[This essay was first published in Le Fanu Studies 8:2 (May 2013)]

Le Fanu’s Sensational novels of the later sixties and seventies are often regarded as difficult and unrewarding, the product, as several critics have suggested, of a talent in decline. W J McCormack’s remarks are typical: ‘in quality of writing’, he tells us, ‘few of these [works] deserve attention in their own right’ (Dissolute Characters, 160), and offer little to readers. Yet others have disagreed, and recent criticism has re-read at least some of these later texts in a more positive light. Commentators have stressed their interest as experimental works engaging with a variety of complicated themes and techniques. Sally Harris, for instance, has written of the genre-breaking strategies of The Wyvern Mystery (‘Crossing Boundaries’, 385–401), while Frances Chui examines the political dimensions of Checkmate(LeFanu Studies, 5:1) and The Rose and the Key. Willing to Die (1873), Le Fanu’s final novel, has similarly benefitted from re-discovery by Victor Sagem who argues that his technique is informed with the aesthetics of ‘fragmentation and narrative perversity’ (‘Smashed Looking Glass’, 429–448). Such readings are part of on-going attempts to rehabilitate Le Fanu’s final stories and link them to his earlier achievments.

An interesting but neglected aspect of Le Fanu’s Sensational tales is their representation of the landscape, people and culture of Wales. Wales is deployed as a setting in three of the later works: The Tenants of Malory (1867); The Rose and the Key (1871); and Willing to Die (1873).

In each of these Wales/Cymru is represented in detail, although there are only scattered commentaries on the significance of its treatment. Enid Madoc-Jones (1961, 1969) offers a biographical interpretation focusing on Le Fanu’s time as a visitor to North Wales, and in her critical introduction to The Rose and the Key (2007) Frances Chui implies, but does not make explicit, the cultural and political connections between Wales and Ireland. Both readings present suggestive explanations, yet only take us part of the way towards a full understanding of Le Fanu’s unusual backgrounds. Commentators have not been able to penetrate or conceptualize their meanings, and have not analysed the close-written textures of the novels’ topographical and historical references. There is nevertheless an half-realised sense of the significance of this writing. Even McCormack, otherwise so dismissive of these later fictions, implies the importance of their locations and their representation of Welshness (Dissolute Characters, 160); they may be undeserving, according to his line of reasoning, but some attention should be directed at unravelling the mystery of their setting. Typically, Le Fanu himself seems to pose the question and challenge the reader to make sense of it. In Willing to Die, Marston describes Malory and its locale in North Wales as a ‘queer corner of the world’ (117), and these provocative and ambiguous terms are surely presented as an invitation to decode. Le Fanu characteristically provides the means to interpret at least some of the mystery. Allusions and echoes of allusions recur throughout the texts, and there are numerous occasions when the reader is invited to forge connections and construct meanings through the making of analogies and resemblances.

This writing of Wales, though unsettlingly ambiguous and often paradoxical, can be interpreted as a meaningful ingredient within a series of dense textures. By turns sophisticated and contradictory, its messages can be negotiated in several ways, even if they do not always fit together or form a cohesive whole. Evasive and difficult to pin down, Le Fanu’s ‘Welsh novels’ are characterised, in the words of McCormack, by a ‘rejection of all notions of fixed centrality’ reliable identity, and social stability’ (‘Introduction’, In a Glass Darkly, xi).

With that proviso, the milieu can be read, first of all, as a means of placing the fictions within the cultural frameworks of British readers. Though nominally about Wales, it is primarily manipulated, I suggest, to articulate a series of reflections on the political situation in Ireland, the nature of colonialism, the effects of cultural fragmentation, and especially the impact on those historically responsible for the situation. These issues are examined in detail here; placed in a ‘corner’ which is decidedly ‘queer’, and drawing on a series of overlapping methodologies, I set out to explain or at least try to explain the author’s multi-faceted treatment of his Welsh theme.

Why Wales? Manipulating the Reader

The political situation in Ireland in the 1860s meant Irish themes were unpopular among the ‘home’ readership, and publishers pressurised their authors into writing stories that were placed in England, or at least in Britain. George Smith of Smith, Elder compelled Trollope to abandon the Irish settings of his earlier novels and write an ‘English tale’ (Trollope, Autobiography, 1:190) in the form of Framley Parsonage (1860–61), and the same type of pressures were brought to bear on Le Fanu. As often observed, Richard Bentley would only publish Le Fanu’s work if it were set in England (Sage, ‘Irish Gothic’, 90) – the result being Uncle Silas (1864) and subsequent novels – and the same conditions may have been formally imposed by Tinsley’s, Hurst and Blackett and Chapman and Hall, the publishers of the three Welsh novels. In the absence of business documentation we cannot we sure, but Le Fanu in all likelihood wrote his Welsh settings because his publishers would only publish if he wrote within a British milieu.

He satisfied this requirement, as if anxious to register ‘Britishness’ in the most explicit way, by including both England and Wales. Though largely set in Snowdonia, the action in all three of the novels moves to London, Chester and the South-East, and there is always a sense of England’s close proximity to the Welsh locations of Penmaen Mawr, the Menai Straits, Conwy, Caernarfon, Llanberis, Beaumaris and the rest. Framed within the familiar domain of home or near-home, Le Fanu offers a hybrid geography and free interchange between two very distinct but still recognisably British cultures, so positioning the novels within a context which reassured the publisher while satisfying the conservative tastes of the middle-class reader of middle-England. Cast as a writer whose aim was to entertain rather than engage the reader with politics, Le Fanu (apparently) writes of ‘home’ in a period when foreign themes were generally avoided and Britain, as the world’s dominant power, was obsessed with its own identity, sometimes celebrating ‘Britishness’, and sometimes anxiously engaging in a process of self-interrogation.

Le Fanu’s treatment of Wales and its relationship with England contributes to this discourse of self-definition and can be read in conjunction with other fictions, such as Trollope’s Barsetshire novels, which emphasise the ‘Britishness’ or at least the ‘Englishness’ of their settings. Le Fanu had to give his publishers what they wanted, but it is also possible that he self-consciously set out to emulate his contemporaries’ emphasis on locations expressing a distinct sense of place. In the later sixties he aimed to re-position his work within the mainstream of British fiction and his writing of Wales might have been an attempt to present his own version of British regionalism. Placing the action in a well-defined locale was after all a key characteristic of Victorian fiction, and there were numerous exemplars he could emulate.

Impressed, perhaps, by the specificity of Dickens’s London, Gaskell’s Manchester, the Brontës’ Yorkshire, Trollope’s Berkshire and Eliot’s Midlands, Le Fanu may have intended to write his own idiosyncratic setting in the form of a version of North Wales. This strategy reflects the author’s capacity to work within pre-determined contexts, but his choice of setting surely reflects his desire to heighten the appeal of his books by setting them in a place which, though geographically familiar, was still relatively novel. Conscious of the need to generate new readerships, Le Fanu may have set his fictions in Snowdonia as part of an attempt to monopolize on a growing interest in Wales.

The author was personally familiar with North Wales, seems to have had a considerable affection for Beaumaris, lived there for some of his childhood (Sage, ‘Smashed Looking Glass’, 440), realised its unusual appeal, and must have been aware of the area’s attractions. Though technically a part of England, at least at the time of writing, the differences between England and Wales were increasingly recognized in literature of the period, and in using Welsh settings he may have sought to exploit the interest in its culture then being generated by texts such as Gaskell’s Ruth (1853) and ‘The Doom of the Griffiths’ (1859, 1861). Other accounts of Welsh culture, notably Arnold’s The Study of Celtic Literature (1867), were instrumental in stimulating another, more critical awareness of the topic.

Positioned between these two extremes – the anthropological and historical analysis of Arnold and the romanticism of Gaskell – Le Fanu appealed to his largely ready-made audience by providing another, fictional dimension to the understanding of the Principality. He also references his work to the increasing body of paintings and plate-books which celebrated the Welsh landscape, its magical ‘otherness’ and its unique medieval architecture. During the fifties and sixties highly idealised images of Wales proliferated in the form of populist watercolours, oils, etchings and lithographs, and interest in Scotland was briefly supplanted by the more accessible Cymru. This images provide a distinct visual context, a frame for his highly pictorial writings of the Welsh landscape and its architecture.

Le Fanu’s principal context, however, was the impact of tourism. He had re-established his connections with North Wales in 1864–66 when he vacationed in Beaumaris (McCormack, Sheridan, 201), and although he had crossed from Ireland it is important to know that internal holidaying from England to Wales was then becoming a vogue. In the early sixties Wales, and North Wales especially, became tourist destinations: the development of the railways allowed easy access, companies such as Thomas Cook’s offered tours in the manner of the modern vacation ‘package’, and visitors’ demands for information were reflected in the publication of a vast array of guide-books and travelogues.

Two depictions of Wales by David Cox. Left: View in North Wales [Bridge over a stream] . Right: Mountain and Stream, North Wale. [Click on images to enlarge them.]

This type of book may have been consulted by Le Fanu and it can be argued that he manipulates the tastes of the bourgeois holiday-maker by fusing his writings with the crowd-pleasing conventions of the travel-book. He writes his settings as if they were extensions of the descriptions appearing in Borrow’s Wild Wales (1862) while carefully echoing the pictorial language in Black’s Picturesque Guide to North Wales (1869), in the anonymous Notes of Family Excursions in North Wales (1860), and in John Hincklin’s The Illustrated Hand-Book of North Wales [1863]. His treatment of setting is sometimes so similar to the style of these books, I suggest, that it seems he is trying to gain the reader’s attention by presenting his material as if his fictions were indeed guide-books to help the visitor understand the spectacular ‘sights’ to be seen in the area. This manipulation of the lexicons of tourism is clearly registered in his use of the language of the sublime and picturesque, and the extent of his borrowing is revealed in a comparison between a passage from a guide-book and one of his own. The first is Hicklin’s description of Beaumaris:

[it] is one of the most respectable and interesting towns in the NW; and its situation is exceedingly charming and picturesque. It enjoys a most beautiful and sublime prospect, with the distinguishing peculiarity, that the eye at the same time rests on a noble expanse of the ocean, and an extensive range of the loftiest mountains in Wales. [94–95]

And the second is the evocation of the same scene in The Rose and the Key:

The scene was indeed worth the detour in their homeward route. Two grand and distant ranges of mountain … stop short in precipitous terminations that resemble the confronting castles of two gigantic lines of fortification … and, with the village studded with grand old trees, looking like a town on fire. [4]

Le Fanu’s passage is written in the same register as the guide. Like Hincklin’s description, it proffers a field of visual pleasure: the ‘sublime prospect’ of the first extract is matched by the ‘grand’ and ‘gigantic’ scale of the mountains; the space of mountains and sea is paralleled by the ‘distant’ intervals of the landscape; and the ‘charming’ effects of the ‘picturesque’ townscape are registered in the form of a vivid, fairy-tale fortress, unearthly, unfamiliar, all ‘on fire’ . This is the very embodiment of the tourist hard-sell, and it is interesting to compare the description with the fanciful imagery of contemporary prints and paintings.

David Cox, Scene in North Wales.

Le Fanu elsewhere deploys the terminology of tourism in his use of such key terms as ‘quaint’, which is routinely applied to the architecture (Tenants of Malory, 2: 32) as well as to the people. Moreover, several of his characters are literally tourists: Cleve in The Tenants of Malory is purely on a pleasure trip, and in The Rose and the Key Maud Vernon is on a sketching tour. These characters seem to exist as a means of drawing the reader into fictions that celebrate Wales as a new-found commodity, an ‘enchanted’ place (Willing to Die, 1: 7) of spectacular sights and peculiar foreigners while still on British soil, and in close adjacency to the wealthy, and familiar, industrial homelands of the English Midlands.

Wales, Ireland, and the Colonial Experience

Le Fanu’s writing of Wales as a tourist destination is nevertheless highly ambiguous and challenging. On the face of it, his scenes are no more than ornamental enhancements, pleasing backgrounds and rustic populations positioned in contrapuntal opposition to the strangeness of the main characters and creating a sense of well-being – the Victorian equivalent of the ‘holiday novel’ – at calculated odds with stories of loss and dislocation. Yet there are other tensions as well, fissures within the tightly-controlled writing of Wales as pleasure-commodity. Scrutinised more closely, the pictoral descriptions of a sublime landscape and charming architecture can be read afresh as a critical tool, a sort of allegory designed to critique the political situation in Ireland, focusing especially on the cultural tensions between the Catholic majority and the landed Protestant elite. Having drawn the reader into an apparently anodyne world of leisure and pleasure, he offers a sharply-realised sub-text.

