The Gothic marketplace would seem to be one in which women would hold equal sway. Many Gothic authors were women; even a printer of Gothic romances, Ann Lemoine, was a woman. Author Charlotte Smith, whose life of domestic violence resembled a Gothic novel, was singled out for unique public humiliation by her publisher. Ann Ward Radcliffe preferred to be thought dead or insane than an authoress. And within the world of the Gothic novel, women are subject to numerous assaults on their virtue and to the tyranny of fathers, would-be lovers, and husbands.


Legends of Terror! And Tales of the Wonderful and the Wild. London: G. Creed, 1840. The Sadleir-Black Collection of Gothic Novels. A new series of legends, featuring more disquieting illustrations. Illustrations in the Gothic novel usually featured a beleagured lovely peering anxiously over her shoulder, or a young man terrified by a specter. These are slightly unusual in their explicit focus on death and monsters. The Sadleir-Black Collection of Gothic Novels. PZ2L446 new ser 1840

Legends of Terror! And Tales of the Wonderful and the Wild, Being a Complete Collection of Interesting Legendary Tales, National Romances, and Traditional Relics, in Prose and Verse, Comprising, in Addition to Numerous Original Translations, the Whole of the Ancient Legends of Germany, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, and other Countries, with Historical Illustrations. Embellished with Forty Elegant Engravings in Wood. London: Sherwood, Gilbert, and Piper, 1826. The Sadleir-Black Collection of Gothic Novels. Frederick Coykendall writes, "The book is gruesome and in its illlustrations even disgusting" (GB). With this promising beginning, one can peruse this collection of tales from various countries. Usually featuring skeletons and monsters in alternating poses, the illustrations do indeed leave the reader strangely disquieted.

The Wanderings of Warwick. By Charlotte Smith. London: J. Bell, 1794. Forced to support a violently abusive husband and several children, Charlotte Smith's life might almost be a page from a Gothic novel. Reportedly discriminated against because of her pro-French Revolution opinions, Smith received no peace even in the publishing world; the publisher's disclaimer seems to be a result of his having advertised extensively a novel she was late in delivering. Needless to say, her next novel appeared with a different publisher. The book itself is very rare; rarer still are the advertisements and Bell's venomous notice.

The Old English Baron: a Gothic Story. By Clara Reeve. Edited by J. Chapman. London: C. Dilly, 1799. Sixth edition. This novel is signed, "Clara Reeve." This is a reprint of the popular The Champion of Virtue, according to the Monthly Review, "is revived and corrected and more elegantly printed." The novel is heavily indebted to Horace Walpole's The Castle of Otranto, which led to a contretemps between the two authors. Reeve felt that the violence of Walpole's novel destroyed the effect it was meant to have by drawing too much attention to itself; Walpole declared her novel "insipid." The young hero, Edmund, braves many horrors to obtain his rightful place in the world.

The Romance of the Forest. By Ann Ward Radcliffe. London: T. Hookham and J. Carpenter, 1791. First edition. This is the first work Radcliffe published under her own name. Mysterious threats, a ruined abbey, and an almost supernatural villain help set the standard for Gothic novels. The author lead a secluded life; her public did not know whether she was dead or alive. When she was found to be very much alive, she was widely thought to be insane. The Literary Gazette of June 3, 1826 described Mrs. Radcliffe:
"She was ashamed (yes, ashamed), of her own talents, and was ready to sink into the earth at the bare suspicion of anyone taking her for an author; her chief ambition being to be thought a lady!"

The School for Friends. By Charlotte Dacre. London: Thomas Tegg, n. d. The Sadleir-Black Collection of Gothic Novels. Dacre was one of the Gothic's most flexible practioners, marrying her tales to epistolary formats, the novel of manners, and here, a domestic tale.

Says she to her neighbour, What? By an old Fashioned Englishman. By Mrs. Hofland. London: Minerva Press, 1817. The Sadleir-Black Collection of Gothic Novels. This novel bears the autograph and the bookplate of Harriot, duchess of St. Alban's. Gothic novel reading was not limited to the middle class, as in Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey.

The Wife and the Mistress. A Novel. By Mary Charlton. London: Minerva Press, 1802. The Sadleir-Black Collection of Gothic Novels.

The Sorrows of Edith; or, the Hermitage of the Cliffs: a Descriptive Tale, Founded on Facts. By Mrs. Burke. London: B. Crosby, 1796. The Sadleir-Black Collection of Gothic Novels. The "child of nature" heroine, Edith, takes her own life after suffering the rejection of her lover due to her lower social status.This volume bears the armorial bookplate of playwright Richard Brinsley Sheridan.

The Victim of Seduction, exemplified in the Memoirs of Clara Montford, Lady of the Rev. Lionel Montford, of Seldon, in Yorkshire, Who Was Seduced From Her Husband and Taken to Florence, Giving an Account of Her Residence There, the Tragical Death of Her Seducer, Her Fatal Departure, Her Arrival in England, Her Meeting with her Husband, and Miserable Death. London: J. Bailey, 1790. The Sadleir-Black Collection of Gothic Novels.

The Witch of Ravensworth; a Romance, in Two Volumes. By George Brewer. London: J. F. Hughes, 1808. The Sadleir-Black Collection of Gothic Novels. See pages 3 and four for a lurid description of Ann Ramsey, who drinks blood and cannabalizes infants. Even the most hardened Gothic reader must have been shocked by her transformation into the saintly Gertrude at the end fo the novel.

Alexena; or, the Castle of Santa Marco. London: Minerva Press, 1817. The Sadleir-Black Collection of Gothic Novels. An adaptation of Ann Ward Radcliffe's The Mysteries of Udolpho. The villainous Count Baretto imprisons and menaces three maidens in their turn: Alexena, Evelene, and Ellena.


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