Offering a variety of critical approaches to late eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Gothic literature, this collection provides a transnational view of the emergence and flowering of the Gothic. The essays expand on now well-known approaches to the Gothic (such as those that concentrate exclusively on race, gender, or nation) by focusing on international issues: religious traditions, social reform, economic and financial pitfalls, manifest destiny and expansion, changing concepts of nationhood, and destabilizing moments of empire-building. By examining a wide array of Gothic texts, including novels, drama, and poetry, the contributors present the Gothic not as a peripheral, marginal genre, but as a central mode of literary exchange in an ever-expanding global context. Thus the traditional conventions of the Gothic, such as those associated with Ann Radcliffe and Monk Lewis, are read alongside unexpected Gothic formulations and lesser-known Gothic authors and texts. These include Mary Rowlandson and Bram Stoker, Frances and Anthony Trollope, Louisa May Alcott, Elizabeth Gaskell, Theodore Dreiser, Rudyard Kipling, and Lafcadio Hearn, as well as the actors Edmund Kean and George Frederick Cooke. Individually and collectively, the essays provide a much-needed perspective that eschews national borders in order to explore the central role that global (and particularly transatlantic) exchange played in the development of the Gothic. British, American, Continental, Caribbean, and Asian Gothic are represented in this collection, which seeks to deepen our understanding of the Gothic as not merely a national but a global aesthetic.
Contents: Introduction, Bridget M. Marshall and Monika Elbert; Part 1 Old World Gothic and the New World Frontier: A transnational perspective on American Gothic criticism, Siân Silyn Roberts; The transatlantic Gothic of Isaac Mitchell’s Alonzo and Melissa as an early example of popular culture, Christian Knirsch; The old Gothic and the new: the Trollopes’ wild West, Tamara Wagner; Frontier bloodlust in England: American captivity narratives and Stoker’s Dracula, Roland Finger. Part 2 Gothic Catholicism: Demonizing the Catholic other: religion and the secularization process in Gothic literature, Diane Long Hoeveler; A woman with a cross: the transgressive, transnational nun in anti-Catholic fiction, Nancy F. Sweet; The paradox of Catholicism in New England women’s Gothic, Monika Elbert. Part 3 Anglo-American Genre Exchanges: Beyond the Novel: The haunted transatlantic libertine: Edmund Kean’s American tour, Melissa Wehler; Gothic prosody: monkish perversity and the poetics of weird form, Daniel Robinson; Transnational war Gothic from the American Civil War to World War I, Agnieszka Soltysik Monnet. Part 4 Social Anxieties and Hauntings: ‘At rest now’: child ghosts and social justice in 19th-century women’s writing, Roxanne Harde; All this difficult darkness: lynching and the exorcism of the Black other in Theodore Dreiser’s ‘Nigger Jeff’, Keith B. Mitchell; ‘Duppy know who fi frighten': laying ghosts in Jamaican fiction, Candace Ward; Stranger fiction: the Asian ghost tales of Rudyard Kipling and Lafcadio Hearn, Mary Goodwin; Index.