This book examines how the representation of the ghost-soldier in literature published between1914-1934, both marks the presence of trauma and attempts to make sense of it. Andrew Smith examines short stories, novels, poems and memoirs that employ ghosts to reflect upon feelings of loss, paralleling the literary context with accounts of shell-shock which construe the damaged soldier as psychologically missing and therefore spectre-like.
The author argues that literary and non-literary texts repeatedly deploy a form of the uncanny, familiar from a Gothic tradition, as a way of reflecting upon grief. In support of this claim, he draws on fiction by well-known authors such as M. R. James, E. F. Benson, Dorothy L. Sayers, and Dennis Wheatley, alongside largely forgotten contributions to The Strand and other periodical publications such as The Occult Review.
About the Author
Andrew Smith is Professor of Nineteenth-Century English Literature at the University of Sheffield where he co-directs the Centre for the History of the Gothic. He is the author or editor of over 20 published books including Gothic Death 1740-1914: A Literary History (Manchester University Press, 2016), The Ghost Story 1840-1920: A Cultural History (Manchester University Press, 2010), Gothic Literature (Edinburgh University Press, 2007, revised 2013), Victorian Demons (Manchester University Press, 2004) and Gothic Radicalism (Macmillan, 2000). He is a past president of the International Gothic Association.