Love, Mystery and Misery: Feeling in Gothic Fiction (Bloomsbury Academic Collections: English Literary Criticism) by Coral Ann Howells, Bloomsbury Academic, 2014. Info: bloomsbury.com.
"The current Gothic revival in literature and film encourages us to look again to the earliest Gothic novels written beween 1790 and 1820, when Gothic was the most popular kind of fiction in England. Dr. Howells proposes a radical reassessment of these novels to emphasize their importance as experiments in imaginative writing. Her object, the study of feeling, is central to Gothic, for its spell consists in the feelings it arouses and exercises. As pseudo-historical fantasy, Gothic fiction embodies contemporary neuroses, especially sexual fears and repressions, which run right through it and are basic to its conventions. This study traces the effort to articulate these disconcerting emotions in symbol, incident, landscape and architecture. The chronological design suggests developments in Gothic, from the initial explorations of Mrs Radcliffe and M.G. Lewis, through the Minerva Press novelists and Jane Austen’s ‘Northanger Abbey’, to new directions taken by C.R. Maturin in ‘Melmoth the Wanderer’ and later by Charlotte Bronte whose ‘Jane Eyre’, arguably the finest of Gothic novels, places the earlier experiments in perspective."
I. Gothic Themes, Values, Techniques
II. Ann Radcliffe, The Mysteries of Udolpho
III. M. G. Lewis, The Monk
IV. Minerva Press Fiction, 1796-1819: Regina Maria Roche, The Children of the Abbey and Mary-Anne Radcliffe, Manfroné; or The One-Handed Monk
V. Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey
VI. C.R. Maturin, Melmoth the Wanderer
VII. Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre
Selective List of Gothic Novels
The excellent folks over at the Guardian have put together a handy guide for figuring out whether you’re reading a gothic novel: Scary eyed villain? Virginal, fainting heroine? Spooky castle? Ghost? YES PLEASE! Also, now I REALLY need to read The Mysteries of Udolpho.
Image via Guardian Books
“They look only vaguely at you - at the ghost who has been haunting them.”
from The Hanging Garden
"Then she turned, to do the expected things, before re-entering her actual sphere of life."
from The Solid Mandala
”[‘The air will tell us,’ Miss Trevelyan said.]
By which time she had grown hoarse, and fell to wondering aloud whether she had brought her lozenges.”
"So that, in the end, there was no end."
from The Tree of Man
- Library clerk: Hi, what can I do for you?
- Me: I'd like to check out these DVDs. Also I owe some money.
- Library clerk: Well, the first step is admitting you have a problem.
Portrait of a young girl (1850). Eugène de Blaas (Austrian, 1843-1932). Oil on canvas.
The most frequently handled subjects in de Blaas’ art are Venetian women who are striking in their youthful and unadorned beauty. He depicts them with photographic realism and a high finish. De Blass typically found inspiration in the everyday lives of ordinary folk and his art mirrors the tenderness and affinity he feels for them.
Portrait of a Woman, Perhaps Madame Claude Lambert de Thorigny (Marie Marguerite Bontemps, 1668–1701), 1696. Nicolas de Largillierre (French, 1656-1746). Oil on canvas. MMOA.
The sitter is traditionally identified as the wife of Claude Lambert de Thorigny, president of the Chambre des Comptes and owner of the Hôtel Lambert on the Île Saint-Louis in Paris. The painting has an airy quality that is unusual for the artist, while the delicate elaboration of the jewelry and the embroidery on the dress are typical.