Both Things I Know About Gothic Horror I Learned from Jane Austen Who Learned from Ann Radcliffe
It’s Gothic Horror month so I’m taking the duration of this post to consider both (BOTH) of things I
know think about Gothic Horror:
- Ann Radcliffe is the mother-king of the Gothic Horror novel.
- Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey is a love letter to Ann Radcliffe.
While Jane Austen’s isn’t exactly known for horror, she is my home girl. But I know little to nothing about Austen’s home girl: Ann Radcliffe.
So I did some digging.
I spent the entire last quarter of an hour Googling Ann Radcliffe. And I am fascinated:
Top 13 Things I Now Know About Ann Radcliffe:
13: Ann Radcliffe had never visited any of the countries in which her novels took place.
12: Ann Radcliffe started writing to amuse her husband who worked way too much.
11: Ann Radcliffe put the bulk of characterization into her villains with intentionally flat heroes so she could focus more on the terror. Clever girl.
10: Ann Radcliffe was rumored to eat rare pork before bedtime to increase her chance of nightmares which fueled her stories.
9: Ann Radcliffe stopped writing novels when she didn’t need any more money.
8: Ann Radcliffe had asthma.
7: Ann Radcliffe was a master of prolonged scenes of suspense.
6: Ann Radcliffe preferred psychological terror over gore.
5: Ann Radcliffe was an introvert which led to folks thinking she was being held against her will somewhere.
4: Ann Radcliffe didn’t give a witches teat about historical accuracy.
3: Ann Radcliffe was rumored to have gone mad because of her vivid imagination.
2: Ann Radcliffe inspired Jane Austen.
1: Ann Radcliffe’s last words were “There is some substance in that.”