Women's Gothic

BookWomen's Gothic

Women's Gothic

From Clara Reeve to Mary Shelley

Writers and Their Work


June 1st, 2004

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Female writers of the Gothic were hell-raisers in more than one sense: not only did they specialize in evoking scenes of horror, cruelty, and supernaturalism, but in doing so they exploded the literary conventions of the day, and laid claim to realms of the imagination hitherto reserved for men. They were rewarded with popular success, large profits, and even critical adulation. E.J. Clery’s acclaimed study tells the strange but true story of women’s gothic. She identifies contemporary fascination with the operation of the passions and the example of the great tragic actress Sarah Siddons as enabling factors, and then examines in depth the careers of two pioneers of the genre, Clara Reeve and Sophie Lee, its reigning queen, Ann Radcliffe, and the daring experimentalists Joanna Baillie and Charlotte Dacre. The account culminates with Mary Shelley, whose Frankenstein (1818) has attained mythical status. Students and scholars as well as general readers will find Women’s Gothic a stimulating introduction to an important literary mode.

‘..extremely readable and informative .. Concise, jargon-free and economically priced, the book would be an excellent addition to any undergraduate course on the Female Gothic.’
Gothic Studies

‘This is a timely study on the worth of women’s Gothic writing… the study could prove very useful to the student of social history.’
The Lecturer


Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
Cover 1
Half Title 2
Title Page 4
Copyright 5
Contents 6
List of Illustrations 7
Abbreviations 8
Chapter 1 Clara Reeve and Sophia Lee 34
Chapter 2 Ann Radcliffe 60
Chapter 3 Joanna Baillie and Charlotte Dacre 94
Chapter 4 Mary Shelley 126
Notes 156
Select Bibliography 165
Index 174