The Gothic Quest - A History of the Gothic Novel

The Gothic quest; a history of the Gothic novel.
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https://siosufejubum.gq/love-is-blind.php In: Wallace D and Smith A eds. The Female Gothic: New Directions. Palgrave Macmillan: New York. Critical Survey ; 4 1 : 3—8. Hogle J Introduction: The Gothic in western culture. In: Hogle J ed. The Cambridge Companion to Gothic Fiction. Horner A and Zlosnik S Introduction. In: Horner A and Zlosnik S eds. Women and the Gothic: An Edinburgh Companion. Jacobs E Eighteenth-century British circulating libraries and cultural book history. Book History ; 6 , 1— In: Pohl N and Schellenberg B eds.

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Reconsidering the Bluestockings. Women's Writing ; 18 3 : — Mathias TJ The pursuits of literature. Available through opac. Milbank A Female gothic. In: Mulvey-Roberts M ed. The Handbook to Gothic Literature. In: Punter D ed. A companion to the Gothic. Blackwell: Oxford. Moers E Literary Women. Doubleday: New York. Routledge: London.

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Leicester University Press: London. Eighteenth-Century Studies ; 17 2 : — Oxford University Press: Oxford. In: Townshend D and Wright A eds. Ann Radcliffe, Romanticism, and the Gothic. Arno: New York. Scott Sir W Lives of the Novelists. Gothic Studies ; 6 1 : 1—6. Weidenfeld and Nicolson: London. Russell and Russell: New York. In: Hoeveler D and Heller T eds.

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Skip to main content. Subjects History Literature. In their introductory essay, Horner and Zlosnik suggest that: Despite the considerable economic, social, and legal progress at least in the Western world made by women, Gothic texts still convey anxiety and anger about the lot of women. Data availability Data sharing is not applicable to this paper as no datasets were analysed or generated. References Anonymous. I may perhaps remark that this present work was originally planned, and in great part actually written as long as five and twenty years ago.

The Mysterious Warning was privately printed. It was inevitable that the Gothic Romance should attract the attention of the academic and the amateur, and that itching pens should rush in to attack this theme. The majority of such studies are obviously crammed stuff; hastily conceived, ill directed, badly written theses, a deplorably jejune output of the Universities.

Moreover, as was pointed out in a notice of what is probably quite the worst and most feckless of these dissertations reviewed in The Times Literary Supplement , May 17th, , our undergraduates and sophomores are hampered, and something more than hampered, by the fact that they have not access to sufficient material, and in consequence such tiros are apt to analyse in extenso some quite negligible novel whilst they ignore, because they have no knowledge of, romances which are really significant and historically important.

In refreshing contrast to these banalities we welcome such a work as Mr. Reynolds; nay, even later yet in the romances of Malcolm J. The Gothic Novel with its romantic unrealities, its strange beauties, its very extravagances—if you will—was to a great extent the Novel of Escape from the troubles and carking cases of everyday life. Men wearied of fiction which, clever and pointed as the strokes might be, presented too nearly the world almost as they saw it around them.

Sidney Bidulph and Lady Barton were found to be distressing; the heroines of Mrs. Lennox, Henrietta and Euphemia; Mrs. The novel of real life to achieve complete success must have mingled with it something of surprise, something of romance. There was nobody more adroit in supplying this blend than Mrs. Charlotte Smith. Smith has presented her rambling old Hampshire mansion, its mysterious sights and sounds, its antique and deserted rooms, its secret passages haunted by smugglers, an estate so imperiously ruled by a high and haughty chatelaine, Mrs.

Rayland, the last daughter of a long and lordly line, with as fully Gothic a flavour as though it were a frowning castle in the awful heart of the Apennines or an eyrie convent in the remotest Abruzzi where some harsh and despot abbess held sovran sway, unquestioned and uncontrolled. Celestina , Montalbert , Mrs. The novel of domestic life with its Richardsonian sensibilities and the didactic novel of course persisted, nor would it be difficult to quote not a few important names, as, for instance, Mrs.

Parsons, Mrs. Roche, Lathom, even Maturin, who it has been said so amply earned his title to the Headship of the School of Terror, and many more but not, be it noted, Mrs. Radcliffe , wrote domestic as well as romantic tales.

Elements of the Gothic Novel

Yet if served with Gothic sauce the domestic novel was generally considered far more appetizing fare. The explanation is that both at home and abroad dark shadows were lowering; the times were difficult, full of anxiety and unrest; there was a sense of dissatisfaction to-day and of apprehension for the morrow; there were wars and rumours of wars.

Readers sought some counter-excitement, and to many the novel became a precious anodyne. The modern public has been frankly debauched by a surfeit of crime fiction and Thrillers, which belie their very name and fail most lamentably in their function, since for the most part they are of the lineage of The Lady Flabella , and there is not a line in them, from beginning to end, which could, by the most remote contingency, awaken the smallest excitement in any person breathing. I do not speak of the spate of nameless scribblers, but I have in mind detective novels and thrillers by authors who are brazenly boosted and boomed, and I believe that there is no uglier symptom to-day than the shameless blazoning of such unhealthy and unwholesome rubbish.

