The Gothic Novel in English Literature: c1764-1826 Some examples



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The Gothic Novel in English Literature: c1764-1826
Some examples
Horace Walpole, The Castle of Otranto (1764)

Clare Reeve, The Champion of Virtue (1777)

William Beckford, Vathek (1786)

Matthew Lewis, The Monk (1795)

Ann Radcliffe, The Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne (1789); A Sicilian Romance: A Highland Story (1790); The Romance of the Forest (1792); The Mysteries of Udolpho: A Romance (1794); The Italian: or, The Confessional of the Black Penitents (1797); Gaston de Blondeville: or, The Court of Henry III Keeping Festival in Ardennes (1826)

Mary Shelley, Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus (1818)

Charles Maturin, Melmoth the Wanderer (1820)
Some characteristics and elements of Gothic novels
Production of terror and awe

The supernatural } May be explained or naturalised in later works

The mysterious }

Confinement

Excess

Transgression



The sensational (and implausible)

Usually set in the past (originally the mediaeval period, hence Gothic)

Usually set abroad, often in a Catholic country

A character with a past, often brooding, usually male

An evil character who imprisons and/or wrongs a good character

A victim, usually female

A rescuer, usually male

A selection from: graveyards; tombs; catacombs’; skeletons; ghosts; portraits; castles; dungeons; towers; oubliettes; mountains; moonlight; storms; resemblances; coincidences; dreams; blood.



The sublime


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