Angela Wright

Concerns of linguistic, cultural and military incursion from France emerge more frequently in the wake of the Seven Years’ War. In the literary arena, one of the ways in which these concerns are marked is through the highly-contested national stakes of chivalry. This essay argues that these national stakes of chivalry are negotiated in the realm of the Gothic romance in a particularly fluid and dynamic manner. Addressing recent critical assumptions about the conservatism inherent in prose treatments of medieval chivalry, the essay explores the possibility that Gothic romance recuperates a more positive version of chivalry in the wake of the famous Burke/Wollstonecraft revolutionary debate of 1790.

Gothic Studies
Abstract only

Gothic, in a sense, has always been 'queer'. This book illustrates the rich critical complexity which is involved in reading texts through queer theories. It provides a queer reading of such early Gothic romances as William Beckford's Vathek, Matthew Gregory Lewis's The Monk, and Charles Maturin's Melmoth the Wanderer. Building upon critical trend of desire between men, the book examines Frankenstein's engagement with sexual rhetoric in the early nineteenth century. It explores some ways in which the signifying practices of queerness are written into the language and, therefore, the signifying practices of Gothic fiction. Teleny's apparently medicalised representation of homosexual erotic love contains some strikingly Gothic elements. The book examines how the courtroom drama of the E. M. Forster's A Passage to India focuses on the monstrous possibility of miscegenation, an Indian accused of raping an Englishwoman. Antonia White's Frost in May can be contextualised to the concept of the 'lesbian Gothic', which helpfully illuminates the representation of adolescent female subjectivity and sexuality. Same-sex desire is represented indirectly through sensuous descriptions of the female body and intertextual allusions to other erotic texts. The book considers how the vampire has become an ambivalent emblem of gay sexuality in late twentieth-century Gothic fiction by examining Interview with the Vampire and Lost Souls. The understanding of the Gothic and queer theory in a pop video is achieved by considering how Michael Jackson's use of the Gothic in Thriller and Ghosts queers the temporality of childhood.

Joel T. Terranova

Published in 1795, John Palmer, Jun.’s The Haunted Cavern: A Caledonian Tale is a historical Gothic romance that expresses certain unease with the growth of British imperialism at the end of the eighteenth century. In this text, Palmer explores the impact of empire on the colonialized other as well as demonstrating the hypocrisy and abuse of certain imperial practices. With the plot set during the end of the War of the Roses, The Haunted Cavern juxtaposes medieval England as the imperial power with France and Scotland illustrated as the colonialized victims. This article examines the tension towards empire found in The Haunted Cavern which helps clarify the commercialized Gothic romance’s function as a subversive medium towards colonialism.

Gothic Studies
Dale Townshend

This article seeks to provide an account of the political biases at stake in the conceptualisation of medieval English history in Ethelwina, Or The House of Fitz-Auburne (1799), the first fiction of the prolific Gothic romancer-turned-Royal Body Guard T. J. Horsley, Curties. Having considered Curties‘s portrayal of the reign of King Edward III in the narrative in relation to formal historiographies of the period, the article turns to address the politics of Curties‘s appropriation of Shakespeare‘s Hamlet.

Gothic Studies
The Viscous Palimpsest of Charles Maturin‘s Melmoth the Wanderer
Keith M.C. O‘Sullivan

Charles Maturin‘s Melmoth the Wanderer (1820) is often considered the last major work in the corpus of Romantic-period Gothic. This paper draws upon that text and Maturin‘s correspondence, especially his sermons, in which the author incarnates a rich matrix of dichotomies, to offer a reading of the subtle metatextual and autobiographical qualities of the novel. Maturin‘s conflicted identity as clergyman and literary parvenu afford understanding of the nature of, and challenges posed by, this complex work. Like Maturin‘s preaching, Melmoth bears witness to and sympathy with its time. Yet it also bears the imprints or multiple scripts of historical and psychological forces contributing to its formation. Ostensibly a Gothic romance engaged with the dialectic of high Romanticism, it is shown to be a self-reflexive text, with ambivalence towards its own literary form. The plethora of tales within Maturin‘s novel represent an attempt to convey and self-validate a fabric of a created national history, but Melmoth is shown to both use and indict the ideological structures that it has employed to create its own texture. It is suggested that detail of torture and anatomisation of belief represent an unconscious self-dramatisation.

Gothic Studies
Lady Morgan‘s The Wild Irish Girl
Bridget Matthews-Kane

In 1807, the Duchess of Bedford and several of her circle attended a performance of the opera The First Attempt at Dublin‘s Theatre Royal. Their hair was not coifed in the style of the day but rather swept up and fastened with golden bodkins in the ancient Irish manner. Soon this became all the rage in polite Irish society, and Dublin jewellers, struggling to compete, took out advertisements to accuse other firms of making less than authentic replicas. Indeed, the great demand in Dublin for these golden bodkins inflated the price of gold in Ireland. Drapers soon saw a business opportunity in this Celtic fashion renaissance and started producing the `Glorvina Mantle, a flowing scarlet cape, ideally secured with golden replicas of Celtic broaches. Eventually these ancient Gaelic styles made their way to London and became fashionable among ladies from the upper class. The popularity of this exotic dress resulted from a confluence of factors. While the growing interest in Irish antiquarianism, the European fascination with orientalism and the popularity of Gothic romance fed the fire, the spark that ignited the blaze was The Wild Irish Girl, a novel written by a young Irish governess. Not only does this fashion craze bear witness to the popularity of the text, but so do the sales figures. This popular novel, first published in 1806, went through seven editions in two years, and was even successful on the Continent, especially in Germany, where the young authors popularity almost eclipsed Scott‘s and Byron‘s and her sales figures surpassed those of her fellow Irish writers, Maria Edgeworth and Charles Maturin. In fact, the great Gothic writer Maturin openly borrowed from The Wild Irish Girl in his own work.

Gothic Studies
Gothic and the perverse father of queer enjoyment
Dale Townshend

Geraldine and Christabel herself, while the countless responses, parodies and rewritings that the poem occasioned would variously eradicate, intensify or reformulate the romance’s queer desirings. More recently, postmodern appropriations of the formal features of Gothic romance by, say, Angela Carter in The Passion of the New Eve (1977) or Jeanette Winterson in Sexing the Cherry (1989) would

in Queering the Gothic
Margaret Atwood and Lady Oracle
Susanne Becker

Re-experiencing gothicism: parody ‘For years I’d been trying to get love and terror into the same title’ says Joan Foster, the narrator/protagonist of Lady Oracle (1976, 32): a writer of popular gothic romances who is, at the moment of the quoted reflection, in pursuit of a working title for her latest work

in Gothic Forms of Feminine Fictions
The Gothic as discourse
Robert Miles

market-place, with its intruding ‘middling’ classes, reminds us of the complications we have to add to the neat model of succeeding paradigms. 4 The Gothic aesthetic did not arise, initially, as a defence of what we now call ‘Gothic romance’, but its formation was given added impetus, and added complications, by the aesthetically disinherited who employed it to impart prestige to a marginal form. Simply

in Gothic writing 1750–1820
Susanne Becker

reflects, in a postmodern move towards popular culture, what has been an important phenomenon of women’s culture in the early 1970s: the so-called ‘gothic boom’ – an explosion in the production and consumption of gothic romances. This phenomenon will be the focus of the second section of this chapter. Third, there is the specific version of Canadian gothicism in its fictional

in Gothic Forms of Feminine Fictions