Enduring Popularity of Gothic Fiction

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Bloomsbury Institute
Past events at the Bloomsbury Institute
Gothic fiction talk at Bloomsbury
Raven books salon gothic fiction at bloomsbury
Silent-companions-laura-purcell
Almost 200 years after the publication of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, the popularity of Gothic stories shows no signs of slowing – but why has the genre endured for so long? From Susan Hill’s The Woman in Black to Ann Radcliffe’s The Mysteries of Udolpho, readers return to stories of horror and fright again and again. Even better, Raven Books is proud to introduce us to an entirely new Gothic ghost story with Laura Purcell's The Silent Companions this October. 

Do terrifying stories give us comfort during troubled times; or is our craving for spooky tales symbolic of our belief that life is never tranquil for long? We aim to find out. On Thursday, October 26th, Bloomsbury draws out four unique literary minds for a lively debate on the pull of Gothic tales for readers across the ages. We hope you’ll be free to join us. Book now

Our panel: 
  • Laura Purcell, author of The Silent Companions
  • Joanna Briscoe, author of Sleep with Me and Touched
  • Jeremy Sheldon, screenwriter, lecturer and author of The Smiling Affair and The Comfort Zone
Chaired by The Guardian's Danuta Kean 

Our evening begins with refreshment served from 6pm, followed by our panel in discussion and plenty of time for Q&A from 6:30pm to 7:45pm. 

Inspired by the work of Shirley Jackson and Susan Hill and set in a crumbling country mansion, The Silent Companions is is an unsettling gothic ghost story to send a shiver down the spine...



Newly married, newly widowed Elsie is sent to see out her pregnancy at her late husband's crumbling country estate, The Bridge.

With her new servants resentful and the local villagers actively hostile, Elsie only has her husband's awkward cousin for company. Or so she thinks. But inside her new home lies a locked room, and beyond that door lies a two-hundred-year-old diary and a deeply unsettling painted wooden figure – a Silent Companion – that bears a striking resemblance to Elsie herself...

“Compelling and claustrophobic. The pages all but turn by themselves”
 Essie Fox, author of The Last Days of Leda Grey

“Not since The Little Stranger has a book so entranced and haunted me. Compelling, bewitching and beautifully written. Read it if you dare”
 Anna Mazzola, author of The Unseeing

“Writing in the tradition of country house ghost stories, Laura Purcell has created a book that is unnerving and compelling in equal measure. The Silent Companions is an atmospheric gothic tale which chills the blood”
–  Sophia Tobin, author of the Sunday Times bestseller The Silversmith's Wife and The Widow's Confession

The Silent Companions will be on sale for only £10 at the event.  

You're invited to a spooky candle-lit salon for lovers of darker stories. 

The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell
Order your copy online today >>
Gothic fiction talk at Bloomsbury

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