The Witches of Kyiv: And Other Gothic Tales

Sova Books
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 In The Witches of Kyiv and Other Gothic Tales by Orest Somov the supernatural is present throughout Ukraine, from a cemetery in Kyivan Rus, to an isolated forest cottage in the seventeenth century Kozak era, to the society ballrooms of Somov’s own world – the early nineteenth century. Gothic horror appears in many guises including witches, warlocks, demons and vengeful ‘rusalka’. Strange soothsayers and malevolent visitors represent the forces of good and evil. In her foreword Dr Svitlana Krys describes Somov “as an initiator of an indigenous literary tradition of the Gothic in the Ukrainian literary canon”. Native folk traditions, ghost stories and European Romanticism are twisted together in Somov’s imaginative tales, most of which are published here in English for the first time.

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About the author

The writer, literary critic, translator and ethnographer Orest Mykhailovych Somov was born in 1793 in the Ukrainain town of Vovchansk. His family were Ukrainian gentry who were moderately well off. At the University of Kharkiv he became a supporter of Romantic literature and British Gothic fiction. Somov moved to St Petersburg in 1817 where he continued writing and established himself as a critic and translator, editor and publisher – one of the first professional men of letters in the Russian Empire. He was drawn to the folklore of his native Ukraine and brought together elements of the Romantic, the Gothic and local folklore in his stories such as “Rusalka”. He inspired literary greats such as Mykola Hohol (Gogol) and Aleksandr Pushkin. Somov remained in St Petersburg until his death in 1833. 

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Additional Information

Sova Books
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Published on
Nov 4, 2016
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Fiction / Classics
Fiction / Fairy Tales, Folk Tales, Legends & Mythology
Fiction / Gothic
Literary Collections / European / Eastern
Young Adult Fiction / Fairy Tales & Folklore / Anthologies
Young Adult Fiction / Legends, Myths, Fables / Arthurian
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