The Gothic aesthetic
Imagination, originality, terror
in Gothic documents
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This chapter contains collection of texts between 1670 and 1826 connected with the Gothic Aesthetic. A rash of translations from the German in the early 1790s, including Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller's novella The Ghost-Seer, had a decisive impact on the development of Gothic fiction in Britain. Ann Radcliffe's final work of fiction, Gaston de Blondeville, was published posthumously in 1826. This was first published separately in the New Monthly Magazine, as an independent essay in aesthetic theory. It suggests the continuing importance of Shakespeare, and contemporary methods of staging his plays, as an example for modern writers employing effects of terror, specifically the supernatural. The originality of William Collins's Ode lies in the fact that personified Fear is positively wooed rather than avoided by the aspiring poet. It can be measured against another, far more conventional, 'Ode to Fear' by Andrew Erskine.

Gothic documents

A sourcebook 1700–1820

Editors: E.J. Clery and Robert Miles

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