Gothic Stories Within Stories

Frame Narratives and Realism in the Genre, 1790–1900

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SKU: 9781476667485 Categories: , ,

About the Book

Frame narratives—stories within stories—are featured in nearly every canonical Gothic novel. Sometimes dismissed as a shopworn convention of the genre, frame narratives in fact function as a dynamic basis for imaginative variation and are vital to evaluating the diverse Gothic tradition. The juxtaposition between the everyday “frame world” of the story and the disturbing embedded narrative allows the monstrous to escape textual confines, forcing the reader to experience the reassurance of the ordinary alongside the horror of the uncanny.

About the Author(s)

Clayton Carlyle Tarr is an assistant professor at Michigan State University, where he specializes in nineteenth-century British literature. He has published on authors such as Charles Dickens, Christina Rossetti, and Thomas Carlyle, and on themes ranging from the plague and teeth to bog bodies and disability.

Bibliographic Details

Clayton Carlyle Tarr
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 216
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2017
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6748-5
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2820-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Introduction 1

1. A “frame of uncommon size”: Ann Radcliffe and the Sublime Real 21

2. Go Forth and Prosper: Mary Shelley’s Monsters Unbound 45

3. Loose Ends: Melmoth the Wanderer and Confessions of a Justified Sinner 63

Interlude. The Fabric of Reality: Sartor Resartus 83

4. The “science of human brutality”: Wuthering Heights and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall 91

5. The “romantic side of familiar things”: The Old Curiosity Shop and Bleak House 109

6. The Descent of Man: Jekyll and Hyde and Dracula 130

Coda. Glory in a Gap: The Turn of the Screw and Heart of Darkness 153

Chapter Notes 165

Bibliography 191

Index 205

Book Reviews & Awards

“examines the purpose of framing narratives, or stories within stories, in gothic literature”—ProtoView.