Gothic Poetry, 1700–1900

Authored by: David Punter

The Gothic World

Print publication date:  October  2013
Online publication date:  October  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415637442
eBook ISBN: 9780203490013
Adobe ISBN: 9781135053062


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Thus Percy Shelley in 1816. One might consider this to be a litany of Gothic themes and images: ghosts, caves and ruins, the “fearful,” the “departed dead,” poison. One might also recall that this poem, “Hymn to Intellectual Beauty,” was written at much the same time as Mary Shelley's iconic Gothic text, Frankenstein (1818). The passage also raises some of the crucial questions and doubts about Gothic, and especially in the context of its relationship with Romanticism, for the Gothic, as we tend to understand it now, shares many features — thematic, chronological, psychological — with the Romantic movement. Yet Gothic has mainly been seen, from its classic incarnations in the novels of Ann Radcliffe, Matthew Lewis, Charles Maturin and so many others, through to its later manifestations in the short stories of Edgar Allan Poe, Algernon Blackwood, M.R. James as well as, again, so many others, as naturally cognate with prose fiction, if only because the effects of suspense and the uncanny to which the Gothic seems naturally allied require a certain space, a certain arena within which these effects can be displayed and work their spell on the reading audience.

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