This article considers the exploration of Gothic genericity within two of Mary Elizabeth Braddon‘s neglected penny blood fictions. It observes the way in which genericity comes to be associated with the Gothic as the supposedly disruptive influence of popular literatures is countered by Victorian reviewers. These emphasise such texts’ genericity in order to contain their influence and separate them from superior readerships and literature which is held to transcend generic limitations. Braddon‘s bloods explore this implicit association between the Gothic and genericity and suggest that the latter – identified in terms of the Gothic‘s status as an ephemeral commodity in the penny blood genre – actually enhances rather than limits, the Gothic‘s agency.
Romances, novels, and the classifications of Irish Romantic fiction
2 Gothic genres: romances, novels, and the classifications of Irish Romantic fiction
In his Revelations of the dead-alive (1824), John Banim depicts his time-travelling narrator encountering future interpretations of the fiction of Walter Scott. In twenty-first-century London, Banim's narrator realises, Scott is little read; when he is, he is understood, as James Kelly points out, ‘not as the progenitor of the historical novel but rather as the last in line of an earlier Gothic style’. 1 According to the readers encountered in his travels
The term ‘Gothic’ is used in critical writing to describe an ever-increasing variety of texts that are not popularly recognisable as such. This article suggests Gothic texts ought to be read in terms of their genre, and that genre can be understood as the practical logic of habitus, formulated by Bourdieu.
they seem to thrive on systematically re-inventing themselves
wholesale, overturning familiar conventions, and exploring a wide
range of generic hybrid forms (e.g. combining with comedy, computer
game platforms and teen romance narratives).
Nevertheless, as Brigid Cherry argues in
Horror , there is one factor that ‘remains
constant’ in the genre (with the exception of parody
The Vampire Diaries began life as a series of novels before being adapted into a television series screened on the CW channel in the US and ITV2 in the UK. This article explores how the show contributes to debates over genre and authorship within the context of the TV vampire via its status as a teen horror text. It also investigates how the show intersects with debates over quality television via the involvement of teen-TV auteur Kevin Williamson. In exploring genre and authorship, the article considers how The Vampire Diaries functions as a teen drama and a TV vampire/horror text.
Scholars of eighteenth-century literature have long seen the development of the
Gothic as a break from neoclassical aesthetics, but this article posits a more
complex engagement with classical imitation at the origins of the genre. In
Horace Walpole’s formative Gothic novel The Castle of Otranto,
his Gothic drama The Mysterious Mother, and in the curiosities
in his villa, classical elements are detached from their contexts and placed in
startling and strange juxtapositions. His tendency towards the fragmentation of
ancient culture, frequently expressed through the imagery of dismemberment,
suggests an aesthetic not of imitation, but of collection. Moreover, rather than
abandoning or ignoring the classical, Walpole reconfigures literary history to
demonstrate elements of monstrosity and hybridity already present in Greek and
Marryat’s involvement with the Lower Canada Rebellion situated his encounter with
civil war at its ‘most exterminating’ within the production of
Phantom, the Cycle’s least conventional historical sea novel;
it offered both a point of imaginative recursion and a concentrated image of his
broader critique of the Early Republic. Just as the seamen of Midshipman
Easy or The Naval Officer operate within multiple
hierarchies at once, Marryat’s strangest yarn, replete with ghost ships and
werewolves, operates across multiple genres and cultural formations. The common
denominator for both the writer and the written in this case is multivalence –
the ship that is both ship and ghost, the woman who is both mother and wolf,
their writer who is both ‘insider’ and ‘outsider’, witness and contriver – but
in this, Marryat the writer performs the same essential functions as imperial
agents and colonial ‘factors’ do within Phantom: adjudication,
translation, and open-ended transformation.
Sensationalising Substance Abuse in the Victorian Home
Controversies about the mid-Victorian sensation novel newly brought to the fore clinical conceptualisations of novel reading as an addiction. Yet as novelists capitalised on the sensational potential of substance abuse at home as part of the genre‘s rupture of ideologies of domesticity, they juxtaposed the consumption of sensational material with other emotional and physical dependencies, while reading could be a panacea or cure. M. E. Braddon‘s John Marchmont‘s Legacy (1863) and Wilkie Collins‘s The Law and the Lady (1875) form particularly revealing examples of self-reflexive sensation novels that capitalise on a clinical Gothic of addiction by appropriating discourses that had, ironically, attacked the sensation genre most virulently.
Focusing on the productive sense of recognition that queer theorists have articulated in relation to the Gothic, this article proposes that the relationship which has developed between queer theory and Gothic fiction reveals the significant role the genre has played in the construction of ‘queerness’ as an uncanny condition.
Sibling Rivalry in Elizabeth Gaskell‘s The Old Nurse‘s Story
Elizabeth Gaskell s The Old Nurse s Story (1852) occupies a shadowy middle ground between Gothic tale and case history. Concerning sibling rivalry and parental abuse recollected from the vantage of old age, it is both a ghost story and a narrative of maternal absence, paternal domination, transference, and the return of the repressed. Using both psychoanalysis and Gothic genre criticism, this essay traces, in miniature, the Victorian movement from spirits to sexual psychology.