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.
Smith's fourth chapter, "The Passion of the Gothic heroine: Ann Radcliffe and the origins of narrative," echoes Williams's typological reading of history that casts "Robespierre .
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).
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.
A SICILIAN ROMANCE Ann Radcliffe was one of the first authors of what came to be known as Gothic Fiction.
As all careful readers of Ann Radcliffe know, and all careful editors of Northanger Abbey point out, a wax figure plays a part in her 1794 Mysteries of Udolpho (hidden behind the black veil that so intrigues Catherine and Isabella).
Joyce Ann Radcliffe, 57, of Llandygai, near Bangor was shocked when she saw the picture taken by neighbour Robert Owen Jones, 85 as the two were recently going through his old albums.
Traditional moral objections to anything before 1740 rejected Behn, Manley, and Haywood as well as Defoe from critical appreciation; when Henry Fielding was too coarse for the critics, Frances Burney was rejected for her vulgarity; when realism reigned, overly didactic and Gothic fiction were excluded from critical favour, taking with them Hannah More, Ann Radcliffe, Sophia Lee.
The wonderful new exhibit at the Morgan Library officially covers the period from 1837-1901, Victoria's reign, but it sneaks in some forerunners, like the Gothic novelists Ann Radcliffe and Monk Lewis.
Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein (1818) and the books of Matthew "Monk" Lewis, William Beckford and Ann Radcliffe are still widely read and early editions of these books are rare and valuable today.
This will entail looking at the work of writers as diverse as Ann Radcliffe, Edgar Allan Poe, Bram Stoker as well as a contemporary author such as Sarah Waters.