Haunted Homesteads: E.D.E.N. Southworth’s Dual Gothic

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The fiction of Emma Dorothy Eliza Nevitte (E.D.E.N.) Southworth is replete with haunted Southern houses tucked away in secluded vales set against sublime rural American backdrops, but the spirits haunting these homesteads are not all of the same type. On the one hand, Southworth gives us narratives in which seemingly spectral phenomena resolve into real-world causation. On the other hand, Southworth spins Gothic melodramas focused on the haunting legacies of racism and patriarchal violence. This chapter will focus on the four haunted house stories that comprise Southworth’s 1860 The Haunted Homestead: And Other Nouvellettes. Taken together, these tales exemplify Southworth’s dual approach to haunting: ghosts may not be real, but homes are haunted nevertheless.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPalgrave Gothic
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages19
StatePublished - 2021

Publication series

NamePalgrave Gothic
ISSN (Print)2634-6214
ISSN (Electronic)2634-6222


  • Comic Gothic
  • E.D.E.N. Southworth
  • Female protagonist
  • Ghost
  • Haunted Homestead
  • Haunted house
  • Haunting
  • Patriarchal violence
  • Slavery
  • Spiritualism
  • “The Presentiment,” Racism


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