Romantic gothic fiction is not exciting. Gothic novels are not ghost stories. Gothic novels are not women's writing.
Opening with these three theses, The Gothic Text undertakes a fresh approach to a much-studied mode. Marshall Brown combines the teleological approach to literary history developed in his Preromanticism with a European perspective on the one truly international literary form of its era. New insights into literary history and the history of ideas provide a framework for innovative close readingsof Horace Walpole's The Castle of Otranto, Ann Radcliffe's The Italian, and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, among othersthat approach classics of the genre from unusual angles. The book also provides a thoroughly researched account of German romantic psychology as it developed out of Kant's idealist philosophy into a gothic sensibility. Accessibly written and argued in careful, lively detail, The Gothic Text gives many new impulses to the study of romanticism, nineteenth-century fiction, and the origins of psychoanalysis.