Dan Ross (novelist)

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W. E. Daniel "Dan" Ross (1912-1995) was a bestselling Canadian novelist from Saint John, New Brunswick who wrote over 300 books in a variety of genres and under a variety of mostly female pseudonyms such as Clarissa Ross, Ann Gilmer, Dan Roberts, and W.E.D. Ross. As Marilyn Ross he wrote popular Gothic fiction including a series of novels about the vampire Barnabas Collins based on the American TV series Dark Shadows (1966–71).

Dark Shadows Books (1966-72)[edit]

The Paperback Library began releasing novels based on the TV series Dark Shadows in December 1966. There were thirty-three novels released through to 1972, all of them written by Dan Ross under the pen name Marilyn Ross.

All of the novels, with the exception of House of Dark Shadows were part of one shared continuity separate from the history supplied in the original television series. House of Dark Shadows was an adaptation of the MGM film, House of Dark Shadows and as such, represented a separate continuity.

Most of the books follow a formula of a heroine arriving at, or already living at, Collinwood and falling in love with Barnabas Collins, not realizing that he's a vampire. The heroine subsequently finds herself endangered by some natural or supernatural threat requiring Barnabas to rescue her. By the story's conclusion, the heroine guesses or suspects that Barnabas is a vampire but still wants him anyway, prompting Barnabas to depart rather than involve her with his cursed existence.

An unresolved plot point that featured in both the television series and the novel series was the mystery of Victoria Winters origins. Ross had planned to reveal Victoria as Barnabas' long-lost daughter, conceived in the 1940s during a time when Barnabas found himself temporarily free of the vampire curse, her biological mother, who died young, was the best friend of Elizabeth Collins Stoddard. However, when actress Alexandra Moltke left the television series in 1968, the editors of the book series instructed Ross to immediately remove the character without solving the mystery.[1]

Many of the 1st printings of the novels featured covers with enframed production stills from the television show. Invariably, the photographs represented on the covers had little if anything to do with the actual stories contained within.

# Title Release Date Notes
1 Dark Shadows December 1966 A partial re-telling of Victoria Winters arrival in Collinsport. Originally printed with an illustrated cover, subsequent editions featured a photographic cover featuring Alexandra Moltke with Jonathan Frid, although the character of Barnabas Collins does not appear. This is also the case with books 2 to 4. Collinwood is referred to here as Collins House.
2 Victoria Winters March 1967
3 Strangers at Collins House September 1967 Partially takes place in 1916.
4 The Mystery of Collinwood January 1968
5 The Curse of Collinwood May 1968 The only book in series not to be printed with a photographic cover.
6 Barnabas Collins November 1968 First book to feature Barnabas Collins. In the television series Barnabas was chained to his coffin in 1796 and not released until 1967, here Ross offers an alternate timeline in which the vampire was never held captive at all. Takes place in the early 1900s.
7 The Secret of Barnabas Collins January 1969 Takes place in 1870.
8 The Demon of Barnabas Collins April 1969 The first book to present Barnabas in a heroic vein rather than as the villain, following the trend set by the television series.
9 The Foe of Barnabas Collins July 1969 Features the character of Chris Jennings, although presented here as a villain rather than the sympathetic victim depicted in the television series. It also features a rare appearance by Angelique. Takes place in 1910.
10 The Phantom and Barnabas Collins September 1969 Takes place in 1880.
11 Barnabas Collins vs. the Warlock October 1969 A homage to Henry James' 1898 novella The Turn of the Screw, a text also used in the television series for inspiration.
12 The Peril of Barnabas Collins November 1969
Barnabas Collins in a Funny Vein December 1969 Non-fiction.
13 Barnabas Collins and the Mysterious Ghost January 1970
14 Barnabas Collins and Quentin's Demon February 1970 Introduces the character of Quentin Collins to the range. Takes place in 1895.
15 Barnabas Collins and the Gypsy Witch March 1970 Takes place in the 1890s.
16 Barnabas, Quentin and the Mummy's Curse April 1970
17 Barnabas, Quentin and the Avenging Ghost May 1970
18 Barnabas, Quentin and the Nightmare Assassin June 1970 Takes place in 1870.
19 Barnabas, Quentin and the Crystal Coffin July 1970 A homage to Edgar Allan Poe's 1844 short story The Premature Burial, a text also used in the television series for inspiration.
20 Barnabas, Quentin and the Witch's Curse August 1970 Takes place in 1900.
21 Barnabas, Quentin and the Haunted Cave September 1970 Takes place in 1690.
22 Barnabas, Quentin and the Frightened Bride October 1970 Takes place in 1920.
House of Dark Shadows October 1970 Novelisation. Several scenes cut from the film version were included. It also featured 16 pages of color photos from the film's production.
23 Barnabas, Quentin and the Scorpio Curse November 1970
24 Barnabas, Quentin and the Serpent December 1970 Takes place in 1870.
Barnabas Collins A Personal Picture Album December 1970 Non-fiction.
25 Barnabas, Quentin and the Magic Potion January 1971 This story marks a sudden shift in the characterization of Quentin Collins, whom up to this point in the range had been portrayed as an enemy of Barnabas.
26 Barnabas, Quentin and the Body Snatchers February 1971 This is the only book in the series told in the omniscient point of view. It also features a rare appearance by Julia Hoffman. As suggested by its title, a homage to Jack Finney's 1955 science fiction novel The Body Snatchers.
27 Barnabas, Quentin and Dr. Jekyll's Son April 1971 As suggested by its title, a homage to Robert Louis Stevenson's 1886 novella Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, a text also used in the television series for inspiration. Takes place in 1908.
28 Barnabas, Quentin and the Grave Robbers June 1971 Takes place in 1930.
29 Barnabas, Quentin and the Sea Ghost August 1971 It features a rare appearance by Julia Hoffman and Professor Stokes.
30 Barnabas, Quentin and the Mad Magician October 1971
31 Barnabas, Quentin and the Hidden Tomb December 1971 Takes place in 1866.
32 Barnabas, Quentin and the Vampire Beauty March 1972

References[edit]

Notes

External links[edit]