Ann Radcliffe

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Radcliffe, Ann (Ward),

1764–1823, English novelist, b. London. The daughter of a successful tradesman, she married William Radcliffe, a law student who later became editor of the English Chronicle. Her best works, The Romance of the Forest (1791), The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794), and The Italian (1797), give her a prominent place in the tradition of the Gothic romanceGothic romance,
type of novel that flourished in the late 18th and early 19th cent. in England. Gothic romances were mysteries, often involving the supernatural and heavily tinged with horror, and they were usually set against dark backgrounds of medieval ruins and haunted
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. Her excellent use of landscape to create mood and her sense of mystery and suspense had an enormous influence on later writers, particularly Walter Scott.


See studies by C. F. McIntyre (1920, repr. 1970) and E. B. Murray (1972).

Radcliffe, Ann


(née Ann Ward). Born July 9, 1764, in London; died there Feb. 7, 1823. English writer.

Radcliffe was educated at home. She won broad popularity for A Sicilian Romance (1790) and The Romance of the Forest (1791) and especially for The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794) and The Italian (1797). In her Gothic novels Radcliffe masterfully created an atmosphere of terror and mystery, but the element of rationality is also strong in her novels. Everything mysterious is fully explained by real phenomena. The romantics adopted the strong-willed, unrestrainedly passionate “hero-villain,” definitively portrayed in Radcliffe’s works.


Istoriia angliiskoi literatury, vol. 1, fasc. 2. Moscow-Leningrad, 1945.
MacIntyre, C. Ann Radcliffe in Relation to Her Times. New Haven-London, 1920.
Varma, D. P. The Gothic Flame. [London, 1957].
Birkhead, E. The Tale of Terror. New York, 1963.
References in classic literature ?
Ann Radcliffe in the last decade of the century, of which 'The Mysteries of Udolpho,' in particular, was popular for two generations.
Desde Las mil y una noches, cuentos arabes o persas de autor anonimo, algunos de la literatura gotica, como Horace Walpole o Ann Radcliffe, algunos de la corriente romantica que se inscriben en este genero, E.
DeGabriele includes chapters on Daniel Defoe, Samuel Richardson, David Hume, Edward Gibbon, and Ann Radcliffe, interspersed with accounts of Hobbes, John Locke, and Edmund Burke.
His book tracks this concern through the work of six such artists, beginning in the eighteenth century with Ann Radcliffe and concluding in the mid-nineteenth with Ruskin and the Pre-Raphaelites.
It takes Elliott most of her lengthy book to make her case, charting out a large number of Gothic works while still relying on a representational few--Horace Walpole, Ann Radcliffe, Mary Shelley--as well as contextual documents central to middle-class thought to support her claims.
Wallace's technique of rereading well-known Gothic authors such as du Maurier and Ann Radcliffe, discussing their assimilation and reworking of motifs from other women writers or their influences on later writers, is particularly effective in mapping an alternative history of female Gothic--one that does not always originate with 'mother Radcliffe' and peter out in the mid-twentieth century.
Conducting readings of how such writers as Horace Walpole, Ann Radcliffe, Mary Shelley, and Charles Maturin, among others, dealt with these changes in the presentation of social identity, she addresses a broad range of social, political, historical, cultural, ideological, ethical, aesthetic, semiotic, epistemological, narrative, cognitive, and psychological issues raised by "the age of portraiture" in Britain and its reception in fiction.
In this way, Castillo writes, Zayas has much in common with Gothic writers like Ann Radcliffe and Mary Shelley, who "reveal the terrors of patriarchy from the point of view of its female victims" (116).
La primera de ellas procura un estudio de las circunstancias y motivos historicos, sociologicos, literarios y esteticos que impulsaron la evolucion del genero gotico en Espana, hablando sin cortapisas de las trabas que impuso la censura para el cultivo de la novela gotica, como se importo el genero a traves de las traducciones de ciertas obras como Julia o los subterraneos del Castillo de Mazzini que conocio hasta seis impresiones, El confesionario o los penitentes negros que vio nueve ediciones, Adelaida o la abadia en la selva o Los misterios de Udolfo, estas ultimas con dos ediciones, por referirme a la celebre autora inglesa Ann Radcliffe, "la gran dama del gotico y la autora con mas exito en nuestro pais".
When Ann Radcliffe wrote the following words in her 'Gothick' Novel of 1797, The Italian, or the Confessional of the Black Penitents, she was not, in fact, describing Salvator Rosa's self-portrait of c.
The most celebrated was Ann Radcliffe (1764-1823), whose five Gothic novels earned her the epithet, "the Shakespeare of Romance.
A SICILIAN ROMANCE Ann Radcliffe was one of the first authors of what came to be known as Gothic Fiction.