Adopt an Author |
|The Corvey Project at
Sheffield Hallam University
by Emily Watts, May 2009
How far do the works of Jane Harvey relate to the Gothic tradition?
This essay aims to explore how far Jane Harvey’s works relate to the Gothic, an important literary genre that many writers tried to work with in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. I will look at two texts by Harvey The Castle of Tynemouth: a Tale (1806)1 and Brougham Castle: a Novel (1816)2 in order to see how far aspects of the Gothic tradition were incorporated into her work and how it may have changed over the course of her literary career. More specifically these texts will be looked at in terms of how far they relate to what critics have called the female and male aspects of the Gothic. I will also look, in particular, at more well known Gothic writers and their works to highlight the Gothic tradition’s influence on Harvey. These will include The Italian3 by Ann Radcliffe and The Monk4 by Matthew Lewis, who were two of the most influential and significant Gothic writers of that period.
The Gothic tradition derived from the medieval period, an era of barbarous customs and practices of superstition.5 The Oxford English Dictionary supports this, defining the Gothic as: ‘belonging to, or, characteristic of the middle ages: medieval ‘romantic’ as opposed to classical’.6 By the eighteenth century, an age of Enlightenment, the Gothic re-emerged as a genre of fiction that looked back over these medieval origins. David Punter points out how the Gothic ‘broadened out to become descriptive of anything medieval’,7 and was seen positively during the eighteenth century as it represented ‘virtues and qualities that the ‘modern’ world needed’.8 The Gothic was old-fashioned, barbaric and archaic,9 and was something that was missing from the new civilised, well-regulated society of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Industrialization had emerged in Britain by the eighteenth century and changed the structures of a society that had once been agricultural to a more ‘urban centred industrial world’.10 There was however an increasing sense of isolation and alienation as more regimented, mechanistic roles appeared. The Gothic provided a contrast to this through literature and appeared as part of the Romantic Movement, as its writers were influenced by features of the tradition and subsequently helped it to develop.
Subsequently Gothic fiction emerged from this as a pastiche of various tropes, which included the use of a tyrant father, the supernatural and a continental setting. Fred Botting further identifies ‘evil aristocrats, monks and nuns and bandits’11 as part of the Gothic tradition, as well as ‘tortuous, fragmented narratives relating mysterious incidents, horrible images and life-threatening pursuits’.12 The heroine is another common aspect of Gothic fiction that typically ‘rebels against confinement, and claims her right to life, liberty and the free play of imagination, in spite of the dangers of the world at large’.13 Other conventional characteristics of the Gothic include absent mothers, a castle with subterranean passages, doubles, pathetic fallacy through extreme landscapes and weather, taboo subjects and concerns about identity.14 These features were not included in every Gothic novel and later texts developed away from these conventions, which Jane Harvey’s novels may show us; but they are typical Gothic characteristics which writers adopted in their works.
Critics have divided the Gothic novel into two categories the male and female, which provided a new way of looking more closely at this genre of literature. It allows a piece to be defined more specifically, in terms of the qualities it embodies from either the male or female interpretations of the Gothic tradition, although they are not fixed categories. Robert Miles argues that writers of the male Gothic aimed ‘to disrupt the legitimacy of normative gender fiction’, while the female Gothic was ‘absorbed in the struggle for sexual and political rights and money’.15 This is quite a narrow assessment of the two categories but highlights the political and gendered nature of them. Subsequently the male Gothic tends to, as the critics David Punter and Glennis Bryon suggest, ‘represent the male protagonist’s attempt to penetrate some encompassing interior’,16 which highlights how the central male character faces various obstacles and has to confront social institutions, such as the church, to do this. The plot can therefore be seen as a ‘masculine transgression of social taboos’,17 where violations of law, command or duty take place. These aspects illustrate the common attributes of the male Gothic, but it also comprises of heroines as victims and focuses on questions of identity. A distinctive feature of the male Gothic is the use of the horror, which Ann Radcliffe, in her article On the Supernatural in Poetry,18 defines as something that ‘contracts, freezes and nearly annihilates them’.19 It is an experience of something actual and specific that provides no opportunity to escape; it has to be experienced and often occurs in vaults and burial chambers.20 The male Gothic’s use of the unexplained supernatural in its work adds another dimension to this, as it provides no reasons for what has happened, it is not explained. Instead it depends entirely on the supernatural and things are left as a problem,21 with the ‘truth buried in labyrinths of conjecture’.22
Meanwhile the female Gothic is a term that was coined by Ellen Moers to define ‘the work that women writers have done in the literary mode that, since the eighteenth century, we have called the Gothic’.23 The plot of these novels identify the central male as the primary threat to the female protagonist, who is usually ‘an orphaned heroine in search of an absent mother, pursued by a feudal father or his substitute, with the whole affair monitored by an impeccable but ineffectual suitor’.24 The heroine’s experiences and point of view are central and it is ‘constructed around the Lacanian law of the father exposing the perils and difficulties to women’.25 This originates from the French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan, whose theory about the Law of the Father identifies the father as exposing dangers to the heroine and providing laws and rules, through language, that need to be obeyed,26 which can be seen within the female Gothic. Furthermore the female Gothic uses terror rather than the outright horror of the male Gothic. Ann Radcliffe interpreted the terror as something that expands ‘the soul, and awakens the faculties to a high degree of life’.27 It causes characters to faint or run away as a result of the ‘uncertainty and obscurity’28 produced by the terror and they are unable to see what happened. Terror therefore allows escape and enables characters to overcome the threat that occurs.29 The use of the sublime also contributes to this uncertainty, as it focuses ‘on the human reaction to an overwhelming experience that transcends everyday normality’.30 It also develops from descriptions of scenery and landscapes, which provide danger and obscurity. The explained supernatural is therefore needed to rationalise and provide a logical explanation about the events that take place, so that a happy ending can prevail, often through a marriage plot. The female Gothic however was not solely utilised by women; men used features of it in their work, while women incorporated aspects of the male Gothic as well.
