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Kate Mosse

About The Author

Kate MossePODCAST OF FOYLES EVENT AVAILABLE HERE

Kate Mosse is a novelist, broadcaster and co-founder of The Orange Prize for Fiction. She is best known for her Languedoc Trilogy, comprising Labyrinth, Sepulchre and Citadel, set in southwest France in and around the medieval city of Carcassone. Moving back and forth between the past and present day, the novels are described by their author as 'old fashioned adventure stories with women as heroes'.

Labyrinth has been translated into 38 languages and, along with Sepulchre, has won numerous awards throughout the world. Kate is also the author of the standalone novella The Winter Ghosts, and many short stories, essays and plays and several works of non-fiction. She also writes for The Times, The Sunday Times, the Guardian, the Independent and the Financial Times.

A vigorous champion of literacy, Kate has been prominent in the campaign against libr ary closures, and has judged several literary awards. Together with her husband, in 2007 she set up the Chichester Writing Festival.

Last year, James Runcie spoke to Kate Mosse exclusively for Foyles on the publication of Citadel, the final part of her Languedoc trilogy. Listen to the podcast here.

Taxidermist's DaughterKate's latest novel is The Taxidermist's Daughter, a gothic psychological thriller set in Sussex in the early 20th century, which Kate describes as a 'love letter to home'. You can read her letter to the Reader and the opening pages of the novel here.

To celebrate the publication of her book, Kate also introduces, exclusively for Foyles, her gothic inspirations.

Further down the page is a list of titles by Kate Mosse currently in print. Click here for her audiobooks and here for her ebooks.

 


Author Picks

My new novel, The Taxidermist's Daughter, is a Gothic thriller. Set over four days in 1912, as the flood waters rise ever higher on the Sussex coast, it's both a who-dunnit and also a why-dunnit. It also has many of the characteristics of traditional Gothic fiction - isolated crumbling buildings, families in peril, a hostile landscape, a melding of physical and psychological terror - though in The Taxidermist's Daughter, rather than being a victim of violent circumstances, my female lead character carries the story and defeats those trying to harm her. When researching for the novel, it was a great pleasure to go back to some of the greatest Gothic and Horror novels I'd enjoyed when I was younger, and revisit them as a writer rather than as a terrified reader.

There are plenty of excellent contemporary Gothic novels, but I've chosen a selection of the best of the classics. I hope you enjoy them but, don't forget, to lock your doors and draw the curtains before you open the first page ....


Author Picks

The Castle of Otranto: A Gothic Story
(Paperback)
Horace Walpole; Nick Groom
 
First published pseudonymously, The Castle of Otranto claimed to be a 'translation' of an Italian story set during the Crusades. In a later Preface, Walpole wrote he had attempted: `to blend the two kinds of romance: the ancient and the modern'. Catastrophe follows catastrophe, there are ghostly interventions, revelations of identity, battles and duels. Inventive and terrifying by turns, the novel was a runaway hit and set up in the reading public a hunger for these exciting Gothic novels where anything might happen.
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The Mysteries of Udolpho
(Paperback)
Ann Radcliffe; Bonamy Dobree
 
Published thirty years after the Castle of Otranto, The Mysteries of Udolpho can make claim to be the mother of the genre. The story takes place in 1586 in southern France and northern Italy, it tells the story (and plight!) of Emily St Aubert, who is orphaned after the death of both of her beloved parents and find herself imprisoned in the castle of Udolpho - crumbling, creepy, isolated of course - by the menacing, dangerous Signor Montoni, who is her guardian by virtue of marriage to her aunt. Emily is constantly under threat and, though she is not a victim quite, she does swoon and faint with fear rather a lot! Pace and threat, the novel is full of wonderful descriptions of landscape of the Pyrenees and the Apennines. There's a thwarted romance between Emily and Valancourt, and a detective element to the story too. Such was - and is - its popularity, that Udolpho became a shorthand for a certain sort of book and is mentioned in Tom Stoppard's Arcadia, In Henry James' masterful ghost story The Turn of the Screw, Melville's Billy Budd and even Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov. Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey is, from start to finish, an acknowledged satire of Udolpho. Great fun!
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Frankenstein
(Paperback)
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
 
