Hello mighty marauding Goths!
This is just a quick announcement that my article “The Pauper and the Provider: Servant Negotiations of Gender and Class in Ann Radcliffe’s The Romance of the Forest” has been published in Gothic Studies Vol. 18, No. 2, and is available online or via subscription as of November 2016.
This article attempts to clarify the role and position of a pervasive figure in early Gothic literature. Male servants in Ann Radcliffe’s early Gothic novels are frequently under-explored in critical examinations of gender identity in Radcliffe’s literary politics due to a long tradition of social and literary marginalization. However, class-specific masculine identities built on a socio-moral and political ideologies and domestic anxieties are not only particularly evident in Radcliffe’s The Romance of the Forest (1791), but also effectively problematize an already unstable masculine ideal which greatly impacted social roles and relationships during the Eighteenth Century. Servant masculine identity in Radcliffe’s work is examined in this article through the contrast between servant characters and their employers, through examples of potentially revolutionary active and narrative agency by male servants, and through the instance of the heroine and male servant’s joint ‘flight’ from the Gothic space. This article establishes that the male servant character in the early Gothic novel is essential to understanding socio-gendered identity in Radcliffe’s work, and that this figure’ s incorporation in Gothic class and gender politics merits further examination.
This article is a useful read for anyone looking for an introduction to the many ways servant characters influenced the development of narrative and identity in the early Gothic mode, and particularly in the Female Gothic sub-category. In particular, this piece focuses on issues of gender and class identity as a way of contextualizing and illuminating what these figures meant as individuals, as verbal and performing narrators, and as members of a complex social structure.
Those interested can access the article here, and the article is also available to those with a subscription to Gothic Studies. You also get a subscription to this journal when you join the International Gothic Association.
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