The Beetle (1897) tells the story of a fantastical creature, “born of neither god nor man,” with supernatural and hypnotic powers, who stalks British politician Paul Lessingham through fin de siècle London in search of vengeance for the defilement of a sacred tomb in Egypt. In imitation of various popular fiction genres of the late nineteenth century, Marsh unfolds a tale of terror, late imperial fears, and the “return of the repressed,” through which the crisis of late imperial Englishness is revealed.
This Broadview edition includes a critical introduction and a rich selection of historical documents that situate the novel within the contexts of fin de siècle London, England’s interest and involvement in Egypt, the emergence of the New Woman, and contemporary theories of mesmerism and animal magnetism.
Academics please note that this is a title classified as having a restricted allocation of complimentary copies. While the availability of bound complimentary copies is restricted to desk copies only, electronic complimentary copies are readily available for those professors wishing to consider this title for possible course adoption. Should you choose to adopt the book after viewing an electronic copy we will be happy to provide a bound desk copy.
“The Beetle has it all: it’s at once a ripping gothic yarn, a fin de siècle melodrama, and a document of the fears and obsessions of late imperial culture. Julian Wolfreys’ introduction is excellent, bringing lots of fascinating material to bear on the novel and doing so clearly and persuasively. He makes you want to read it.” — Jonathan Dollimore, author of Sexual Dissidence and Death, Desire and Loss in Western Culture
“The Beetle is a great read. As Julian Wolfreys’ admirably learned, perceptive, and comprehensive introduction, appendices, and notes show, it is also a wonderful assemblage of many motifs from popular culture at the fin de siècle. I enthusiastically recommend this book.” — J. Hillis Miller, University of California, Irvine
“For far too long we have had to do without an edition of one of the key best-selling novels of the fin de siècle, Richard Marsh’s The Beetle. Broadview has once again come to the rescue with a new edition of this lurid classic that at one time outsold Dracula. Featuring useful appendices and with an extensive introduction by Julian Wolfreys, this edition will be coveted by everyone interested in late Victorian fiction.” — Nicholas Daly, Trinity College, Dublin