Eighteenth-century England witnessed major social and economic changes, including the commodification of property, person and text through legal containments--enclosure, coverture, primogeniture, copyright. English Gothic authors responded with tropes that worked to dispel the assurances of possession--the contested castle, the beleaguered yet enduring woman, the haunting ghost, the disjointed narrative--warning that seemingly mundane codes of ownership have menacing implications, such as the civil death of women through marriage. This book explores the masterplot of the English Gothic text as a response to the Enlightenment's rational certainty regarding possession of self, property and narrative.
Property and Power in English Gothic Literature
McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers