Gothic Chapbooks

5. Sarah Wilkinson was the author of many gothic chapbooks, as well as some gothic novels. She composed original works such as “The White Cottage of the Valley” as well as adaptations of popular gothic novels and plays. She was an atypical female gothic writer: most female gothic novelists were middle class and were not dependent on their writing to earn a living; Wilkinson was a prolific “hack” who lived off the earnings from her writing and belonged to the lower middle class. Many of her works were published anonymously, as authorship was not generally important in the chapbook tradition.

“Maid of Sicily; or, The Lady of the Tomb” (1806), by Sarah Wilkinson. The main story is 24 pages long; the additional narrative “The Two Travellers: A Fragment” is 10 pages (pp. 27-36). Published in London by Ann Lemoine and J. Roe; printed by T. Maiden of Sherbourne Lane London. Price three pence. It includes one colour illustration.