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Gothic AntiquityHistory, Romance, and the Architectural Imagination, 1760-1840$
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Dale Townshend

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198845669

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198845669.001.0001

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Antiquarian Gothic Romance

Antiquarian Gothic Romance

Castles, Ruins, and Visions of Gothic Antiquity

Chapter:
(p.267) 6 Antiquarian Gothic Romance
Source:
Gothic Antiquity
Author(s):

Dale Townshend

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198845669.003.0006

Consolidating the themes explored in previous chapters, Chapter 6 turns to consider the ‘antiquarian Gothic romance’, an oxymoronic strain of Gothic writing that, even as it peddled its hyperbolic, highly fanciful tales, self-consciously aspired towards the rigour and facticity of the antiquarian topographical method. Having discussed these impulses in a selection of lesser-known Gothic romancers, as well as the curious antiquarian romances of writers such as Thomas Pownall and Joseph Strutt, the chapter focuses on two literary responses to the ruins of Kenilworth Castle, Warwickshire: Ann Radcliffe’s posthumously published Gaston De Blondeville (1826), and Walter Scott’s Kenilworth (1821). As in previous chapters, Gothic ruins are shown to call up vastly competing imaginative constructions of the Gothic past, each of which is politically inflected: the Tory ‘white Gothic’ of Scott, and the radicalism of Radcliffe.

Keywords:   politics, antiquarianism, Walter Scott, Ann Radcliffe, Kenilworth Castle, Gothic antiquity, Thomas Pownall, Joseph Strutt, romance

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