Of course, Le Fanu’s treatment of foreign settings as a means to explore Irish themes is well-known: Styria in ‘Carmilla’ (In a Glass Darkly) has been read in these terms (Chui, ‘Intoduction’, Rose and Key ../../painting/cox/drawings/15.htmliii–xxiv), Elizabeth Bowen famously remarks on the Irishness of Uncle Silas (‘Introduction to Uncle Silas , 334), and it is commonplace to note, in the words of Catherine Wynne, how the author ‘transfers’ his ‘social and political concerns’ to an English ‘backdrop’ (43). Forbidden to use an Irish setting, he enshrines his Irish themes in the fabric of the prescribed setting, and a parallel process occurs here. Constrained by his publishing arrangements, he finds a symbolic language that empowers him to focus afresh – and with unconstrained honesty – on the very set of Irish themes he was explicitly forbidden to present to the British public; indeed, in deploying a Welsh milieu he was able to extend the process of surrogacy.

This tactic has been partly identified by Frances Chui’s in her introduction to The Rose and the Key (xxvii). But I further suggest that Le Fanu uses Wales as an exact proxy for his home-land, presenting a landscape and people which formed a much better mirror for Ireland than England, and, through a process of parallelism and transposition, allowed him to articulate his commentaries on Ireland and the Irish in great detail. To what extent these commentaries would have been visible to the original readers is of course a problematic issue: put bluntly, it seems curious he should present a picturesque version of Wales as a means of interrogating the ‘Irish situation’, juxtaposing visual beauty and curious anecdote with the sour political issues of the Anglo-Irish Ascendancy. This creation of a vertiginous effect based on combinations of experience from contrasting domains was however quite typical of the complex strategies employed throughout his writing. Moreover, there were contemporary precedents for this sort of semi-allegorical dislocation. In Barnaby Rudge (1841) and A Tale of Two Cities (1859) Dickens explores the anxious social unrest of the early and mid-Victorian period by transposing it onto the French Revolution (1789), and in Thackeray’s Henry Esmond (1852), a story set in the time of Queen Anne (1702–14), the author engages with contemporary questions of progress and political power. These novels interrogate their subjects by displacing them historically and ethnically, and Le Le Fanu’s treatments might also be read as novels deploying a parallel strategy. Contemporaries may have understand them in these terms; what we can say with certainty is that the coded forms presented in these novels are problematic for the readers of today, and have to be decoded.

Le Fanu’s choice of Wales as an ‘inflected’ means (Chui, ‘Introduction’, xxvii) of interpreting Ireland is in one sense a relatively obvious one, there being clear resemblances between the two countries. Both are Celtic cultures with an indigenous language; both were conquered over a period of centuries by the Anglo-Normans and subsequently possessed by a series of brutal regimes; and both became the subject of colonization and political annexation in which the native people were systematically dispossessed and ruled by England and the English class system, with foreign landowners as their overlords. In Michael Hecter’s memorable term, Wales was subject to the ‘internal colonialism’ applied within the confines of Britain and the British Isles. Indeed, the application of the Welsh experience to the situation in Ireland is clinched by the fact that Wales (which was finally conquered for the Crown by Edward I in 1282) was the subject of exploitation and cultural despoilation even before Ireland was; as Terence Hawkes remarks, Wales has ‘the dubious distinction of being England’s first colony’, a land inheriting a ‘history of constant and often violent penetration of its borders’ (119). The condition of Wales as the subject of a ‘nakedly alien imperialism’ (Williams, 85) might thus be read as an exemplar of political and cultural appropriation, a version of fragmentation and alienation that allows the author to point directly to the situation in Ireland and explore specific facets of the colonial experience. This commentary has several dimensions, and (typically) Le Fanu does not commit himself to a single perspective. Some of the work explores the current situation of the colonial overlords, those who possessed Wales and Ireland; while other aspects of his analysis focuses on the condition of the people and the appropriation of the land.

His critique is sometimes satirical, a subtle questioning of the status quo in which he reflects on institutional power and its dependence on tradition and the symbols of tradition. Centrally concerned with the landed gentry and their properties in Wales, he uses these characters as doubles for their real Irish equivalents, revealing the vagaries of their situation. In The Tenants of Malory, he tellingly provides a portrait of the Verneys’ authority over the local Welsh inhabitants as largely a matter of membership of the Church of England, a faith worshipped from the privacy of their pew (1: 29). The analogy with the Irish situation is not spelled out, but it could be that Le Fanu is reminding the reader that Protestant power in Ireland is expressed by dependence on ownership over the ‘official’ religion as surely as the Verneys’ authority is manifested in theirs. We should also note, of course, that the Verneys’ status as rulers is supported by membership of a minority church in a country in which the populace at large were non-conformists rather than Anglicans. For Anglicans we can read Protestant landowners, and for non-conformists we can substitute Catholics. English ‘conquest of Wales for the English crown’ (Tenants, 1: 1–2), was initially a matter of military annexation; but the application of a foreign religious tradition was used in Cymru to mark the difference between rulers and ruled as surely as it was used to differentiate between the Anglo-Irish Protestant and the indigenous Catholic majority. What is most telling, however, is the fact that the Verneys’ power depends on a fragile symbolism; their status is expressed in their observance of Anglican ritual, and this state of affairs points to the equally fragile status of Irish Protestants.

Le Fanu focuses on what might be called the emptiness of imperial signs and traces, traditional symbols of colonial ownership which in themselves, he seems to suggest, have no intrinsic substance. He explores the iconography of the ‘big house’ – the opulent emblems of power that purely signify as symbols and only gain their meaning in juxtaposition to the homes of the natives. In Ireland, so Marjorie Howes explains, the ‘solitary Big House’ exists in a ‘symbolic geography’, a contrast with the ‘surrounding villages’ (62) which gives it its power. This situation is highlighted, moreover, in the writing of the houses in Wales. Le Fanu exposes the situation in Ireland by presenting a programmatic opposition between the houses of the English and those of the Welsh. The colonizers’ mansions, emblems of those in Ireland, are the very type of empty display. In Malory, the house featuring in The Tenants and Willing to Die, the emphasis is firmly placed on status symbols of wealth and inheritance, in which, so Ethel Ware tells us, the décor includes ‘tall windows’ and some ‘dingy portraits’, a place of ‘gloom and solemnity’ (6). In Plas Ywld, conversely, Maud is fascinated by the quirkiness of the house, visualising an interior resonant with signs of cheerful domesticity:

