Cover for ELLIS: The Contested Castle: Gothic Novels and the Subversion of Domestic Ideology

The Contested Castle

Gothic Novels and the Subversion of Domestic Ideology

The Gothic novel emerged out of the romantic mist alongside a new conception of the home as a separate sphere for women. Looking at novels from Horace Walpole's Castle of Otranto to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Kate Ferguson Ellis investigates the relationship between these two phenomena of middle-class culture--the idealization of the home and the popularity of the Gothic--and explores how both male and female authors used the Gothic novel to challenge the false claim of home as a safe, protected place. Linking terror -- the most important ingredient of the Gothic novel -- to acts of transgression, Ellis shows how houses in Gothic fiction imprison those inside them, while those locked outside wander the earth plotting their return and their revenge.

"The Contested Castle offers a new and important perspective on the Gothic tradition of English novels. Viewing Gothic novels by men as responses to the early nineteenth-century idealization of domesticity, Ellis argues that male novelists were struggling to develop a convincing definition of masculinity in the light of the culture's proliferating definitions of femininity."--Mary Poovey, author of Uneven Developments: The Ideological Work of Gender in Mid-Victorian England

"Ellis sheds special light on the way capitalist relations and the culture of capitalism influenced the way women lived, envisioned, wrote, and read their own narratives. It's a story at least as gripping and at least as terrifying as the male and female Gothics that Ellis so gracefully presents and interprets."--Lillian S. Robinson, author of Sex, Class, and Culture

Kate Ferguson Ellis, associate professor of English at Rutgers, is co-editor of Caught Looking: Feminism, Censorship, and Pornography.

To order online:
http://www.press.uillinois.edu/books/catalog/35xte5dm9780252060489.html

To order by phone:
(800) 621-2736 (USA/Canada)
(773) 702-7000 (International)

Related Titles

previous book next book
Becoming Julia de Burgos

The Making of a Puerto Rican Icon

Vanessa Pérez Rosario

Jane Addams in the Classroom

Edited by David Schaafsma

Feminist Teacher

Edited by Editorial Collective

Virtual Homelands

Indian Immigrants and Online Cultures in the United States

Madhavi Mallapragada

Germaine Dulac

A Cinema of Sensations

Tami Williams

The Crimes of Womanhood

Defining Femininity in a Court of Law

A. Cheree Carlson

When Sex Threatened the State

Illicit Sexuality, Nationalism, and Politics in Colonial Nigeria, 1900-1958

Saheed Aderinto

Maithil Women's Tales

Storytelling on the Nepal-India Border

Coralynn V. Davis

Muddying the Waters

Coauthoring Feminisms across Scholarship and Activism

Richa Nagar