Gothic Imagery: Ann Radcliffe's Gothic Portrayal

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CHAPTER TWO

Ann Radcliffe’s Gothic Portrayal

I am the last leaf on the tree – Ann Radcliffe 1

2.1. Biographical Sketch

Ann Radcliffe was the most popular novelist of the early gothic fiction. She wrote a series of Gothic fictions in the 1790s, just as the gothic genre was reaching its peak of popularity in England and America.2
Ann Ward was born in London on July, 1764. She was the only child of William Ward and Ann Oates. She received well education. In 1772, Ann joined a school run by Sophia and Harriet Lee, who were early innovators of the Gothic fiction and drama. In 1787, Ann Ward married William Radcliffe, a journalist and later became the proprietor of the English Chronicle. Her husband is a great supporter in her life,
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She was fond of art and music and familiar with Edmund Burke, an author, orator, political theorist and philosopher who believed that beautiful art could preserve its beauty even when it arouse anxiety and horror.8 She was interested in Gothic and Romantic novels of her time, and drew inspiration from Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto and Clara Reeve’s The Old English Baron.9 Moreover, she was a good reader and has special interest poetry; she even adds some poetic verses in her gothic novels. Sir Thomas Noon Talfourd , an English critic , notes that “ Radcliffe kept daily accounts and spent her days reading poetry and novels”.…show more content…
She views nature as if she is describing a painting, capturing the readers’ senses and transporting the soul to the places she described. She employs the explained supernatural technique (the uncanny) in her gothic novels by making a fusion between nature and magic.11
The romantic landscape, the background, is the best thing in all her books, through which she creates the feeling of the
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