All the furniture, chairs, tables, and joint stools are the same black oak, waxed and polished till it gleams and sparkles again …There are two sets of shelves against the wall on which stand the brightly coloured delft figures, cups, and candlesticks … a kind of ornament in which the Welsh delight. [Rose and Key, 13]

The English house is a place of static grandeur, the Welsh one an idealised domain of domestic pleasure. One is regular, fixed; the other, irregular and spontaneous. What is more, Le Fanu explicitly points over two novels to the contrast between the empty symbolism of Malory, and the resonance of the objects in Plas Ywld. In Malory, the pictures connote a bogus tradition. The pictures shown here are symbols of ‘grave’ display, objects existing only to impress and only ‘half decipherable’ (6) because they link to a constructed past; in the Welsh house, on the other hand, the objects connect with an authentic history, a meaningfulness invested in tradition based on a rightful (in contrast to an imposed) descent from the owners of the ‘old house, to its present occupiers’ (Rose and Key, 13). Most importantly of all, the domestic items in the Welsh interior are ‘homely’. This term is applied throughout the descriptions of the natives’ homes, but never applied to the English ones.

In Freudian terms – a point I shall develop later – a contrast is made between the ‘homeliness’ of the colonized, and the ‘un-homeliness’ of the colonizers. Exampled in Wales, the Big House is revealed as a chimera, ‘whose distinctive characteristics … derive from its dependence on an absent centre of power and its alienation from those it rules close at hand’ (Howes 62). At the same time, Le Fanu uses the Welsh exemplar to suggest that the symbolism of Anglo-Irish authority is meaningless in the exact sense of seeming always in the process of collapse. In writing Wales he provides several images of castles, the ancestors of old houses which, in their literal ruination, focus attention on the metaphorical decay of the colonial class who built them in Cymru and, by extension, in Ireland too. In The Rose and the Key he provide a catalogue of Edwardian castles: Cardyllion/Beaumaris, Caernarfon (8) and Conwy all feature, and although they are incorporated in the text as the subject of picturesque study, they all resonate as the emblems of a rotten imperialism. Constructed as part of the ‘ring of iron’ to enclose Llywelyn ap Gruffydd’s power-base in Gwynedd, to break the resistance of his subjects and ultimately of Wales as a whole, these are the wrecked remainders, and reminders, of a brutal colonial regime. The author regularly notes their decay (4, 8), and in another small detail links Beaumaris Castle to ‘one or two old houses’ (7), so making an explicit commentary on the ‘ruined’ nature of those whose status depends on such property.

It could be argued, in short, that Le Fanu exposes the weaknesses of the power- structure in Anglicised Wales – a matter of conventional religious observance and dusty display – as a means of revealing the parallel structures defining the Anglo-Irish. Focusing on signs of inauthenticity, ageing, and decay, he provides a series of reflections on the passing of what appeared to be a solid tradition but dissolves into anxious uncertainties. The imposed English traditions in Wales and the properties of the English become the shimmering signs of a state of mind as much as a political situation, a bodying forth, in the words of Jarlath Killen, of ‘the fear of marginalisation’ experienced by the ‘paranoid possessors, the out-of-control controllers, the descending Ascendancy’ (qtd. Smith, 151). Such anxiety is more generally explored in Le Fanu’s writing of the people of Wales and its landscapes. As in the writing of institutions, this tactic provides a commentary on the condition of Ireland which, once identified as part of a symbolic scheme, is surprisingly or even brutally direct.

The writing of the Welsh people as surrogates for their fellow Celts exemplifies the outsiders’ view of a subjugated people, the very model of prejudice informing a colonial understanding of the indigenous Other. Though Le Fanu is sympathetic in his writing of Welsh homes, he writes the Cymry as just another version of Irish Catholics, revealing in detail the character of imperial stereotyping. Within the pages of the novels Le Fanu depicts the Welsh-cum-Irish using the classic imperial designation of strangeness, writing them as a mxture of ignorance and threat, fantasy and unknowability, absurdity and unpredictability. By turns quaint and strange, the Welsh-Irish veer between the status of simple rustics (Tenants, 2: 118), sprites and fairies (1:128), ghosts, the genial (in the many Dickensian portraits of the Welsh as comical), and the ‘wild’ (1:9).

Most tellingly of all, Le Fanu judges the Welsh in terms that were always applied to the Irish, as inferior creatures who failed to match up to their Anglo-English masters. They may have been amusingly ignorant, but their inferiority was always normalized, presented as if it were scientific ‘fact’. Indeed, in the mid-nineteenth century it was commonplace to classify the Welsh as ‘naturally’ inferior to Anglo-Saxons; as Jo Pryke explains, the people of Wales were considered to be ‘primitive and morally backward’ (1), a judgement equally applied to the Irish, and one Le Fanu may have agreed with. Racial and phsyiognomical theory of the time routinely identified Celts as people as lower beings who were further down the evolutionary chain than Anglo-Saxons (Cowling, 125–9), and Le Fanu’s texts contain traces of this quasi-Darwinist pseudo-science. Describing Cardyllion – despite having pictured it as a post-card view – the author condemns the life there as rough and uncivilized, a place combining a ‘sparce population’ and ‘difficult intercommunication’ that can only give rise to the ‘conditions of barbarism’ (Tenants, 1: 44–5) where gossiping flourishes (2: 2), witch-craft is practised (1: 53), and the people generally exist in a condition of debased peasanthood. Such might easily be a description of the degraded state of the Irish, especially following the catastrophe of the Great Hunger. Viewed as children or yokels, the Welsh embody the dialectic and difference which must always exist, according to the anthropological theory of the time, between the Celt and ‘the Norman aristocracy of home’ (qtd. Cowling, 125); and this emphasis on the ‘darkened minds’ and ‘primitive’ ways (Phillips, 9) of the Welsh allows Le Fanu to offer commentaries which are paradoxically both outspoken and half-disguised, symbolizing the inadequacies of the Irish while never transgressing his obligation to avoid controversial issues. The Irish do not appear, but their condition is vested in their equivalents.

