Definition of Gothic novel in US English:

Gothic novel


  • An English genre of fiction popular in the 18th to early 19th centuries, characterized by an atmosphere of mystery and horror and having a pseudomedieval setting.

    • ‘The dedicated six each put in more than 600 hours' study devouring topics like Tudor history and gothic novels over the two-year course - equivalent of half a university year.’
    • ‘In language that strikingly recalls the fatal myopia that sets in motion Mary Shelley's gothic novel, Frankenstein, the judge claims ‘the creature [is] not greater than the creator’.’
    • ‘Originally ‘supernatural’ was a religious term referring to God and angels, and the religious or mythic sublime persists in discussions of the gothic novel, as in the work of Wilt and Day.’
    • ‘Personal pain and suffering have been the focus of Greek tragedies, Elizabethan plays, and gothic novels over the centuries.’
    • ‘Zofloya was a major source for the young Percy Shelley's gothic novels.’
    • ‘Luckily for her and listeners alike, ‘The Title Song’ gets it exactly right with the sort of apologia found in gothic novels of the late nineteenth century.’
    • ‘Dramatic as such images are, the artist's own story is even more extraordinary, following a plot almost as sensational as one of Sir Walter Scott's gothic novels.’
    • ‘True the words were simple and had none of the sweeping romanticism she was used to reading about in her gothic novels.’
    • ‘It is no accident that the first gothic novel appears early in the Romantic Age.’
    • ‘Other early literary influences were the gothic novels of Ann Radcliffe, the idealistic writings of Schiller, as well as works by Sir Walter Scott, the great Russian poet Pushkin, and Nikolay Gogol.’
    • ‘Equally, there's nothing slight about McIntosh's next project - a four-part BBC adaptation of the first two of Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast trilogy of gothic novels.’
    • ‘I could not just sit and cry like a heroine from a gothic novel.’
    • ‘Its very faults were Wagner's and intrinsic with a story line as silly and bloodcurdling as the most opprobrious gothic novel ever written.’
    • ‘The book even opens with a quotation from the famous gothic novel: ‘I beheld the wretch - the miserable monster whom I had created.’’
    • ‘I want it to come to a really magnificent, fulfilling end, like a great gothic novel, at least partly because I want it to stand as an example of what TV can be at its greatest.’
    • ‘This conflict between the desires of the deceased and the will of those still living is aptly illustrated in the gothic novel Clarissa, or The History of a Young Lady by Samuel Richardson.’
    • ‘Although it runs to just seventy-seven pages and is consequently the shortest collection she published, it contains almost as many ghosts or exiled spirits as a full-blown gothic novel.’
    • ‘Don't think I've ever read a gothic novel, unless you consider Jane Eyre as such.’
    • ‘Its description of intrigue and maneuvering among the various royals reads like a cheap gothic novel.’
    • ‘Captain Brookes and his crew are debating the respective merits of the cinematic adaptations of Mary Shelley's gothic novel, Frankenstein.’
    • ‘Actually, they bore such an extraordinary resemblance to one another that they might have emerged from a modern gothic novel, concocted by a singularly imaginative author.’
    • ‘Her Northanger Abbey (written 1803; published 1818) both makes fun of the excesses of the gothic novels of her time and defends the novel as a genre as appropriate reading matter for its audience.’
    • ‘I'm sorry if I don't read your gothic novels about vampires or your anthems to anti-Catholicism, but I so happen to read older books.’
    • ‘Miller stares out of his engraved portrait like a tousle-headed hero of a gothic novel.’
    • ‘Because The Old Manor House is not a gothic novel, and because Smith is more interested in dramatizing the importance of property over romance, she provides a rational explanation for the ghostly sights and sounds.’
    • ‘Readers of Brown's gothic novels realize how frustrating his quirky writing can be: obscure, incomplete, dialogic, difficult to pin down in terms of its engagement with contemporary politics in particular.’


Gothic novel