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[Perspectives] Gothic revival

When Sarah Perry introduces the main character of her new novel Melmoth, walking through the streets of modern-day Prague, it is as an avatar of ordinariness: “Helen Franklin, forty-two, neither short nor tall… What might commend so drab a creature to your sight, when overhead the low clouds split and the upturned bowl of a silver moon pours milk out on the river?” But there is something about Helen that compels our attention, something that has driven her from an English home to isolation overseas.