Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Ann Radcliffe pioneered Gothic novels

It is the birthday of English writer Ann Radcliffe (1764), who is considered a leading developer of the Gothic novel. Her novels were crammed with vivid landscape descriptions, apparently inexplicable supernatural elements, and a tidy explanation  of the strange events at the end. Her novels included The Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne (1789), A Sicilian Romance (1790), The Romance of the Forest (1791), The Mysteries of Udolpho (1797) and Gaston de Blondeville (1826). She published only six novels but scholars say her work influenced Jane Austen, William Makepeace Thackeray, Sir Walter Scott, William Wordsworth, HonorĂ© de Balzac, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Mary Shelley, Percy Bysshe Shelley, John Keats, Lord Byron, Edgar Allan Poe, Charlotte Bronte, Charles Dickens, Daphne du Mauier, and Henry James.

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