Some books that I received for Christmas. What did Santa bring you this year?
In 1865 Charles Dickens, the world’s most famous writer, narrowly escapes death in the Staplehurst Rail Disaster. He will never be the same again. A public hero for rescuing survivors, he slowly descends into madness as he hunts the individual he believes to be responsible for the carnage: a spectral figure known only as Drood.
His best friend, Wilkie Collins, is enlisted for the pursuit. Together they venture into Undertown, the shadowy, lawless web of crypts and catacombs beneath London. Here Drood is rumoured to hold sway over a legion of brainwashed followers. But as Wilkie spirals ever further into opium addiction and jealousy of the most successful novelist, he must face a terrifying possibility: is Charles Dickens really capable of murder?
Macabre and melodramtic, set in haunted castles or fantastic landscapes, Gothic tales became fashionable in the late eighteenth century with the publication of Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto (1764). Crammed with catastrophe, terror, and ghostly interventions, the novel was an immediate success, and influenced numerous followers. These include William Beckford’s Vathek (1786), which alternates grotesque comedy with scenes of exotic magnificence in the story of the ruthless Caliph Vathek’s journey to damation. The Monk (1796), by Matthew Lewis, is a violent tale of ambition, murder, and incest, set in the sinister monastery of the Capuchins in Madrid. Frankenstein (1818, 1831) is Mary Shelley’s disturbing and perennially popular tale of young student who learns the secret of giving life to a creature made from human relics, with horrific consequences. This collection illustrates the range and the attraction of the Gothic novel.
The first in a stunning new series, The Cousins War, is set amid the tumult and intrigue of The War of the Roses. Internationally bestselling author Philippa Gregory brings this family drama to colourful life through its women, beginning with the story of Elizabeth Woodville, the White Queen The White Queen tells the story of a common woman who ascends to royalty by virtue of her beauty, a woman who rises to the demands of her position and fights tenaciously for the success of her family, a woman whose two sons become the central figures in a mystery that has confounded historians for centuries: the Princes in the Tower whose fate remains unknown to this day. From her uniquely qualified perspective, Philippa Gregory explores the most famous unsolved mystery, informed by impeccable research and framed by her inimitable storytelling skills.
[Synopsis for above books taken from Amazon.co.uk]