Jennie MacDonald

Writer and Photographer

I’m delighted to announce publication of my one-act dark comedy, A Merry Widow or Two, by Scripts for Stage, a London-based publisher of plays and monologues. A Merry Widow or Two was inspired by the elaborate mourning customs of Victorian England, which I loved researching. It won the 2019 Colorado Authors League Award of Excellence for Stageplay.

Photo by Ike louie Natividad on

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Photo by Caio on

I’m pleased to share a review of Schabraco and other Gothic tales from The Lady’s Monthly Museum, 1798-1828, published in Hypnos Edizioni by Laura Sestri. The original review is in Italian, which David Fenerty kindly translated for me.

The book’s curator is Jennie MacDonald, an American literary studies researcher who has carried out the important work of selecting the most important gothic works for this periodical, thereby allowing modern readers to access a wealth of material. Her selection was done on the basis of three criteria: suspenseful plots which contain magical and fantastic elements; characters representing ordinary men and women who must act under extraordinary conditions; and lastly, stories which provoke empathy in the modern reader. The result of this selection contains a great variety of genres – novels, stories, scary tales, poems, ballads, sonnets, essays, even a riddle (designed to stimulate a young lady’s intellect) and a theatrical work. The themes are no less wide-ranging, always returning to the heart of the gothic ‘canon’: remote, crumbling castles; gloomy forests, bad atmospheric conditions; chases; secret encounters; mysterious orphans; cruel stepmothers; murderers; abductions; and supernatural elements.

In keeping with the periodical’s original intent, the collection under discussion was also meant to entertain and instruct its readers. It is the curator’s hope that this collection will be of use to those who pursue related studies, as much for literary researchers as for readers who wish to understand more about the customs and history of this literary genre. (For more information on Schabraco, please click here.)

C0191A42-0229-4A39-8755-F278A2BE1445TCHP = The Comical Hotch Potch
I’m so proud to share the news that my essay, “‘The Comical Hotch Potch, or the Alphabet Turn’d Posture Master’: A Fluid Text Reading of Carington Bowles’ 1782 Satirical Print” appears in the fantastic new Spring 2020 issue of Palaver, an open-access literary journal published by UNC Wilmington’s GLS Program. You can see the whole issue here: and this essay here:

schabraco_origI’m delighted to announce the publication of my edited collection, Schabraco and other Gothic tales from The Lady’s Monthly Museum, 1798-1828. For your eerie reading pleasure, and also in case you want to see what else was available to read during Jane Austen’s time. It was fascinating selecting these pieces, all of which I loved discovering and hope you will enjoy.

For more information, please see the publisher’s website, Valancourt Books. It also can be ordered through Amazon and Book Depository.

I’m delighted to share the news that my short story “Clean Cup” has been published in Darkhouse Books’ new cozy crime anthology, Shhhh . . . Murder! Set in a fictional branch of the Denver Public Library named for Mary Chase, the creator of Harvey, the six-foot, three-and-a-half-inch-high, invisible rabbit, “Clean Cup” asks what else besides books ends up in those return drop boxes at the end of the day? Available here…