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Female Gothic Histories

Gender, Histories and the Gothic

Author(s): Diana Wallace

Language: English

Genre(s): Literary Criticism

Series: Gothic Literary Studies

March 2013272 pages216x138mm

Hardback - 9780708325742 eBook - epub - 9781783160310 eBook - mobi - 9781783160327 eBook - pdf - 9780708325759

About The Book

Female Gothic Histories traces the development of women’s Gothic historical fiction from Sophia Lee’s The Recess in the late eighteenth century through the work of Elizabeth Gaskell, Vernon Lee, Daphne du Maurier and Victoria Holt to the bestselling novels of Sarah Waters in the twenty-first century. Often left out of traditional historical narratives, women writers have turned to Gothic historical fiction as a mode of writing which can both reinsert them into history and symbolise their exclusion. This study breaks new ground in bringing together thinking about the Gothic and the historical novel, and in combining psychoanalytic theory with historical contextualisation.


In 'Female Gothic Histories' Diana Wallace provides a powerful account of the centrality of historical fiction to the evolution of the Gothic and, in the process, re-writes the story of the origins of the historical novel. Her finely-argued and nuanced case-studies -- ranging from Sophia Lee in the C18thth to Sarah Waters in the C21st -- will cause readers to reflect anew upon both genres and the intriguing ways in which their genealogies intertwine. Elegantly written, carefully researched and imaginative in its use of literary and feminist theory, this book will quickly establish itself as priority reading for students and scholars alike. Professor Lynne Pearce, Lancaster University.


1 Introduction 2. The Murder of the Mother: Sophia Lee’s The Recess (1783-5) Coda: The daughter’s story: Ann Radcliffe and the Female Gothic 3. Be-witched and Ghosted: Elizabeth Gaskell’s Gothic historical tales 4. Puzzling over the Past: Vernon Lee’s fantastic stories 5. Displacing the Past: Daphne du Maurier and the modern Gothic 6. Queer as History: Sarah Water’s Gothic historical novels Afterword

About the Author(s)

Diana Wallace

Diana Wallace is Professor of English Literature at the University of South Wales. She is the author of Female Gothic Histories (2013), The Woman’s Historical Novel (2005) and Sisters and Rivals in British Women’s Fiction, 1914–39 (2000).

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