This issue of Critical Survey inaugurates a new chapter in the history of the journal. Founded in 1962 by Brian Cox and Tony Dyson, the journal formed a complement to its sibling Critical Quarterly, publishing creative as well as critical work, and targeted at staff and students in both secondary and tertiary education. Critical Survey ceased publication in 1979, and was re-launched in 1989 under the editorship of Bryan Loughrey, who has now returned as joint Editor with Graham Holderness (formerly General Editor). A new Poetry Editor Ben Parker joins our long-serving colleague John Lucas to manage the Poetry section. We would like to take this opportunity to record our thanks to the distinguished succession of University of Hertfordshire Literature staff who served as Editors between 1992 and 2015 – Professor Andrew Murphy, Dr Carol Banks, Professor Sharon Monteith and Dr Andrew Maunder.
Critical Survey will continue to publish articles received, and commissioned guest-edited issues, across a wide range of fields and topics in literary and cultural studies. The current issue reflects the growing interest in Gothic Studies, featuring a group of essays on the innovative and influential TV series Penny Dreadful. Other essays included deal with early modern love-suicide, crime as the dark shadow of authority, and with the role of place in Shakespeare’s most Gothic tragedy. Richard Wilson’s end-piece is a satirical parody on the recent claim that John Florio was the real author of Shakespeare’s plays.