Year of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Campus Access Only

Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name

English (Literature)

Department or School/College

Department of English

Committee Chair

John Glendening

Commitee Members

Katie Kane, Elizabeth Hubble


Nineteenth Century, Early Twentieth Century, Gothi


University of Montana


I am examining Gothic short stories written by women during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. The Gothic remained particularly relevant to women of this time period because the genre explores the contested areas of space and time. In Gothic time the past haunts the present, and Gothic setting offers one of the most fraught cultural sites. The Gothic short stories by women of this time period use the conventional, haunted settings not to display the horrors of the Gothic past in favor of the enlightened present, but to critically examine the culture of their time period, a culture dominated by a repressive Western masculine-rationalistic power that was heightened by intensified forms of imperial economic and technological control. This masculine rational culture was supported by a view of anachronistic space and panoptical time that Gothic conventions often counter. Edith Wharton’s “Afterward” (1910), Louisa Baldwin’s “The Weird of the Walfords” (1889), Mary Cholmondeley’s "Let Loose” (1890), Zoe Dana Underhill’s “The Inn of San Jacinto” (1894), Mollie Evelyn Moore Davis’ “At La Glorieuse” (1892) and B.M Croker’s “The North Verandah” (1919) use Gothic spaces and histories to expose and challenge this domination, which sometimes disguises itself by such mystifications as commodified nostalgia and veneration of cultural and familial heritages.

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