One of the central images conjured up by the gothic novel is that of a shadowy spectre slowly rising from a mysterious abyss. In The Rise of the Gothic Novel, Maggie Kilgour argues that the ghost of the gothic is now resurrected in the critical methodologies which investigate it for the revelation of buried cultural secrets.
In this cogent analysis of the rise and fall of the gothic as a popular form, Kilgour juxtaposes the writings of William Godwin with Mary Wollstonecraft, and Ann Radcliffe with Matthew Lewis. She concludes with a close reading of the quintessential gothic novel, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.
An impressive and highly original study, The Rise of the Gothic Novel is an invaluable contribution to the continuing literary debates which surround this influential genre.