The Gothic emerged at a time of great change in English culture, politics, sciences, social life. These changes had an undeniable effect upon the perspective of the authors of the Eighteenth century. The Gothic is a product of the Eighteenth century in many ways, and Gothic stories written during that period reflect the anxieties and tensions associated with it. For example, the lives of the English changed dramatically as the population shifted from rural areas to urban ones. The Gothic explores this with its attention to claustrophobic spaces and its fascination with the romance of the rural past. With changes in industry came changes in class structures and social conflicts; the Gothic explores these as part of its exploration of birth, ancestry, and agency. The exuberant expansion of England as it became the British Empire led the Gothic to consider the “other,” while the French Revolution caused the Gothic to take a serious look at British xenophobia, and Francophobia in particular.

Recommended resources for understanding the broader literary movements of the Eighteenth Century:
Norton’s Eighteenth Century web site.
University of Michigan's Eighteenth Century Collection Online.
Voice of the Shuttle's Eighteenth Century and Restoration page.

See also: British Empire, English nationalism, fin de siecle, imperialism/colonialism, national origins




Ethelred & Lidania; OR, The Sacrifice to Woden [Transcript], Sarah Scudgell Wilkinson


The History of Zoa, the Beautiful Indian, Daughter of Henrietta de Bellgrave; and of Rodomond, Whom Zoa Releases from Confinement, and with Him Makes Her Escape from Her Father, Who Was the Occasion of Rodomond's Imprisonment and Dreadful Sufferings. To Which is Added the Memoirs of Lucy Harris, a Foundling, Who, at Sixteen Years of Age Was Discovered to be Daughter to the Countess of B- A True Story, Unknown


The True and Affecting History of Henrietta de Bellgrave; A Woman Born Only for Calamities. Being an Unhappy Daughter, Wretched Wife, and Unfortunate Mother; Containing a Series of the Most Uncommon Adventures that Ever Befel One Person by Sea and Land, Unknown