Bibliography: Radcliffe and the Gothic

The gothic novel is an active field of literary scholarship, and the present list is quite selective, concentrating on relatively recent works and works particularly relevant to the novels of Ann Radcliffe. There are several on-line sites that deal extensively with the Gothic and its bibliography. [Topics illustrated by snippets from Gothic novels and secondary materials. Useful annotated bibliography (annotations by students).] [Includes a variety of materials and a selected bibliography, but the substance is rather thin. Useful for its links to other sites (under "resources").] [A very compendious bibliography of recent works on Gothic authors from the eighteenth-century to the present (including Ann Radcliffe), but annotation is spotty and the list is not easy to use.]

Bernstein, Stephen. "Form and Ideology in the Gothic Novel." Essays in Literature 18.2 (Fall 1991): 151-65. [Argues that so-called Gothic novels of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries need to be distinguished from the eighteenth-century variety, and applies the insights of Todorov, Foucault, Gramsci, Althusser, and Habermas to the earlier variety. Written in critspeak: "The reading subject in pursuit of narrative truth becomes the panoptically scrutinized subject interpellated into social institutionalization."]

Bronfen, Elizabeth. "Hysteria, Phantasy and the Family Romance in Ann Radcliffe'ss Romance of the Forest. Women's Writing: Elizabethan to Victorian Period 1.2 (1994): 171-80. [A psychological reading of Romance. Adeline's trauma is the loss of her parents, and she ultimately ends it by reconstructing her family history. In the meantime, her dreams and hallucinations, based on that unresolved trauma, are a form of hysteria, "the somatisation of conflictual unconscious representation." Analyzes Adeline's dreams in psychological terms.]

Bruhn, Steven. Gothic Bodies: The Politics of Pain in Romantic Fiction. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1984. [On the political implications of pain as spectacle. Radcliffe's heroines feel an imagined pain that (positively) connects them to the outside world, the human community, but (negatively) renders them vulnerable to the violence of evil aggressors.]

Castle, Terry. "The Spectralization of the Other in The Mysteries of Udolpho." In The Female Thermometer: Eighteenth-Century Culture and the Invention of the Uncanny. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995. 120-39. [Although Castle's discussion is limited to Udolpho, it raises important and influential points about Radcliffe and the Gothic in general. Famous for explaining the apparently supernatural, Radcliffe displaces it to the ordinary world, which is described in the language of the supernatural. The shift reflects a new sensibility of romantic individualism in which other people become ghostly-a modern sense of the haunted consciousness, the spectralization of the other. Uses the work of historian Philippe Ariès to argue that Radcliffe represents a change in cultural attitudes towards death and the afterlife. Subjective spectralization of the dead implies spectralization of the living as well.]

Clery, E. J. The Rise of Supernatural Fiction, 1762-1800. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995. [Traces the relationship between the emerging representation of the supernatural in novels and the growth of commercialization, especially in the book market. Radcliffe is notable for explaining the supernatural: "In the novels of Radcliffe and others of her school, supernatural suggestions are typically formed in the heroine's imagination like an imprint of the arbitrary excesses of patriarchy."]

--. Women's Gothic: From Clara Reeve to Mary Shelley. Morndon, Devon: Northcote, 2000. [The introduction interestingly connects the rise of the female Gothic with the success of the actress Sarah Siddons (especially as Lady Macbeth). The chapter on Radcliffe asserts that The Romance of the Forest is "a fascinating novel of ideas" whose sensitive and lively heroine exemplifies "female genius" and whose central interest lies in "the perpetual overlapping of dream and reality."

Cottom, Daniel. The Civilized Imagination: A Study of Ann Radcliffe, Jane Austen, and Sir Walter Scott. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985. [Landscape in Radcliffe's novels has particular importance in characterizing individuals, in linking them to their environments, and (for the reader) in transcending language. The dramatic structure of the novels subverts bourgeois values.]

Durant, David. "Ann Radcliffe and the Conservative Gothic." Studies in English Literature 22.3 (Summer 1982): 519-30. [Radcliffe is a conservative instance of a genre generally thought to be radical. Her novels follow a pattern in which domestic harmony breaks down, forcing the heroine's flight into danger, from which she is rescued and restored to harmony, rejecting the Gothic definition of the word as irrational. (But both Radcliffe's novels and the politics of the 1790s were more ambiguous than this argument assumes.)

