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Ann Radcliffe (1764 - 1823)

Related: gothic novel - The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794)

Contemporaries: Mary Wollstonecraft - Hokusai - Friedrich Hegel

The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794) - Ann Ward Radcliffe [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]


Ann Radcliffe (July 9, 1764 - February 7, 1823) was an English author, a pioneer of the gothic novel.

She was born Ann Ward in Holborn, London, England. She married William Radcliffe, an editor for the English Chronicle, at Bath in 1788. To amuse herself, she began to write fiction, an avocation her husband encouraged.

She published The Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne in 1789. This set the tone for the majority of her work, which tended to involve innocent, but heroic young women who find themselves in gloomy, mysterious castles ruled by even more mysterious barons with dark pasts.

Her works were extremely popular among the upper class and the growing middle class especially among young women. Her works included The Sicilian Romance (1790), The Romance of the Forest (1791), The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794), and The Italian (1796).

The success of The Romance of the Forest established Radcliffe as the leading exponent of the historical Gothic romance. Her later novels met with even greater attention, and produced many imitators, and famously, Jane Austen's burlesque of The Mysteries of Udolpho in Northanger Abbey, as well as influencing the works of Sir Walter Scott and Mary Wollstonecraft.

She died on February 7, 1823 from respiratory problems probably caused by pneumonia.

Radcliffe's influence on later writers:

--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ann_Radcliffe [Jun 2005]

Ann Radcliffe and Salvator Rosa

Ann Radcliffe was greatly influenced by the Italian landscape painter, Salvator Rosa. Where Rosa applied brush strokes, Radcliffe wove words.

Salvator Rosa (1615-73), 17th century Italian landscape painter, created dramatic landscapes peopled with peasants and banditti. Like the works of Ann Radcliffe, who he heavily influenced, Rosa intended to create a feeling of awe and the sublime in the minds of his audience. The works of Rosa, together with those of less dramatic landscape artists, Claude Lorraine (1600-82), Gaspard Poussin (1615-75), Domenico Zampieri (1581-1641), were very popular in the 18th and 19th centuries. The landscapes of the Italian artist and architect Domenico Zampieri greatly influenced those of Claude and Poussin. All receive mention in the novels of Ann Radcliffe. --http://www.heureka.clara.net/art/radcliff.htm [Jun 2005]

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