Monday, October 29, 2012

Countdown to Halloween: "'Twas the Night of All Hallows", Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 1865

It's the first Halloween after the Civil War - and is a changing Halloween sensibility discernible in the way that the Brooklyn Daily Eagle marked the day?

Friday, October 26, 2012

Countdown to Halloween: The Civil War

"Jeff Davis Reaping the Harvest", Harper's Weekly, October 26, 1861 (via Library of Congress)
Halloween during the Civil War: where real and imaginary horrors meet.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Countdown to Halloween: E. D. E. N. Southworth, "The Spectre Revels" (1860)

From E.D.E.N Southworth's The Haunted Homestead: and Other Nouvellettes (1860)
On the verge of the Civil War, E.D.E.N Southworth provides us with a haunted house story set on Halloween - and, you might be relieved to discover, there's not a love spell or a pumpkin in sight.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Countdown to Halloween: Susan Fenimore Cooper's Rural Hours (1850); or, more pumpkins...

"October" - harvesting pumpkins - from Appletons' Journal, 1869
"The following notes contain, in a journal form, the simple record of those little events which make up the course of the seasons in rural life, and were commenced two years since, in the spring of 1848, for the writer's amusement." So begins Susan Fenimore Cooper's delightful Rural Hours (1850).

Friday, October 19, 2012

Countdown to Halloween: John Greenleaf Whittier's "The Pumpkin" (1846)

"The Pumpkin Effigy", from Harper's Weekly, November 23, 1867, reprinted in The Ladies' Floral Cabinet, 1875 (via)
The first sight of a pumpkin on this countdown, and what's Halloween without a few pumpkins?

Monday, October 15, 2012

Countdown to Halloween: Nathaniel Covington Brooks, "Clara Lawson; or, The Rustic Toilet" (1836)

Today's story: the curiously named "Clara Lawson; or, The Rustic Toilet", written by Nathaniel Covington Brooks and published in Godey's Lady's Book in 1836, available here.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Countdown to Halloween: William Harrison Ainsworth's Rookwood (1834)

George Cruikshank, "The Vault", from William Harrison Ainsworth's Rookwood (1834)
A smooth transition from my last post on Walter Scott, because in so many ways William Harrison Ainsworth was a follower of the Wizard of the North.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Countdown to Halloween: Walter Scott's Letters on Demonology and Witchcraft (1830)

George Cruikshank, "Witches Frolic"
Last time, we saw an example of Walter Scott in Gothic mode early in his writing career. Today, it's one of his lesser known publications from the end of his life and career - though an equally fitting choice for Halloween.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Countdown to Halloween: Robert Burns, "Halloween" (1785)

From The Book of Days: A Miscellany of Popular Antiquities (1832)
I'm starting my Countdown to Halloween with Robert Burns' "Halloween" (1785). Why? Because throughout the first half of the nineteenth century there was no more influential account of Halloween entertainments.