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By McLaughlin D. B.

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Before the sixth century had expired one incident occurred, remarkable and strange. A young man, named Albedir, wandering in the woods, was startled by the screaming of a bird of prey, and, looking up, saw blood fall, drop by drop, from among the intertwined boughs of a cedar. Having climbed the tree, he beheld a terrible and dismaying spectacle. A naked human body was impaled on the broken branch. It was maimed and mangled horribly; every limb bent and bruised into frightful distortion, and exhibiting a breathing image of the most sickening mockery of life.

Margaret Atwood’s The Robber Bride is published. xliv G O T H I C L I T E R AT U R E : A G A L E C R I T I C A L C O M PA N I O N , V O L . 1 2000 ■ Joyce Carol Oates’s Haunted: Tales of the Grotesque is published. ● Edward Gorey dies on 15 April in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. ■ Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, directed by Kenneth Branagh, is released. ■ Margaret Atwood’s The Blind Assassin is published. 1996 ■ Margaret Atwood’s Alias Grace is published. G O T H I C L I T E R AT U R E : A G A L E C R I T I C A L C O M PA N I O N , V O L .

The following excerpt is from a story written around 1814 but not published until after Shelley’s death. Where all is thus calm, the slightest circumstance is recorded and remembered. Before the sixth century had expired one incident occurred, remarkable and strange. A young man, named Albedir, wandering in the woods, was startled by the screaming of a bird of prey, and, looking up, saw blood fall, drop by drop, from among the intertwined boughs of a cedar. Having climbed the tree, he beheld a terrible and dismaying spectacle.

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