The Gothic Element in the Novels of Charles Brockden Brown Page: 31
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straggling hairs, his tee tit large and Irregular,
though sound and brilliantly white, and his shin
discolored by a tetter. . • . And yet his fore-
head, so far as khaggy locks would allow It to he
seen,'his eyes lustrously black, and possessing*
in the midst of haggardaess, a radiance inex-
pressibly serene and patient, and something in the
rest of Ms features which it would be in fain to
describe, but which served t© betoken a'mind of
the highest order, were essential ingredients in
the portrait* . . . lie eyes wandered from one
object to another. When these organs were fixed
upon ae, I shrunk into myself
Ann Radcliffe leads her characters into apeotaoular situa~
tions that freeze their blood, but she carefully conceals the
nature of the horror from the reader until the final unveiling.
Emily in The Mysteries of Udolpho lifts a ourtain from what
she beliefta to be a picture, and before she can leave the
chamber, she drops senseless to the floor. Not until near the
end of the book is the reader enlightened by what she saw.
This device became characteristic of Brown; however, he is far
more suggestive than Radoliffe. He lures one on and on
irresistibly by mysteries the reader feels are soon to be ex-
plained; then, as in The Mysteries of Udolpho. all the ghosts
and supernatural machinery are carefully brought out and
explained as natural phenomena — to the modern reader*s dls
gust. What gaily saw illustrates the horror and the explained
supernatural in Hadcliffe*® writing.
It may be remembered that in a chamber of
Udolpho hung a black veil, whose singular situation
l%ieland, pp. 60-61.
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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/m1/34/: accessed December 12, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .