Gothic Novels: The Castle of Otranto, Rebecca, and Sanctuary

Do you know the authors? The publication years?

I’ll give you a jumbled-up cheat sheet: William Faulkner, 1931, Horace Walpole, 1938, Daphne du Maurier, 1764.

I adored Rebecca as a teen, admired Sanctuary as an adult, and haven’t read The Castle of Otranto yet.  (And I still adore Rebecca.)

Rebecca coverThe quiet girl far from home on an adventure.

On first read, I identified with the naive nameless narrator of Rebecca and could imagine myself falling in love with the secretive wealthy Maxim de Winter living in a country house (that had its own name!) on the Cornish coast. There was romance, mystery, and danger, and such lovely prose, and an undercurrent of darkness that appealed to my romantic soul, and the sea, of course, the crashing sea! After finishing du Maurier’s most popular novel, I dove into the shipwrecks of Jamaica Inn, and then tried to find other Gothic novels I enjoyed as much. There were many others, but nothing quite like Rebecca.

Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto is considered to be the first Gothic novel. Faulkner’s Southern Gothic Sanctuary was written in 1931 and is very different from his more “British Gothic” short story A Rose for Emily. The last book in our list is du Maurier’s.

And now I have my own list:

Tricia Lawrence, Lisa Sandell, and Sanctuary: my agent, my editor, and my own Gothic novel.

I am deliriously happy to be telling the tales of Sanctuary‘s journey to the bookshelf with EMU’s Debuts.



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9 responses to “Gothic Novels: The Castle of Otranto, Rebecca, and Sanctuary

  1. I loved Rebecca!!! Looking forward to Sanctuary.


  2. Woohoo–welcome and congratulations, Jenny!

    When does Sanctuary release, do you know?


  3. Welcome aboard, Jenny! It’s great to have you here. 🙂


  4. Mike Jung

    HOORAY JENNY!!! Congratulations and welcome to the cult of EMU! Wait, it’s not a cult. It’s a happy collective. It’s a free-wheeling literary community with a free-to-be-you-and-me ethic! IT’S NOT A CULT…


  5. Can’t wait for SANCTUARY! Welcome to the blog, Jenny. Hearty meeps all around. 🙂

    REBECCA is in my top 5 of all time. (Also my biggest bone of contention with my ex-boyfriend, who made off with my Criterion Collection edition of the movie.)


  6. jennifermckissack

    Thanks for the welcome! Mike, it’s so great to be in this happy non-cult collective!

    Tara, Sanctuary will be released Summer 2015. 🙂


  7. Oh, this sounds incredible! Congratulations! I, too, loved Rebecca, and my term paper in freshman English was on A Rose for Emily! I’m so excited to “meet” you, Jenny, and will look forward to reading Sanctuary when it hits shelves.


  8. Congrats! And Lisa Sandell as an editor, wow!


  9. Awesomeness! Your list is great and I’m very excited for you.


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