SALE Britain, France and the Gothic, 1764–1820
Author(s): Angela Wright
Publication Date: 15-10-2015
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In describing his proto-Gothic fiction, The Castle of Otranto (1764), as a translation, Horace Walpole was deliberately playing on national anxieties concerning the importation of war, fashion and literature from France in the aftermath of the Seven Years' War. In the last decade of the eighteenth century, as Britain went to war again with France, this time in the wake of revolution, the continuing connections between Gothic literature and France through the realms of translation, adaptation and unacknowledged borrowing led to strong suspicions of Gothic literature taking on a subversive role in diminishing British patriotism. Angela Wright explores the development of Gothic literature in Britain in the context of the fraught relationship between Britain and France, offering fresh perspectives on the works of Walpole, Radcliffe, 'Monk' Lewis and their contemporaries.