Any other fans of her work? There's just something riveting about her stories, even though they are in many ways cliched damsel in distress tales. However, the fear in her stories is real, an the villains are truly intimidating. Count Montoni was terrifying in Mysteries of Udolpho, and the setting unbelievably three dimensional and vivid.
I can't believe her work is read by so few people, because she was definitely inspirational to Jane Austen and possibly even Daphne du Maurier, among others.
I read The Mysteries of Udolpho when I was a teen, along with Walpole's The Castle of Otranto and Mary Shelley's The Old English Baron (approximate title). I don't recall much about any of them, other than liking the Radcliffe more than the Walpole, and the Shelley more than the other two. The same collection also held Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu's "Carmilla," which was the best of the stories in the book.
Originally Posted by Starwind
Radcliffe was certainly popular in her time, but I don't think her reputation has held up. The current readers of weird and ghostly writings I've talked to find her rationalizations of the supernatural a bit too "Scooby Doo" for their tastes, although some will concede she was good at building suspense up to that point.
Wow! Ann Radcliffe. That brings back some memories. I did my degree dissertation on the influence and relationship between Radcliffe's The Mysteries of Udolpho and The Italian and Matthew Lewis' The Monk . i even remember the title: 'Sexual Politics in the Early Gothic novel - A Barthesian Approach'. Ouch. Memory rush.
Was listening to Professor Christopher Frayling on the radio the other day and was saying that at the moment 'Gothic' is very, very popular for degree and postgraduate dissertations.
So there we go: Rob, you trendsetter, you! :)
Who would argue with Prof. Frayling? : )