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|Gothic background of NA.
Written by MandyN
(4/21/2006 3:54 p.m.)
With the comments on the reading of the Gothic novel below, I decided to do some further checking on the gothic genre.
Possibly, C21st readers find it difficult to understand why readers of JA's time read such horrid novels. In their time such novels as Udolpho, Clermont, Castle Wofenbach, etc were considered 'modern'. They were escapist reading for enjoyment. Gothic books were often cheap and well stocked by the circulating libraries.
As it's title suggested to JA's contemporaries, Nothanger Abbey draws on the Gothic novel and it's conventions.
Gothics were often set in the past and involved a young girl, trapped in a castle or abbey, often partly ruined, tormented by an older man, usually her father or guardian and often the political leader of the region- which may explain why JA decided the Tilney father would bear a high military title.
Understanding the complex way NA draws on the Gothics is easiest if one has read one of these novels, so I feel Reeba's posts comparing NA and Udolpho are of particlar interest.
The link on the Gothic labyrinth below briefly explains how gothic writers tended to influence one another's work.
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