This is the "Background" page of the "Gothic Tradition in Literature" guide.
Alternate Page for Screenreader Users
Skip to Page Navigation
Skip to Page Content

Gothic Tradition in Literature  

Last Updated: Oct 7, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

Background Print Page

Reference Books

Need more background information about Gothic Tradition in Literature but don't have time to go to the library? UMass Lowell Libraries gives you access to these full-text electronic reference books through Literati. Click here for a short tutorial about what else is available through Literati.

Cover Art
Continuum Encyclopedia of American Literature - Steven R. Serafin
Composed of signed biographical-critical entries, this Encyclopedia serves as both guide and companion to the study and appreciation of American literature.

Cover Art
Encyclopedia of the Romantic Era, 1760-1850
In analytical articles, this work explores the developments that influenced the profound changes in thought and sensibility during the second half of the eighteenth century and the first half of the nineteenth century.

Cover Art
The Bloomsbury Dictionary of English Literature
The key attractions are entries on writers, entries on individual works, Biblical and mythological characters and events, literary and critical terms and movements, and entries describing historical, cultural and social events.

Cover Art
Continuum Encyclopedia of British Literature
Entries by more than 200 authorities covering all of British literature.


  • Horace Walpole (1717 - 1797): Topic Page
    British writer and historian whose correspondence and memoirs provide valuable information about his era. He wrote The Castle of Otranto (1764), considered the first Gothic novel in English. MORE
  • Ann Radcliffe (1764 - 1823): Topic Page
    British novelist, noted for her Gothic romances The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794) and The Italian (1797). MORE
  • Matthew Gregory Lewis (1775-1818)
    From Encyclopedia of the Romantic Era, 1760-1850: Matthew Gregory Lewis did not on the face of it seem destined to become more than a peripheral figure in the intellectual life of his time. Born into a well-to-do family, he obediently followed the path set out for him by his father, a government official. MORE
  • Mary Wollstonecraft (1759 - 1797): Topic Page
    British feminist and writer, author of A Vindication of the Rights of Women (1792); wife of William Godwin and mother of Mary Shelley. MORE
  • Charles Robert Maturin (1782-1824)
    From Encyclopedia of the Romantic Era, 1760-1850: Charles Robert Maturin is best remembered as the author of the remarkable and idiosyncratic Gothic novel Melmoth the Wanderer (1820). MORE
  • Elizabeth Gaskell (1810 - 1865): Topic Page
    British writer noted for her Life of Charlotte Brontë (1857) and her novels depicting the oppression of workers in 19th-century England. MORE
  • Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu (1814 - 1873)
    From Continuum Encyclopedia of British Literature: Le, the son of a Protestant clergyman in predominantly Roman Catholic Ireland, was distantly related by marriage to the literary Sheridan family. Like many writers, he trained for the bar but opted for the pen instead. MORE
  • G. W. M. (George William MacArthur) Reynolds (1814 - 1879)
    From The Bloomsbury Dictionary of English Literature: A political radical, Chartist sympathizer and republican, Reynolds built up a substantial niche for himself in publishing and the newspaper business by writing specifically for the growing urban working-class readership: MORE
  • Charlotte Brontë (1816 - 1855): Topic Page
    English novelist and member of the Brontë family. Her most famous novels are Jane Eyre (1847) and Villette (1853). MORE
  • Bram Stoker (1847-1912): Topic Page
    Stoker never visited Transylvania, the Rumanian province described in such loving detail in his most celebrated novel. MORE
  • Robert Louis Stevenson (1850 - 1894): Topic Page
    British writer of essays, poetry, and novels, including Treasure Island (1883), The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886), and Kidnapped (1886). MORE
  • Daphne Du Maurier (1907 - 1989)
    From The Bloomsbury Dictionary of English Literature: Daphne Du Maurier began publishing in 1928, and her long career spanned and mastered a wide range of genres . MORE
  • Eudora Welty (1909 - 2001): Topic Page
    One of the most distinguished American writers of the mid 20th century, Eudora Welty explored the nuances of human behaviour through a wide range of characters, rich and poor, black and white, from her native Mississippi delta. MORE
  • Anne Rice (1941 - )
    From Continuum Encyclopedia of American Literature: With her novels’ baroque sensibility and prose, R. has crafted a place for herself on the border between mainstream fiction and the Gothic romance. MORE

Related Topics

  • Postcolonial Gothic
    From Key Concepts in Postcolonial Literature: As David Punter has pointed out, there is a distinct similarity and conjunction between the postcolonial and the Gothic, each focusing on the return of the repressed, on alternative hidden histories and versions of the present. MORE

General Terms

  • The Gothic Novel
    From Continuum Encyclopedia of British Literature: In the prologue to his play The Castle Spectre, published in 1791, M. G. LEWIS imagined Romance as an enchantress living in a dark rural retreat in locations such as churchyards, forests, dungeons, ecclesiastical and fortified ruins, exulting when storms disturbed moonlit nights. MORE
  • Gothic Romance
    From The Columbia Encyclopedia: Type of novel that flourished in the late 18th and early 19th cent. in England. Gothic romances were mysteries, often involving the supernatural and heavily tinged with horror, and they were usually set against dark backgrounds of medieval ruins and haunted castles. MORE
  • Gothic Literature
    From Bloomsbury Guide to Human Thought: Gothic literature was a vogue in Britain in the 1790s. Its connection with Gothic art seems remote, except that it is often set in crumbling, ancient castles. MORE

Loading  Loading...