The story of how the novel came to be written - a trip along the Rhine, a sojourn on the banks of Lake Geneva and friends, including Byron and Shelley and the eighteen year old Mary, daring one another one to tell ghost stories - is as famous as the novel itself. I first knew the story from the small and big screen. When I finally read the book, I discovered that it was extraordinary: faith, the occult and alchemy, the blurred line between good science and bad, a story that was moving, sad, elegant, subtle and full of jeopardy. Victor Frankenstein and the Monster he creates are both terribly human, wounded creatures, both beautiful and repulsive. The story is one of the collision of science and faith, of the terrible unintended consequences of our choices, of prejudice, of the possibility of love. The gloomy university laboratory in Ingolstadt and the isolated 1am streets, the magnificence of the isolated Orkney Islands and, finally, the incredible final scenes of death, remorse and grief out on the ice floes make this both a superb Gothic novel and a work of imaginative genius. Its power has not diminished, as the success of Nick Dear and Danny Boyle's stage version at the National Theatre in 2011 proved.
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The Fall of the House of Usher and...
(Paperback)
Edgar Allan Poe
 
Poe had a lurid, troubled imagination and all of his fiction is imbued with fear, loathing, dread, inevitability, decay and guilt. It's said that the French poet Baudelaire learnt to read English specifically so that he could read Poe's work in the original. Some consider him to be the first writer of horror, but I consider him as in the Gothic camp too, by virtue of the landscape. All of his short fiction - and poetry too, such as The Raven - share the same, brooding characteristics, but for those new to Poe, I'd start with The Fall of the House of Usher (1839). Here, the crumbling and haunted castle is not only the setting for the story, but the disintegrating house also symbolises the decay and destruction of the human body. Roderick Usher who, like many of Poe's male characters, suffers from an unnamed disease, is a haunted trouble man. His family history suggests he is doomed to die, he is unable to see the situation clearly, and it leads him to terrible acts of madness. Like the narrator in another story in the collection The Tell-Tale Heart, a deep mental malaise has violent, terrifying consequences. Creepy, alarming, shiver-inducing tales....
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The Birds And Other Stories
(Paperback)
Daphne Du Maurier; David Thompson
 
The long short story 'The Birds' was first published in a collection called The Apple Tree in 1952, then was reprinted in this renamed edition in 1963. Du Maurier was an atmospheric, brooding novelist - using the landscape - in particular of her beloved Cornwall - as the backdrop to clever, skilfully plotted and character driven stories. But it's in her short fiction that she gave full rein to her Gothic, often macabre, imagination. Set in a small Cornish seaside town, the weather suddenly shifts from Autumn to Winter and large numbers of birds appear to be massing over the Peninsula. The lead character, Nat Hocken, hears a tapping on his bedroom window at night and, when he investigates, sees a flock of tiny birds flying into the house and the children's bedrooms. This is just the beginning. Both the stories in this collection - and The Doll & Other Stories - remind us how significant and individual a writer Du Maurier was, ahead of her time, in her ability to take the everyday world by the throat, twist it, and produce the most terrifying stories.
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The Haunting of Hill House
(Paperback)
Shirley Jackson
 
A novel very popular in its day, but one that is less well known to the general reader than it deserves to be. Four characters arrive at the rambling, unkempt, threatening Hill House: Dr Montague is a scholar of the occult, looking for evidence of psychic phenomena; Theodora, his light-hearted assistant; Luke, adventurous and curious, who is due to inherit the estate; and Eleanor, a solitary and fragile young woman with secrets in her past. Immediately, they are beset with inexplicable, chilling occurrences, beyond their control and imagination and experience. Hill House itself appears to be alive and gathering strength, waiting to claim one of them as its own. Chilling, Stephen King described it as one of the finest horror novels of the late 20th century.
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Available Titles By This Author

Labyrinth
(Paperback)
Kate Mosse
 
 
£8.99
 

Currently out of stock

The Taxidermist's Daughter
(Hardback)
Kate Mosse
 
 
£16.99
 

Currently out of stock

Citadel
(Paperback)
Kate Mosse
 
 
£9.99
 
Citadel
(Hardback)
Kate Mosse
 
 
£20.00
 
The Winter Ghosts
(Paperback)
Kate Mosse
 
 
£7.99
 

Currently out of stock

Becoming A Mother
(Paperback)
Kate Mosse
 
 
£10.99
 

Currently out of stock

Sepulchre
(Paperback)
Kate Mosse
 
 
£7.99
 

Currently out of stock

Past Events for this Author

Latest Blog
Under the Knife: Recreating the Grimy World of Victorian Surgery
17/10/2017

Lindsey describes how she made the trailer for her debut The Butchering Art in order to see how the sights, sounds, and smells of this gruesome period in medical history would translate onto the screen.

The Sky Doesn't Have to be Blue: Steve Antony on Life as a Colour Blind Illustrator
13/10/2017

Steve explains what it's like to be a colour blind illustrator and why the sky doesn't have to be blue.

The Gordon Burn Prize - Interrogating the Past
11/10/2017

In advance of the winner announcement, we review the titles shortlisted for this year's Gordon Burn Prize

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