Charles Maturin: The Fatal Revenge

(1169 words)
  • Christina Morin (Trinity College Dublin )

Writing a review piece in 1818, the Anglo-Irish clergyman and author, Charles Robert Maturin, bemoaned the “tasteless imitators” of his fellow writer, Ann Radcliffe. Her hugely popular Gothic novel, The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794), had, along with works by authors such as Horace Walpole and Matthew ‘Monk’ Lewis, created a craze for the Gothic in the late-eighteenth century. Following the example of “the Enchantress of Udolpho”, as Maturin called her, countless writers, both skilled and unskilled, had attempted to capitalise on Radcliffe’s success and produce their own gothic masterpieces. For Maturin, these authors were directly responsible for bringing the Gothic style of writing “into a contempt which it would …

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Morin, Christina. "The Fatal Revenge". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 27 August 2007
[, accessed 01 October 2016.]