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. Of course, this does not mean that the question of national identity is unimportant, but it does need to be recognised that ‘Britishness’ is not some stable essence waiting to be discovered in its various manifestations by perceptive critics. Instead it exists as a set of ideas and discourses that circulate within a number of different contexts and which are subject to contestation and endless renegotiation. A revealing

in Terence Fisher
Representations of the past in Clara Reeve’s The Old English Baron (1778)

as the family, ancestry, chivalry, violence, the law, and female oppression, the forthcoming discussion will show how definitions and conceptions of the ‘Gothic’ are fiercely contested in the eighteenth century. Marking a new direction for Gothic literature, Reeve’s fictional novel is set in an actual historical period. What is the significance of this, why would she choose to set a Gothic novel in

in Sinister histories
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Jonathan Rayner

. The value of the images themselves has been seen to be contestable, in the context of the gallery’s exhibition of photographs and in Nina’s job. Early in the film we see her questioning a businessman to prove that he has given nearly worthless paintings to charitable organisations (themselves owned by his parent company) and claimed huge tax write-offs in compensation. Through the course of her investigation and her evaluation of testimonies and reports of the drowning, Nina comes to view personal and social identity as

in Contemporary Australian cinema
William Godwin, Mary Wollstonecraft and the perils of the present

). Caleb’s experience in prison exposes the ‘engines’ of ‘tyranny’ ( CW 175) that lie beneath the façade of seemingly civilised and liberal eighteenth-century England. Godwin manipulates Gothic conventions, and the genre’s emphasis on suffering and persecution, to attack English national identity and severely undermine any sense of cultural supremacy and complacency felt by eighteenth-century English men

in Sinister histories
Sophia Lee’s The Recess (1783–85), the Gothic and history

. Although Lee’s novel engages with debates surrounding Britain’s colonial expansion, its abiding concern is with gender issues. Indeed, it is Lee’s female-centric The Recess that marks the first ‘early statement’ of the Female Gothic (Kelly 2002 , xxxiii). The Female Gothic – a fiercely contested term – has a long and complex history, and, beyond the working definition outlined here, it is

in Sinister histories
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"The Pest House," "Hell House," and "The Murder House"

landscapes and synthetic identities.” 4 Sconce is concerned here with the different valuations of the “media occult,” but my concern is rather with the narrativization of its arrival, in which Baudrillard’s hyperreal is, I would suggest, the gothic shadow of the technological progress celebrated by the Enlightenment. As Hogle has noted, Baudrillard’s larger argument about

in Men with stakes
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History and the Gothic in the eighteenth century

Recess (see Chapter 3 ). 21 In Contesting the Gothic: Fiction, Genre and Cultural Conflict, 1764–1832 ( 1999 ), James Watt argues that the Gothic was ‘far less a tradition with a generic identity and significance than a domain which was open to contest from the first, constituted or structured by the often antagonistic

in Sinister histories
Fathers from American Gothic to Point Pleasant

takes the trope of the counterfeit back to the ghost of Hamlet’s father to trace the ways in which the gothic is allied with an anxiety over the industrial age’s emphasis on reproduction as copying, replacing the longstanding model in which identity and property are transmitted patrilineally from one generation to the next. 1 The gothic as a mode, or aesthetic style, thus emerges in tandem with an

in Men with stakes
Jonathan Rayner

in collective comprehension) and consensual acceptance (consenting to the group identity) of the images of nationality conveyed. However, within this apparent homogeneity of representation and interpretation, certain significant divergences are discernible. As with the period films, the perception of orthodoxy and conservatism is belied by the texts’ formal challenges or ironic tone. Distinctions emerge between the treatments of past and contemporary events and societies, and between the beliefs associated with

in Contemporary Australian cinema
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Carnivàle, Supernatural, and Millennium

“hero’s search for a father” in gothic television tends to be a quest to find this “idol” and expose it as such, particularly in Carnivàle, Millennium , and Supernatural , three series in which the “real” is exposed as a counterfeit or fake, particularly in relation to the place of the father as traditional authority and source of identity. Moreover, in these gothic series, the father is not only

in Men with stakes