White Rose University Consortium logo
University of Leeds logo University of Sheffield logo York University logo

From Libraries to Landscapes: Ann Radcliffe and the Cultural Location of Gothic Fiction: 1705-1795

Bennett, Mark (2018) From Libraries to Landscapes: Ann Radcliffe and the Cultural Location of Gothic Fiction: 1705-1795. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

[img] Text
Mark Bennett - PhD Thesis - Final Version.docx
Restricted until 4 April 2020.

Request a copy


This thesis examines the developing relationship between Gothic fiction and travel writing during the eighteenth century, focusing particularly on the work of Ann Radcliffe. As a popular parallel genre, travel writing played an important role in locating the Gothic imagination within contemporary print culture and the imaginative geographies it maintained. However, as analysis of influential travel writers such as Joseph Addison and William Gilpin reveals, the place of Gothic materials and the range of responses to them within popular forms of Grand and Picturesque tourism and travel writing was carefully deferred and delimited. This is reflected in the framing of earlier Gothic fictions by Horace Walpole and Charlotte Smith. Radcliffe’s works intervene in and revise this scenario. Her use of travel is a more considered and innovative process than has hitherto been acknowledged, working to develop a significant and robust presence for the Gothic imagination within contemporary eighteenth-century print culture. Analysis of Radcliffe’s early works The Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne and A Sicilian Romance and the travelogues that inform them reveals the significance of their well-chosen Scottish and Sicilian settings as apposite locations for an engagement with the Gothic at the peripheries of domestic and continental tourism. Examination of The Romance of the Forest and The Mysteries of Udolpho then identifies the way these works locate the Gothic within the heartlands of continental Grand Tourism and approach it through the experiences of travelling heroines informed by the revisionary work of female travel writers. Finally, Radcliffe’s own travelogue, A Journey Made in the Summer of 1794 is read in continuity with her fiction as a response to the transformative impact of revolutionary turbulence and the questions it poses for the worldview constructed within eighteenth-century travel writing. The study concludes by relating its findings to Radcliffe’s last published novel, The Italian: a text in which the significance of travel has already been identified by existing scholarship, but which now stands as the final statement of Radcliffe’s achievement in relocating the Gothic.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: gothic fiction, gothic literature, eighteenth-century literature, eighteenth-century history, travel writing, tourism, eighteenth-century tourism, picturesque travel, picturesque aesthetics, the grand tour, Ann Radcliffe, William Gilpin, Hester Piozzi, Joseph Addison, Charlotte Smith, Horace Walpole, Thomas Pennant, Samuel Johnson,
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Arts and Humanities (Sheffield) > School of English (Sheffield)
The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Arts and Humanities (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Mr Mark Bennett
Date Deposited: 23 Apr 2019 08:18
Last Modified: 23 Apr 2019 08:18
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/23589

Please use the 'Request a copy' link(s) above to request this thesis. This will be sent directly to someone who may authorise access.
You can contact us about this thesis. If you need to make a general enquiry, please see the Contact us page.

Actions (repository staff only: login required)