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George Eliot and the Gothic Novel

Genres, Gender, Feeling

George Eliot and the Gothic Novel tracks George Eliot’s reading of gothic and sensational literature and her responses to them in her own works. Royce Mahawatte focuses on the frightening, startling, and melodramatic elements of Eliot’s fiction, placing Eliot within a culture of mid-Victorian sensationalism and highlighting the connections between her and authors like Mary Braddon, Wilkie Collins, and Edward Bulwer Lytton. Mahawatte argues that suspenseful and popular tropes play a significant role in Eliot’s literary ethics and creativity and that our understanding of the author’s writing needs to be broadened to include her extensive and complex engagement with the gothic tradition.

288 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 | © 2013

Gothic Literary Studies

Literature and Literary Criticism: General Criticism and Critical Theory

Women's Studies

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“Mahawatte’s interweaving of textual reading and critical discourse makes an interesting contribution. Recommended.”

W. Baker, Northern Illinois University | Choice

Table of Contents

Notes on Names
List of Abbreviations
Introduction: ‘half-womanish, half-ghostly’: George Eliot and the Inheritance of the Gothic

Part I: Reimagining the Genres of Feeling
1. ‘as if there was a demon in me’: ‘Janet’s Repentence’ and the Evangelical Gothic
2. ‘with two names written on it’: Sensation Narratives in Adam Bede
3 ‘of one texture with the rest of my existence’: ‘The Lifted Veil’ and the Tale of the Supernatural
Part II: Uncanny Women, Fearing Men
4. Counterfeit Gothic Heroines in The Millon the Floss and Middlemarch
5. Romola and Felix Holt, The Radical: The Pursuits of Paranoid Men
6. Finale: Daniel Deronda: Sensationalized Society, Gothicized Self

List of Works Cited and Consulted

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