Early Gothic novels adopted the medieval settings and continental locations discussed above, but were often seen as distancing themselves from the reader. Critics such as Gary Kelly saw them as exotic, extravagant and ‘not British’31 and often referred to them as Gothic Romances. These earlier novels focused on issues of the self and society and related more to the novel of manners, sentiment and emulation.32 Sentimental novels initially showed people how to behave and often reflected ‘an ideal that coming from God was possibly realizable’,33 while the Gothic adapted this and represented a distortion of the ideal. Sensibility however was still used by many writers to express a more emotional side to the Gothic, with surrounding objects and passing events used to create a more profound emotional effect. Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto (1764) was viewed as the first Gothic novel and he wanted to ‘blend the fantastic plot of “ancient romance” with the realistic characterization of “modern” romance’.34 Walpole provided ‘the blueprint for a new mode of writing’35 and used many of the features already discussed in this essay about the Gothic, including the supernatural. This blueprint however ‘underwent a number of significant changes in the hands of later writers’36 and Robert Miles demonstrates this as he highlights how Ann Radcliffe developed Walpole's 'form of romance with poetic kudos'.37
The 1790s, as well as being perceived as the beginning of the Romantic period,38 was also the main decade for Gothic fiction with the greatest number of Gothic works being produced. The Gothic was the ‘major fictional form in English’39 during this decade, which was also dominated by the ‘social and political crisis in Britain and Europe’.40 Movements of protest and reform were prevalent and the French Revolution was a major part of the unrest that was developing. The Revolution however, aided Gothic writers immensely with images of ‘violence and excessive passion’.41 The Marquis de Sade saw the Gothic novels being produced as “the necessary fruits of the revolutionary tremors felt by the whole of Europe”.42 The events and horrors of the French Revolution pushed novelists to new extremes and Gothic literature served as a metaphor for them to come to terms with what was happening. The Gothic embodied ‘uncertainties about the nature of power, law, society, family and sexuality’43 and these were reflected within society at that time. Therefore it can be argued that the popularity of Gothic fiction in the 1790s and the early nineteenth century was in part due to this widespread anxiety and fear in Europe, created by the turmoil in France. Enlightenment ideas of liberty, justice and equality were incorporated into the Revolution and prevalent within society as well. It was radical and marked the beginning of a new modern era as a profound sense of change was taking place. There was also a reordering of attitudes towards religion as a result of the unrest. The Gothic was seen as a ‘challenge to, or loss of faith in the theological interpretation of nature’,44 as it brought people back in touch with the supernatural and this was continued into the nineteenth century as the Gothic became more formalistic. Britain was still at war with France in the nineteenth century and the emergence of Napoleon caused further anxieties to appear, which aided Gothic literature even more.
In terms of the Gothic novels in existence before Harvey started to write, Matthew Lewis’ The Monk (1795) and Ann Radcliffe’s The Italian (1797) will be focused on. These were both successful Gothic writers, whose novels embodied many of the features already discussed and provided a guideline for other writers in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries to follow. Lewis’ The Monk was inspired by the French Revolution and was published a year after the Terror making it a highly revolutionary text. This is illustrated clearly through its incorporation of the Revolution's barbaric nature: ‘trampling her, and treating her with every species of cruelty which hate or vindictive fury could invent’.45 The use of mob violence parallels events in the French Revolution and further contributes to the novels revolutionary tone. It is also set in Spain, a country that was greatly affected by the French Revolution and imposed repressive policies to stop the country being shaped by revolutionary ideas.46 Furthermore Spain was a Roman Catholic country, like France, and so Lewis’ novel focuses on the corruption and oppressive nature of the Catholic Church: ‘…they loaded me with benediction, and pronounced me the sole uncorrupted pillar of the church...May I not be tempted from those paths...Am I not a man whose nature is frail and prone to error’ (Lewis: 39). This anti-Catholicism also resembles ‘the conditions in pre-revolutionary France, which were thought to have contributed to its downfall’.47 It relates to the Revolution’s reordering of attitudes towards religion and so Lewis highlights Catholicism as an oppressive regime, which was seen as taking people from the outside world and cutting them off in convents and monasteries. This anti-Catholicism was typical in a lot of Gothic fiction, as it was felt that although there were ‘those who chuanted the praises of their God so sweetly, there were some who cloaked with devotion the foulest sins, their hymns inspired him with destestion at their Hypocrisy’.48
The use of sorcery and witchcraft, as ‘Matilda pronounced the magic words...immediately a thick smoke rose...’ (Lewis: 232), is associated with the monks and nuns of the convent and further reiterates this anti-Catholicism. It highlights the danger surrounding monasteries and more importantly Catholicism. Furthermore The Monk incorporates many of the common Gothic tropes including haunted chambers and imprisonment. The supernatural element is developed by Lewis and can be seen through the presence of the bleeding nun, who on ‘the fifth of May of every fifth year, as soon as the clock strikes one...walks the ghostly nun with her lamp and dagger’ (Lewis:124). As well as the supernatural the bleeding nun also embodies aspects of the male Gothic, specifically the horror as she ‘remained for a whole long hour without speaking or moving; nor was I able to do either’ (Lewis: 140). This clearly exemplifies the definition of the horror already stated in this essay as Raymond cannot move, while other features of the male Gothic, namely shocking taboos such as incest, a pregnant nun and monks having sex are also incorporated by Lewis into the narrative. The heroines, Agnes and Antonia, become victims as a result of the tyranny and hypocrisy of the church, which by the end of the novel is destroyed as ‘The convent was wrapped in flames, and the whole presented a scene of devastation and horror’ (Lewis: 307).
Ann Radcliffe’s novel The Italian uses similar Gothic qualities to Lewis’, with a continental setting in Naples, the supernatural and the use of convents with monks and nuns. Schedoni, the main monk in the novel, is also the villain, which further reflects the use of anti-Catholicism, and he also creates aspects of the terror as: ‘He searched for the dagger...he again drew near and prepared to strike’.49 Other Gothic tropes include an absent mother, vaults and the use of banditti. Radcliffe’s use of the Gothic however is considered by some critics as ‘milder’50 than Lewis'; it follows the love story of Ellena and Vincentio, and she introduces a ‘poetic sensibility which became her trade mark’.51 Descriptions of the landscape are incorporated within it to achieve this poetic sensibility, and the sublime is brought into this through ‘her tender but indomitable heroines’52 as they experience ‘the thick chesnut woods that extended over their winding base, and which, softening to the plains, seemed to form a gradation between the variegated cultivation’ (Radcliffe: 90). However this novel focuses more on the female Gothic as Ellena’s experiences are central to the narrative and she is pursued constantly, even by the male protagonist Vincentio, which puts her in danger: ‘As they bore her from the chapel she continued to call upon Vivaldi’ (Radcliffe: 191). In placing her heroine in perilous situations the terror becomes an important part of Radcliffe's novel, as Ellena experiences it after no longer hearing ‘any further sounds of distress...and having ascertained that the passage terminated here, she quitted the spot’(Radcliffe: 264). It concludes with the explained supernatural, as we find out what has really been going on in the novel as ‘every person was now ready for the declaration of Schedoni...He declared himself to be the anonymous accuser’ (Radcliffe: 394). It allows a conclusion to be reached and domestic harmony is reaffirmed; a happy ending takes place with the marriage of Ellena and Vincentio ‘in the church of the Santa Maria della Pieta’ (Radcliffe: 411).
Gothic novels were a significant part of Jane Harvey’s literary bibliography and at the beginning of the nineteenth century were some of the earliest works she produced. At this time a significant number of women writers were emerging, after being influenced by the 1790s, a decade when writers of Gothic fiction like Ann Radcliffe and Matthew Lewis emerged. Harvey’s works may have also been influenced by these writers and the Gothic tradition as a whole, which this essay will subsequently try to determine. It will also try to identify how significant Harvey’s works were in relation to this tradition, or whether Harvey’s respect for Gothic ideas was less profound.
