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The Oxford History of the Novel in EnglishVolume 2: English and British Fiction 1750-1820$
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Peter Garside and Karen O'Brien

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199574803

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199574803.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 13 December 2019

Gothic and Anti-Gothic, 1797–1820

Gothic and Anti-Gothic, 1797–1820

(p.234) 13 Gothic and Anti-Gothic, 1797–1820
The Oxford History of the Novel in English

Robert Miles

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the Gothic from 1797 to 1820. The Gothic reached its apogee in the late 1790s, when it secured a third share of the novel market, after which it withered. From 1797 onward, the Gothic seems inseparable from an anti-Gothic shadow that materialized in myriad forms, from ad hoc animadversions found in the reviews mocking the genre's formulaic character, to full-blown parodies. While the quantity of novels advertising themselves as products of the ‘terror-system’ declined during the first two decades of the century, the Gothic migrated downmarket, sustaining itself, post-1820, by embedding itself in other ‘genres’. Putting aside the tale, which the Gothic dominated, one quickly perceives that the Gothic is a variety of the novel—one of its subgenres best labelled ‘romance’. Moreover, one can best and most accurately represent the Gothic novel during the period as the proliferation of several schools, above all, of Radcliffe, Godwin, Lewis, and Schiller.

Keywords:   Gothic, Gothic novels, parodies, anti-Gothic, romance, Romantic period, Ann Radcliffe, M. G. Lewis, William Godwin, Friedrich Schiller

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