this period too. But these ghosts were largely used
ironically, to lampoon or subvert authority. The consequence of the
English revolution was, in the view of some conservative
commentators, to produce a dangerous scepticism – not merely
about spectres but also about religious faith and political
sovereignty. Like the excesses of the Gothic, the ghosts of
Representations of Lower-Class Voices in Ann Radcliffe’s Novels
This paper investigates lower-class voices within the context of anti-Gothic
criticism, using Ann Radcliffe’s novels and early Gothic critic Joseph Addison’s
essays to highlight the ways in which Radcliffe reassigns value to the Gothic
aesthetic. It further emphasizes Radcliffe’s reconfiguration of domestic roles
as she positions patriarchal figures as anti-Gothic critics, the heroine as
reader of gothic narratives, and lowerclass voices and tales as gothic texts.
The Mysteries of Udolpho and Romance of the
Forest subvert critical discourse and its motif of servants’ contagious
irrationality. In Radcliffe’s novels, ‘vulgar’ narratives as superstitious
discourse do not spread fear to susceptible heroines, embodiments of bourgeois
virtue, but demonstrate the ways in which fear is a construct of patriarchal
discourse. Servants and country people, in turn, construct a pedagogy for
reading gothic texts that permit heroines to deconstruct metaphors of ghostly
haunting embedded in their tales and resist patriarchal hegemony and
interpretative authority over gothic texts.
By exploring how laughter is represented in Kipling‘s ghost stories this article attempts a re-evaluation of how colonial and postcolonial identities can be theorised within the Gothic. Laughter, and the disorientation that it provokes, is accorded a Gothic function that destabilises images of colonial authority.
Smith explores how Stoker‘s novel raises some complex questions about love through its use of a male love-struck narrator, who appears to be caught in a Female Gothic plot which casts him as its hero. In the novel ‘love’ becomes increasingly sinister as it turns into a destabilising and dangerously irrational emotion that ultimately aligns love with feelings of justified horror. Jewel (1903, revised 1912) thus develops a male reading of a Female Gothic plot in which the idea of female empowerment becomes defined as horrific. However, this idea of a pathologised love, Smith argues, is not unique to Stoker and can be linked to Freud‘s account of love, which reveals how issues relating to male authority appear within psychoanalytical debates about emotion at the time.
In the early gothic literature of the eighteenth century danger lurked in the darkness beneath the pointed arches of gothic buildings. During the nineteenth century, there was a progressive, although never complete, dislocation of gothic literary readings from gothic architecture. This article explores a phase in that development through discussion of a series of dark illustrations produced by Hablot Knight Browne to illustrate novels by Charles Dickens. These show the way in which the rounded arches of neo-classical architecture were depicted in the mid-nineteenth century as locales of oppression and obscurity. Such depictions acted, in an age of political and moral reform, to critique the values of the system of power and authority that such architecture represented.
Phrenology in Britain during the first decade of the nineteenth century
the brain which lies beneath – an overview of a person's perceived individuality might thus be ascertained with a conceit of scientific authority during their lifetime rather than posthumously. Intellectual capability is but one attribute which the study of the surface of the skull ought, theoretically, to reveal, as The Times infers:
[Gall] has found in the skulls of singing birds, in those of celebrated Musicians, and, above all, in that of Mozart, the organ of music. Finally, the wily brain of
, intimidating the sinner by calling on the highest authorities to condemn, as in the real-life excommunication: ‘Devyne poware of michtis maist / Of father, sone, and halie gaist’. Only later when the crime is announced – a bathetic revelation of the theft of ‘fyve fat geis’ and other poultry (13–14) – does the tone become blackly comic. Even then, there is uncertainty: similar crimes were taken seriously and were the subjects of near-contemporary legislation. 45 The vivid list of distinctive and named devils later in the poem continues this ambivalence, rivalling the
was ‘but a naturall sicknes’. 17 Early modern Scots seem to have reasoned that ‘if you don’t see this every day’, or ‘if you can’t produce an everyday explanation for it’, then it was ‘not natural’ and thus probably supernatural. A similar process of reasoning operates today. The question may thus arise: who has authority to decide what is natural and what is supernatural? 18
Today, what is normal or natural is defined by science. There is nothing unscientific about the concept of large marine animals, and no basic scientific assumptions would be violated if a
Early modern Europeans believed that God endowed certain men and women with the power to reveal the future – or, at least, had done so in the past. Prophecies were frequently political, designed to get people to accept an outcome, or modify behaviour, because God had foreseen it. 1 Three distinct types of prophecy were used politically. All Christians accepted that the prophets of ancient Israel enjoyed contemporary authority. Claims to divine inspiration made by living people carried less weight, and accordingly their political pronouncements proved more
premised upon representations of the other-worldly that looked back to medieval and Renaissance Scottish verse forms in order to overcome more recent challenges to Scottish literary authority. Building upon Ramsay’s deeply politicised 1724 invocation of the supernatural realm in the wake of Union in 1707, the chapter, having situated a Scottish supernatural and preternatural voice in poetry towards the start of the century, will resolve itself in a turn to Robert Burns’s 1786 ‘The Vision’. It argues that Burns’s poem uses the supernatural to fashion a complex treatment