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 could not have depicted yon mountains in a more appalling aspect."
In this manner they passed along a winding gallery of some length, with as many staircases leading out of it as are to be found in the mysterious and gloomy palaces of Ann Radcliffe's creation.
Ann Radcliffe in the last decade of the century, of which 'The Mysteries of Udolpho,' in particular, was popular for two generations.
Developing from Ann Radcliffe, Emilia Pardo Bazan, and Vernon Lee, it moved away from explanation and mechanism toward instinct and transformation, ambiguity not merely ambient but embodied.
(1) Akanesi, known as Canny, is not unusual as a Gothic heroine in being unable to turn her gaze away from a sublime landscape, the sort of view Emily St Aubert might have paused to gaze on with awe on her travels through the narrative of Ann Radcliffe's The Mysteries of Udolpho.
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.T.A.
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.
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.
The authors examine the book market of the time and the reception of Balzac's first texts, which consisted mainly of romans noirs and adventure novels inspired partly by Anglophone popular successes (Ann Radcliffe and Walter Scott's novels in particular).
Ao primeiro polo, que opera num regime de suspense com ameacas veladas a vida, seguranca e sanidade das personagens, Ann Radcliffe (1826) da o nome de terror.
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.