To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure email@example.com
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
In the nineteenth century the corpse became central to medical education. In Britain, a growing number of private medical schools opened throughout the country, involving the rise of the demand for dead bodies. It is exactly around the same time that Gothic fiction was revamped and offered insights into the debates around medical practice and education. This chapter explores the links between the field of anatomy and the development of Gothic fiction in Britain in the nineteenth century. It points out how the Gothic dealt with medical practitioners’ treatment of the corpse and how Gothic narratives dramatised the tension between the stealing, cutting up, preservation, and exhibition of human remains in medical collections and the central part played by anatomical knowledge in medical science. By looking at texts by John Galt, Mary Shelley, and Samuel Warren, as well as Wilkie Collins and Robert Louis Stevenson, this chapter not only shows how literary texts capitalised on the Gothic paraphernalia to foreground the regulation (or lack thereof) of the practice of anatomy before the passing of the 1832 Anatomy Act, but also highlights how the Gothic enabled authors to record cultural responses to medical practice throughout the century.
Many critics struggle with defining the creature in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, as the novel offers a combined monstrosity–deformity concept that blurs the distinctions between moral and physical attributes. The critical focus on categorization, however, marginalizes Shelley’s interest in the ethics of looking, and, in particular, her interest in how looking constructs monstrosity/deformity. The novel reveals the failure of transformative vision in the case of monstrosity and deformity, and invites sympathy for the object of such failure by reiterating instances in which the uncanny is familiarized and vision is changed. The creature’s brief encounter with a blind character offers an opportunity for transformative listening, but this goes awry, and reinforces the central tragedy of the novel.
Legends about the vampire and the development of Gothic fiction took separate tracks throughout the eighteenth century in England and the rest of Europe. But they united decisively in S. T. Coleridge’s ‘Christabel’ (composed 1799–1800; published 1816), which then inspired the more symbolic uses of the vampire-figure in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818) and John Polidori’s The Vampyre (1819). These works showed that the vampire could be a symbolic site for ‘abjecting’ (in Julia Kristeva’s sense of ‘throwing-off’) the most feared inconsistencies and conflicts at the heart of individuals and their whole culture. From there, this mating of fictive schemes, empowered by the Janus-faced nature of Gothic symbol-making, proliferated across the nineteenth century in plays, penny dreadfuls and fully-fledged novels. As these versions of the Gothic vampire progressed, so the range of deep conflicts that this figure could abject, individual and social, grew exponentially, as we can still see in texts ranging from Sir Walter Scott’s novels and Charles Nodier’s French plays in the 1810s and 1820s to Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Florence Marryat’s The Blood of the Vampire in the 1890s.
Written by the editors, this essay provides an Introduction to all three volumes of The Cambridge History of the Gothic. It proceeds by casting a self-reflexive glance at the notion of ‘history’ as it is represented in Gothic writing itself, arguing that, since its inception in the eighteenth century, Gothic has always occupied a fraught and complex position in relation to the practice of formal and official historiography. Second, it provides an overview of the volumes to follow, foregrounding the ways in which the essays brought together here, more than simply offering a rigorous ‘history’ of the Gothic, are preoccupied with the ways in which the Gothic has responded to, and been inscribed within, some of the determining historical events of Western civilisation, from the Sacking of Rome in AD 410 to the twenty-first century.
This chapter investigates the effect of climate change (along with the host of other anthropogenic effects on the planet that now fall under the rubric of the Anthropocene) on the concept of extinction, particularly, human extinction. Whereas previous concepts of human extinction - from religious apocalyptic to Darwinian evolutionary discourses - were capable of imagining extinction as an event of grandeur and promise of something greater, extinction in the Anthropocene is figured as a moment of profound and abject loss, namely, the loss not just of humans but of particular configuration of capitalist comfort and consumerism. This chapter examines the history of this now dominant perception of extinction, via Enlightenment, Romantic and modernist thought.
This chapter outlines the emergence of climate fiction and its key modes. It pays particular attention to the extent to which climate fiction has worked within the established conventions of literary realism, meeting the many representational challenges mounted by climate change. While it considers the extent to which realism is able to render the abstract and intangible phenomenon of climate change visible, it argues that there is also a significant body of writing on the subject which turns to alternative forms and narrative strategies in the effort to represent climate change, and manages to overcome some of the limitations of realism. In other words, where climate fiction meets the challenges of representing climate change, it has the potential to provide a space in which to address the Anthropocene’s emotional, ethical, and practical concerns.
Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this to your organisation's collection.