Charles Maturin: The Milesian Chief

(1226 words)
  • Christina Morin (Trinity College Dublin )

In the preface to his third novel, The Milesian Chief; a Romance (1812), Charles Robert Maturin hinted at his continued attraction to the Gothic form, an interest made evident in his first novel, Fatal Revenge: or, The Family of Montorio (1807). “If I possess any talent”, Maturin wrote, “it is that of darkening the gloomy, and deepening the sad; of painting life in the extremes” (Maturin 1:iv). Where Maturin had deployed these skills in Fatal Revenge to describe the deterioration of an aristocratic family in seventeenth-century Italy in a narrative replete with characteristic Gothic elements, in The Milesian Chief he turned his attention to “actual life” in his native country, Ireland (Maturin 1:v)…

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Morin, Christina. "The Milesian Chief". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 27 February 2007
[, accessed 26 September 2016.]