This volume in this exciting new series provides a detailed yet accessible study of Gothic literature in the nineteenth century.
It examines how themes and trends associated with the early Gothic novels were diffused widely in many different genres in the Victorian period, including the ghost story, the detective story and the adventure story.
It looks in particular how the Gothic attempted to resolve the psychological and theological problems thrown up the modernisation and secularisation of British society.
The author argues that the fetishized figure of the child came to stand for what many believed was being lost by the headlong rush into a technological and industrial future.
The relationship between the child and horror is examined, and the book demonstrates that far from a simple rejection or acceptance of secularisation, the Gothic attempts to articulate an entirely different way of being modern.