Ann Radcliffe

Standard Name: Radcliffe, Ann
Birth Name: Ann Ward
Married Name: Ann Radcliffe
Pseudonym: The Author of A Sicilian Romance
Pseudonym: Adeline
AR is well known as the mistress par excellence of eighteenth-century Gothic fiction, the continuing tradition of which she strongly marked with the characteristics of her individual style. She also produced poetry, travel writing, and criticism. She apparently wrote for her own enjoyment, not because she needed the money, and after five novels in seven years she stopped publishing. She held aloof from the company of other literary people, and kept her private life from the public eye.
Black and white photograph of a painting of Ann Radcliffe, shown from the waist up, wearing a dark dress with a light frilled collar.  Her curly hair is topped with a large hat that is decorated with flowers.
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Connections Sort descending Author name Excerpt
Birth James Malcolm Rymer
JMR was born in the Holborn district of London. He was baptized on the 30th of October at St Andrew's, Holborn, the same church where Ann Ward (later famous as the gothic novelist Ann...
Education Rose Tremain
At this stage of her life, Rosie's great interest and talent was not writing but painting, like her sister. She set out to make a huge, hanging, illustrated copy of Keats 's Ode to Autumn...
Education Anne Marsh
She was not taught religion until she was five, and if her mother had not thought her a forward child she would have waited another year. It was a maxim of my Mother that children...
Education Christina Rossetti
Christina and her siblings were educated by their mother , in reading, writing, the Bible and rudimentary French. The boys were sent to school when they were seven, while the girls continued at home. Their...
Education Mary Russell Mitford
MRM was said to have learned to read by the time she was three. In January 1806 she got through fifty-five volumes, including books by Sarah Harriet Burney , Maria Edgeworth , Elizabeth Hamilton ,...
Education Elizabeth Smith
From an early age Elizabeth supplemented whatever teaching she could gain by eager study for herself. She seems to have regarded reading and writing as intensely private pursuits: she told Lady Isabella King that she...
Education Sarah Josepha Hale
Sarah Josepha Buell (later SJH ) was taught at home by her mother, with her father and her brother Horatio (then a law student) joining in for such higher branches of learning as writing, Latin...
Family and Intimate relationships Mary Ann Radcliffe
She later wrote sardonically of her elopement and marriage: Well! all this seemed vastly like a novel.
Blain, Virginia, Patricia Clements, and Isobel Grundy, editors. The Feminist Companion to Literature in English: Women Writers from the Middle Ages to the Present. Yale University Press; Batsford, 1990.
She had eight children, the first (she says) when she was still only fifteen. Of these Ann, Mary...
Friends, Associates Ann Jebb
A particular sparring partner of AJ , who would attack her boldest reasoning, with his quaint and lively repartees, was the young William Paley , later an eminent theologian.
Meadley, George William. “Memoir of Mrs. Jebb”. The Monthly Repository, pp. 597 - 604, 661.
She formed another close and...
Friends, Associates Mary Russell Mitford
A few years later, as a published author, MRM became friendly with James Perry (editor of the Morning Chronicle). At his house she met a number of eminent men: politicians Lord Brougham and Lord Erskine
Friends, Associates Harriet Lee
HL , like her sister, was personally friendly with many other writers of her day: Jane and Anna Maria Porter , Ann Radcliffe (even though the latter probably did not, as often reported, attend the...
Friends, Associates Sophia Lee
Their school, together with their literary careers, brought SL and her sisters a wide circle of friends and contacts, including Jane and Anna Maria Porter . The novelist Elizabeth Sophia Tomlins describes Sophia as surrounded...
Intertextuality and Influence Cassandra Cooke
In a preface CC says she found the incident that forms the centre of this novel in The Christian Life by Dr John Scott (that is The Christian Life, from its beginning to its consummation...
Intertextuality and Influence Henry James
Ann Radcliffe 's The Mysteries of Udolpho and Charlotte Brontë 's Jane Eyre have been cited as possible sources.
Gale, Robert L. A Henry James Encyclopedia. Greenwood, 1989.
Intertextuality and Influence Mary Robinson
It is set in France, and voices anti-Catholic sentiments. The poetry quoted in it (by poets of the Graveyard School like Edward Young , Thomas Gray , and Edward Young , as well as...


9 July 1775
Matthew Gregory Lewis , later famous as the leading Gothic novelist of horror, was born on the eleventh birthday of Ann Radcliffe , leading Gothic novelist of terror.
By 22 July 1797
William Beckford published a second and more marked burlesque attack on women's writing: Azemia: A Descriptive and Sentimental Novel. Interspersed with Pieces of Poetry.
9 July 1798
George Canning , writing in the Anti-Jacobin, lambasted sensibility as a literary mode stemming from France, from Rousseau , and from diseased fancy, effeminacy, and self-obsession.
The publisher George, George, and John Robinson , whose list of women writers had been distinguished, went bankrupt.
John Colin Dunlop published The History of Fiction: Being a Critical Account of the Most Celebrated Prose Works of Fiction, from the Earliest Greek Romances to the Novels of the Present Age.
Early 1818
William Hazlitt opened On the Living Poets, the last of his Lectures on the English Poets, with a statement on gender issues.