Le Fanu similarly deploys a version of the Welsh landscape as a means of commenting on the poverty and deprivation of Ireland. There is no direct evidence that he explains the country’s privation as a consequence of the Protestant owners’ exploitation or neglect of their estates, but he does provide a series of elaborate tableaux which reveal a clear-sighted awareness of the uselessness of so much of the land. The barrenness of Snowdonia/Gwynedd is an emblematic commentary on the wrecked and empty nature of the Irish landscape in the period following the Great Hunger of the Forties, and there are numerous occasions when the Welsh landscapes, as a physical proxy for Ireland, are described as depopulated and laid to waste. A typical example appears in the opening page of The Rose and the Key:

Towards the sunset end of this savage heath stand four gigantic fir-trees, casting long shadows. One, indeed, is little more than a rotten stump … all bend eastwards, shorn of their bough nearly to the top, and stretching the arms that remain, some yellow and stripped of their bark …These slanting fir-trees look like the masts of a might wreck; and antiquaries say that they are the monumental relics of a forest that lies buried under the peat. [3]

Here we have the key signifiers of a desolated land: a lexical field of rottenness and exhaustion with the natural resources reduced to the ‘savage’ status of a ‘wreck’, ‘shorn’ of plenty and subsisting only on ‘relics’. The landscape is thus figured as the quintessentially Irish landscape, providing a graphic intensity missing from Le Fanu’s explicit descriptions of the Gaelic countryside in his other novels. What the landscape does possess, however, is its essential qualities, as Le Fanu describes them in ‘The Child that Went with the Fairies’ and ‘The White Cat of Drumgunniol’, of loneliness and poverty (Madam Crowl’s Ghost, 50, 59). Inscribed within the language of the picturesque, the calculated beautifying of tourism that Le Fanu uses to appeal to his readers, such gaunt and ugly spaces offer a Gothic image of a desecrated country. Developed far more extensively than any of the landscape descriptions in any of the rest of his work, Le Fanu’s writing of the Welsh terrain is an important symbolic code with a revealing application.

Wales, Ireland, and Colonial Alienation

So Le Fanu writes Wales as a sort of political allegory in which one set of circumstances interrogates another. As part of this analysis he is engaged with the condition of those involved in the process of colonialism. But although he refers to the Welsh his prime interest is not the colonized but the colonizers, and throughout these novels he provides a detailed exploration of the psychological effects of living within, and ruling, a country which is not the characters’ own. Ethel Ware of Willing to Die and Maud of The Rose and the Key are a prime focus, although all of the novels’ personae experience, and are constrained by, the rules of an imperial discourse. Le Fanu is centrally interested in the characters’ unstable sense of identity, exploring self-hood and ambivalence through the application of questions about alienation, hybridity and cultural marginalization. This analysis, framed within the methodologies of post-colonialism, can be traced through the characters’ relationships with the ‘Other’, Welsh culture as it is experienced from within the apparently ‘safe’ domain of their own; once again, Wales provides a perfect platform from which to examine the condition of the Anglo-Irish landowners and their state of mind.

Questions of alterity, of lack of identification with the host culture, are well-placed in a Welsh setting and Le Fanu, who scatters historical allusions throughout the novels, must have been aware of the fractured premise of its existence. In Wales, he would have known, there was historically an absolute contrast between the Welsh-speaking inhabitants and the English occupiers. The sense of each group being alien or alienated was encoded, moreover, in the labels each adopted or applied to the other. The Welsh names for themselves, Cymric and Cymru, means ‘the land of fellow-countrymen’ (in echo of the Irish, ‘Sinn Feinn’, ‘ourselves alone’); the English name for the Welsh is derived from the Anglo-Saxon ‘Waelas’, or ‘foreigners’, ‘Wallia’ meaning literally the ‘land of foreigners’; while the Welsh named the English as ‘Saesaneg’ (Saxons, or in Scots, Sassenachs) from Lloegyr (‘the lost lands’). Each stresses otherness, and this difference, accentuated by an assymetrical power-relationship, produced a sharp sense of discordance, ‘a duality of experience [which] makes it virtually ungraspable [to understand Wales] as a single, unified entity’ (Hawkes, 119). Such disintegration matched the Irish situation and in exploring his characters’ experience Le Fanu focuses precisely on this sense of duality, of living in but not being of the host culture, the psychological status, in the words of Laurence Roussillon and David Clifford, of ‘outsiders looking in’.

Their sense of confused identity is partly explored through the English characters’ relationships with the Welsh ones. As noted earlier, the natives are perceived in terms of tourist constructions, as peasants or the fairies. This vocabulary provide a calculated echo with the terminology or tourist-books, but (as usual) it contains a political message, a coded application of the language of colonial oppression that always reduces the native people to an illegible Otherness, only coping with their unreadability through the deployment of reductive typing (Madsen, 8). Though Ware and Malory are long-established homes replete with the symbols of heritage, the people who live there have only the understandings of colonials who pass through, not those of residents who participate in the indigenous culture. Their sense of identity is effectively presented as an idea of self defined only against an external semi-unknown.

The characters’ lack of integrated identity, as outsiders looking in, is most clearly revealed, however, in their attitude to the native tongue. This is always regarded as strange and incomprehensible, and sometimes with contempt. Welsh, the language of some of greatest medieval poetry, is patronisingly mentioned as ‘the prettiest of all pretty tongues’ (Tenants,1: 128), an ‘idle’ (Tenants, 1:157), gossipy brogue (Tenants, 2: 1) met by the ‘reserve’ (Tenants, 1:1) of spoken English. These terms suggest how the natives are regarded as an extrinsic presence, but more important is their function as a sign of the English characters’ fractured relationship with the cultural space they occupy. Revealingly, none of the them speaks Welsh and not a single word of Welsh is spoken or quoted in a any of the novels.

Ethel in Willing to Die repeatedly proclaims her love for Malory and the ‘kind faces’ of ‘home’(137), but in reality she is entirely ignorant of the indigenous language: is incapable of speaking with her servants in their own words or even conduct a simple conversation with the local rustics. This might seem incidental, but it marks in detail the fragmented space between her own sense of identity (claimed to be a product of her beloved Wales) and the reality. Given that Welsh, not English, was and still is the first language in North Wales, her incapacity to talk to her retainers in their own terms reveals that her sense of place and sense of self have been constructed in purely artificial terms. There is no integration, only segregation; her notion of herself is necessarily a matter of delusion, of self-hood constructed in a context of alienation; and there is no attempt to integrate linguistically or in any other way. Bound by English – which, as Deborah Madsen remarks, is ‘an especially privileged agent of colonial control’ (9) – she remains a foreigner in her own ‘home’.

Unversed in the language of the natives, Ethel is offered, in other words, as the very type of land-owning foreigner whose situation defines the isolation of the Anglo-Irish. It is unlikely that the Protestant landlords would have understood Gaelic any more than the English gentry understood the Welsh, and Ethel’s situation, unable to speak Welsh (a language bearing some relationship to Gaelic) is emblematic of the psychological remoteness of the rulers in Ireland. Self-defined as Anglo-Welsh, she provides an exact portrait of the state of mind of those who constructed themselves as Anglo-Irish, surrounded by the incomprehensible and with no familiar referents to which they could connect their sense of self. This isolation is necessarily expressed in terms of psychological withdrawal.