The Castle of Tynemouth: a Tale was one of Harvey’s earlier Gothic novels, published anonymously in 1806, a time when anxieties about the Revolution were still prevalent within society. The novel focuses on the inhabitants of the castle, who are imprisoned and controlled by an evil countess, while those that can save them are fighting a war in France. The ‘uncertainties about the nature of power, law, society and family’53 that the Revolution created are clearly expressed through this narrative. However the first chapter of the novel provides an historical milieu of the castle and the surrounding area:
This place now took the name Tynemouth Castle; and from the time of Waltheof, for several succeeding years, it belonged to the earls of Northumberland. Robert de Mowbray, who supported that title in the reign of William Rufus, undid the act of his predecessor; and separating the monastery of Tynemouth from its connection with Durham, he rebuilt the Church and offices...54
It embodies the medieval aspect of the Gothic tradition by providing an insight into Tynemouth Castle’s history and illustrates its immediate relevance to the Gothic genre. The archaic and menacing setting of the Gothic tradition is exemplified further through the description of the castle and monastery, with its ‘spacious vaulted chambers...prison, with an aperture in the roof, by which the wretched captive was lowered down into his living tomb’ (Harvey,1806:24). This corresponds with Radcliffe and Lewis’ novels, which both use a monastery and medieval setting: ‘Perched high among the cliffs of a mountain...appeared the spires and long terraces of a monastery’ (Radcliffe: 64). However Harvey's beginning brings a unique aspect to the novel not evident within typical Gothic writings; instead it conveys the extensive history of the castle before the main narrative begins. The use of this history also allows an English setting to be prevalent, which was unusual for Gothic novels, with most in the 1790s set abroad. This illustrates a diversion from the archetypal Gothic tradition and provides the first instance where Harvey’s works did not always relate to the standard Gothic. A continental setting however is provided to an extent as 'circumstances induced the king to assemble his forces for the purpose of invading France’ (Harvey, 1806:43). This also illustrates the effect of the French Revolution on Harvey's writing, as Britain was at war with France from 1793 to 1815. France is used to divide the inhabitants of the castle causing fear and anxieties to develop, which can only be resolved when they return to Tynemouth Castle.
The main narrative of the novel however focuses on the appointment of a new governor, William de Norton, to the castle in 1491 and follows on from the historical overview that the first chapter provided. Aspects of the Gothic tradition are implemented by Harvey straight away as we learn of Norton’s loss of ‘a lovely and beloved consort’ (Harvey, 1806:33). The use of an absent mother was a common theme of Gothic novels and one used by Radcliffe for Ellena: ‘Her mother she had never known, having lost her while she was an infant...’ (Radcliffe: 9). It adds vulnerability to the characters and makes them more susceptible because of their loss, a theme that is exploited throughout. The supernatural is another typical aspect of the Gothic used by Harvey and evident from the beginning as Mrs Cresswell, a relation of the governor, tries to prevent them moving to the castle as she has heard: ‘very strange reports about the place’ (Harvey, 1806:36) . Throughout the rest of the novel she is unable to ‘abstract her mind from the ideas of ghosts and enchantments’ (Harvey, 1806:37), which continues the unexplained paranormal aspect to the novel. The incorporation of both of these themes clearly demonstrates Harvey’s utilisation of Gothic conventions and it shows that her works relate significantly to the tradition.
However as the supernatural continues throughout the novel it typically becomes more of a problem and is used against Mrs Cresswell as she is branded a ‘wicked sorceress’ (Harvey, 1806:103) and imprisoned. These allusions to magic and sorcery add another element to the supernatural and continue to develop Harvey’s exploration of the Gothic within this novel. Lewis’ The Monk, a defining example, correlates with Harvey’s use of magic as Matilda waits for: ‘the spirit’s appearance whose coming was announces by thunder and earthquakes’ (Lewis: 236-7). As well as this the supernatural also embodies mystery, where unexplainable events occur. Mitford’s night in the church highlights this as he ‘cannot conform to the rites of the church, I am not worthy to approach its altars’ (Harvey, 1806:67). No explanation for this statement is given and so Harvey leaves the reader unaware of what has happened. It continues to show Harvey’s use of traditional aspects of the Gothic and also the overriding presence of the supernatural, which becomes a driving force and an interwoven aspect of the narrative, not necessarily typical of all other Gothic novels.
In addition Harvey utilises other characteristics which further illustrates how her work relates significantly to the Gothic tradition. This includes the description of vaults and subterranean passages that are ‘extremely narrow, with a descent so steep, that it was difficult, and even dangerous, to go on’ (Harvey, 1806:115). These features add fear and anxiety which contribute further to the Gothic atmosphere and reflect what was felt during the French Revolution, when danger was prevalent. Imprisonment is another of these features pivotal to the story, as many of the main characters find themselves confined; Mrs Cresswell is ‘conveyed to a solitary prison on the seashore’ (Harvey, 1806:106). It also demonstrates the victimisation of female protagonists within the novel and clearly highlights Harvey use of typical Gothic conventions. Rosetta is central to this, as her imprisonment takes its toll and ‘her spirit could not always bear up under the pressure of lengthened calamity’ (Harvey, 1806:106). Other female characters also suffer including Elfrida who is kidnapped by Shipperdson’s creatures and confined ‘in a lonely house, in a wood’ (Harvey, 1806:139). As a contrast the countess embodies the ultimate role of a villain within this narrative as she creates a plan: ‘to remove a formidable and hated rival, who engaged the homage of every heart around her’ (Harvey 1806: 97). It demonstrates another side to the female character and that of the Gothic tradition, which ultimately conveys Harvey’s respect for the ideas it embodies.
As a contrast to the typical Gothic features discussed above Harvey’s use of extreme weather, evident through a powerful storm where the ‘wind now blew a hurricane and the ebb-tide ran with such a strength, that it was impossible to approach the shore’ (Harvey, 1806:49) provides an alternate representation of the Gothic and adds to the menacing atmosphere already created. It can be seen as the starting point of the problems they will experience in the rest of the text, which stems from the war with France and continues the novel’s association with the Revolution. It can therefore be seen as an omen reflecting the future hazards and difficulties to come, which is a feature not always prevalent within Gothic narratives. In doing so it shows Harvey’s progression, culminating in a distinct use of pathetic fallacy away from the typical Gothic portrayal of it. This is highlighted further by another storm, in which a ship is ‘driven from side to side and bending, received the proud waves’ (Harvey 1806: 84). It causes Rosetta to experience a ‘shriek of horror for the mariner’s safety’ (Harvey, 1806:84) and she has to be ‘retired to her couch’ (Harvey, 1806:85). The storm replicates Rosetta’s despondent emotion following Mitford’s departure and further demonstrates Harvey’s unique use of pathetic fallacy. Overall the features Harvey uses clearly demonstrates the influence of the Gothic on her writing. The narrative embodies many of the main tropes you would expect a Gothic novel to have and the influence of the French Revolution is also evident, with the fears and anxieties it created visible throughout the novel.