Ellis, Kate Ferguson. "Ann Radcliffe and the Perils of Catholicism." Women's Writing: The Elizabethan to Victorian Period 102 (1994): 161-69. [In England former monastic abbeys became domestic houses (as in Jane Austen). The Gothic reverses the sequence by transferring domestic problems onto a Catholic past and by resolving them through women's ownership of property and through a rational deism.]

--. The Contested Castle: Gothic Novels and the Subversion of Domestic Ideology. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1989. [Not seen, but often cited.]

Frank, Frederick S. The First Gothics: A Critical Guide to the English Gothic Novel. New York: Garland, 1987. [Summarizes the plots of 500 late eighteenth-century and early nineteenth-century Gothic novels.]

--. Guide to the Gothic: An Annotated Bibliography of Criticism. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow, 1984.

--. Guide to the Gothic II: An Annotated Bibliography of Criticism, 1983-93. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow, 1995. [Useful bibliographical guides, with entries for general treatments of the Gothic, for individual authors (British and American), and for special subjects.]

Garrett, Jahn. Gothic Strains and Bourgeois Sentiments in the Novels of Mrs. Ann Radcliffe and her Imitators. New York: Arno, 1980. [Reprint of 1983 dissertation. Concentrates on heroines in the novels of Radcliffe and five imitators (Elizabeth Helme, Isabella Kelly, Mary Meeke, Eliza Parsons, and Regina Maria Roche). Radcliffe's novels "represent not only the finest flowering of the Gothic novel, but also the final statement of Augustine optimism."]

Graham, Kenneth W., ed. Gothic Fictions: Prohibition / Transgression. New York: AMS, 1989. [Collects original essays on the Gothic by various authors: four general essays; Syndy M Conger on Radcliffe's Italian and Lewis's Monk; Corell Ann Howells on 'subtle transgressions" in The Mysteries of Udolpho and The Italian; Kenneth Graham on The Mysteries of Udolpho; and James Thompson in Caleb Williams.]

Grove, Allen W. "Sexual Chaos: The Gothic 'Formula" and the Politics of Complexity," In Disrupted Patterns: On Chaos and Disorder in the Enlightenment, ed. Theodore E. D. Braun and John A. McCarthy. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2000. 107-18. [Argues that traditional binary patterns (male and female Gothic, Radcliffean and Lewisian, heterosexual and homosexual) do not account for the complexities of sex and gender in the Gothic. Because the Gothic formula is independent of individual novels, chaos theory implies that repeated elements of that formula signify illicit sexual relations that cannot be represented. The Italian is an example.]

Haeveler, Diane Long. Gothic Feminism: The Professionalization of Gender from Charlotte Smith to the Brontes. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1998. [A chapter on Radcliffe's early novels points out that Adeline is "a fetish of femininity, an exchange commodity passed between powerful men who use her as a pawn in their own vaguely homosocial schemes." She is a typically Gothic heroine who "lives forever in the art of experience deferred, . . . forever in the act of becoming someone."]

Holland, Norman and Leone F. Sherman. "Gothic Possibilities." In Gender and Reading: Essays on Readers, Texts, and Contexts. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986. [Rejecting the abstract reader created by Iser, Fish, Riffaterre, and others, the authors exchange subjective readings of The Mysteries of Udolpho and especially its image of the castle. In so doing, they are in danger of becoming constructed instances of gendered (male and female) readers.]

Howard, Jacqueline. Reading Gothic Fiction: A Bakhtinian Approach. Oxford: Clarendon, 1994. [A thoughtful application of Bakhtin's theories to the Gothic novel, emphasizing is multi-voicedness (and pointing out that multivoicedness does not imply completely open interpretation). That multivoicedness particularly includes "each text's intertextual relations with literary and non-literary texts which are chronologically prior." In Udolpho Radcliffe advocates bourgeois values of reason, restraint, and obediance, but by giving "authority to women's assertiveness, perceptional and creative powers, Udolpho can be said to disturb unquestioning acceptance of an upper-middle-class patriarchal, social, and cultural order.]

Kilgour, Maggie. The Rise of the Gothic Novel. London and New York: Routledge, 1995. [The Gothic embodies a nostalgia for the past, "a reading of history as a dialectical process of alienation and restoration, dismembering and remembering, a version of the secularised myth of fall and return." Sees Radcliffe as a conservative Gothicist: the disappointment of early readers at her rational explanations of the supernatural is echoed by modern disappointment at the "apparent confirmation of a conservative ideology of powerless and stagnant femininity." But Emily's black veil (in Udolpho) is "an appropriate image for Radcliffe's novel and its cloaking of the world." Looks at the Udolpho-Monk-Italian sequence, with lengthy discussions of each novel.]

McNutt, Day J. The Eighteenth Century Gothic Novel: An Annotated Bibliography of Criticism and Selected Texts. New York: Garland, 1975. [Included annotated entries on various relevant topics and on individual authors (Walpole, Reeve, Radcliffe, Lewis, and Beckford). The secondary material covered ranges from contemporary reactions to the early 1970s. (34 listings for Radcliffe.)]

Miles, Robert. Ann Radcliffe the Great Enchantress. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1995. [Chapters on biographical, aesthetic, and historical background introduce separate chapters on the early novels and the three major ones. The reading of Romance in terms of Freudian and Laconian psychology splits the female Gothic plot into the search for the absent mother and the flight from the present father.. Caught in the defining frame of patriarchal culture, the heroine turns inward.]

--. Gothic Writing 1750-1820: A Genealogy. London and New York: Routledge, 1993. [Uses "genealogy" in the sense defined by Foucault-a dialogue among novels, but a dialogue "energized by the power implicit in discourse." Sees the Gothic as "a discursive site, a 'carnavalesque' mode for representations of the fragmented subject." Uses Foucault (primarily) and Lawrence Stone (secondarily) to historicize the Gothic in terms of the history of sexuality. "The Gothic aesthetic incorporates an idealized national identity together with a myth of origin," but issues of gender are also deeply inscribed (and seen in terms of philosophical background). Argues that "the very passivity of a Radcliffe text is at the centre of its most radical features." The heroine, as in the case of Adeline, is haunted by the secrets of the lost father. The heroine is "pushed back from the unspeakable to an imagination haunted by phantoms." Includes a chapter on the Gothic in Northanger Abbey.]

Murray, E. B. Ann Radcliffe. New York: Twayne, 1972. [Introductory chapters on Radcliffe and on the early Gothic are followed by critical readings of each of the novels. The chapter on The Romance of the Forest emphasizes the techniques by which Radcliffe develops suspense. Murray has little to say about the actual content or ideas of the novel, and his formalist reading is now seriously out-of-date.]

Napier, Elizabeth R. The Failure of the Gothic: Problems of Disjunction in an Eighteenth-Century Literary Form. New York: Oxford University Press, 1986. [Some critical interpretations overstate the aesthetic merit of the Gothic. The problem of the form was its tendency to emotional as well as intellectual simplicity, preventing "the complex response of ambivalence that the form ideally demands." Includes chapters on The Castle of Otronto, The Mysteries of Udolpho, The Monk, and The Italian.]

Norton, Rictor. Mistress of Udolpho The Life of Ann Radcliffe. London: Leicester University Press, 1999. [The biographical problem for Radcliffe is lack of evidence, but Norton, in the first full-scale biography of her, has uncovered much and is able to assert that Radcliffe's unitarian background, radical sympathies, and literary sophistication made her aware of the feminist implications of her novels. Its treatment of The Romance of the Forest is particularly strong on sources (especially Rousseau) and sees the novel as a Künstlerroman, with Adeline as its developing poet.]

Ogée, Frédéric. "Les songes d'Adeline: quelques remarques sur les lieux du gothique dans The Romance of the Forest d'Ann Radcliffe." Caliban 33 (1996): 29-42. [Discusses the metaphorical significance of Gothic scenes: the isolated house, the forest, the abbey, the chateau of the Marquis, and its garden. (Oddly, it does not discuss the Savoy scenes.) These create the atmosphere of mysterious and threatening uncertainty. The abbey itself signifies the persistence of the irrational and of religious emotion.]

Paulson, Ronald. "Gothic Fiction and the French Revolution." ELH 48.3 (Fall 1981): 532-54. [Gothic novels reflect the fear of disorder, violence, and the mob that England experienced in the 1790s as a result of the revolution in France. While The Castle of Otronto reflected the values of the ancien régime, The Monk represented (on an individual level) the threatening liberation of the revolution. But the political force of the Jacobin novel joins with the Gothic in Caleb Williams. Elaborate plots, like history, slip out of control. Sexual energies break the barriers separating the natural from the supernatural. Frankenstein provides a summary and retrospective of the revolution.]

