Romanticism and the Gothic

Genre, Reception, and Canon Formation

Romanticism and the Gothic

This is the first full-length study to examine the links between high Romantic literature and what has often been thought of as a merely popular genre--the Gothic. Michael Gamer analyzes how and why Romantic writers drew on Gothic conventions while, at the same time, denying their influence in order to claim critical respectability. He shows how the reception of Gothic literature played a fundamental role in the development of Romanticism as an ideology, tracing the politics of reading, writing and reception at the end of the eighteenth century.


"Michael Gamer's astute monograph has not only given a convincing historical account of how the prior existence of the gothic as a genre affected three important writers at the beginning of the nineteenth century, but has done so in a way that suggests the more general value of his methods." Studies in Romanticism

"An exemplary historicist account of the troubled formations of "Romantic" authorship....a lucid and persuasive work that brings real illumination to the murky origins of the Romantic ideology." Nineteenth Century Literature

"This book has opened up a fascinating and compelling line of inquiry." Notes and Queries

"Gamer's book...makes a real contribution to our thinking about questions that have seldom been asked before." Romantic Circles

"[A] valuable new book." European Romantic Review

"An impressive first book. [,,.] Gamer writes wonderfully about Lyrical Ballads. Eighteenth-Century Studies

"Each chapter demonstrates again Gamer's solid grasp of the material nature of literary production and deserves close reading by students of both gothicism and romanticism...His careful scholarship and clear line of argument will undoubtedly inform continuing work on the subject." Romanticism on the Net