These novels are unhealthy and unwholesome not because of their subjects, however coarse and crude, but because they are bad to rottenness in their conception, in their execution, in their presentation. The spineless detective novel, the thriller which cannot thrill, are the most useless, the most worthless and most boring books of any sort or kind. I may perhaps claim to have read a very fair number of Gothic romances, but so far as my knowledge extends not even the poorest and most erratic novel of that school sinks to a bathos within measurable distance of the dull draff which amongst us is so puffed and advertised amain.

Setting aside such masterpieces as The Woman in White and The Moonstone , no small pleasure may be derived from mystery and detective novels of the second or even the third rate. This candid acknowledgement of weakness, for it is a weakness, will make it plain that so far from having any sort of prejudice against detective novels, I can enjoy them with gusto.

The good thriller is most excellent fare. To-day the good detective novels which I light upon are few and far between. The bad detective novels, the bad thrillers which flood the land, I nauseate and abhor as the ultimate degradation of letters. Even in England alone so vast is the field that an explorer may well hesitate before he ventures. The present work in fine is the outcome of more than forty years of reading Gothic romances, and more than thirty years of definite concentration and research, a labour, not light, but of love, often and seriously interrupted by duty and inquiry in other fields.

The quantity of Gothic material alone at once presents a Gordian dilemma. Either in the endeavour to cover all the ground a writer will show himself superficial and thin; or else he must select, and that somewhat arbitrarily, whence his plan will be open to criticism, facile enough yet not always easy to answer. This latter method, since a choice had to be made, I have preferred, although fully conscious that such an approach is not without difficulties and drawbacks, which must be as far as possible obviated and counterchecked.

In a second volume, then, I propose to treat in detail the work of Mrs. Radcliffe, Mrs. Charlotte Smith, Mrs. Roche, Mrs.

The Gothic Quest - A History of the Gothic Novel

Meeke, Mrs. Helme, Mrs. Yorke, Catherine Ward, and very many more, the central place being, of course, held by "the mighty magician of The Mysteries of Udolpho. In the present volume I have elected to deal mainly with those aspects of Gothic Romance which in some sense find their fullest expression in the work of that most notable and significant figure, Matthew Gregory Lewis. One reason, perhaps, which inclined me to this course is that whilst both Mrs. Radcliffe and Maturin have formed the subject of particular studies, there is no work if we except the hundred-year-old and not very satisfactory Life and Correspondence of M.

Lewis which concentrates upon Lewis alone, and Lewis not merely in his literary output but in his life is a character of extraordinary interest, and, I will add of an influence that is not exhausted even to-day. It may not be unfitting to remind ourselves that his fantasticisms, his absurdities if you will, were those of his time from which no man can wholly scape, that his power and his genius were his own, and of a quality to which both Scott and Byron bore testimony with no uncertain meed of praise.

Shelley said that Lewis at times did not seem to believe in them, but this scepticism was very superficial, for bold as he might be in the broad daylight, when darkness and loneliness fell the Monk obviously thought more respectfully of the world of shadows. Lewis certainly confided to Byron that before any important crisis in his life, especially before any untoward happening, he was visited as in warning by the shade of his brother Barrington.

In Chapter V I have quoted, as Medwin reports, two ghost stories which Lewis was wont to relate, and, there can be no reason to doubt, which he firmly believed, the haunted house at Mannheim and the Florentine lovers.

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Of these, three as is known from other sources are absolutely authentic. For the tales themselves see Mrs. It gives me great pleasure to thank Mr. Michael Sadleir, a high authority upon the Gothic Novel as in many other fields of literature, for so courteously permitting me to quote in Chapter II from his published work. Especially am I indebted to him for his kindness in bringing to my notice and supplying me in regard to these points with many new and important details, which he has established in the course of his more recent investigations. The anonymous author of An Epistle in Rhyme to M.

G Lewis , , writes:. Radcliffe, who was indeed a painter in words, used to name Salvator Rosa and Claude Lorraine as her favourite artists. Chapters on both these masters will be found in Mr. The claims put forward by the Surrealists that their new movement is influenced by and draws vital inspiration from the Gothic romance are sufficiently surprising to necessitate an inquiry into the significance and quality of this connexion—if indeed any such there be.

I have accordingly added a brief survey of the arguments they urge in support of their contention, and attempted to arrive at some understanding of their aims and principles. To Mons. Maurice Heine, a great authority upon le roman noir, I desire to express my heartiest thanks for the time and trouble he has so generously given to discussing with me the influence of the Gothic Novel in France. I have to thank the Editor of The Connoisseur , Mr.

During the course of my work, Mr. Hector Stuart-Forbes has ungrudgingly helped me by his fruitful and valuable suggestions, by as valuable and fruitful criticism, and in many more ways beside than I am able adequately to acknowledge. As for novels, there are some I would strongly recommend, but romances infinitely more. The one is a representation of the effects of the passions as they should be, the other as they are.

The latter is falsely called nature; it is a figure of corrupt or depraved society. The other is the glow of nature. In the one case literature expresses and discusses under various shapes, as elegantly and masterly as its exponents are able, the prevailing ideas concerning the problems, material and metaphysical, of the current hour. It is a clear reflection, and brightly burnished is the mirror, of everyday life. The common man, to take a phrase from Dr. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside.

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