Deadly Dolls

Elizabeth Dearnley


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British Library Publishing
23 June 2024
ISBN: 9780712355704
272 pages

From the publisher

In this new collection, Elizabeth Dearnley revives a sinister troupe of uncannily animated figures from tales across the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, by authors including E T A Hoffmann, Angela Carter, Vernon Lee, Algernon Blackwood and Rosemary Timperley.

The doll wasn’t lying on the floor of the cage, but was standing against the padlocked door. And as the curtains parted it turned its face sharply towards me…

As mannequins, automata, effigies and dummies, dolls have haunted our imagination since ancient times, invoked throughout the years in literature and film as quintessential symbols of the uncanny.

In this collection of fourteen tales harking from 1817 to 2022, Elizabeth Dearnley presents a sinister troupe of unsettling playthings from the minds of E. T. A. Hoffmann, Daphne du Maurier, Angela Carter, Agatha Christie, Robert Aickman, Camilla Grudova and many more.

Including possessed puppets, artificial suitors and figures that blur the lines between human and doll, fresh nightmares await when the doors of the dolls’ house swing open and its denizens come out to play.