Through the exploration of a selection of Minerva titles from across the period of the Press’s dominance (1790–99), focusing on the recurring trope of violence, its varying portrayals by individual authors, and its censure by critics, this essay argues that the Press makes a unique contribution to the Romantic literary marketplace with regard to its output of violent gothic fiction. In particular, it proposes that what some Minerva authors were doing was cleverly combining gothic sensationalism with historical fact, thereby allowing Lane’s press to gain popularity by catering to the fashion for violent gothic novels while simultaneously responding to rhetoric about the corrupting influence of such violence on female readers. In addition to this, at a time when historical writing was not showcasing the horrors of war that women were experiencing, the use of gothic conventions when writing historical conflicts permitted writers to do exactly that—the implication being that Minerva authors’ use of gothic violence was not simply to entertain, but also to portray the horrors of war and its impact on women and the domestic space. Taken together, the use of historical facts alongside gothic tropes in Minerva Press works allows for a confident evaluation of the formation of an historical gothic mode. Continue reading
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Items tagged with 'Agnes Musgrave'
Ann Radcliffe authorship bibliography book history book trade drama eighteenth century English literature Fantasmagoriana fiction Four Nations Frankenstein gender global gothic illustration Ireland Jane Austen literary canon literature Lord Byron Mary Shelley Minerva Press national identity nationalism nineteenth century novels Percy Bysshe Shelley poetry politics print culture publishing reception Romanticism Samuel Taylor Coleridge Scotland Tales of the Dead teaching travel writing visual cultures Wales Walter Scott William Lane William Wordsworth women's writing