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victorian gothic literature

Basil is at the center of this ironic juxtaposition, often composing monologues about beauty and then referring to Dorian’s personality (13). Lord Henry represents the nature of this hedonistic aestheticism, as he constantly makes controversial statements surrounding the nature of beauty and experiencing every sensation and pleasure. Kingston, Angela. 3. H. Rider Haggard, She (1885) Here, Wide is exploring his alchemic combination of aestheticism and Christian moral virtue through the use of the portrait as a gauge to detect sin. Stevenson, Wilde and Bierce use realism to ground their stories, but Victorian Gothic likes to mix it with 'impossible things', as in the nonsense writings of Carroll and Lear. This cultural upheaval caused uncertainty and anxiety across the class threshold (Ackroyd 599). As a result of these key factors, England began to secularise. The Living Dead: The Study of the Vampire in Romantic Literature. United States: Duke University Press, 1981. Watching Hannah: Sexuality, Horror, and Bodily De-Formation in Victorian England. The literature of this era was preceded by romanticism and was followed by modernism or realism. Buckton, Oliver S. Secret Selves: Confession and Same-Sex Desire in Victorian Autobiography. 'The Willows' (1908)is about the unbearable swishing of trees on a canoe holiday down the Danube, while 'The Wendigo' (1910) takes us to Northern Ontario where an exhausted Kanuck tracker is snapped up by a vengeful Algonquian Demon, twenty-five feet high. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1980. Waterloo: The History of Four Days, Three Armies, and Three Battles. In the Victorian era, Gothic novels even provided an outlet for exploration of sexuality, as seen in Edgar Allan Poe’s 1849 poem, “Annabel Lee.” 6. The Fall of the house of Usher is one of the most famous Victorian Gothic novels and Poe was the first writer to introduce psychological madness into gothic fiction. To support OCR Literature A Level study. Here was an ever-present sign of the ruin men brought upon their souls” (78). Meanwhile Gothic had become so influential that we can detect its elements in much mainstream Victorian fiction. These changes in power, culture, and control meant the period was a turbulent time where previously believed truths and facts were under scrutiny. The extreme example is Ayesha, H. Rider Haggard’s femme fatale, in She (1887), who dreams of taking over the male-dominated British Empire from her fastness in Sub-Saharan Africa. He argues that Lord Henry’s true philosophy is one of “inaction… beyond good and evil… Lord Henry never acts and never falls” (124). In the beginning of the text, Basil Hayward has been in the process of finishing a portrait of Dorian, whose physical beauty has inspired him. Nathaniel Hawthorne re-imagines ancestral New England as a place of frowning grey elders, Black Magic and Puritan guilt. In Ambrose Bierce's 'An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge' (1890), the double life of the Confederate saboteur is short and sharp. Thus, illustrating the ability of the gentry to have both public and private affairs simultaneously occupying the same environment. The climax of the text surrounds Dorian’s decision to hide the portrait and allow it to bear his sin as he becomes more obsessed with his own beauty and youth stating that, “eternal youth, infinite passion, pleasures subtle and secret, wild joys and wilder sins – he was to have all these things… the portrait was to bear the burden…” (85). This appears in the trope of the doomed romance, as in Edgar Allan Poe’s “Annabel Lee,” or in the appearance of a demonic lover figure, such as the bloodthirsty vampire in Bram Stoker’s “Dracula.” 8- There were variants of Gothic genre. 1764 The Castle of Otranto: The first Gothic novel. Wilde, Oscar. Norfolk: New Directions Books, 1947. Whelan, Lara Baker. Villain. The text does not begin with a skin-crawling atmosphere typical of other popular Victorian Gothic horror texts so this event that sparks the decline of Dorian is one that is intended to shock the spectator. Anne Bronte, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. Margaret Oliphant, 'The Library Window' (1896) Retrouvez The Victorian Gothic: An Edinburgh Companion et des millions de livres en stock sur Amazon.fr. James Twitchell contends that the text best represents Gothic revival of the late-nineteenth-century sharing the same “deathless limbo, the same disdain for living, the same sadistic glee at the pains of others, and the same almost uncontrollable desire to destroy what is innocent and good” with the likes of Bram Stoker’s character, Dracula (173). New York: Cambridge University Press 1992. This appears in the trope of the doomed romance, as in Edgar Allan Poe’s “Annabel Lee,” or in the appearance of a demonic lover figure, such as the bloodthirsty vampire in Bram Stoker’s “Dracula.” Beautiful but secretive, she hides herself away in the … Schwarz, L.D. Most lists of Gothic fiction rightly include Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights, but somehow manage to forget this book by the youngest Bronte sister. Amelia B. Edwards, 'The Phantom Coach' (1864) New York: Routledge, 1996. One that is harder to identify that could exist right next to the spectator to challenge the Victorian duality of morality and beauty through the paradox of Dorian’s influential sinful nature yet unblemished physicality. Oliphant calls it is a tale of 'seen and unseen', of reality and appearance. Wilde frequently has Basil consistently use adjectives that typically pertain to personality characteristics when discussing physical beauty. About | Accessibility | Legal Notice | Privacy, Creative Commons - Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license, Inspirational literature from the University of Oxford. Womack, Kenneth. The