Page 1 Frances A. Chiu In Tiriel (1788), the eponymous character threatens his daughter, Hela: âLead me to Har and Heva . . . or howl desolate in the mountains.â In A Sicilian Romance (1790), the Marquis Mazzini commands his daughter, Julia to âaccept the duke, or quit this castle for ever and wander where you will.â By 1790, the wildly tyrannical father was clearly already a new ï¬xation for William Blake and Ann Radcliï¬e alike. Indeed, in eight short years, after a stream of similar fathers had appeared in the pages of Robert Bage, Eliza Fenwick, Eliza Parsons, Charlotte Smith, and others, this trope had become well entrenched enough for Jane Austen to open Northanger Abbey (1818), her parody of the Gothic novel, with the observation that the heroineâs father, Richard Morland, âwas not in the least addicted to locking up his daughter.â 1 How and why did the trope of the paternal despot spread so suddenly in the 1780s and â90s in Gothic and Jacobin ï¬ction alike, two subgenres that have long been mistakenly consigned to opposite sides of the political spectrum? Why were these fathers so indistinguishable? How did they become even more demonized than
Eighteenth-Century Life – Duke University Press
Published: Apr 1, 2002
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