Friday, October 18, 2013

Dragonwyck: Gothic Novel Extraordinaire

What is it about the gothic novel that so excites us?  That draws us in past the mist-shrouded moors, through imposing iron gates into candlelit corridors where unwitting young maidens and magnetic, tortured lords cast their spell?  From the halls of Rebecca’s Manderley to the cemetery crypts of Dark Shadows, for those of us gripped by the mystery and romance of these stories, we just can't get enough. 

Hence, this Halloween season, yes, it's an entire season for me, I'm giving into the voluptuous enjoyment of Anya Seton's Dragonwyck.   Vague murmurings of this book reached my ears in the past.  I knew it fell somehow under the gothic heading, but had never paid it much mind until my interest turned to the Gilded Age and the fabulous estates of the Hudson River Valley, an area that has always been rich in the lore of Washington Irving's Sleepy Hollow and the poems penned by Edgar Allen Poe during his stay at the Yaddo, Saratoga's famously haunted artist colony. 

Yes, this book has a naive golden-haired heroine who is greatly abused by the haughty inhabitants of Dragonwyck. 
Yes, it has a dark and brooding hero, or is he the villain?  So excited to find out! 
Yes, there is a big imposing mansion replete with ghosts, ancient curses and unnerving servants. 

I have only just begun to immerse myself in Seton's wonderfully atmospheric novel, but I anticipate curling up by the fire this evening with my Kindle and forgetting all about the mundane issues of the day in the twists and turns of Dragonwyck's shadowy halls....

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