Disturbing the Female Gothic: An Excavation of the Northanger Novels
Whatever else it may have contained, Isabella Thorpe’s pocket-book does not register, record or establish a ‘Female Gothic’. It contains the titles of seven novels, not their authors. Consequently, this pocket-book reading list conveys no information about the gender of the authors. By contrast, John Thorpe responds to Catherine Morland’s query ‘Have you ever read Udolpho, Mr Thorpe?’ with ‘Not I, faith! No, if I read any it shall be Mrs. Radcliff’s [sic];’ (45), and Henry Tilney praises the ‘hair-raising’ prose of ‘Mrs. Radcliffe’ (95). It is the reading minds of John and Henry, not those of Isabella and Catherine, which respond to authorship, and the gendering of a text through authorship.
KeywordsMarital Conflict Woman Writer Marital Violence Reading Mind Socratic Dialogue
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