More specifically Harvey’s use of the female Gothic can be seen through the use of various features within The Castle of Tynemouth. As this essay has observed briefly above, Harvey’s narrative is associated largely with women and they become the central focus of the piece through the distress they undergo as well as the ‘grief, astonishment, and apprehension, the lovely victim sunk on a seat, and bust into a passion of tears’ (Harvey, 1806:104). Through this it provides a further indication of how far this text and Harvey respect the ideas of the Gothic, by embodying a more specific aspect of it. In doing so Rosetta, as the main female protagonist, is pursued: ‘she flew along the passage to the right’ (Harvey, 1806:115) and is constantly in danger, causing her experiences to be central and emulating the female Gothic’s use of heroines. The persecution of Rosetta leads to her experiencing more distress and after ‘a wild shriek, she fell senseless to the earth’ (Harvey, 1806:115). Harvey’s specific use of fainting also conveys the terror, an important, distinctive feature of the female Gothic and one that leaves a character unaware of what has happened. Overall Harvey’s use of heroines in this way expresses how unambiguously the novel relates to the Gothic, while also demonstrating specifically the female Gothic’s influence on Harvey’s writing and how she incorporated its features in her works.
The sublime is another important aspect of the novel and one that contributes to the female Gothic; through it connection to the terror as : ‘Rosetta looked round, and saw what appeared to be a phantom, rather than a corporeal beings, gliding amongst the rocks’ (Harvey, 1806: 90)’. It creates ‘uncertainty and obscurity’,55 as we are left wondering what will happen. The sublime also relates to feelings of refinement and this is illustrated by the castle itself and the natural world around it, as the ‘water which covered the weed-clad rocks, gradually shallowed, the moon-beams reflected on its clear surface...Rosetta, in contemplating it, lost the remembrance of her own sorrows’ (Harvey, 1806:113). It relates to the sentimental aspect of the Gothic and produces admiration for the natural world. The explained supernatural is also evident as all the mystery that has been created is resolved: ‘The figure, he now informed Clifford, was a young man, who, after some previous conversation, claimed the near affinity of a brother to him’ (Harvey, 1806:140). It provides clarity around what has really happened and gets rid of the ‘uncertainty’ built up throughout the novel. The explained supernatural ultimately provides justifications for everything and so we also learn of Father Vincent’s origins as he is really: ‘the Marquis of Morzonico’ (Harvey, 1806:150), who was destined to marry the countess but married someone else instead. It reflects Radcliffe’s novel, as by the end of The Italian everyone realises that: ‘Schedoni contrived a plausible history of the shipwreck...no persons but the assassins were acquainted with the real cause of his death’ (Radcliffe: 361). It further reflects Harvey’s use of the common attributes of the female Gothic and allows a happy ending to emerge from this as they all ‘entered the married state with a fair and smiling prospect of felicity’ (Harvey, 1806:158). Overall The Castle of Tynemouth: a Tale clearly demonstrates the influence of the Gothic tradition on Harvey’s works and in particular exemplifies the female Gothic as the predominant feature.
From 1806 until 1816, when Harvey’s last Gothic piece Brougham Castle: a Novel was published, the Gothic narrative continued to be imitated but this changed after the publication of Frankenstein in 1818.56 Botting points out how there were ‘major innovations, or renovations, of the genre drew it closer to aspects of Romanticism’.57 This would not have affected Harvey’s Gothic works but these changes may have been emerging when she started to create Brougham Castle. Conversely the Gothic genre did undergo changes in location and significance,58 during the short period between Harvey’s two texts that this essay is focusing on. Gary Kelly also states how novelists in the 1800s and 1810s placed corrupted rather than virtuous consciousness at the centre of the fictional structure,59 which illustrates how the Gothic began to move away from sentimental characteristics. Publications in this period included Charles Robert Maturin’s The Fatal Revenge in 1807 and Zastrozzi by P B Shelley in 1810, which both conveyed this iniquitous progression within the Gothic. Furthermore the war with France ended during this period and brought 22 years of fear and anxiety to a close.
Due to the changes experienced by the Gothic within this period Brougham Castle: a Novel will now be explored to determine whether Harvey’s work was directly influenced by these alterations. This will be measured predominantly by exploring similar Gothic features as identified in the previous novel, as well as examining Harvey’s use of other characteristics not overtly evident in The Castle of Tynemouth.
Brougham Castle was published a year after the defeat of Napoleon and the ending of the war with France and, like The Castle of Tynemouth: a Tale, the beginning of the novel maintains Harvey’s unique use of the historical. A description of the region with its ‘beauties of nature, and a veneration for the monuments of antiquity’ and the ‘extensive ruins of Brougham Castle’60 is portrayed. This sets up straight away the typical archaic atmosphere of the Gothic used by many writers and allows us to see that Harvey respected the conventions of the genre immensely, causing them to be a significant part of even her last Gothic novel. Subsequently the main narrative focuses on Brougham Castle from 1636, which further contributes to this antiquated setting, along with the castles’ ‘deserted apartments’ (Harvey, 1816:vol.1 p9) and ‘the foot of the great staircase, a long passage led to another of smaller dimensions’ (Harvey, 1816:vol.1 p59). However the changes mentioned above, that took place within the Gothic genre, are clearly conveyed by Harvey in this text, illustrating that she, if not a little tendentiously, follows the Gothic ethos. In doing so no main continental setting is used, instead a change in location takes place as it is set mostly in England, like The Castle of Tynemouth, with its ‘rich and highly- cultivated vale of Eden’(Harvey, 1816:vol.1 p1). There are also links with Ireland, where the story relocates as the mysteries are explained at the end. This diverts away from the archetypal settings conveyed by most Gothic novels and continues Harvey’s embodiment of the changes within the Gothic. France is mentioned briefly, which demonstrates how its relevance was no longer as important in society from the 1810s and therefore in the Gothic genre. Harvey clearly supports the changing nature of the Gothic, especially in terms of the location and so it was becoming, as Botting points out, more ‘homely’.61
In addition Harvey continues to utilise other conventional features of the Gothic genre, with the supernatural being a classic example of this in Brougham Castle. This is developed noticeably through Prudence’s fear of there being ‘mischievous little beings denominated fairies, who are known to inhabit old buildings’ (Harvey, 1816:vol.1 p17) and the ‘remote tower was the chief haunt of the fairies’ (Harvey, 1816:vol.1 p20). It creates a feeling of the unknown but instead of ghosts, other unexplainable figures of the supernatural are utilised that reflect the Gothic’s movement towards Romanticism and Harvey’s respect for its changing ideas. Compared to The Castle of Tynemouth however the supernatural in this text is less menacing, there are no dangers that will affect the characters and it does not inform the main narrative of the novel. In doing so it allows Brougham Castle to be seen as a more conservative approach to the Gothic, with Harvey’s use of the supernatural being a more subtle and discrete exploration within the text.
