The Palgrave Handbook to Horror Literature

  • Kevin Corstorphine
  • Laura R. Kremmel

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xx
  2. Kevin Corstorphine
    Pages 1-17
  3. The Origins and Evolution of Literary Horror

  4. Themes of Literary Horror

  5. Approaches to Literary Horror

  6. Back Matter
    Pages 511-534

About this book


This handbook examines the use of horror in storytelling, from oral traditions through folklore and fairy tales to contemporary horror fiction. Divided into sections that explore the origins and evolution of horror fiction, the recurrent themes that can be seen in horror, and ways of understanding horror through literary and cultural theory, the text analyses why horror is so compelling, and how we should interpret its presence in literature. Chapters explore historical horror aspects including ancient mythology, medieval writing, drama, chapbooks, the Gothic novel, and literary Modernism and trace themes such as vampires, children and animals in horror, deep dark forests, labyrinths, disability, and imperialism. Considering horror via postmodern theory, evolutionary psychology, postcolonial theory, and New Materialism, this handbook investigates issues of gender and sexuality, race, censorship and morality, environmental studies, and literary versus popular fiction.


Horror Literature Gothic European Horror Animal Studies Queer Theory storytelling oral traditions folklore fairy tales postcolonial theory literary modernism vampire literature

Editors and affiliations

  • Kevin Corstorphine
    • 1
  • Laura R. Kremmel
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of EnglishUniversity of HullHullUK
  2. 2.Department of HumanitiesSouth Dakota School of Mines & TechnologyRapid City, SDUSA

Bibliographic information