Published online by Cambridge University Press: 16 July 2020
This chapter addresses the privileged but vilified position of Germany and its Schauerroman in Germany and Britain around 1800. German Gothic was discussed almost from the outset in material terms, and one notable medium in this regard was pharmacological discourse. In British and German political rhetoric and literary criticism, German Gothic itself was considered a poisonous instance destroying the readers’ health. Using this guiding pharmacological rhetoric of horror, this chapter provides an introduction to the German ‘School’ of horrors in its late-Enlightenment and Romantic contexts, paying particular attention to the often overlooked but immensely important role of dramatic adaptation as a medium for the productive interactions between Germany and Britain. Drawing on writers and directors such as Johann Karl August Musäus, Benedikte Naubert, Heinrich Zschokke, James Boaden, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Matthew Gregory Lewis, this chapter locates the aesthetic models of the Gothic within emergent anthropological paradigms of the imagination and affective patterns of literary reception in the expanding popular literary market around 1800.