Uniform Title"The horror, the horror": the origins of a genre in late Victorian and Edwardian Britain, 1880-1914
NameGilbert, Jonathan Maximilian (author), Williams, Carolyn (chair), McClure, John A. (internal member), Kurnick, David (internal member), Howes, Marjorie (outside member), Rutgers University, Graduate School - New Brunswick,
SubjectEnglish, Literatures in,
Horror tales, English,
English literature--19th century,
English literature--20th century
DescriptionThis dissertation analyzes the origins of the genre of popular fiction known as horror fiction. It traces those origins, in British fiction, to the late Victorian and Edwardian eras when the Gothic genre developed into a number of different genres of popular fiction: mystery, science fiction, and horror. It defines the essential features of the horror genre that differentiate it from other genres, including the Gothic, as being the presence of the monster or monstrous and the supernatural and an aim to produce a response of horror in its readers. In addition to making an historical and theoretical argument in regards to genre in general and this genre specifically, the dissertation looks at the ways in which other discourses (such as advertising, travel literature, sociology) made use of the figures and tropes of horror fiction and, which in turn, informed the development of the themes and tropes of horror fiction. The first chapter argues that while genre is an essential concept for readers, authors, and publishers, there is also no such thing as a "pure" example of any given genre. The first chapter also positions horror fiction within the context of the fictions that present horror without the supernatural (Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness) and the supernatural divorced from horror (Marie Corelli's A Romance of Two Worlds). Chapter Two focuses on the figure of the monster, which becomes over-coded as a representation of multiple and sometimes contrary fears and concerns. The chapter discusses the monster and the feelings of horror it evokes using both contemporary and current anthropological, psychological, and sociological theories to frame the discussion. Chapter Three focuses on the haunted objects that appear in horror fiction and other discourses, such as advertising and political economy, at this time. The final chapter is concerned with the settings of horror fiction and the ways in which those settings differ from those of the Gothic novel. Horror fiction presupposes a realistic milieu such as the suburban home, which is invaded by a supernatural and horrific element. Horror fiction also has a more complex relation to time than its Gothic predecessor and the final chapter concludes with an examination of that relationship.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references (p. 271-296).
CollectionGraduate School - New Brunswick Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.