This is reiterated further by Harvey’s use of extreme weather, which highlights the sense of danger in the novel through the ‘high and hollow blast swept round the venerable walls’ (Harvey, 1816:vol.1 p46). It is not as significant in this text, as it was portrayed in The Castle of Tynemouth and instead continues to illustrate Harvey use of the changing nature of the Gothic. In doing so the fear is conveyed more through Prudence, who 'sought concealment beneath a large oak table' (Harvey, 1816:vol.1 p50) and relates more to the main issues of this text, which are parentage and identity. A mysterious stranger emerges from the storm: ‘a tall thin man, apparently near thirty years of age’ (Harvey, 1816:vol.1 p52). We are given an indication that it maybe Cyrus’ father, as Prudence asks ‘in plain terms, whether he was related to him? A deadly paleness overspread his languid face’ (Harvey, 1816:vol.1 p55). It diverts away from Harvey previous use of pathetic fallacy, in which the characters emotions were tied up with the extreme weather being conveyed; instead it generates questions relating to ancestry that remain unanswered. It demonstrates Harvey’s distinct use of the Gothic genre, although to an extent the storm does reflect the chaos and disorder approaching in the novel, and can be interpreted as a similar omen to the one used in The Castle of Tynemouth.
Consequently parentage and identity are the main features of the novel and they also reiterate the conservative approach to the Gothic genre that Harvey adopts clearly in Brougham Castle. Therefore instead of associating with The Castle of Tynemouth where danger is paramount, this novel focuses on more moderate issues. This is conveyed clearly through Idonea, who discovers that ‘the lady whom you now call mother may be so named, but your own mother was Idonea’ (Harvey, 1816:vol.1 p187). It demonstrates a diversion away from the usual dangers heroines face in the Gothic, and imparts the distress they typically experience through more unadventurous incidents. More specifically it relates to the male Gothic, which explored issues of identity, and shows Harvey’s utilisation of a different aspect of the Gothic tradition. In doing so these revelations augment ‘the tide of Idonea’s anguish’ (Harvey, 1816:vol.1 p192) and provide an innovative way of expressing an absent mother, as Idonea learns that she ‘died the week which gave you birth’ (Harvey, 1816:vol.1 p189). At the same time Harvey’s use of a heroine in distress does relate to more conventional aspects of the Gothic and continues to show her respect for the main aspects of the tradition. The use of parentage and identity therefore becomes a recurring theme within this novel; Cyrus is unaware of his parentage and sees himself as ‘ignorant of his family, alone and unconnected in the world’ (Harvey, 1816:vol.1 p117). It demonstrates Harvey’s further development of the main theme within Brougham Castle and so several of the characters express the ambiguity surrounding ancestry that Harvey is exploring. In doing so mystery becomes an aspect of this and one that is developed in a subtle way, like Harvey’s use of the supernatural. It complements the main premise of the novel; that of finding out the ancestry and identity of several characters. Uncertainty is therefore created around Cyrus from the moment he is ‘put into her arms...a lovely boy, about four or five years old’ (Harvey, 1816:vol.1 p35) and leaves the reader unaware of where he has come from, as Cadmus was ‘not a liberty, to disclose the birth and parentage of Cyrus’ (Harvey, 1816:vol.1 p39).
From this it is clear that Harvey’s novel relates intrinsically to the Gothic tradition, even through the changes that developed in it, and this can be seen further through other significant aspects of the Gothic that are incorporated into Brougham Castle. The use of the sublime is one of these and can be seen through the scenery of both England and Ireland: ‘Eamont, crowned with stately groves, where oak, fir, beech and ash intermingle the varied verdure of their foliage’ (Harvey, 1816:vol.1 p3). It contributes further to the ‘homely’ setting that the Gothic had moved towards and creates a tranquil and idyllic setting for the novel. Aspects of the landscape are further depicted as we learn of the ‘mingled blossoms of the hawthorn and the whin shed their fragrance, and give shelter to the woodland songsters’ (Harvey, 1816:vol.1 p4). It develops the sublimes use of nature and relates to Edmund Burke identification of ‘astonishment’ as the cause of the sublime. This astonishment is developed further as Harvey includes, at the beginning of the text, a statement from Radcliffe that ‘Brougham Castle is rendered more interesting by having been occasionally the residence of the humane and generous sir Philip Sidney’ (Harvey, 1816:vol.1 pp4-5). The association to Radcliffe provides a real connection to the Gothic world and demonstrates the substantial influence of the Gothic on Harvey’s works.
Furthermore Harvey’s use of villains continues to exemplify the respect she has for Gothic ideas as a whole and relates to The Castle of Tynemouth which also uses this aspect of the genre. In doing so Sibbald manipulates Idonea’s character, causing her to fall ‘into the snare, and replied “I only said sir, that Mr Dacre is a person perfectly indifferent to me’ (Harvey, 1816:vol.1 p163). Even though Harvey utilises this typical aspect of the Gothic, her conservative approach for Brougham Castle is clearly shown in this convention as well. In doing so the villain conveys mental rather than physical distress, unlike earlier Gothic novels where physical danger for heroines was paramount. Harvey’s villain in The Castle of Tynemouth uses physical distress which demonstrates Harvey’s use of the amendments to the Gothic in this text. It has undoubtedly moved away from the dangerous, menacing atmosphere of earlier Gothic works, like The Castle of Tynemouth, and instead centres on more psychological issues of parentage and identity that were more prevalent in the Gothic of the 1810s.
More specifically Harvey’s embodiment of the female Gothic is central to Brougham Castle through various features she has introduced. Heroines in distress is a common attribute of this sub-section of the Gothic and it is conveyed through Idonea, who is the typical embodiment of the heroine for the female Gothic, as she experiences ‘wild terror’ (Harvey, 1816:vol.1 p224) and ‘shrieked, and fainted in the arms of Lyulph’ (Harvey, 1816:vol.1 p226). This exemplifies suffering in her female characters and Harvey reiterates it further in other minor female characters, such as Lady Inishannon and Cyrus’ mother, who are also shown to encounter distress: ‘the countess pleaded...for being allowed to rear her Lucy’ (Harvey 1816: vol.2 p175). It demonstrates Harvey’s utilisation of a common feature of the Gothic tradition, but at the same time, as this exploration of Brougham Castle has clearly shown, Harvey does not respect Gothic ideas fully. Instead her heroines do not relate completely to the interpretation of female heroines, who are meant to be ‘pursued by a feudal father or his substitute, with the whole affair monitored by an impeccable but ineffectual suitor’.62 Instead the central heroine, Idonea, is not pursued but suffers distress as a result of her relationship with Cyrus and the underlying theme of parentage in the text.
