Gothic Chapbooks

2. “The Blood-Stained Mantle” is set in medieval Scotland, and features a number of passages devoted to the establishment of sublime imagery (put very simply, images that arouse feelings of awe and terror). The protagonist is Garmallon, in many ways a typical gothic villain. Descended from a ruthlessly ambitious Scottish clan, Garmallon is handsome, but has a “contemptuous turn of his curled lip” and a “sarcastic fire in his dark, soul investigating eye” that warns the reader to be wary of his intentions. This story contains an example of the kind of supernatural effects common to gothic narratives. After murdering his close friend Danlathmon to take control of his land, Garmallon is haunted by the spirit of Dunlathmon as well as Dunlathmon’s living but spectral sister, the now mentally unstable Dar-thulla. She becomes known as the “wild woman of Dunlathmon” (19), and is believed by the superstitious peasants living in the surrounding area to be a ghost.

“The Blood-Stained Mantle; or, A Sister’s Revenge” is 18 pages long; also included is a short story entitled “The Deserters” (pp. 21-24). Published by William Cole and printed by Hodgson & Co, Newgate Street, London. It includes a fold-out page of colour illustrations depicting various scenes in the story, as well as advertisements for ‘PAMPHLETS, &c.’, ‘INSTRUCTIVE TOY BOOKS’, and ‘MINIATURE BOOKS’. This artifact is part of a collection of chapbooks bound together under the title Brochures Diverses.