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Historical Information
What is Gothic?
Elements of the Gothic Novel
Biographical Information

Ann Radcliffe

Informaiton about the life and works of Ann Radcliffe.
Links to webpages concerning ; Gothic literature, Gothic feminism, biographical information, novel summaries, poetry, and elements of the Gothic novel.


There is not much known about the life of Ann Radcliffe except that she was one of the most acclaimed and contraversial female novelists of her time. Her first work was published in 1764 and her last in 1826. She was married to an oxford graduate and lived a very secluded and secretive life. Many described her as meloncholy and she never really socialized with others, but she did write some of the most interesting and stimulating Gothic literature and remained true to the Romantic ideals while edging on the darker side of fiction. She encompassed the elements of Gothic literature in her works and is still widely read.

Radcliffe's Published Books

The Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne - 1789
A Sicilian Romance: A Highland Story - 1790
The Romance of the Forest - 1792
The Mysteries of Udolpho: A Romance - 1794
The Italian: or, The Confessional of the Black Penitents - 1797
Gaston de Blondeville: or, The Court of Henry III Keeping Festival in Ardennes - 1826

Ann Radcliffe also wrote "Graveyard Poetry" which was an invention of the first half of the Eighteenth Century and would come to influence all of gothic literature, turing death and the grave into some of the most attractive characteristics of Gothic literature. Death and the grave were also associated with darkness and night, which was considered to be the time of day when anything was possible and imagination soared beyond reason. Ann Radcliffe's poetry introduced readers to things beyond aesthethics and pulled then into the realm of mystery, the supernatural, and the unnatural. Some other  "Graveyard" poets are: Robert Blair, James Thomson, and Mark Akenside.