Jane Arbor, Where the Wolf Leads (front cover)
||- wild, remote setting|
- hints of the supernatural
- excess: in terms of emotion, decadence, polarity of good and evil
||- Jane Arbor, Where the Wolf Leads; Harlequin (1980)|
(Ed. Note: This book was taken from the CRC Humanities Computing Studio collection)
- Daphne Du Maurier, Rebecca
- Barbara Michaels, Prince of Darkness
- Victoria Holt, Mistress of Mellyn
||Gothic romance is one of the oldest genres of popular fiction, stemming from the gothic fiction of Horace Walpole and Ann Radcliffe in the eighteenth century, and its conventions remain largely intact. At its heart, gothic romance features innocence ravaged, or at least threatened, in the clash between a pure and naïve heroine and a dark and wicked hero-villain.|
Sensation and atmosphere are central to gothic romance. A dark and mysterious setting, the looming dread of a terrible secret, and the ambiguous character of the hero-villain set the scene for the danger posed to the heroine and the dramatic revelation of the mystery. Typically, in traditional gothic fiction, the heroine meets her demise in ravishment, murder, or insanity. However, in modern romantic fiction, the reader's expectation of a more favorable conclusion triumphs. Instead, the reader can expect the reformation of the villain into a delightfully dark hero, or a more proper hero figure will intrude to rescue the heroine and restore the order of virtue. It should be noted that gothic heroines are essentially helpless in themselves, lacking agency and subject to the evil machinations of the antagoinists. As such, gothic romance is clearly a remnant of an eariler age of popular fiction that has largely been supplanted by thrillers, paranormal romance, and romantic suspense.
Genre record edited by Andrea Hasenbank at 2004-05-25 12:05:24
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