The essays in this section examine concepts that are important to the Gothic – the uncanny, the abject and haunting, for example – and critical approaches to the Gothic. We have chosen to concentrate on concepts that have been the subject of a substantial tradition of theorising and critical writing. Of course there are many other key tropes and thematics – religion, vampires, doubles, for example – and with reference to these we encourage you to use the comprehensive index at the back of the book. In the case of the essays on femininities, masculinities and queer Gothic our selection has been made on the grounds that the subject matter encompasses both traditional Gothic thematics and a significant critical tradition. Gothic children is perhaps a less conventional theme, but is quickly becoming an important area of study. All the essays provide a useful set of tools for approaching Gothic, working as they do by providing examples of critical readings as well as discussing the critical traditions themselves. They come from a variety of critical and theoretical traditions – including gender theory, queer theory, psychoanalysis and deconstruction.