Labyrinths of Conjecture: The Gothic Elsewhere in Jane Austen's Emma

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Abstract

In recent criticism, Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey has been reconsidered as a comic rather than mock-Gothic novel, shifting its mockery onto a variety of other targets: domineering men, unwary readers, the violence underpinning English domesticity. I argue that Austen continues her engagement with the Gothic, beyond Northanger Abbey, using Emma as an exemplary case. Emma not only includes explicit mentions of Gothic novels such as Ann Radcliffe's The Romance of the Forest, but implicitly reformulates the relationships between Female Gothic figures: finding a frail, victimised heroine in Jane Fairfax and a seductive femme fatale in Emma herself.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-84
JournalGothic Studies
Volume18
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016

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