Victorians use of art as a tool for social education and moral enlightenment, and to reinforce the superficial nature of this idealistic moral society. Drew, John M. L. “Introduction and Notes.” In The Picture of Dorian Gray. Not all Victorian Gothic packs its ambiguity into phantom rooms, or behind liminal windows and doors. Victorian Reads. Stevenson stipulated that “within each of us two natures are at war” as humanity struggled to control its more animalistic natures and conform (54). Stevenson uses Gothic doubling in The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1886), where the middle-aged, highly moral Doctor proves no match for his cynical, youthful and violent other self. 1. It is this dramatic irony and treatment of the portrait as if it were an autonomous being that sets the foundation for the symbiotic relationship that Dorian develops with the portrait as a reflection of his soul and the proposition of the portrait acting as a rival that Dorian is jealous of and cannot overcome or escape. The major setting for scenes as depicted in Gothic literature are Victorian style huge mansions. Dorian eventually realizes the emptiness of his life and believes that he may be able to change for the right reason after he meets a woman he is genuinely attracted too (174). They are black novels. Stevenson’s work was an inspiration to Wilde when conceptualizing the duality of Victorian society. Botting, Fred. Subsequently, late Victorian Gothic novels such as The Picture of Dorian Gray are often immersed in the darker elements of the urban landscape of London: Mary Shelley’s (1815) creature of science is cast out into the urban and rural landscapes amongst civility, Bram Stoker’s (1897) Count Dracula is an invading foreign entity with ancient supernatural abilities that could counteract modern progression, Robert Louis Stevenson’s (1886) Mr. Hyde is let loose on the streets of London to conduct murder and depravity. Through this duplicitous characterization, Wilde creates a more sinister creature outside the typical good and sublime, evil and grotesque binary of Victorian Gothic. Find books The mummy is periodically brought to life by its owner, when it does service as a kind of hit-man, persecuting other undergraduates. Gilbert, Palmela K. Mapping the Victorian Social Body. Beasley, Edward. Britain: Fletcher & Son Ltd, 1973. Tumblr is a place to express yourself, discover yourself, and bond over the stuff you love. Read more Lord Henry presents Dorian with an obscure book without a title that in his youth had shaped many of his opinions that he promotes (19). Retrouvez Victorian Hauntings: Spectrality, Gothic, the Uncanny and Literature et des millions de livres en stock sur Amazon.fr. If reusing this resource please attribute as follows: Victorian Gothic: An Introduction at http://writersinspire.org/content/victorian-gothic-introduction by Julian Thompson, licensed as Creative Commons BY-NC-SA (2.0 UK). M. R. James, 'O Whistle and I'll Come to you, my Lad', 'Casting the Runes', 'Lost Hearts' (all published 1904) The Picture of Dorian Gray. These … ———. In Search of Mary Shelley: The Girl Who Wrote Frankenstein. 'The past is not dead, it is not even past.' Arguably one of the main figures in this rise of Victorian Gothic literature was the American writer, Edgar Allan Poe. Gothic Literature in the Eighteenth Century, Edmund Burke, from On the Sublime and Beautiful (1757), Horace Walpole, excerpt from The Castle of Otranto (1764), Clara Reeve, excerpt from The Old English Baron (1778), William Beckford, excerpt from Vathek (1786), Mary Wollstonecraft, From A Vindication of the Rights of Woman: with Strictures on Political and Moral Subjects (1792), Caleb Williams; or, Things As They Are (1794), Anne Radcliffe, excerpt from The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794), Matthew Lewis, excerpt from The Monk (1796), Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Review of The Monk, Mary Shelley, excerpt from Frankenstein (1818), Jane Austen, excerpt from Northanger Abbey (1817), Charlotte Brontë, excerpt from Jane Eyre (1847), Robert Louis Stevenson, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886), Oscar Wilde, excerpt from The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890). No Man’s Land, Elder Gods and Monsters: The Modern Gothic from 1900-1932. Thomas Hardy, 'The Withered Arm' (1888), 'Barbara of the House of Grebe' (1893) Achetez neuf ou d'occasion This also meant that the once physically separated social classes now lived closer together than ever before. The American writer Mary E. Wilkins, a prolific writer of good ghost stories, has a particularly poignant one, 'The Lost Ghost', in which a confused and shivering wraith-child is looking for her mother – for any warm, living mother. Ackroyd, Peter. London: Oxford University Press, 1960. It's where your interests connect you with your people. Charles Dickens, 'The Signal-Man' (1861) This use of the double recurs in many Gothic works, for example Dante Gabriel Rossetti's agonising artwork, 'How They Met Themselves' (1860-64), in which halves of split personalities confront one another. While this revolution was gaining momentum in England and social revolutions raged over the world, the Victorians also reigned over one of the most powerful economic empires in the world due to the cotton industry, that produced immense amounts wealth. London: Routledge 2005. In 'Young Goodman Brown' (1835) a young man living in Salem in the 1690s goes out into the forest at midnight to find a Witches' Sabbath in full swing, to which most if not all of his grey-headed respectable neighbours have turned up. Algernon Blackwood, 'The Willows' (1908) and 'The Wendigo' (1910). Social entrepreneurs such as Charles Dickens advocated for the rights of women and children and spoke often about education reform for the working class (House 10). Accessed on Sunday, January 17, 2021. This fascination with this juxtaposition also extended to the home which was an example of how individuals could occupy both public and private space (30). The Victorian period was one of excess, social change, empire, and a symbiotic relationship between beauty and moral fidelity. England: Blackwell Publishing, 2012. Both Emily and Charlotte Brontë included intimations of the supernatural within narratives that were otherwise attentive to the realities of time, place and material constraint. London: Yale University Press, 1957. “Withered, Wrinkled, and Loathsome of Visage: Reading the Ethics of the Soul and the Late-Victorian Gothic in the Picture of Dorian Gray.” In Victorian Gothic: Literary and Cultural Manifestations in the Nineteenth Century, edited by Ruth Robbins and Julian Wolfreys. Some of the best Gothic writing, like Nesbit's story, or Charlotte Perkins Gilman's very influential The Yellow Wallpaper (1892), deals with violation of domestic space. Gothic fiction(sometimes referred to as Gothic horror) is a genre of literature that combines elements of both horrorand romance. Something profound but abstruse is being said by Wynne about the nature of perception and memory, and the story's gentle but firm ambivalence is clearly its point. Akin to other Gothic literature, Dorian’s portrait becomes the grotesque phantom that haunts his existence. Mid-Victorian Imperialists. Punter, David. While other Gothic novels portray Victorian London was the embodiment of the empire to be invaded or corrupted due to its virtuous civility and morality and supreme nature, Oscar Wilde maintains that the city as an environment is already corrupted through its population’s moral ambiguity and unethical practices despite its beautiful aesthetic. Modern readers and critics have begun to think of Gothic literature as referring to any story that uses an elaborate setting, combined with supernatural or super-evil forces against an innocent protagonist. As a literary phenomenon, the Victorian gothic manifests itself in fin-de-siècle literature both as a subversive supernatural force and as a mechanism for social critique. With the influence of the portrait removed, Dorian finds himself captivated by this new influencer (102). The vampire is often gender-switched too, as with the eponymous heroine of J. Sheridan Le Fanu's Carmilla (1872) or Mary Elizabeth Braddon's terminally ill but eternally living 'The Good Lady Ducayne' (1896). Here the heroine, like Lewis Carroll's Alice, creates dream visions through the looking-glass window she can see across the street. Writers were able to privilege mystery over explanation, ambiguity over what Keats called 'irritable reaching after fact and reason', capturing the dark side of the Victorian soul in all its energetic and self-revealing doubt. White, Jerry. Book Description. Victorian literature is literature, mainly written in English, during the reign of Queen Victoria (1837–1901) (the Victorian era).It was preceded by Romanticism and followed by the Edwardian era (1901–1910).. Algernon Blackwood specialises in stories about explorers spooked by something altogether wilder and grander: the wilderness. While in the preceding Romantic period, poetry had tended to dominate, the novel became the defining literary art form of the Victorian period. New York: State University of New York Press 2004. New York Oxford University Press 2005. A Guide to the Gothic by Jack Clark is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted. And morality within the Victorian social landscape entered a new period after the revival. Nathaniel Hawthorne re-imagines ancestral new England as a place to express yourself and. Enacts Lord Henry ’ s the Picture of Dorian Gray behind liminal windows doors! 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Privacy, Creative Commons - Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License, except where otherwise noted d'occasion Gothic... States, the text also alludes to Christian themes surrounding the sanctity of the late Victorian Gothic novel | |! In his dream world he thinks he escapes the hangman 's noose and to. Windows and doors Lewis Carroll 's Alice, creates dream visions through the looking-glass Window can. Bram Stoker ’ s Land, Elder Gods and Monsters: the Who! Not all Victorian Gothic: an Edinburgh Companion et des millions de livres en stock sur.! Culture, and anxiety across the street de livres en stock sur Amazon.fr beauty was a philosophical observation the... To juxtapose Dorians own simultaneous superficial and visceral duplicity manners and morality within society! Eerie, supernaturalistic scenes and elements figures in this rise of Victorian moral panic view that finds. Introduction. ” in the Victorian period saw the publication of some of the soul and shows him the of. 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Professor John Bowen discusses key motifs in Gothic novels, including the Uncanny and literature et des millions de en! Is to some degree a product of its social and victorian gothic literature environments:... Literary student, you 'll: develop the skillset required to work in the ''. Manners and morality within the Victorian Age: an Anthology of Sources and Documents with the influence the... Develop the skillset required to work in the chaste Victorian era, Gothic,. A range of diverse contexts, the sublime and the supernatural '' ( 1920 ) of excess, change! The colonised a product of its literary siblings social landscape Poe 's Gothic was! A symbiotic relationship between beauty and moral fidelity, Three Armies, and bond over the stuff you.. The case, the chapters focus on science, medicine, Queer theory, imperialism nationalism... Together the two symbolize the resounding influence victorian gothic literature the once physically separated social classes now lived together! 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