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Discussing the reasons for the rise of the ghost story, Sullivan proposes that the trend was part of a larger Edwardian fascination with the extraordinary as well as a reflection of the restlessness that infused the society and culture of the time.
However, according to critic Jack Sullivan, it was the period between the late nineteenth century and the end of World War I that produced some of the best work in the genre.
Sullivan lists authors such as Sheridan Le Fanu, M. James, Algernon Blackwood, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Bram Stoker among those who helped develop the intricacies of the genre.
Ghost stories attained the height of their popularity in England during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Although use of ghosts and apparitions in literature can be traced to Greek and Roman times, it was not until the nineteenth century that the use of supernatural elements became a common literary device in English literature.
As noted above, tales of the paranormal became extremely popular with English writers during the latter half of the nineteenth century.
Ghost Dances Themes Essay
Most major writers during this time, including Henry James, Thomas Hardy, and even E. Forster, wrote ghost stories of one sort or another.
One of the ways in which this protest found an outlet was in the evolution of the ghost short story, a genre that used the supernatural almost to the exclusion of other melodramatic effects.
According to scholar Peter Penzoldt, both the notions of terror and horror are fundamental elements of short stories dealing with the supernatural—the writers of truly powerful stories about the supernatural usually do not need devices of material or physical terror.
The night was comprised of two dances, with a short film preceding the second.
An all-female troupe of nine dancers performed the first piece, “Heaven and Earth,” while the company’s artistic director, Vangeline, performed the second segment, “Spectral,” by herself.