Republicanism and the American Gothic

Author(s) Marilyn Michaud

Language: English

Genre(s): History

Series: Gothic Literary Studies

  • September 2009 · 224 pages ·216x138mm

  • · Hardback - 9780708321461
  • · eBook - pdf - 9780708322338
  • · eBook - epub - 9781783163595

About The Book

Republicanism and the American Gothic is a comparative study of British and American literature and culture in the late eighteenth and mid-twentieth centuries. Offering an alternative to the psychological readings of the Gothic, this book explores the republican tradition of the British Enlightenment with a focus on the transatlantic influence of seventeenth and eighteenth century libertarian and anti-authoritarian thought on British and American revolutionary culture. Viewing republicanism as a panic-ridden ideology, it is argued that the revolutionary fears of corruption, degeneration and tyranny supply a fertile ground for the development of a Gothic tradition in America. The book then examines the continuing relevance of these fears in Cold War America. It is suggested that the aesthetic, moral and political imperatives that characterized republicanism in the late eighteenth century re-emerge in the post-war era as an antidote to the contemporary fears of communism, conformity and mass culture.


"An extremely well-written and intelligent analysis of Gothic writing in the United States. Marilyn Michaud's study is a fascinating transatlantic perspective on the American Gothic, offering illuminating readings of the dark side of the republican political unconscious."--Justin D. Edwards, Bangor University

About the Author(s)

Author(s): Marilyn Michaud

Marilyn Michaud was English Department instructor of Literature and Writing at Ryerson University. She died in 2012.

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