By D. Downey
This publication indicates simply how heavily past due nineteenth-century American women's ghost tales engaged with items comparable to images, mourning paraphernalia, wallpaper and humble family furnishings. that includes uncanny stories from the massive urban to the small city and the empty prairie, it bargains a brand new viewpoint on an previous style.
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Additional resources for American Women’s Ghost Stories in the Gilded Age
55 This sense of echoing repetitions is extended in Lurana W. Sheldon’s ‘A Premonition’ (1896), which focuses on a young wife’s discovery that her new husband has been poisoning his wives in order to create powerful paintings of the moment between life and death. The murdered women remain in the house as spectral prisoners, tiny, wizened, fleshless beings who appear to be invisible to the artist, Armand, but who attempt to warn the protagonist, Evelyn, of her impending doom. However, Evelyn mistakes the source of danger, shrinking in terror from these benevolent apparitions that were once her husband’s wives and victims.
43 The tendency toward voyeurism and the objectification implicit in the photographic act was rendered more or less explicit in Elia W. Peattie’s ‘The Story of an Obstinate Corpse’ (1898), in which a photographer is depicted as frequently telling his smoking buddies that The world [ ... ] was created in six days to be photographed. Man – and particularly woman – was made for the same purpose. Clouds are not made to give moisture nor trees to cast shade. 44 It is this idea – that the female body by its very nature attracts a highly acquisitive artistic (generally male) gaze – that underpins a large number of supernatural short stories by American women writers from around the end of the nineteenth century.
The story implies that when she, like the fiancée, hangs herself, the artist’s curse has been transmitted through the painting, her own life and death duplicating the horrors of the past. 55 This sense of echoing repetitions is extended in Lurana W. Sheldon’s ‘A Premonition’ (1896), which focuses on a young wife’s discovery that her new husband has been poisoning his wives in order to create powerful paintings of the moment between life and death. The murdered women remain in the house as spectral prisoners, tiny, wizened, fleshless beings who appear to be invisible to the artist, Armand, but who attempt to warn the protagonist, Evelyn, of her impending doom.