Document Type




Format of Original

23 p.

Publication Date



Taylor & Francis

Source Publication

European Romantic Review

Source ISSN


Original Item ID

doi: 10.1080/10509585.2013.747808


The question of the Gothic's use of and attitude toward Roman Catholicism has been increasingly contentious in recent years, with literary historians claiming that its prominence as a thematic concern provides a test case for distinguishing whether or not the Gothic should be understood as an ideology or as an aesthetic mode not primarily invested in ideological issues at all. By examining this critical issue, I argue for an understanding of the Gothic as primarily a form of propagandistic fiction invested in nationalistic Whig and Protestant ideologies. The article also builds on the recent biographical and critical work done on two British novelists who both specialized in writing anti-Catholic gothic novels during the heyday of the genre and, not coincidentally, the popular agitation against the Catholic emancipation movement. William-Henry Ireland's two most well-known gothic novels, The Abbess (1799) and Gondez the Monk (1807), as well as Thomas Isaac Horsley Curties's novel The Monk of Udolpho (1807) are placed in a wider historical, religious, and cultural context in order to analyze the persistent use and meaning of Catholic themes in the gothic genre.


Accepted version. European Romantic Review, Vol. 24, No. 1 (February 2013): 43-65. DOI. © 2013 Taylor & Francis (Routledge). Used with permission.