Halloween weekend approaches, folks! At @VictorianMasc that means tis the season for dark comedy!
And so, inspired by Edward Gorey’s gloriously grim alphabet book The Gashlycrumb Tinies, I present to you my A-Z of Victorian literary deaths. Also in the spirit of spooky season, don’t forget to check out 10 Supernatural Tales from the Nineteenth Century.
Also, this post is all about character deaths and so comes with *ALL THE SPOILER WARNINGS*
Prince Andrei Nikolayevich Bolkonsky (Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace). Wounded during the Battle of Borodino (1812) when he is hit from an exploding shell. Despite being thoroughly kaboomed, Prince Andrei takes his sweet time to die from his wounds back in Moscow.
Emma Bovary. Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary (1856) Bored, middle class and prone to bouts of luxury shopping, Madame Bovary meets a sorry end after chugging a bottle of arsenic.
Sidney Carton. A Tale of Two Cities (1859). Mopey Sidney Carton goes to the guillotine after switching places with golden boy Charles Darnay during The Terror.
Daniel Dravot. Rudyard Kipling, The Man Who Would be King (1888). Oh boy. After an elaborate con whereby he manages to get himself named King of Kafiristan and worshipped as a god, Dravot’s deception is exposed and he is thrown to his death off a rope bridge. But that’s not half as grim as the end that awaits his brother-in-arms Peachey Carnahan.
Ezra Jennings. The unsung hero who unravels the mystery at the heart of Wilkie Collins’s The Moonstone (1868) is not the professional detective figure, but an unlikely and impoverished lawyer with a tragic past and who meets a poignant end after a long battle with laudanum. Continue reading “An A-Z of Victorian Novel Deaths”