Favourite 1880s Horror Tales by Robert Louis Stevenson (4)

Markheim by Robert Louis Stevenson

This is the last post in a series of four. I hope you’ve enjoyed them all!

Markheim as illustrated by Michael Lark
Markheim as illustrated by Michael Lark

Short story Markheim.

This is considered to be one of Robert Louis Stevenson’s more macabre tales. The ending in particular is a great interpretation of fate and human nature. It’s an unusual read, but interesting throughout. The devil can teach a criminal many things. Good versus bad, so they say.

Interesting insights: This story was originally published in The Broken Shaft: Tales of mid-ocean in 1885. The book was edited by Sir Henry Norman.

Markheim by Robert Louis Stevenson
Markheim by Robert Louis Stevenson

What’s your favourite Robert Louis Stevenson story?

Not read enough today? Try Ambrose Bierce’s A Diagnosis of Death!



Favourite 1880s Horror Tales by Robert Louis Stevenson (3)

This post is third in a series of four. Happy reading!


Gothic novella Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

Many people will have studied this classic in school or college, I’m sure. It has good reason to be considered a classic. If you’ve only seen TV or film adaptations, give the book a go for a much richer experience. It’s fascinating to read how Hyde becomes stronger as Jekyll pays him more and more attention. The book is also told from three points of view, all first-person, a style which I particularly like.

Interesting insights: B. Luciano Barsuglia adapted this book to film last year, starring Gianni Capaldi and Shaun Paul Piccinino. They play Hyde and Jekyll, respectively, one of the rare times that the two sides are played by different actors.

What’s your favourite short story?

While you’re here, why not have a read of Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu’s The Mysterious Lodger!


Favourite 1880s Horror Tales by Robert Louis Stevenson (2)

The 1880’s was a great time for horror. This post is the second of four. Have fun!


Short story The Merry Men.

This story is super atmospheric. It’s a classic gothic tale.

when savage men have drunk away their reason, and, discarding speech, bawl together in their madness by the hour…

Do you have an open fire? Is it winter? Is there a storm raging? Read this story!

Interesting insights: The story is set on a fictional island named Eilean Aros, but Stevenson based his idea on the real island of Erraid. The true island has an area of just one square mile and is in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland. It has a row of cottages which were built for the lighthouse keepers. It is now home to a commune related to the Findhorn Foundation, a Scottish Spiritual community.

What’s your favourite horror story?

Why not have a read of Algernon Blackwood’s The Willows while you’re here!

Favourite 1880s Horror Tales by Robert Louis Stevenson (1)

This post is one in a series of four. Enjoy the ride!


Short story The Body Snatcher.

Macfarlane somehow felt a certain touch of alarm at these
unpleasant words. He may have regretted that he had taught
his young companion so successfully, but he had no time to interfere, for the other noisily continued in this boastful strain:
“The great thing is not to be afraid. Now, between you and
me, I don’t want to hang—that’s practical; but for all cant,
Macfarlane, I was born with a contempt. Hell, God, Devil,
right, wrong, sin, crime, and all the old gallery of curiosities
—they may frighten boys, but men of the world, like you and
me, despise them. Here’s to the memory of Gray!”

Interesting insights: In 1945 Robert Wise directed a film based on this story, starring Boris Karloff, Henry Daniell and Bela Lugosi. About Daniell (who played Dr. Wolfe “Toddy” MacFarlane), Wise is quoted to have said: Henry was as far from a complainer as any I’ve ever known. He’d walk onto the set, do his work like the pro he was, do it damn good, and then quietly leave without being a burden to anybody. Period.

Which is your favourite story from the 1980s?

Looking for something modern? Check out my Top 8 Indie Reads of Last Year!