The Beetle (1897) is a novel by Richard Marsh. Immensely popular upon publication, The Beetle was an instant bestseller and went on to inspire a 1919 silent film adaptation starring Maudie Dunham. Despite its success, the novel was largely forgotten until scholarly attention in the late-20th century highlighted its importance to the fields of gothic fiction, postcolonial criticism, and women and gender studies. “To have tramped about all day looking for work; to have begged even for a job which would give me money enough to buy a little food; and to have tramped and to have begged in vain,-that was bad. But, sick at heart, depressed in mind and in body, exhausted by hunger and fatigue, to have been compelled to pocket any little pride I might have left, […] and to solicit it in vain!-that was worse. Much worse.” Down on his luck, Robert Holt wanders the streets of London in search of food, a job, and shelter. Turned away from a Fulham workhouse, he finds himself standing before a seemingly abandoned house and, with nowhere to go, cautiously enters. There, he comes face to face with the mysterious Beetle, a figure from ancient Egypt who controls his subjects with mesmerism. Soon, Robert is used to commit a series of crimes against Paul Lessingham, a powerful member of the House of Commons. As the plot unfolds, a love triangle involving Lessingham, the beautiful Marjorie Lindon, and a vindictive chemist named Sydney Atherton falls victim to the scheming Beetle. With a beautifully designed cover and professionally typeset manuscript, this edition of Richard Marsh’s The Beetle is a classic work of British horror fiction reimagined for modern readers. show more
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