Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Judith B. Slagle

Committee Members

Robert Sawyer, David Jones


This thesis explores the development of the Gothic novel in England throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. This thesis establishes the Gothic as a literary mode of middle-class terror by analyzing Gothic novels within the historical context of the Industrial and Democratic revolutions. This requires an in-depth understanding of politics throughout both centuries and this thesis engages with several sources such as Maggie Kilgour’s The Rise of the Gothic Novel which adds important context to my claims. Additionally, I use several contemporary sources such as Godwin’s Caleb Williams, the writings of Edmund Burke, and On the Pleasure Derived from Objects of Terror by the Aikins. This thesis offers a method of tracking the Gothic as a consistently middle-class genre throughout history, and it ends with a chapter that questions the continued relevance of the Gothic as a middle-class genre in a world where the division of wealth is so skewed.

Document Type

Thesis - embargo


Copyright by the authors.

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