The Supernatural Fourth Dimension in Lucas Malet’s The Carissima and The Gateless Barrier



Lucas Malet (Mary St Leger Kingsley) was a celebrated fin-de-siecle author whose two gothic novels, The Carissima: A Modern Grotesque (1896) and The Gateless Barrier (1900) employ the contrasting conventions of the ‘male’ and ‘female’ gothic respectively. This chapter argues that the reason for this stylistic divergence can be found in Malet’s hitherto overlooked engagement with contemporary occultist notions of a supernatural fourth dimension. Her novels, I suggest, operate as two poles of a dialectic that explores the physical and psychological conditions required to access a higher spiritual dimension, with results that produce the divergent impulses of ‘Lewisite’ and ‘Radcliffean’ gothic.


Lucas malet Space Supernatural Fourth dimension Ghosts Hyperspace 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Macquarie UniversitySydneyAustralia

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