John Yonge Akerman (12 Jun 1806 - 18 Nov 1873) was an English antiquarian and author, specializing in numismatics. He also wrote as J. Y. Akerman and "Paul Pindar."
In his youth he was secretary to several important people and organizations. In 1834, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Antiquaries, and in 1836 started the Numismatic Journal. He was an active antiquarian until his health declined in 1860.
He wrote historical fiction and nonfiction, and some horror.
Horror fiction includes ...
Two former friends clash violently over the love of a woman; the victor falls victim to supernatural vengeance. Or does he?
- Cock Fight: Richard basically forces George into a sword fight and then kills him.
- Framing Device: An unnamed narrator, presumably J. Y. Akerman himself, is shown "a small quarto volume" by a friend who was bequeathed it by a physician, relating the Nested Story written down by a man named Richard who had been committed to an insane asylum for thirty years. The Framing Device implicitly takes place sometime in early Victorian Britain, during the 1840's or early 1850's; the Nested Story 30-50 years earlier, in the 1790's to 1810's, which is to say Regency England.
- Imaginary Love Triangle: There is no evidence that Maria returns Richard's love, and significant evidence that she does return George's. Most notably, she gives George the titular miniature of herself, which in 18th-19th century terms was a love-gift indicating serious romantic interest.
- Love Makes You Crazy: Richard's explanation for why he murdered his friend over Maria. The readers have reason to suspect that Richard's sanity was only so-so even before he fell for Maria.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: There is no actual evidence that the ghost of George returned to avenge his death. And Richard is clearly insane. He might have hallucinated the haunting.
- Might Makes Right: Richard's implicit theory behind dueling George for Maria.
- Murder the Hypotenuse: Richard kills his friend George. Technically this happens in a sword duel, but there was only an informal and dishonorable "challenge," no opportunity to accept or refuse, no seconds or doctor — in short, even the folk of Regency England would have considered this at least second-degree homicide.
- Nested Story: The tale told by Richard ("Dick" to his friend) in the manuscript he wrote in the insane asylum. Based on textual evidence, it takes place sometime around the 1790's to 1810's, Regency England.
- No Ending: "The reader will probably supply the sequel to this sad story." Justified Trope, as Richard is insane and his manuscript breaks off into incoherent ramblings; and it's obvious that he was committed to an asylum for the murder of George, and that Maria was heartbroken.
- Psychological Horror: Whether or not you believe that the ghost of George was real, the undeniable fact is that Richard went mad with jealousy over Maria's love for George, and murdered his former best friend, and that Richard in the end was so obviously crazy that he was committed to a madhouse.
- Unreliable Narrator: Richard wrote the manuscript in an insane asylum, and his behavior is by his own account more than a little crazy even for a Regency buck.
- Villain Protagonist: Reading between the lines of the Nested Story, Richard is despicable. He falls madly in love with his cousin Maria, who offers no sign of returning any romantic interest, and then murders (under a flimsy form of a fair duel) his former best friend George when it becomes obvious that Maria is seriously in love with George.