The Contested Castle: Gothic Novels and the Subversion of Domestic Ideology
The Gothic novel emerged out of the romantic mist alongside a new conception of the home as a separate sphere for women. Looking at novels from Horace Walpole's Castle of Otranto to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Kate Ferguson Ellis investigates the relationship between these two phenomena of middle-class culture - the idealization of the home and the popularity of the Gothic - and explores how both male and female authors used the Gothic novel to challenge the false claim of home as a safe, protected place. Linking terror - the most important ingredient of the Gothic novel - to acts of transgression, Ellis shows how houses in Gothic fiction imprison those inside them, while those locked outside wander the earth plotting their return and their revenge.
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