The Gothic Element in the Novels of Charles Brockden Brown Page: 8
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in a haunted castle, It had to be partially ia ruins, have
a striking clock, a damp, foul-smelling dungeon, a tower ia
which to place an unwanted relation, trap-doors, secret panel#
and poorly lighted passageways# The stories taking plaoe in
a convent or monastery used a bell in lieu of a striking clock,
a oell instead of a tower for confining innocent heroines,
and a subterranean vault to replace the verminous, damp dungeon#
Such stage-settings inevitably confront the reader of
horror-romanticism. He "quickly observes' that this * haunted
castle1 plays an important part in these romances* so important,
indeed, that were it eliminated the whole fabric of romance
would be bereft of its foundation and would lose its predominant
Clara Reeve*s one invention, which was to beeome an
essential ingredient of all tales of horror which use the old
castle setting, was the deliberate use of an empty suite of
rooms supposed to be haunted# Into the framework supplied by
Walpolt, she poured "the first leavening of female sensitivity#
Little else of import — no subterranean passages, secret doors
or similar contrivances — is to be found in her work."*?
Ann Radcliffe developed Walpole's and Beeve s
settings to the fullest extent, especially the ruins,
which seemed to her more romantic than a sound
building. She brought into the "haunted castle1 the
old abbey and monastery. The broken arches and
solitary towers of these rise gloomily impressive
among the twilit trees, producing an eerie atmosphere
tinged with devotion#2®
l8Ibld.. p. 7. I9Ibld.. p. 8.
20lbld. p. 9#
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Cannon, Willie Jim. The Gothic Element in the Novels of Charles Brockden Brown, thesis, 1950; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc130235/m1/11/: accessed October 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .