27 October 2020
To be published alongside James Machin’s anthology of classic British Weird short fiction, British Weird, Women’s Weird 2 contains thirteen remarkably chilling stories originally published from 1891 to 1937, by women authors from the USA, the UK, New Zealand, Canada, India and Australia. Read thoroughly frightening fiction by the most unexpected of Weird authors: Stella Gibbons, L M Montgomery and Katherine Mansfield.
Watch our video explaining why we published this anthology.
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These classic Weird short stories include:
- Edith Stewart Drewry, ‘A Twin-Identity’ (1891)
- Lettice Galbraith, ‘The Blue Room’ (1897)
- Sarah Orne Jewett, ‘The Green Bowl’ (1901)
- Barbara Baynton, ‘A Dreamer’ (1902)
- Mary E. Wilkins Freeman, ‘The Hall Bedroom’ (1905)
- Katherine Mansfield, ‘The House’ (1912)
- Bithia Mary Croker, ‘The Red Bungalow’ (1919)
- Bessie Kyffin-Taylor, ‘Outside the House’ (1920)
- Marjorie Bowen, ‘Florence Flannery’ (1924)
- Helen Simpson, ‘Young Magic’ (1925)
- Lucy Maud Montgomery, ‘The House Party at Smoky Island’ (1935)
- Mary Elizabeth Counselman, ‘The Black Stone Statue’ (1937)
- Stella Gibbons, ‘The Roaring Tower’ (1937)
Melissa Edmundson’s introduction explores how the evolving Weird tradition was interpreted using colonial settings, and describes how writing Weird fitted naturally into the careers of writers like L M Montgomery (Anne of Green Gables) and Stella Gibbons (Cold Comfort Farm) who were not normally considered exponents of supernatural fiction.
The Guardian featured both Women’s Weird 2 and Women’s Weird in October, raising awareness of the work Melissa has done to recover these lost authors.
‘Like the first volume, Women’s Weird 2 contains 13 stories of the weird and supernatural by women writers spanning the formative years of the genre … the tension between society’s expectation of domestic roles for women and women gaining more agency for themselves is made more explicit … In keeping with the high standard of all Handheld Press releases, the volume contains wonderful cover art, another fascinating introductory essay by Melissa Edmundson further illustrating the context of these stories and their place in the weird, and extensive explanatory footnotes from Kate Macdonald. This is another essential purchase for fans and scholars of weird fiction alike. ‘ – The Fantasy Hive
‘the book shows how rich and diverse women’s weird fiction was in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. I’d recommend it to anyone interested in supernatural fiction.’ – reviews in Supernatural Tales focus on several of these stories, including those by Stella Gibbons, Mary Elizabeth Counselman, and Helen Simpson.
You may also be interested in these supernatural collections
Women’s Weird: the original anthology edited by Melissa Edmundson, but is it the best? Contains thirteen excellent supernatural stories encompassing the boundaries of Weird, and showing what women could write. Includes stories by Edith Wharton, May Sinclair, Margery Lawrence and E Nesbit.
British Weird: edited by James Machin, this collection of short supernatural fiction from 1893 to 1937 displays an unsettling mastery of Weird preoccupations.
The Villa and The Vortex, by Elinor Mordaunt: we bring this exceptionally good writer of Weird fiction back into print in 2021 with this new anthology of her best supenatural writing.
Reviews for Women’s Weird
The Times Literary Supplement reviewed Women’s Weird volume 1 for Hallowe’en 2019: ‘The collection is a deliberate effort to attenuate, in the horror tradition, the dominance of men like M R James, Arthur Machen, H P Lovecraft and Ambrose Bierce, and restore to prominence innovative writers such as May Sinclair, Mary Butts and Margery Lawrence … The stories in Women’s Weird, spanning the period from the late nineteenth century to the eve of the Second World War, branch out from an older ghost-story tradition to “explore more universal imaginings of fear, unease and dread”. They show the continuing influence of Gothic and supernatural tropes and the effect of their collision with a modernizing world and women’s changing roles within it.’