All of the characters speak of loneliness, of containment within the walls and precincts of their houses, just as the Anglo-Irish withdrew into theirs. This ‘lonely life’ (Willing to Die, 179) suggests the introspection of the Irish colonizers, a modus vivendi with no engagement with the home-culture, as such, but is purely a matter, as Ethel puts it, of ‘flitting from country house to country house’ (179). The psychological effect, speaking more generally, is one of restlessness and alienation, of mental dislocation and disconnection in which the prime consequence is anxiety: the terms ‘melancholy’, ‘sad’, ‘sadness’ and ‘dejection’ ring throughout the novels, and this lexical field provides a deeply resonant commentary on the colonists’ sense of rootless isolation.

Such ill-feeling is eerie and strange, and one way of understanding the writer’s technique is to link it to the Freudian theory of the uncanny, as outlined in his famous and influential essay of 1919. In a general sense, Le Fanu comments on the Irish situation by making the English in Wales the occupiers of a land which in Freudian terms is ‘unhomely’; what appears to be safe and familiar is in reality a tenuous construction, a place that appropriates and applies the social structures of the English, resembles England in its deployment of symbolic iconographies, but is not England. The ‘heimlich’ is converted through cultural distance into the ‘unheimleich’ (124–5; 132–4); the English and their Anglo-Irish counterparts experience a lack of ease between themselves and ‘the people’ because they are not the same. The English in Wales impose differences of class and faith, and so do the Anglo-Irish, creating a distinct sense of fitting but not fitting in. In Wales the difference between Anglicanism and the (unmentioned) non-conformism services difference, and in Ireland there is an uncanny contrast, in Freud’s own words in which ‘Protestant land-owners do not feel heimlich among their Catholic inferiors’ (127).

And the uncanniness generated by cultural difference is also amplified by a lingering awareness of the forms of the previous order that has been superseded (and brutally invalidated) by colonial rule. The characters in the Welsh novels focus upon the emblems of Englishness, but they still sense an unknown and threatening otherness; in Freud’s theorizing, they have ignored or suppressed the knowledge of the conflict between the English and the Welsh and as a result experience anxiety and ill-defined fearfulness. ‘The frightening element … is something that has been repressed and now returns …the uncanny element is actually nothing new or strange, but something that was long familiar to psyche and was estranged from it only through being repressed’ (147–8). But histories of the past, notably shameful ones, do not remain hidden, and the characters constantly reveal their residual awareness of what has been, and ‘now returns’ (147). This is rather like gaining a small, menacing glimpse of what lies buried or half-implied within the structures of normalized English life, the ‘unheimlich’ of foreignness and discord (Allen, 115) inscribed within the familiar forms of the ‘heimlich’, but kept out of psychological view. Exampled in the writing of the Anglo-Welsh, this situation becomes a clear sign of the condition of the Anglo-Irish, whose relationship to the past is an exact parallel to that described in the novels.

The brooding, lingering presence of what has been is a notion carefully developed in the landscapes and the characters’ responses to them. The Welsh terrain, as a surrogate for the Irish one, is figured as a place constructed in terms of the Picturesque, but always seems to be on the point of revealing its repressed histories. The characters admire the landscapes as impressive feasts for the eye, but they also discern the traces of the older culture that possessed them. Within the smooth exteriors there is a strong sense of emerging ‘monumental relics’, the structures of a ‘mighty wreck’ lying ‘buried’ (Rose and Key, 3). That ‘fragment’ is the sign of a ‘miserable plight’ (Willing to Die, 122), an echo of the Welsh laments as tribal groupings were evicted from their lands by English overlords just as they were in Ireland. Indeed, the idea of a lingering after-life is highlighted by Le Fanu’s setting of his fictions not simply in Wales, but in Snowdonia/Gwynedd. This was traditionally the heart of Welshness, the kingdom of the House of Aberffraw and, once seized by Edward, the sign of resistance and despair. As one critic remarks, Gwynedd was the home of ‘the sons of liberty’ (Hackforth-Jones, 40). In its very geography, North Wales becomes emblematic for Wales, Ireland and all appropriated Celtic lands, and one haunted by a vanquished past.

There are specific memories, moreover, of the Celtic leaders who were the rightful rulers of the land. In The Rose and the Key and The Tenants of Malory the author includes a number of clues to remind us of their presence within the characters’ mind-set. In The Rose and the Key casual mention is made of a ‘ruined tower’ caught in the ‘slanting light’ (29). Though unnamed, this is Dolbadarn Castle, one of the fortresses of Llewelyn ap Gruffydd, ruler of Gwynedd and the last indigenous (and legitimate) ruler of Wales. His name is absent, but his presence is voiced in the ambiguous sounding of his title, the Prince of Wales. In The Tenants, for example, Le Fanu remarks on the forthcoming visit of the Prince of Wales (1:7). The characters respond to this only in passing, but it is impossible for them to ignore the fact that the current Prince is an English royal who (following from Edward I’s appropriation of the title for his son) is not the rightful holder. The English Prince of Wales’s presence is paradoxically a reminder of what he is not and whom he illegitimately replaces. This idea is understated but unsettling, a half-remembered echo to match the writing of Irish characters such as the ‘rebellious Earl of Desmond’ in the ‘Stories of Lough Guir’ (Madam Crowl’s Ghost, 166) who, like the legitimate Prince of Wales, resisted annexation. In the ‘Stories’, Le Fanu displaces his presence into an imagined fairy-land: but in his writing of the Welsh equivalents he seems to suggest that the old order still unsettles the English in Wales. By extension, he implies a sense of anxious displacement experienced by the landowners in Ireland.

In short, the English in Wales/Ireland are haunted: as Nicholas Allen explains, ‘Le Fanu’s stories haunt because home becomes unhomely [and] the shape of disturbance is foreign’ (115), rising from the surface of apparently settled surface. And that history, the story of oppression and shame, always returns, a version of colonial angst, as Simon Hay remarks, in which the ‘ruined traces’ of a guilt-ridden past are inscribed in the very fabric of the ‘post-imperial landscapes’ (126) and can barely be avoided. Ghosts of the old order certainly appear, as it were, in peripheral vision. The Welsh landscape, which should be the domain of Llewelyn and the heroes of the past, is figured as the archetypal Celtic gloom, with a strong emphasis on sinking light, ‘melancholy’ atmosphere and empty and haunted spaces. The landscape itself is ghostly, a shade of what it was and should have been, ‘casting long shadows’ (Rose amd Key, 3).

