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Anne Young

Chris Baldick and Robert Mighall have argued rather convincingly that ‘Gothic Criticism’ is in need of an overhaul. I revisit their controversial article through an analysis of Oscar Wilde’s parody of the Gothic and of scholarship, ‘The Portrait of Mr W. H.’ In this tale of creative criticism, Wilde’s hero, Cyril Graham, invents the character of Willie Hughes to prove a theory about Shakespeare’s sonnets. Contrary to Baldick and Mighall, I argue that Gothic criticism might do well to take its cue from its object of study. Plunging deep into the abyss, abandoning pretentions of knowing fact from fiction, natural from supernatural, I whole-heartedly - momentarily - consider the ‘Willie Hughes theory’ and ‘I will take up the theory where Cyril Graham left it and I will prove to the world that he was right’.

Gothic Studies
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Medicine, masculinity and the Gothic at the fin de siecle
Author: Andrew Smith

This book is a study of constructions of masculinity in a range of medical, cultural and Gothic narratives at the fin de siecle. The final decades of the nineteenth century provide a particularly complex set of examples of how the dominant masculine scripts came to be associated with disease, degeneration and perversity. The book first outlines the theories of degeneracy, explaining how they relate to masculinity. It then charts an alternative British tradition of degeneracy as this British context provides a more immediate background to the case histories that follow. The book presents a close reading of Sir Frederick Treves's Reminiscences; Treves's memoirs focus on the issues confronted by doctors working in the late Victorian period. The Whitechapel murders of 1888 are then discussed. The book focuses on how and why the medical profession became implicated in the murders. The murders also suggested the presence of a demonic, criminalised form of masculine control over the East End. Continuing with its focus on medicine, the book discusses medical textbooks on syphilis in the 1880s and how they responded to a shift in attitude towards attributing responsibility for the spread of syphilis. An examination of how London appears as a gendered space in the work of male authors such as Thomas De Quincey, and Charles Dickens, and later Arthur Conan Doyle and Bram Stoker, is presented. Finally, some aspects of Oscar Wilde's trials are also examined as well as a range of his writings.

The Urban Gothic of Fin-de-Siècle London and Gotham City
Erica McCrystal

Gothic literature set in fin-de-siècle London has often been argued to highlight duality. However, the urban Gothic truly flourishes through its liminality, which allows chaos and order to coexist. Texts such as Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray offer versions of a Gothic London that have the appearance of structure but are difficult to navigate. Likewise, the Batman franchise has embraced Gotham City as a setting that provides tensions between order and chaos. In Gotham, as in fin-de-siècle London, liminality puts pressures on apparent boundaries. While the urban Gothic initially developed through nineteenth century British texts, modern-day comics and films within the Batman franchise have allowed us to see how a multiverse normalises liminality and embraces multiple works to speak collectively about Gothic tensions. This article analyses the liminal nature of the urban Gothic in both cities side by side to argue that the urban Gothic’s liminal nature allows instability to reign.

Gothic Studies
Wilde’s Art
Andrew Smith

Oscar Wilde was convicted of the charge of gross indecency on 25 May 1895. Prior to this (between 3 April and 5 April 1895) he had attempted to prosecute Lord Queensberry for libel over Queensbeny s accusation that Wilde was a ‘somdomite’ (sic). During his cross examination by Queensberry’s defence counsel, Edward Carson, the following now famous exchange took place over

in Victorian demons
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Dafydd W. Jones

schoolmaster’s farewell: ‘I am heartily glad to get rid of you, but I like you better than any boy I ever had in school.’27 He spent August of that year in sibling proximity to his cousin Vyvyan Holland, youngest son of Oscar Wilde,28 who had been sent by his guardians to spend part of the summer with his relatives in Switzerland (ostensibly to improve his French before entering university).29 From the French Rhône-Alpes summer resort of Chambéry in the company of Fabian and the Grandjeans, Vyvyan returned with the family to Lausanne in late September, and kept a diary

in The fictions of Arthur Cravan
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Dorian Grayand the Gothic body
Elisabeth Bronfen and Beate Neumeier

-century culture, one that Wilde’s work both instantiates and critiques. The prospect Lord Henry holds out to his disciple under the label of ‘[a] new Hedonism’ (22) draws on the notion of ‘Renaissance Man’ as expounded in Jacob Burckhardt’s The Renaissance in Italy ( 1860 ), relayed to England by Walter Pater and absorbed by Pater’s disciple, Oscar Wilde

in Gothic Renaissance
Queering the queer Gothic in Will Self ’s Dorian
Andrew Smith

Michael Foldy, The Trials of Oscar Wilde: Deviance, Morality, and Late-Victorian Society (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1997), pp. 110–16. See also Oscar Wilde, ‘The Critic as Artist’, in The Complete Works of Oscar Wilde , ed. G. F. Maine (London: Collins, 1992), pp. 948–98. 13 See the

in Queering the Gothic
Open Access (free)
Collecting contacts with Gabrielle Enthoven
Kate Dorney

in biographies and autobiographies of other, more famous people, notably Ellen Terry, Oscar Wilde, Noël Female networks ­43 Coward, Edmund Goulding, Radclyffe Hall and Lillah McCarthy, but these reveal little about her. Shortly after Enthoven’s death, Muriel St Clare Byrne wrote a short tribute for Theatre Notebook, the journal of the recently formed Society for Theatre Research.4 She noted her important Red Cross records work during both wars was described in The Times’s notice of her death, which also mentioned her work as a dramatic author. It is to be hoped

in Stage women, 1900–50
Masturbation and same-sex desire in Teleny
Diane Mason

First published in 1893, Teleny, or The Reverse of the Medal , the classic erotic novel of homosexual love, is, perhaps, today best known for its alleged associations with Oscar Wilde. Indeed, authorship of the 1986 Gay Men’s Press edition is explicitly attributed to ‘Oscar Wilde and others’. 1 Critical speculation and emphasis on the enigma of its production has, however, resulted in a critical tendency to concentrate on Teleny ’s relationship to Wilde’s wider literary output and cultural (or, alternately, subcultural) milieu. On the

in The secret vice
Conflicting signifiers of vice in The Picture of Dorian Gray and The Mystery of Edwin Drood
Diane Mason

‘Mad Hungers’: Dorian Gray and drug addiction In his 1999 book A Geography of Victorian Gothic Fiction: Mapping History’s Nightmares , Robert Mighall examines the way in which Oscar Wilde utilises ‘physiognomical codes for sensational and narrative effects’ in The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890). 1 Drawing on Victorian medical discourse as a basis for his reading, Mighall suggests that the symptomatology of ‘onanism can be considered a likely candidate for an imaginative model’ in the construction of Wilde

in The secret vice