Wilson, John

18 May 1785 - 3 April 1854

Scottish writer, moralist, professor, and prolific contributor to Blackwood's Magazine, in the pages of which many Gothic tales appeared. Much of Wilson's own work, unabashedly commercial and very influential, was published under the nom de plume of Christopher North.

Sites:
Biographical note
[Scottish Writers on the Internet]
Biographical note
[David Finkelstein, The Rise and Fall of the House of Blackwood's]
Biographical note
[SLAINTE]
Brief biographical note
[Columbia Encyclopedia, Bartleby]
Biographical note
Scroll down the page just a wee bit to get to the bio of the "correct" John Wilson. [1911 Encyclopedia]
Brief biographical note
At the website of the Christopher North House Hotel, the converted Edinburgh house where Wilson lived for 30+ years.
Brief biographical note
[John W. Cousins, A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature, 1910]
Portraits
[National Portrait Gallery, London]


Etexts:
"Extracts from Gosschen's Diary" [ a litgothic etext ]

"Some Remarks on the Use of the Preternatural in Works of Fiction" [ a litgothic etext ]
For more Romantic-era discussion of supernaturalist literary theory and practice, check out Anna Barbauld's "On the Pleasure Derived from Objects of Terror, with Sir Bertrand, A Fragment," Ann Radcliffe's "On the Supernatural in Poetry," and Sir Walter Scott's "On the Supernatural in Fictitious Composition."


Essays and Reviews:
"Blackwood's Berserker: John Wilson and the Language of Extremity" by Robert Morrison [Romanticism on the Net]
A long-overdue discussion not only of Wilson's "extremes" but of his influence, farther reaching than many have suspected, on many of the more canonical figures of the Romantic and early Victorian periods: Percy Shelley, DeQuincey, the Brontës, and Browning, among others. Included in the discussion of Wilson's significant impact on the tale of terror is a consideration of "Extracts from Gosschen's Diary," which Morrison identifies as "Wilson's most successful exploration of the psychology of perversion."
"John Wilson Conference (University of Glasgow) - A Report" by Philip Dundass and John Strachan.
The introduction includes a brief overview of Wilson's career.  [Romanticism on the Net]

"John Wilson."