Attentive readers of Alan Moore’s The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen may have noted this panel…
“is the Beetle, from Richard Marsh’s The Beetle (1897). In that novel, a shapechanging Egyptian princess, who can take the form of a giant, malign beetle, a beautiful androgyne, and an old woman or man, pursues a vendetta against a British M.P.”
Prior to the release of The Beetle as a LibriVox audiobook I hadn’t even heard of it. But a little online research indicates that The Beetle came out the same year as Bram Stoker’s Dracula and initially outsold it! How did I not hear of this book before?
By Richard Marsh; Read by various readers
48 Zipped MP3 Files or Podcast – Approx. 11 Hours 56 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Published: April 24, 2009
A story about a mysterious oriental figure who pursues a British politician to London, where he wreaks havoc with his powers of hypnosis and shape-shifting, Marsh’s novel is of a piece with other sensational turn-of-the-century fictions such as Stoker’s Dracula, George du Maurier’s Trilby, and Sax Rohmer’s Fu Manchu novels. Like Dracula and many of the sensation novels pioneered by Wilkie Collins and others in the 1860s, The Beetle is narrated from the perspectives of multiple characters, a technique used in many late nineteenth-century novels (those of Wilkie Collins and Stoker, for example) to create suspense.
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