The Failure of Gothic: Problems of Disjunction in An Eighteenth-Century Literary Form

By Elizabeth R. Napier | Go to book overview

Preface

In 1794, a reviewer of the Gothic tale, Count Roderic's Castle; or, Gothic Times, expressed anxiety about 'the present daily increasing rage for novels addressed to the strong passions of wonder and terrour'. 'The class of readers, for whom this kind of entertainment is provided,' he wrote, 'as if no longer capable of deriving pleasure from the gentle and tender sympathies of the heart, require to have their curiosity excited by artificial concealments, their astonishment kept awake by a perpetual succession of wonderful incidents, and their very blood congealed with chilling horrours.'1 This sense of alarm over a growing, undiscriminating readership for Gothic fiction is registered repeatedly by reviewers of the latter part of the eighteenth century. '[A]lmost all novels', one writer complained, 'are [now] of the terrific cast.'2 [T]he press groans,' wrote another, 'and our circulating libraries are filled with books, under the title of romances and novels, which are entirely made up of stories of ghosts and spectres.'3 Commentators on fashionable fiction took disparaging (though often humorous) note of the proliferation of Gothic novels, which swarmed from publishing houses like the Minerva Press in London. The epigraph for one such review divided the blame between Germans and women:

Grim-visaged heroes, class'd in martial hosts,
And walking skeletons, and sheeted ghosts,
Here hold their court, from German fetters free,
And doom poor common sense to slavery.
Ye female scribes! who write without a blot,
'Mysterious Warnings' of--the Lord knows what;
O quit this trade, exert your proper skill,
Resume the needle, and lay down the quill.4

____________________
1
Analytical Review, xx ( 1794), 489.
2
"'Terrorist Novel Writing'", Spirit of the Public Journals, i ( 1797), 229.
3
"'Anti Ghost', 'On the New Method of Inculcating Morality'" [Letter to the editor], in Walker Hibernian Magazine; or, Compendium of Entertaining Knowledge ( 1798), pt. i, p. 11.
4
"'Modern Literature'", Aberdeen Magazine: or, Universal Repository, iii ( 1798), 338.

-vii-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Failure of Gothic: Problems of Disjunction in An Eighteenth-Century Literary Form
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 168

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.