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:

  1. Ann Radcliffe is the mother-king of the Gothic Horror novel.
  2. 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.

Ann Radcliffe

Ann Radcliffe – photo courtesy of Google images.

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.”



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