The female-authored ghost story did not go into decline after the First World War but continued to play a vital role in allowing women writers to interrogate their social, political and cultural conditions. The ghostliness that had so fascinated the Victorians persisted in exerting a profound influence on the imaginations of twentieth-century writers, providing a trope that could be adapted for diverse purposes. A shift in the deployment of ghostliness is perhaps perceptible in the way that literary ghosts seem less frequently to be signalling the particular condition of women as marginal beings in a male-dominated world, and more a condition of precarity—of relationships, identity and self-knowledge—that applies to men just as much as to women. As late as 1925, however, in ‘The Night of No Weather’, Violet Hunt was deploying ghostliness as a way to explore the liminal and excluded status of an unmarried woman deprived of her property by a male relation—suggesting that the ghostliness that Vanessa Dickerson (1998) had seen as the condition of Victorian women was far from being a thing of the past in the post-suffrage years.
- Dickerson, Vanessa D. 1996. Victorian Ghosts in the Noontide: Women Writers and the Supernatural. Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press.Google Scholar
- Killeen, Jarlath. 2010. Gendering the Ghost Story? Victorian Women and the Challenge of the Phantom. In The Ghost Story from the Middle Ages to the Twentieth Century: A Ghostly Genre, ed. Helen Conrad O’Briain and Julie Ann Stevens, 81–96. Dublin: Four Courts Press.Google Scholar
- Moody, Nickianne. 1996. Visible Margins: Women Writers and the English Ghost Story. In Image and Power: Women in Fiction in the Twentieth Century, ed. Sarah Sceats and Gail Cunningham, 77–90. London and New York: Longman.Google Scholar