Blog Archives

Ann Radcliffe = Led Zeppelin

I KNOW WHAT YOU’RE THINKING: You’re thinking “I want to read a novel by chronically underrated gothic novelist Ann Radcliffe, but I don’t know which one I should read read? If only my general familiarity with the work of Led Zeppelin could somehow help me answer this question!”


Worry not!… Read the rest

Posted in book reviews, Criticism, Is This Gothic?, Literary Criticism, Music Criticism Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Observations of The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian, by Robert E. Howard

This is correspondence related to my summer Epic Fantasy reading project. Notes and comments are informal:

I know… that our main focus this summer is the sweeping, epic “high fantasy,” but I wanted at least a basic understanding of “low fantasy” Sword and Sorcery, and Howard is consider to be its founding father.… Read the rest

Posted in Literary Criticism Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

Reflections on Benjamin Franklin, 2012: Franklin, the Romantic?

Benjamin Franklin’s 306th birthday was yesterday, January 17th.

I’m not an expert on the subject, but, as Walter Isaacson’s essay “What Would Ben Do?” notes, “[Franklin] has been vilified in romantic periods.” The question is how do we separate the spirit and content of romanticism from the momentary tropes of the/any “romantic period.” It its roots, perhaps there is something to this vilification: Franklin was a famed Enlightenment thinker, he tended toward the secular side of the religious spectrum, and he favored egalitarianism and social mobility.… Read the rest

Posted in Criticism, gothic, Literary Criticism, Personal

The Italian, by Ann Radcliffe.

This past week I finished The Italian by Ann Radcliffe, meaning that I’ve finally read the Big Three of her novels, the other two being The Mysteries of Udolpho and The Romance of the Forest.

At some point, I’d like to talk about these three in comparison, as well as the consider The Italian alongside more contemporary writing, but I thought it would make sense to start out with a brief review.… Read the rest

Posted in gothic, Literary Criticism, Reviews Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,

Ann Radcliffe’s Italian

Last week, in our discussion of Gothic Heroines and Natural Selection, Flawed Events posted about Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey as referring to Ann Radcliffe. Austen pokes fun at Radcliffe, and at Gothic fiction in general, throughout Northanger Abbey. It’s a great book, funny and piquant, but I thought it might be nice to include for once passage of Radcliffe’s that shows what a powerful writer she really could be, and why she influenced writers from Keats to Hugo.… Read the rest

Posted in gothic, Literary Criticism Tagged with: , , , , ,

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