Women's Gothic: From Clara Reeve to Mary Shelley
Female writers of Gothic were hell-raisers in more than one sense: not only did they specialize in evoking scenes of horror, cruelty, and supernaturalism, but in doing so they exploded the literary conventions of the day, and laid claim to realms of the imagination hitherto reserved for men. They were rewarded with popular success, large profits, and even critical adulation. E. J. Clery's acclaimed study tells the strange but true story of women's Gothic. She identifies contemporary fascination with the operation of the passions and the example of the great tragic actress Sarah Siddons as enabling factors, and then examines in depth the careers of two pioneers of the genre, Clara Reeve and Sophia Lee, its reigning queen, Ann Radcliffe, and the daring experimentalists Joanna Baillie and Charlotte Dacre. The account culminates with Mary Shelley, whose Frankenstein (1818) has attained mythical status. Students and scholars as well as general readers will find Women's Gothic a stimulating introduction to an important literary mode.
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Clara Reeve and Sophia Lee
Joanna Baillie and Charlotte Dacre
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Adeline aesthetic ambitions Ann Radcliffe appear Athlin and Dunbayne attempt audience Baillie's Byron Carhart Castle of Otranto character Charlotte Dacre Clara Reeve crime critics Dacre's daughter death Drury Lane edition effect Ellena Ellinor Emily emotion epigraphs father fear feelings female fiction Frankenstein Gaston de Blondeville genius genre Godwin Gothic Dramas Gothic fiction Gothic writing heroine horror imagination Italian Jane Joanna Baillie Lady Macbeth Lee's Lewis Lilla literary London marry Mary Shelley Matilda mind Monfort Monk moral murder Mysteries Mysteries of Udolpho narrative narrator nature novel Old English Baron original Orra Osbert passions Percy play plot poem poet poetic poetry political portrait published Radcliffe's reader Recess Reeve's Review role Sarah Siddons scene Schedoni secret sentiment Shakespeare Shelley's Sicilian Romance Siddons's sister Sophia Lee soul story sublime supernatural tale terror theatre tragedy tragic Udolpho Victoria villain Walpole William woman women writers women's Gothic Zofloya