The month when pumpkin-flavored everything debuts, and seventy-five percent of the television channels air back-to-back scary movies. It’s actually one of my favorite times of the year. The scary part more than the pumpkin part. I’m no fan of gore or outrageous violence, but I do enjoy a good fright! I love suspenseful music, dark alleys and houses, and things that go bump in the night.
But what disquieted people during the Regency? The things that seem terrifying now – the disdain for bathing, absence of modern plumbing, and putrid cities – were normal occurrences for the residents of the 19th Century. If we look to publications during that time, however, we find a decided preoccupation with the gothic, the paranormal, and the downright demonic. Jane Austen even cited seven horrid novels that stir the blood and disturb the senses.
The public just had to know what all the fuss was about, no matter in what state the books left them.
In a fright; also in dishabille. She was all in a pucker, or in a terrible pucker: she was alarmed, scared.
For your October delectation, I present The Northanger Abbey horrid novels, as recommended by Isabella Thorpe. Click the covers below to learn more…if you dare!
All definitions and/or examples taken from the 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue.