is Professor (English Literature) at the University of La Réunion
(France). She is the founding Chair for the International Vernon Lee Society
(IVLS), the founding editor of The Sibyl, Journal of Vernon Lee Studies and
directs the Holographical Lee project (HoL) hosted on the eMAN platform of the
ITEM-ENS-CNRS. Sophie was associate editor for the Selected Letters of Vernon
Lee 18561935, Volume I, edited by Amanda Gagel. She is the chief editor of the
Selected Letters of Vernon Lee 18561935, Volume II (New York & London: Routle-
dge, 2020), with Amanda Gagel (associate editor) and currently editing Volume III of
these letters.
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
Chances are, ghosts will make another comeback. For the time being, however, spectres, apparitions, phantoms and revenants have been eclipsed in the popular imagination by a rage for aliens, extra-terrestrials, conspiracy theories, Martian landings and all manner of paranormal occurrences apposite to millennial fever. In contrast, ghosts seem a little dated, paling in comparison with such sophisticated other-worldly phenomena. A solid core of psychical researchers, ghost-layers and ghost-hunters may remain, but the most dedicated enthusiasts are probably those who make their livings conducting ghost tours in medieval towns, and hosting guests in ‘haunted’ hotels. It is safe to say that to be interested in ghosts these days is decidedly anachronistic. Perhaps the nineteenth century, with its spiritualists, mediums, table-tilting séances, spirit-rapping, Ghost Club and Society for Psychical Research, was the most accommodating historical period for the ghosts which have fallen on hard times in the late twentieth century. And yet, it could also be argued that the nineteenth-century craze for ghosts was already an anachronism. If we follow Keith Thomas’s compelling thesis in Religion and the Decline of Magic, we should properly view as anachronistic any belief in ghosts after the Reformation, which, theologically speaking (for Protestants at least), put paid to the possibility of the return of the dead by dispensing with the concept of purgatory.1
Traditionally, kings and rulers were featured on stamps and money; the titled and affluent commissioned busts and portraits; and criminals and missing persons appeared on wanted posters. British writers of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, however, reworked ideas about portraiture to promote the value and agendas of the ordinary middle classes. According to Kamilla Elliott, our current practices of "picture identification: (driver's licenses, passports, and so on) are rooted in these late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century debates. Portraiture and British Gothic Fiction examines ways writers such as Horace Walpole, Ann Radcliffe, Mary Shelley, and C. R. Maturin as well as artists, historians, politicians, and periodical authors dealt with changes in how social identities were understood and valued in British culture-specifically, who was represented by portraits and how they were represented as they vied for social power. Elliott investigates multiple aspects of picture identification: its politics, epistemologies, semiotics, and aesthetics, and the desires and phobias that it produces. Her extensive research not only covers Gothic literature's best-known and most studied texts but also engages with more than 100 Gothic works in total, expanding knowledge of first-wave Gothic fiction as well as opening new windows into familiar work. © 2012 The Johns Hopkins University Press. All rights reserved.
In The Fantastic, Tzvetan Todorov seeks to examine both generic theory and a particular genre, moving back and forth between a poetics of the fantastic itself and a metapoetics or theory of theorizing, even as he suggest that one must, as a critic, move back and forth between theory and history, between idea and fact. His work on the fantastic is indeed about a historical phenomenon that we recognize, about specific works that we may read, but it is also about the use and abuse of generic theory.As an essay in fictional poetics, The Fantastic is consciously structuralist in its approach to the generic subject. Todorov seeks linguistic bases for the structural features he notes in a variety of fantastic texts, including Potocki's The Sargasso Manuscript, Nerval's Aurélia, Balzac's The Magic Skin, the Arabian Nights, Cazotte's Le Diable Amoureux, Kafka's The Metamorphosis, and tales by E. T. A. Hoffman, Charles Perrault, Guy de Maupassant, Nicolai Gogol, and Edgar A. Poe.
British Library Newspapers, GALE Y3200422904
  • Anon
Anon., "Vernon Lee's Hauntings", Pall Mall Gazette, April 23, 1890. British Library Newspapers, GALE Y3200422904.
  • Vernon Lee
  • William Blackwood
Vernon Lee to William Blackwood, April 13, 1886, Selected Letters, Vol. II, p. 175.
The Ghost Story and the Victorian Literary Marketplace
  • Anthony Mandal
Anthony Mandal, "The Ghost Story and the Victorian Literary Marketplace", in The Routledge Handbook to the Ghost Story, pp. 32-39 (p. 36).
  • Vernon Lee
  • Matilda Paget
Vernon Lee to Matilda Paget, June 8, 1886, Selected Letters, Vol. II, p. 174.
  • Vernon Lee
  • William Blackwood
Vernon Lee to William Blackwood, June 8, 1886, Selected Letters, Vol. II, p. 175.
  • Vernon Lee
  • Matilda Paget
Vernon Lee to Matilda Paget, August 25, 1886, Selected Letters, Vol. II, p. 225.
SubStance: A Review of Theory and Literary Criticism
  • Gérard Genette
Gérard Genette, "The Proustian Paratext", SubStance: A Review of Theory and Literary Criticism, 17.2 (1988) 62-77 (63).