But the process of haunting is primarily realized in the way in which the characters feel that their sense of identity and self-hood is compromised, and that their lack of fitting renders them into the ghosts. Tellingly, the language of ghostliness is consistently applied to the colonizers. Margaret in The Tenants is regularly likened to a ghost (1: 105); in The Rose and the Key it seems as if the ‘visitation of a phantom’ (21) might appear at any moment; and in Willing to Die Ethel imagines the return of the Black Knight. In the ‘outlandish’ (202) domain of this ‘phantom world’ (222) the characters exist as ‘shadowy men and women’ (Tenants, 1: 152), essentially homeless souls, ‘phantoms’ (Tenants, 1: 218; 2:238) in a ‘spectral empire’ (Allen, 112). In Wales, the return of the old seems to menace the very existence, psychologically speaking, of the English, an argument rehearsing and reminding us of the Irish situation. As Andrew Smith explains, ‘the spectral return’ of the old order ‘in turn renders spectral, or makes liminal, the politically marginalized’ (155) landowners, and the Welsh situation signals and lays bare the predicament of the Anglo-Irish.

In the ghostly writing of the Anglo-Welsh, then, we have a ghost of the Anglo-Irish. At the same time, Le Fanu playfully interrogates the only possible solution to the damaging nexus in which the English landowners in Wales, and perhaps all colonialists, find themselves. Some hope of reconciliation, of unifying the Self and the Other is perhaps only offered through the notion of hybridity, of fusing diverse traditions to create a new cultural entity that is not riven by conflict but celebrates its own ambiguity. The potentiality of this situation is implied in Le Fanu’s naming strategies that merge the Welsh and English and suggest the existence of the potentialities of hybridity, a cultural intermingling expressed in the muddling of the labels.

A prime example is Cardyllion. Le Fanu’s only fictional Welsh name, he tellingly applies it to the Anglo-Norman town of Beaumaris (Biwmaris), here suggesting how the application of a name could just as easily be a Welsh one as an English one. With grim humour he makes a small joke about colonialism, reversing the situation as if the Welsh had appropriated (that is, conquered) an English town in the heart of England and imposed a Welsh name, just as English invaders imposed their own set of labels on the Cymric. What matters, though, is that it fails to matter; names and cultures can fuse. Nor does it matter that place names can be united. The author repeatedly conflates real Welsh with invented English ones: in The Rose and the Key, for example, Caernarfon and Llanberis (or Llanberris, as he incorrectly spells it) are presented along with Penmon and Aber [Aberystwyth], and these rub shoulders with Malory and Ware. This process of fusing and mingling is similarly suggested in the combinations of English and Welsh surnames in which Pritchard, Pembroke, Damian, Tintern, Medwyn and Jones are juxtaposed with Malory, Steele, and of course Lady Vernon. Within this range, there is no differentiation and the characters for a moment can become exemplars of hybridity.

However, the most optimistic idea of cultural reconciliation is embodied in the figure of Maud Guendoline, whose hybridity, culturally half English, half Welsh, is symbolized by the literal configuration of her name, Anglo/Welsh. Tellingly though, Le Fanu makes Marston comment on her appellation: ‘Maud Guendoline …Guendoline – an odd surname, but so beautiful. Foreign, is it?’. This is spoken by someone who sporadically lives in Malory in Snowdonia/Gwynedd does not recognize Maud’s name as anything but ‘foreign’, and does not even recognise its Welshness. In this formulation it seems hybridity and cultural fusing are simply out of the question, suggesting that the colonizers (exemplified by Marston) are doomed to exist in the ‘unnatural alienation’ (Rose and Key, 221) prevailing between Maud and her mother, between England and Wales, and between the Irish and the Protestant landowners. Such is perhaps Le Fanu’s commentary on the perpetual tensions between his class and their tenants, with all the resulting combinations of isolation, restlessness and anguished uncertainty.

Le Fanu writes Wales, in short, as an elaborate substitute for his home-land. As we have seen, he lingers on the small details and equivalences between the two countries, allowing him to offer an apparently positive version of one Celtic culture – at least insofar as he presents it as a place of exceptional beauty – while using it to offer a harsh commentary on Irish politics and its class-system. There is another sense, however, in which Le Fanu’s treatment of Cymru as a proxy is far from sympathetic. Using its landscape and people purely as a mode of commentary, his writing is itself colonial, playfully manipulating the land and its history as an instrument for his own purposes. This seems like exploitation, another stripping of Welsh culture in which its resources, so to speak, are put at the service of yet another colonialist.

In Le Fanu’s treatment Wales is just a symbol of Ireland, but its own value, as an ancient (and highly resilient) culture is simply erased. The Irish Celt is reduced to a problem, and the Welsh, the subject of England’s earliest modelling of the imperial experience, refined out of existence. Worse still, perhaps, his representation of Wales as a sign for Ireland means Ireland itself partakes in the process of converting the Welsh into a ghostly echo not only of English but of the Irish too. Such resonating ambiguities symbolise the fracturing effects of colonialism, of dissoving the indigenous forms into an overwhelming sense of disconnectedness. In Le Fanu’s ‘homeless’ writing cultural kinship between separate groups or even between groups with much in common is ultimately denied, always leaving one or all in a condition of marginalized uncertainty or invisibility. Such is the final implication of Le Fanu’s writing of Wales in these later novels, a concern which undoubtedly gives them value. A ‘queer corner’, for sure, but one that still repays a visit.

Works Cited

The absence of a standardized ‘Library Edition’ of Le Fanu’s works continues to create issues of access and textual accuracy. The present investigation uses three editions. The Tenants of Malory, in 3 volumes, is quoted in its first appearance as a three-decker and Willing to Die from the first single volume edition of 1876. The Rose and the Key is Frances Chui’s critical edition of 2007. Others are cited in first edition where these are purely bibliographical citations.

Allen, Nicholas. ‘Sheridan Le Fanu and the Spectral Empire’. The Ghost Story from the Middle Ages to the Twentieth Century. Eds. Helen Conrad O’Briain and Julie Anne Stevens. Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2010. 112–124.

Arnold, Thomas. The Study of Celtic Literature. London: Smith, Elder, 1867.