Punter, David, ed. A Companion to the Gothic. Oxford: Blackwell, 2000. [A collection of twenty-four essays-on backgrounds, on the "original" (i.e., eighteenth-century) Gothic, on later developments, on theory and genre, and on "the continuing debate." Robert Miles (41-57) sees the contrast of Radcliffe to Lewis as that of feminism to homosexuality, of the politics of class to the politics of identity. Chris Bardick and Robert Mighall usefully characterize the tendencies of "Gothic criticism" (209-28). Kate Ferguson Ellis analyzes the critical treatment of the gothic heroine (with substantial discussion of The Romance of the Forest).]

--. A Literature of Terror: A History of Gothic Fiction from 1765 to the Present Day. 2 vols. London: Longman, 1996. [Not seen, but often cited. The eighteenth-century Gothic is treated in Volume 1.]

Rogers, Deborah D. Ann Radcliffe: A Bio-Bibliography. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1996. [A brief and unoriginal biographical sketch is followed by an annotated bibliography of editions and translations, early reviews, nineteenth-century criticism, twentieth-century critical essays, boos, dissertations, and bibliographies. The annotations are useful (and have occasionally guided my own).]

--. The Critical Response to Ann Radcliffe. London: Greenwood, 1994. [Collects documents such as reviews, letters, and critical assessments. The introduction surveys critical responses to Radcliffe.]

Spector, Robert Donald. The English Gothic: A Bibliographic Guide to Writers from Horace Walpole to Mary Shelley. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1984. [Descriptive essays on the reception of Gothic authors and on scholarship about them are followed by lists of secondary material (through the early 1980s) on each author. Essays on paired authors: Walpole and Reeve, Smith and Radcliffe, Lewis and Beckford, Maturin and Shelley.]

Watt, James. Contesting the Gothic: Fiction, Genre and Cultural Conflict, 1764-1832. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999. [There were various kinds of Gothic romances, and these reflected different ideologies and alternative views of the genre, as illustrated by discussions of (among others) The Castle of Otronto, The Monk, the novels of Radcliffe, and the Waverley novels of Scott.

Williams, Anne. Art of Darkness: A Poetics of Gothic. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995. [Argues that the Gothic is a poetic tradition inseparable from the Romantic but divided into "male" and "female" genres. Radcliffe is most relevant to the female genre, which undermined the fundamental principles of patriarchy. "Male Gothic differs from the female formula in narrative technique, in its assumptions about the supernatural, and in plot." But most feminist readings of the Gothic neglect "its constructive and empowering function for its female readers." The heroine of the female Gothic is seen as Psyche in the telling of Cupid and Psyche by Apuleius; Emily in The Mysteries of Udolpho embodies the figure of Psyche. "The plot of Udolpho (and the Female Gothic plot in general) is a narrative of disclosure and reparation."]

Winter, Kari J. "Sexual / Textual Politics of Terror: Writing and Rewriting the Gothic Genre in the 1790s." In Misogyny in Literature, ed. Katherine Anne Ackley. New York: Garland, 1992. [Gothic novels are about fear: in the male Gothic the fear of the other (e.g., women), in the female Gothic the fear of patriarchal entrapment.]

Wolff, Cynthia Griffin. "The Radcliffean Gothic Model: A Form for Female Sexuality." Modern Language Studies 9.3 (1979): 98-113. Rpt. in The Female Gothic, ed. Juliann E. Fleenor. Montreal: Eden, 1983. 207-23. [Radcliffe's accomplishment was to create a set of conventions for female sexual expression, alternative to the masculine pattern of lover, virgin, whore, and rival. The reader "pictures herself as trapped between the demands of two sorts of men-a 'chaste' lover and a 'demon' lover-each of whom is a reflection of one portion of her own longing. Her rite of passage takes the form of 1) proclaiming her right to preside as mistress over the gothic structure and 2) deciding which man (which form of 'love') may penetrate its recesses." Later examples include Northanger Abbey, Jane Eyre, and Looking for Mr. Goodbar.]

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