Whereas the New Gothic of the Brontës and the Sensation Novel of M. E. Braddon and Wilkie Collins focussed on realistic upper-middle class family problems, the Romantic-era Gothic Novel of Lewis and Anne Radcliffe works on the reader's imagination through the arousal of suspense and terror. The standard ploy of the Gothic novelist is to place a child or young woman in a dangerous situation against a menacing backdrop conducive to paranoia. The Gothic novelist like other Romantic writers works on the reader's emotions, intensifying the reader's identification with the protagonist, who may fall prey to a diabolical antagonist, an exploitative aristocrat, or mercenary figures colluding to bring about the protagonist's destruction. These features characterize Lewis's Gothic fiction.


Last modified 23 September 2017