This carefully crafted ebook: "The Beetle" is formatted for your eReader with a functional and detailed table of contents.
Richard Marsh's greatest commercial success, The Beetle, is a story about a mysterious oriental person who pursues a British politician to London, where he wreaks havoc with his powers of hypnosis and shape-shifting. The story is narrated from the perspectives of multiple characters to create suspense. The novel engages with numerous themes and problems of the Victorian fin de siècle, including the New Woman, unemployment and urban destitution, radical politics, homosexuality, science, and Britain's imperial engagements (in particular those in Egypt and the Sudan). "The Beetle" sold out upon its initial printing, and continued to sell well and to be published for several decades into the 20th century. In the 1920s the novel's story was made into a film, and adapted for the London stage.
Ripe with melodrama and purple prose, this ripping horror classic from Marsh, first published in 1897, epitomizes the style of the Victorian penny dreadful. Four sections, each narrated by a different character, interlock to relate the tale of an ancient Egyptian entity known as the child of Isis, who has traveled to London to torment Paul Lessingham, a member of Parliament, and his fianc e, Marjorie Lindon, as revenge for an indiscretion Paul committed during his travels in Egypt two decades earlier. Marsh creates an eerie atmosphere by keeping his story's supernaturalism tantalizingly ambiguous; it's never clear whether the occasional transformations of the child of Isis into the insect of the title are genuine or illusory. An overly chatty cast slows the tale's pace to a crawl and their penchant for conveniently fainting or falling into gibbering incoherence during dramatic moments reduces the novel to a clump of sensational set pieces. Though some readers will enjoy this novel's maximalist gothic flourishes, others will find the tale a bit over the top.