Similarly even though women have a central role in the novel, the main protagonist in Brougham Castle is Cyrus. This goes against Harvey profound embodiment of the female Gothic, instead highlighting how aspects of the male Gothic were also influential in her work. It further demonstrates the departure from The Castle of Tynemouth, which focused more on the female Gothic with the heroine’s experiences being overtly dominant. It relates however to Radcliffe’s The Italian, whose ‘narrative moving between their separate adventures’63 and expresses Harvey’s use of a new form of narration within her Gothic texts. The issues of identity and parentage, which were also features of the male Gothic, are therefore progressed more fully through Cyrus and Idonea, who both struggle to find out about their own parentage. From this it exemplifies how Harvey was incorporating various aspects of the Gothic tradition into her work and not producing a text markedly like one facet of the Gothic or another. The use of the explained supernatural reiterates this as although being specific to the female Gothic, it is used to compliment the identity issue prevalent throughout the narrative. A rational explanation for the character’s parentage is provided and we learn that Cyrus’ father ‘made it an absolute case of conscience to separate himself from his amiable wife and to abjure his infant son’ (Harvey, 1816:vol.2 p99). In a similar way Idonea also learns the truth as she was ‘the death blow of her parent’ (Harvey, 1816:vol.2 p80), whose passion had been used to interpose and separate her father and Miss Hilton. It resolves the distress and mystery created by providing a logical explanation at the end and demonstrates Harvey’s use of different aspects of the Gothic.
Other features of both the male and female aspects of the Gothic are also utilised by Harvey and further demonstrates her departure from The Castle of Tynemouth, which uses features predominantly from the female Gothic, as well as more conventional Gothic characteristics. Instead Brougham Castle embodies both the horror and terror of both categories through the use of a duel, where Cyrus is ‘challenged’ (Harvey, 1816:vol.1 p227) by Sibbald. Cyrus does not run away and embodies aspects of the horror as he is prepared to face the danger. Sibbald however shows himself to be a ‘cowardly scoundrel...did not believe he intended to keep his appointment’ (Harvey, 1816: vol.2 p7) and so he exemplifies the terror as he fails to show up. It corresponds to Radcliffe, who conveys horror as the men fight in the villa, but Ellena runs away in terror. A combination of both the female and male Gothic are clearly provided by Harvey and demonstrates a departure from it either being one or the other. Furthermore the use of this danger also reflects the moderate nature of Brougham Castle and these are only threats, with no physical danger being experienced. This goes against typical Gothic novels and The Castle of Tynemouth, which embody physical menace more substantially and continues to reiterate Harvey’s departure from the main Gothic ideas.
Subsequently it is clear from this critical exploration of Harvey’s works that the Gothic tradition was a major influence on her writing. Many of the common characteristics of the Gothic are evident in both of Harvey’s texts that have been explored, while the incorporation of Radcliffe and Lewis’ novels further confirm their connection to the Gothic. From this it can also be argued that The Castle of Tynemouth: a Tale, as well as embodying many of the common tropes of the Gothic, was influenced more by the female Gothic whose features it utilizes completely. Alternatively it is clear that in Brougham Castle: a Novel Harvey embodied a more conservative approach by utilising similar features of the tradition. It also reflects the change in the Gothic genre at the beginning of the nineteenth century, as it became more ‘homely’ and looked towards issues of identity and parentage. In doing so it reflects how Harvey incorporated more aspects of the male Gothic within this text that were not prevalent in her earlier Gothic novels, which demonstrates a wider adaption of the Gothic tradition. Conclusively it can be seen that Harvey’s works relate significantly to the Gothic tradition, it was an important theme that her novels ultimately centred on.
In conclusion this study has provided an overview of Jane Harvey and her literary works, in particular focusing on The Castle of Tynemouth and Brougham Castle. In doing so the biographical section conveys a lot of the factual information on Harvey and presents a broad overview of the whole of her writing career. The information available however was quite restrictive and it was extremely difficult to find personal facts, such as the date of birth and parentage of Harvey. It has made the biography piece quite speculative with these kinds of facts, as there were no agreements shared by the biographical sources I managed to find about Harvey. Instead I have determined from this study that there is still a lot of conjecture surrounding unknown writers like Harvey and there will never be as much information available about them compared to more well known writers of that time, like Ann Radcliffe.
As part of the study I decided to look more closely at two of Harvey’s Gothic texts, The Castle of Tynemouth: a Tale and Brougham Castle: a Novel. A synopsis for each of these texts was produced in the next section which demonstrated the Gothic nature of the two texts. From these plot summaries the differences between the two Gothic novels can also be seen and they clearly illustrate the changing nature of the Gothic, which the critical essay also confirmed in this study and is something I will discuss later in this conclusion. Along with this keyword classifications have been produced to highlight specific areas of the texts, including genre, time and setting. It also offers a simpler way of gaining the important facts about the texts, while also highlighting their similarities and differences more profoundly.
The contemporary critical reception was another interesting aspect of the study and was meant to focus predominantly on the reviews associated with the two texts this piece is concentrating on. Instead it has provided a clear analysis of most of Harvey’s literary works, through the available contemporary reviews, in order to determine how they were received and the development of them throughout Harvey’s career. This resulted from the fact that it was extremely difficult to find many reviews for her works, especially the two texts I was focusing on. Subsequently The Castle of Tynemouth only had two short reviews, which identified Harvey’s characterisation as the main area that needed improving. However Brougham Castle had no reviews and so this critical reception provides an overview of the reviews from Harvey’s other works to provide a sense of the critical progression of her literary career. From this they also reiterated characterisation as the main problem Harvey had within her literary works. However through this overview it is clear by 1812 Harvey had managed to improve her characterisation and produced more favourable texts for the critics.
However the main focus of my study was the critical dissertation essay, in which I explored ‘How far the works of Jane Harvey relate to the Gothic tradition?’ This was specifically looked at the terms of Harvey’s two texts,The Castle of Tynemouth and Brougham Castle and it was clear from this that Harvey’s works relate significantly to the Gothic tradition. Many of the common features of the Gothic were used by Harvey in both texts and this was confirmed by their association with Radcliffe and Lewis’ novels, which were explored as well. More specifically aspects of the female Gothic were also embodied in each of Harvey’s novels, but the changing nature of the Gothic was also evident through Brougham Castle, as it was a later text. In doing so it shows how the Gothic became more ‘homely’ and was no longer as menacing, instead focusing on issues of identity and parentage that only underlined earlier texts. Brougham Castle also conveyed distinct features of the male Gothic and provides a combination of all aspects of the Gothic tradition demonstrating clearly how it relates to Harvey’s works.
Conclusively this dissertation had allowed me to develop a more precise, critical understanding of Jane Harvey, in all aspects of he rlife and literary career. It has developed my understanding of unknown women writers immensely and made me realise how difficult it really was, for women especially, in the literary industry. The Gothic was also a major influence for writers and this has also been conveyed throughout this dissertation.
- Jane Harvey (2007) The Castle of Tynemouth: a Tale (1806), Franz Potter (ed.) (London, Zittaw Press)
- Jane Harvey (1816) Brougham Castle: a Novel, (London, Minerva Press)
- Ann Radcliffe (1998) The Italian (1797), Frederick Garber (ed.)(Oxford, Oxford University Press)
- Matthew Lewis (1998) The Monk (1795), Christopher Maclachlan (ed.) (London, Penguin Group)
- Fred Botting (1996) The Gothic, (London, Routledge), p22
- Oxford English Dictionary online. 9 March 2009, http://dictionary.oed.com/cproxy.shu.ac.uk
- David Punter & Glennis Byron (eds.) (2004) The Gothic (Cornwall, Blackwell Publishing), p7
- Ibid., p8
- Ibid., p8
- David Punter & Glennis Byron (eds.) (2004) The Gothic (Cornwall, Blackwell Publishing), p20
- Fred Botting (1996) The Gothic, (London, Routledge), p2
- Ibid., p2
- E J Clery (2000) Women’s Gothic: From Clara Reeve to Mary Shelley, (Devon: Northcote House Publishers), p71
- Fred Botting (1996) The Gothic, (London, Routledge), pp2-3
- Robert Miles (2001) A Companion to the Gothic, David Punter (ed.) (Oxford, Blackwell Publishing Limited), p45
- David Punter & Glennis Byron (eds.) (2004) The Gothic, (Cornwall, Blackwell Publishing), p278
- Andrew Smith & Diana Wallace, ‘The Female Gothic: Then and Now’, Gothic Studies, Vol. 6, No.1, (May, 2004), p1
- Ann Radcliffe, 'On the supernatural in Poetry', The New Monthly Magazine, Vol. 7, 1826, pp145-52
- Ibid., p149
- Fred Botting (1996) The Gothic, (London, Routledge), p75
- Robert Miles (2001) A Companion to the Gothic, David Punter (ed.) (Oxford, Blackwell Publishing Limited), p41
- Ibid., p149
- Angela Wright, (2007) Gothic Fiction: A Reader’s Guide to Essential Criticism, (Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan), pp126-7
- Robert Miles (2001) A Companion to the Gothic, David Punter (ed.) (Oxford, Blackwell Publishing Limited), p43
- Angela Wright (2007) Gothic Fiction: A Reader’s Guide to Essential Criticism, (Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan), pp141
- “Lacan, Jacques”.EncyclopaediaBritannica.2009. EncyclopaediaBritannicaonline.17Apr.2009 http://search.eb.com/eb/article-9046738
- Ann Radcliffe, 'On the supernatural in Poetry', The New Monthly Magazine, Vol. 7, 1826, p149
- “English Literature”.EncyclopaediaBritannica.2009.EncyclopaediaBritannicaOnline.12mar.2009 http://search.eb.com/ed/article-12983
- Fred Botting (1996) The Gothic, (London, Routledge), p75
- David Stevens (2000) The Gothic Tradition ,(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), p50
- Gary Kelly (1988) English Fiction of the Romantic Period 1789-1830, (London: Longman), p48
- Ibid., p49
- Juliann Fleenor (1983) The Female Gothic, (London, Eden Press), p9
- English Literature. Encyclopaedia Britannica.2009.Encyclopaedia Britannica Online. 12 mar. 2009 http://search.eb.com/ed/article-12983
- Fred Botting (1996) The Gothic (London, Routledge), p45
- Ibid., p45
- Robert Miles (2002) The Cambridge Companion to Gothic Fiction, Jerrold Hogle (ed.) (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), p46
- Jerrold Hogle (2002) The Cambridge Companion to Gothic Fiction, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), p1
- James Carson (1996) The Cambridge Companion to the Eighteenth Century, John Richetti (ed.) (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press), p257
- Gary Kelly (1988) English Fiction of the Romantic Period 1789-1830, (London: Longman), p24
- Fred Botting (1996) The Gothic, (London, Routledge), p63
- Robert Miles (2002) The Cambridge Companion to Gothic Fiction, Jerrold Hogle (ed.) (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), p43
- Fred Botting (1996) The Gothic, (London, Routledge), p5
- David Stevens (2000) The Gothic Tradition, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), p19
- Matthew Lewis (1998) The Monk (1795), Christopher Maclachlan (ed.) (London, Penguin Group), p306
- "Spain," Microsoft® Encarta® Online Encyclopedia 2008. http://encarta.msn.com
- Matthew Lewis (1998) The Monk (1795), Christopher Maclachlan (ed.) (London, Penguin Group),p xxii
- David Stevens (2000) The Gothic Tradition, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), p68
- Ann Radcliffe (1998) The Italian (1797), Frederick Garber (ed.) (Oxford, Oxford University Press ), p234
- David Stevens (2000) The Gothic Tradition, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), p70
- Ann Radcliffe (1998) The Italian (1797), Frederick Garber (ed.) (Oxford, Oxford University Press), pvii
- Ibid., pvii
- Fred Botting (1996) The Gothic, (London, Routledge), p5
- Jane Harvey (2007) The Castle of Tynemouth: a Tale (1806), Franz Potter(ed.) (London, Zittaw Press), p23
- English Literature. Encyclopaedia Britannica.2009.Encyclopaedia Britannica Online. 12 mar. 2009 http://search.eb.com/ed/article-12983
- David Punter & Glennis Byron (eds.) (2004) The Gothic (Cornwall, Blackwell Publishing), p26
- Fred Botting (1996) The Gothic, (London, Routledge), p92
- Ibid., p112
- Ibid., p57
- Jane Harvey (1816) Brougham Castle: a Novel (London, Minerva Press), Vol.1, p1
- Fred Botting (1996) The Gothic, (London, Routledge), p113
- Robert Miles, A Companion to the Gothic, David Punter(ed), (Oxford, 2001), p43
- E J Clery (2000) Women’s Gothic: From Clara Reeve to Mary Shelley, (Devon: Northcote House Publishers), p80
Primary Texts Harvey, Jane (2007) The Castle of Tynemouth: a Tale (1806), Franz Potter (ed.) (London: Zittaw Press) A Gothic romance following the inhabitants of the castle as they are controlled by an evil countess and have to overcome various things from this genre of writing.
Harvey, Jane (1816) Brougham Castle: a Novel, (London: Minerva Press) This Gothic novel focuses on Cyrus Dacre and his romance with Idonea Rokeby, as well as the mystery surrounding his parentage.
Hutchinson, W (1776) A View of Northumberland with an Excursion to the Abbey of Mailross in Scotland, (Newcastle: Vesey & Whitfield) A detailed exploration of the different areas of the county of Northumberland and an insight into the customs that are there. Useful for looking at the primary resources Harvey had about the Northumberland area when she was writing her novels.
Lewis, Matthew (1998) The Monk (1795), Christopher Maclachlan (ed.) (London: Penguin Group) A Gothic novel focused around a monastery and the exploits of the monk Ambrosio who breaks through the barriers of social and moral constraint.