Black’s Picturesque Guide to North Wales. Edinburgh: Charles & Adam Black, 1869.

Borrow, George. Wild Wales: Its People, Language, and Scenery. 3 Vols. London: Murray, 1862.

Bowen, Elizabeth. ‘Introduction to Uncle Silas’. Reflections in a Glass Darkly: Essays on J. Sheridan Le Fanu. Eds. Gary William Crawford, Jim Rickhill and Brian J. Showers. New York: Hippocampus Press, 2011. 333–45.

Chui, Frances. ‘History Repeats Itself: Checkmate and the Re-Writing of the Union’. Le Fanu Studies 5:1 (May 2010). www.lefanustudies.com/

Chui, Frances. ‘Introduction’. Le Fanu, J. S. The Rose and the Key. Kansas City: Valancourt, 2007.

Cowling, Mary. The Artist as Anthropologist: the Representation of Type and Character in Victorian Art. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989.

Dickens, Charles. Barnaby Rudge. London: Chapman & Hall, 1841.

Dickens, Charles. A Tale of Two Cities. London: Chapman & Hall, 1859.

Freud, Sigmund. The Uncanny. 1919; modern edition with an introduction by Hugh Haughton, London; Penguin, 2003.

Gaskell, Elizabeth. ‘The Doom of the Griffiths’. My Lady Ludlow and Other Tales. London: Sampson Low, 1861.

Gaskell, Elizabeth. Ruth. 3 Vols. London: Chapman & Hall, 1853.

Hackforth-Jones, Jocelyn. ‘Re-Visioning Landscape in Wales and New South Wales, 1760–1840’. Cultural Identity and the Aesthetics of Britishness. Ed. Dana Arnold. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2004. 35– 52.

Harris, Sally C. ‘Crossing Boundaries, Mixing Genres in The Wyvern Mystery.’ Reflections in a Glass Darkly: Essays on J. Sheridan Le Fanu. Eds. Gary William Crawford, Jim Rickhill and Brian J. Showers. New York: Hippocampus Press, 2011. 385–401.

Hawkes, Terence. ‘Bryn Glas’. Post-Colonial Shakespeares. Eds. Ania Loomba and Martin Orkin. London: Routledge, 1998. 117– 42.

Hay, Simon. A History of the Modern British Ghost Story. London: Palgrave, 2011.

Hechter, Michael. Internal Colonialism: the Celtic Fringe in British National Development, 1536–1966. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995.

Hincklin, John. The Illustrated Hand-Book of North Wales. Chester: Catherall & Prichard, nd [1869].

Howes, Marjorie Elizabeth. Colonial Crossings: Figures in Irish Literary History. Dublin: Field Day Publications, 2006.

Le Fanu, Joseph Sheridan. In a Glass Darkly. 3 vols. London: Bentley, 1872.

Le Fanu, Joseph Sheridan. Madame Crowl’s Ghost. Ed. M. R. James. Ware: Wordsworth, 1994 [reprint of James edition of 1923].

Le Fanu, Joseph Sheridan. The Rose and the Key. 3 Vols. 1871; new edition with an introduction and notes by Frances Chui. Kansas City; Valancourt, 2007.

Le Fanu, Joseph Sheridan. The Tenants of Malory. 3 Vols. London: Tinsley, 1867.

Le Fanu, Joseph Sheridan. The Wyvern Mystery. 3 Vols. London: Tinsley, 1869.

Le Fanu, Joseph Sheridan. Uncle Silas. 3 Vols. London: Bentley, 1864.

Le Fanu, Joseph Sheridan. Willing to Die. 3 Vols. London: Hurst & Blackett, 1873; new edition in single volume format, 1876.

Madoc-Jones, Enid. ‘Sheridan Le Fanu and Anglesey’. Transactions of the Anglesey Historical Society (1961): 69–76.

Madoc-Jones, Enid. ‘Sheridan Le Fanu and North Wales’. The Anglo-Welsh Review 17:40 (Winter 1969): 167–73.

Madsen, Deborah L. ‘Beyond the Commonwealth: Post-Colonialism and American Literature’. Post-Colonial Literatures: Expanding the Canon. Ed. Deborah L. Madsen. London: Pluto Press, 1999. 1–13.

McCormack, W.J. Dissolute Characters: Irish Literary History Through Balzaz, Sheridan Le Fanu, Yeats and Bowen. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1993.

McCormack, W.J. ‘Introduction’. In a Glass Darkly. Sutton: Stroud, 1990.

McCormack, W.J. Sheridan Le Fanu and Victorian Ireland. Stroud: Sutton, 1997.

Notes of Family Excursions in North Wales, Taken Chiefly from Rhyl, Abergele, Llandudno, and Bangor. London: Printed for the Author, 1860.

Phillips, Thomas. Wales: the Language, Social Condition, Moral Character and Religious Opinions of the People. London: Parker, 1849.

Pryke, Jo. ’Wales and the Welsh in Gaskell’s Fiction: Sex, Sorrow and Sense’. The Gaskell Society Journal 13 (1999). The version used here was accessed through the PDF version made available though the Gaskell Society website.

Outsiders Looking In: the Rossettis Then and Now. Eds. David Clifford and Laurence Roussillon. London: Anthem Press, 2004.

Sage, Victor. ‘Irish Gothic: C. R. Maturin and J. S. Le Fanu’. The Companion to Gothic. Ed. David Punter. Oxford: Blackwell, 2000. 81–93.

Sage, Victor. ‘The “Smashed Looking Glass”: Fragmentation and Narrative Perversity in Willing to Die’. Reflections in a Glass Darkly: Essays on J. Sheridan Le Fanu. Eds. Gary William Crawford, Jim Rickhill and Brian J. Showers. New York: Hippocampus Press, 2011. 429–46.

Smith, Andrew. The Ghost Story, 1840–1920: a Cultural History. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2010.

Thackeray, W. M. The History of Henry Esmond, Esq. 3 Vols. London: Smith Elder, 1853.

Trollope, Anthony. An Autobiography. 2 Vols. London & Edinburgh: Blackwood, 1883.

Trollope, Anthony. Framley Parsonage. 3 Vols. London: Smith Elder, 1861.

Williams, Gwyn A. When was Wales? A History of the Welsh. London: Penguin, 1985.

Wynne, Catherine. The Colonial Conan Doyle: British Imperialism, Irish Nationalism and the Gothic. Westport: Greenwood, 2002.

Last modified 24 April 2018