An Affectionate Parody
of overwrought Gothic romances by Bret Harte, Selina Sedilia
is the story of the titular Lady Selina, her rakish lover Edgardo, and so many cliches and tropes crammed into nine short chapters that an ancient, ghost-ridden Gothic mansion can barely contain all of them.
- Bit Part Bad Guys: Burke the Slogger, who is introduced in this immortal manner in Chapter III: "I be's here, measter," said the villain, with a disgracefully low accent and complete disregard of grammatical rules.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Selina is planning to marry Edgardo bigamously while keeping him ignorant of her living husband, her two legitimate and three natural children she's hidden under the western tower, and the fact that she poisoned her sister at the age of seven, threw her cousin from a swing, and drowned her lady's maid in the horse-pond. If only she knew Edgardo's history is at least as dark and troubled as her own...
- Deus ex Machina: Selina's nephew Rupert has just arrived from India, determined to prove that Selina cheated his father out of his inheritance when the parish church explodes, blowing both Selina and Edgardo sky-high, and coincidentally dropping the Parish Records (which contains the record of the marriage of Lady Selina to "Burke the Slogger") and Sir James Sedilia's missing will right in front of Rupert.
- Haunted House: Sloperton Grange, to the point where the ghost of Sir Guy Sedelia warns his great-granddaughter Selina that there is no more room for more ghosts.
- Hilarity Ensues
- Kissing Cousins: At the end, Rupert Sedilia and his cousin Alice, Selina's natural daughter.
- Regency England
- Thinking Out Loud: Selina and Edgardo both have seperate monologues in which they lament the need to hide their dark pasts from the other. The irony is that as both are vicious, amoral killers, they're perfect for each other and don't know it.
- Trainstopping: Burke the Slogger tries this by destroying the bridge, only for the train to jump the chasm and land safely on the other side, running over Burke the Slogger as it does so.