Radcliffe, Ann (1998) The Italian (1797), Frederick Garber (ed.) (Oxford: Oxford University Press) A Gothic novel on the romance of Vivaldi and Ellena and how they overcome certain things to be together. It also includes Radcliffe’s concept of terror and the supernatural.
Author unknown, 1802, Review of Warkfield Castle: a Tale by Jane Harvey, Annual Review Vol.1
Author unknown, 1806, Review of The Castle of Tynemouth: a Tale by Jane Harvey, Flowers of Literature
Author unknown, (1808-9), Review of The Governor of Belleville by Jane Harvey, Flowers of Literature
Author unknown, March 1812, Review of Memoirs of an Author by Jane Harvey, British Critic
Author unknown, June 1812, Review of Memoirs of an Author by Jane Harvey, Monthly Review 2nd ser. 68
Author unknown, June 1815, Review of Records of a Noble Family by Jane Harvey, Monthly Review 2nd ser, 77
Author unknown, July 1815, Review of Memoirs of an Author by Jane Harvey, Critical Review 5th ser. 2
Author unknown, August 1824, Review of Mountalyth by Jane Harvey, Monthly Review 2nd ser. 104
Racliffe, Ann, 'On the Supernatural in Poetry', The New Monthly Magazine, Vol. 7, 1826, p145-52
Smith, Andrew & Wallace, Diana, ‘The Female Gothic: Then and Now’, Gothic Studies, Vol. 6, No.1, (May, 2004), pp1-8
Secondary Sources: Books
Blain, Virginia, Clements, Patricia & Grundy, Isobel (1990) The Feminist Companion to Literature in English, (London: BT Batsford Ltd) A guide to women’s writing in English providing biographies of over 2700 women. Useful resource with a large section of biographical information on Jane Harvey.
Block, Andrew (1968) The English Novel 1740-1850: A Catalogue including prose romances, short stories and translations of foreign fiction (London: Dawsons) A catalogue of English novels and other translations from 1740-1850. No mention of Harvey.
Botting, Fred (1996) The Gothic, (London: Routledge) An introductory study about the Gothic genre, including sections associated with form, its origins and 1790s writings of it. Good for a general overview of the Gothic genre that can be related to some of Harvey’s literary works.
Byron, Glennis & Punter, David (eds.) (2004) The Gothic, (Cornwall: Blackwell Publishing) An extensive guide exploring the Gothic genre through looking at the context of the genre, as well as themes, key topics and important writers of the genre. Interesting and relevant section on the Female Gothic.
Clery, E.J (2000) Women’s Gothic: From Clara Reeve to Mary Shelley, (Devon: Northcote House Publishers) A study of female Gothic writers from Clara Reeve and Sophia Lee to Ann Radcliffe. Important for the female Gothic.
Fleenor, Juliann (1983) The Female Gothic (London, Eden Press) An in depth exploration of the female Gothic looking at four key areas, mystique, madness, monsters and maternity. Quite a complex critique of the subject.
Hogle, Jerrold (ed.) (2002) The Cambridge Companion to Gothic Fiction, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) A collection of accounts on the Gothic genre from the 1760s to the end of the 20th century, exploring its connection to the political and industrial revolutions and the realistic novel.
Jones, Vivien (2000) Women and Literature in Britain 1700-1800, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) Focuses on the rise of literature and its effect on women within society.
Kelly, Gary (1988) English Fiction of the Romantic Period 1789-1830, (London: Longman) Examines how fiction and the novel more specifically developed within British society from 1789-1830, and focuses particularly on the Romantic and Enlightenment periods.
MacCarthy, Bridget (1994) The Female Pen: Women Writers and Novelists, 1621-1818, (Cork: Cork University Press) A study of the various periods and writers in this time frame, as well as looking at different kinds of novels such as the Gothic, Didactic and Oriental novels.
Miles, Robert (1993) Gothic Writing 1750-1820: A Genealogy, (London: Routledge) A study of Gothic writing, specifically looking at the ideas of Michel Foucault, in order to establish a genealogy of the tradition. No mention of Harvey.
Moers, Ellen (1985) Literary Women: the Great Writers, (Oxford: Oxford University Press) A study of literary women and their traditions. Useful for a general background to women writers and talks about the female Gothic.
Punter, David (ed.) (2006) A Companion to the Gothic, (Oxford: Blackwell Publishing Limited) A collection of scholarly essays about the Gothic. Useful for background information on the Gothic tradition as a whole.
Richetti, John (ed.) (1996) The Cambridge Companion to the Eighteenth Century, (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press ) Useful articles on 'Women writers of the 18th century novel' and one on the 'Enlightenment, popular culture and Gothic fiction'.
Rogers, Katherine (1982) Feminism in Eighteenth Century England, (Illinois: Illinois University Press) An analysis of feminism within women writer’s novels of the 18th century and highlighting the aspects of it evident in their work.
Robertson, Fiona (ed.) (2001) Women’s Writing 1778-1838, (Oxford: Oxford University Press) An anthology of women writings from 1778 -1838. No mention of Harvey.
Summers, Montague (1964) A Gothic Bibliography, (London: The Fortune Press) A guide to gothic writers, which includes details of the authors’ works and publishing information. No mention of Harvey.
Stevens, David (2000) The Gothic Tradition, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) A guide of the Gothic tradition with the literary, cultural and historical contexts of it. Really useful for a basic overview of the Gothic tradition.
Tompkins, J.M.S (1969) The Popular Novel in England 1770-1800, (London: Methuen) Focuses on the Gothic romance and the female novelist’s contribution to the literary world. Useful section on the Gothic romances.
Wright, Angela (2007) Gothic Fiction: A Reader’s Guide to Essential Criticism, (Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan) Provides an overview of Gothic criticism covering the works of some well known Gothic writers and presents a detailed exploration of the female gothic. Interesting section on the ‘Female Gothic and Female authorship’.
British Fiction 1800-1829: A Database of Production, Circulation and Reception. Ed. Professor Peter Garside. 2004. 18 November 2008. http://www.british-fiction.cf.ac.uk
Corvey Project at Sheffield Hallam University. Ed. Dr Mary Peace.1994. 20 February 2009.
E.A.Rees, ‘Harvey, Jane (bap.1771, d. 1848)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/45852, accessed 07 Nov 2008]
Francis Watt, ‘Harvey, Margaret (bap.1768, d. 1858)’ .rev. M. Clare Loughlin-Chow, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/45852, accessed 28 Nov 2008]
The Corvey Novels Project at the University of Nebraska. Ed.Willa Bitney. April 2006. 12 November 2008. http://www.unl.edu/Corvey/html/Projects/Corvey/NovelsIndex.html
1901Census Online. Genes Reunited Records Ltd. 2000-2009. 27th November 2008. http://www.1901censusonline.com/census.asp.
Ancestry. The Generations Network Inc. 2009. 27th November 2008. http://www.ancestry.co.uk
TO THE TOP OF THE PAGE