Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
First Committee Member
Second Committee Member
Third Committee Member
Fourth Committee Member
Number of Pages
Remember the Country and the Age in Which We Live” argues that the British Gothic novels produced in the late eighteenth century were not, as has traditionally been assumed, written in reaction against Enlightenment values in the face of rising political and social discord. Instead, I contend that eighteenth-century Gothic novels take part in a larger tradition of the novel that sought to impart the values of Enlightenment into a modernist genre still on the rise. By exploring the influence of Samuel Richardson on the development of the Gothic novel, the role of formal and informal educational structures, representations of political ideology, and the intensive use of aesthetics in its generic shape and articulation, I seek to demonstrate the importance of Enlightenment values in the Gothic. I also argue that the Gothic aligns irrationality with villains and social/political chaos in order to establish the importance of rationality and order to the Gothic tradition. Finally, I assess the Gothic’s place in the tradition of the novel and in the tradition of the Enlightenment more generally, and argue that the Gothic requires serious scholarly and critical reassessment in order to move away from previous readings that saw it as a fictional deviation, and instead reposition it and its lasting impact on the larger traditions of Enlightenment and the novel in the West.
Ann Radcliffe; Clara Reeve; Gothic Novel; Mary Wollstonecraft; Matthew Lewis; William Godwin
English Language and Literature
Beasley, Garland David, "Remember the Country and the Age in Which We Live": The British Gothic Novel in the Age of Enlightenment, 1764-1798" (2017). UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones. 3115.
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