History of the Gothic: Gothic Literature 1825-1914 is a detailed and accessible study of Gothic literature in the nineteenth century. It examines how the themes and tropes associated with the early Gothic novel were diffused widely in many different genres in the Victorian period, including the ghost story, the regional novel, children's literature and the realist novel. It looks in particular at how the Gothic attempted to resolve the psychological and theological problems thrown up by the modernization and secularization of British society. The book argues that the fetishized figure of the child came to stand for what many believed was being lost by the headlong rush into a technological and industrial future. The relationship between regionalism and horror is examined, the use of the occult in the Gothic is detailed and the book demonstrates that, far from being a simple rejection or acceptance of secularization, the Gothic attempts to articulate an entirely different way of being modern.
Dr Jarlath Killeen is a lecturer in the Department of English at Trinity College Dublin. His most recent publication is The Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde.