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A sourcebook 1700–1820
Editors: E.J. Clery and Robert Miles

The aim of this book is to make available a body of texts connected with the cultural phenomenon known as Gothic writing. The book includes many of the critical writings and reviews which helped to constitute Gothic as a distinct genre, by revisions of the standards of taste, by critique and by outright attack. Together, this material represents a substantial part of the discursive hinterland of Gothic. The chapters on supernaturalism, on the aesthetics of Gothic, and on opposition to Gothic contain a number of the standard references in any history of the genre. They are juxtaposed with other more novel items of journalism, religious propaganda, folk tradition, non-fictional narrative, poetry and so on. The book also includes chapters on the politics of Gothic, before and after the French Revolution. Therefore, it includes extracts from Tacitus and Montesquieu, the authorities that eighteenth-century commentators most often referred to. The story of Britain's Gothic origins, although implicitly progressivist, was to be re-fashioned in the cultural and sociological theories critical of modern society: that vital eighteenth-century trend known as primitivism. The book also broadly covers the period from the height of the Gothic vogue (in the mid-1790s) to the mid-nineteenth century. The author hopes that the book will encourage students to follow new routes, make new connections, and enable them to read set works on the syllabus in more adventurous and historically informed ways.

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Shakespeare and the supernatural
Victoria Bladen and Yan Brailowsky

Supernatural elements constitute a significant dimension of Shakespeare's plays: ghosts haunt political spaces and internal psyches; witches foresee the future and disturb the present; fairies meddle with love; natural portents and dreams foreshadow events; and a magus conjures a tempest from the elements. These aspects contribute to the dramatic power and intrigue of the plays, whether they are treated in performance with irony, comedic effect or unsettling gravity. Although Shakespeare's plays were written and performed for early modern

in Shakespeare and the supernatural
Sermons and the supernatural in post-Reformation Scotland
Michelle D. Brock

light of the Gospell grew clear: and its ominous-like, that Devill is yet coming in some houses speaking, disputing; and if it be thus, it appears he has taken the musell off his mouth again; And o but this is a sad matter; for ye may read when the Lord departed from Saul, The Devill entered into him. 1 This sermon, though remarkable in some respects, typifies the ways in which we find Scottish ministers incorporating the supernatural into their sermons. Throughout, the true source of power, supernatural or otherwise, is God, who is both bearer of judgement

in The supernatural in early modern Scotland
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Supernatural storms, equivocal earthquakes
Gwilym Jones

Witchcraft is in itself much more terrible in its theatrical effect than the most absurd dogmas of religion; that which is unknown, or created by supernatural intelligence, awakens fear and terror to the highest degree: in every religious system whatever, terror is carried only to a certain length

in Shakespeare’s storms
Supernatural generation and the limits of power in Shakespeare’s Richard III
Chelsea Phillips

The maternal body was a site for the intersection of the natural and supernatural worlds in early modern England. 1 In part this was because ‘maternal and midwiving bodies delivered both ordinary, earthly matter and a miracle deserving of reverence.’  2 It was also attributable in part to the mysteries surrounding the maternal body's biology. Ruled by nature, divine in pattern, the generative body was ‘a site of imagination and contest

in Shakespeare and the supernatural
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Gardens, religious tradition and ecoGothic exegesis in Algernon Blackwood’s ‘The Lost Valley’ and ‘The Transfer’
Christopher M. Scott

at the heart of Blackwood's supernatural landscapes. Blackwood's characters are attracted to the horror in the supernaturally liminal space. In his Elegant Nightmares: The English Ghost Story from Le Fanu to Blackwood , Jack Sullivan focuses on Blackwood's characterisation, arguing that his characters are visionaries who seek unknown spaces and discover horror ( 1978 : 113). Sullivan also notes that Blackwood himself served as a pattern for his own characters: ‘What binds Blackwood's work together is a distinctive vision’ that unifies the

in EcoGothic gardens in the long nineteenth century
Divine destruction in Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay
Chloe Porter

in a context in which completion is conceptualised as transgression? To begin to answer these questions, this chapter will explore image-breaking in Robert Greene’s Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay (first performed c. 1589), which presents an instance of onstage iconoclasm in the supernatural destruction of a demonic brazen head, a quasi-magical figure that had been

in Making and unmaking in early modern English drama
The afterlives of Ophelia in Japanese pop culture
Yukari Yoshihara

In Hamlet , Ophelia has nothing to do with the supernatural. She is not a witch, fairy or deity; nor does she return to life as a zombie or a ghost for revenge, in spite of the mistreatment and injustice she suffered in life. But in her afterlives in Japanese popular culture Ophelia has metamorphosed into a supernatural woman in various forms, such as a powerful sea goddess, a guardian of the tree of life and a grim reaper. This chapter explores these various afterlives, and contextualises Ophelia's metamorphosis from an innocent victim

in Shakespeare and the supernatural
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"The Pest House," "Hell House," and "The Murder House"
Julia M. Wright

medical doctor who insists on reason and empiricism is a case in point: Ben exemplifies a kind of Enlightenment modernity that is doomed to fail before the pre-modern truth of the supernatural and the Catholic Church. While Enlightenment historiography imagines, like its later manifestation in Darwin’s theory of evolution, steady progress and improvement across time, this optimistic view of history

in Men with stakes
Representing the supernatural in film adaptations of A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Gayle Allan

A Midsummer Night’s Dream is one of the most often-performed Shakespeare plays, and one of his most popular comedies. 1 It is also a favourite of film directors, with a number of adaptations made since its first known appearance on the silver screen in 1909. 2 The play's popularity is due in no small part to the supernatural elements in the play, and more particularly the supernatural beings that populate it – the

in Shakespeare and the supernatural