Advertisement

“Maggot Maladies”: Origins of Horror as a Culturally Proscribed Entertainment

  • Sarah Cleary
Chapter

Abstract

In his review of Matthew Lewis’s Gothic novel, The Monk (1789), Samuel Coleridge lamented how “the monk [sic] is a romance, which if a parent saw in the hands of a son or daughter he might reasonably turn pale,” not alone in his denunciation of the Gothic novel. Eighteenth-century critics described it as something akin to a “virus […] spreading in all directions.” Likening the author Charlotte Dacre’s imaginative impulses to a putrid infection, reviewers similarly proclaimed her work a “malady of maggots.” Throughout the course of this chapter, controversies that surrounded early Gothic texts are explored as historical precedents, in terms of how precursors to the horror novel were viewed negatively as forms of entertainment capable of corruption and immorality.

Bibliography

  1. Aldana Reyes, Xavier. 2016. Introduction. In Horror: A Literary History, ed. Xavier Aldana Reyes, 7–17. London: British Library.Google Scholar
  2. Balderston, K.C., ed. 1951. Thraliana. The Diary of Mrs Hester Lynch Thrale (Later Mrs. Piozzi) 1776–1809. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Baldick, Chris. 2001. Concise Dictionary of Literary Terms. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Barker, M., and J. Petley, eds. 2001. Ill Effects. The Media/Violence Debate. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  5. BBFC: British Board of Film Classification. 2010. Video Recordings Act. http://www.bbfc.co.uk/education-resources/student-guide/legislation/video-recordings-act. Accessed June 10, 2017.
  6. Bee, Trisha. 2014. Creepypasta Responds: ‘We are a literature Site, Not a Crazy Satanic Cult’. Fox6Now, June 3. http://fox6now.com/2014/06/03/creepypasta-responds-we-are-a-literature-site-not-a-crazy-satanic-cult/. Accessed August 28, 2015.
  7. Bloom, Harold. 1994. Classic Horror Writers. New York: Chelsea House Publishing.Google Scholar
  8. Bloom, Clive. 2007. Introduction. In Gothic Horror: A Guide for Students and Readers, ed. Clive Bloom, 1–24. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  9. ———. 2010. Gothic Histories: The Taste for Terror, 1764 to the Present. New York: Continuum.Google Scholar
  10. Botting, Fred. 1996. Gothic. A New Critical Idiom. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  11. Clery, E.J., and Robert Miles. 2000. Gothic Documents. A Sourcebook 1700–1820. New York: Manchester University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Colavito, Jason. 2012. “A Hideous Bit of Morbidity”: An Anthology of Horror Criticism from the Enlightenment to World War 1. North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc.Google Scholar
  13. Cooper, L. Andrew. 2010. Gothic Realities. The Impact of Horror Fiction on Modern Culture. Jefferson: McFarland & Company, Inc.Google Scholar
  14. Craciun, Adriana. 2003. Fatal Women of Romanticism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Crawford, Joseph. 2015. Gothic Fiction and the Evolution of Media Technology. In Technologies of the Gothic in Literature and Culture, ed. Justin D. Edwards, 36–47. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  16. Davis, Lennard J. 1983. Factual Fictions: The Origins of the English Novel. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Davison, Carol Margaret. 2009. History of Gothic Literature 1764–1824. Cardiff: University of Wales Press.Google Scholar
  18. Donovan-Condron, Kellie. 2013. Urban Gothic in Charlotte Dacre’s Zofloya. European Romantic Review 24 (6): 683–697.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Ellis, Bret Easton. 1991. Bret Easton Ellis Answers Critics of American Psycho. New York Times, March 6. https://www.nytimes.com/1991/03/06/books/bret-easton-ellis-answers-critics-of-american-psycho.html?pagewanted=all. Accessed December 4, 2017.
  20. Faxneld, Per. 2017. Satanic Feminism: Lucifer as the Liberator of Woman in Nineteenth-century Culture. New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Franks, Fredrick S., ed. 2008. The Castle of Otranto and the Mysterious Mother. Peterborough: Broadview Press.Google Scholar
  22. Honour, Huge. 1957. Horace Walpole. New York: Longmans, Green & Co.Google Scholar
  23. Kelsey, Jennifer C. 2009. A Voice of Discontent: A Woman’s Journey through the Long Eighteenth Century. Leicester: Matador.Google Scholar
  24. Lanzen-Harris, Laurie. 2004. Nineteenth-century Literature Criticism. Vol. 132. Michigan: Gale Research Company.Google Scholar
  25. Lewis, Matthew. 2008. The Monk. Oxford: Oxford World Classics.Google Scholar
  26. Macdonald, David. 2000. Monk Lewis: A Critical Biography. Toronto: University of Toronto Press Incorporated.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Mayo, Robert D. 1950. Gothic Romance in the Magazines. PMLA 65 (5): 762–789.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Mills, Robert. 1993. Gothic Writing 1750–1820: A Genealogy. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  29. Myrone, Martin, ed. 2006. The Gothic Reader. Liverpool: Tate Publishing.Google Scholar
  30. Norton, Rictor, ed. 2005. Gothic Readings: The First Wave, 1764–1840. London: Leicester University Press.Google Scholar
  31. O’Malley, Patrick. 2006. Catholicism, Sexual Deviance, and Victorian Gothic Culture. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Parreaux, Andre. 1960. The Publication of The Monk: A Literary Event, 1796–1798. Paris: Didier.Google Scholar
  33. Paulson, Ronald. 1983. Representations of Revolution (1789–1820). London: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  34. Peck, Louis. 1961. A Life of Matthew G. Lewis. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Sage, Victor. 1990. The Gothick Novel. Case Book. Basingstoke: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  36. Shuttleworth, Sally. 2012. Demonic Mothers. Ideologies of Bourgeois Motherhood in the Mid-Victorian Era. In Rewriting the Victorians: Theory, History, and the Politics of Gender, Volume 12, ed. Linda M. Shires, 31–51. Oxon: Routledge.Google Scholar
  37. Steedman, Carolyn. 2013. An Everyday Life of the English Working Class: Work, Self and Sociability in the Early Nineteenth Century. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Townshend, Dale. 2016. Gothic and the Cultural Sources of Horror, 1740–1820. In Horror: A Literary History, ed. Xavier Aldana Reyes, 18–51. London: British Library.Google Scholar
  39. Varma, Devendra. 1966. Gothic Flame. Being a History of the Gothic in England. Its Origins, Efflorescence, Disintegration and Residuary Influences. London: Russel & Russel.Google Scholar
  40. Walpole, Horace. 2007. The Castle of Otranto. Gloucestershire: The History Press.Google Scholar
  41. Watt, James. 1999. Contesting the Gothic: Fiction, Genre and Cultural Conflict 1764–1832. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Wilde, Oscar. 1994. The Picture of Dorian Gray. London: Penguin Popular Classics.Google Scholar
  43. Wright, Angela. 2007. Gothic Fiction. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sarah Cleary
    • 1
  1. 1.Trinity CollegeDublinIreland

Personalised recommendations