Friday, November 18, 2005

Gothic Novels

What's a good place to start?

What are a few of the gothic novels I've read, and why do I think they're Gothic novels? Bram Stoker's Dracula, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Bronte's Jane Eyre, Lewis' Monk, Bronte's Wuthering Heights, and Lemony Snickett. What do all of these novels share? Extreme emotion and situations. Ruins in the country side. Grit in the cities. Mean, sexual clerics. Obsession with the past. What part of the past? Preindustrialization...which means medieval (like Gothic architecture? Huge heroes and huge villains.

Moreover, most of them are written by and/or are about unusually-bright young women falling in love with men who are unworthy of them. Most of those are written in the late 1800's or eary 1900's (I think)--that would have been smack dab in the middle of the Victorian era. What was the Victorian era like? Controlled?

Hm.

8 comments:

Larissa said...

your description makes it sounds like Thomas Hardy would also be an author of gothic novels, but he isn't considered a Gothic novelist (is he?).....

Voracious Reader said...

Actually, I'm not sure, but I think he might be...Let me look into it.

Odious said...

Bloody Thomas bloody Hardy was barely an author, let alone one of Gothic novels. Gack!

proclus said...

He was apparently a decent fiddler though.

Kate said...

If you haven't yet read Wilkie Collins, you have a treat ahead of you. The Woman In White and The Moonstone are pinnacles of the Gothic genre; the latter is one of my favorite novels.

And, darling, perhaps only those who have READ Thomas Hardy (Jude the Obscure doesn't count) should comment on his work...

Larissa said...

wait,...no, wait....Odious didn't say....what I think he just said, did he?

and what's the matter with Jude the Obscure? That's my favorite Hardy novel.
Why are you people blaspheming him?!?!

cube said...

Benet's Reader's Encyclopedia defines a gothic novel as "one characterized by horror, violence, supernatural effects, and a taste for the midieval, usually set against a background of Gothic architecture, esp. a gloomy & isolated castle." A broad category indeed. A lot could fit into it.

Voracious Reader said...

Sounds right to me.

Even though it's broad, that definition makes sense.