Francoise Rene de Chateaubriand, b. 1768. Chateaubriand was the youngest of ten children, and he grew up to be a famous writer and gourmand. His most acclaimed work was called MÃ©moires d’Outre-Tombe, in English Memoirs from Beyond the Grave. I want to write a memoir from beyond the grave. It sounds so romantic!
Phoebe Cary, b. 1824, is an American poetess who seems to have made a career of re-writing other people’s poems in her own words. You can read some samples here.
Mary Renault (Mary Challans), b. 1905. The King Must Die and its sequel,The Bull from the Sea, tell the story of Theseus in fiction for adults. I like these books a lot, especially the first one. Theseus, as a pagan Greek king, in this book pre-figures Christ in some ways. He sacrifices himself to the will of the god Poseidon, for the sake of his people. These are good stories, but be warned that homosexual behavior is positively portrayed, although not described in detail.
Joan Aiken, b. 1924. The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Ms. Aiken is suitably creepy and perilous, just right for Carl V.’s R.I.P. challenge. (Go here for my R.I.P. Autumn Challenge list.) However, we’re plannning to read this classic weird adventure story later this year when we study England, so I’ll content myself with recommending it to you–if you’re still looking for something “gothic, scary, moody, atmospheric.”