34 Facts About Ann Radcliffe


Ann Radcliffe was an English novelist and a pioneer of Gothic fiction.


Ann Radcliffe was the only child to William Ward and Ann Oates, and her mother was 36 years old when she gave birth.


Ann Radcliffe's father worked as a haberdasher in London before moving the family to Bath in 1772 to take over management of a porcelain shop for his business partners Thomas Bentley and Josiah Wedgwood.


Ann Radcliffe's father had a famous uncle, William Cheselden, who was Surgeon to King George II, and her mother descended from the De Witt family of Holland and had a cousin, Sir Richard Jebb, who was a fashionable London physician.


Sukey, Wedgwood's daughter, stayed in Chelsea and is Ann Radcliffe's only known childhood companion.


In 1787, when Ann was 23 years old, she married William Radcliffe, who was an Oxford-educated journalist.


Ann Radcliffe published her first novel, The Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne, in 1789 at the age of 25, and she would go on to publish her next four novels in short succession.


Ann Radcliffe published The Italian in 1797, and it would be the last novel published in her lifetime.


Ann Radcliffe remained secluded for 26 years, with no real explanation available to her many fans.


However, this supposed seclusion is contradicted in The New Monthly Magazine, which states that the tenor of Mrs Ann Radcliffe's life was characterized by the rare union of the literary gentlewoman and the active housewife.


Ann Radcliffe spent the rest of her adult life travelling and living a comfortable life with her husband and their dog, Chance.


Ann Radcliffe wrote poetry and another novel, Gaston de Blondeville, but this novel was not published until after her lifetime.


Ann Radcliffe was said to have suffered from asthma for which she received regular treatment.


In 1823, Ann Radcliffe went to Ramsgate, but it was here that she caught a chest infection which caused her death.


Ann Radcliffe died 7 February 1823 at the age of 58 and was buried in a vault in the Chapel of Ease at St George's, Hanover Square, London.


Rictor Norton, author of Mistress of Udolpho: The Life of Ann Radcliffe, argues that those 50 years were "dominated by interpretation rather than scholarship" where information was repeated rather than traced to a reliable source.


Ann Radcliffe published five novels during her lifetime, which she always referred to as "romances".


One year later, Ann Radcliffe published her second novel, A Sicilian Romance, which received little attention.


The Romance of the Forest was popular with readers, and in the second edition, Ann Radcliffe began adding her own name to the title page.


In 1794, three years later, Ann Radcliffe published The Mysteries of Udolpho.


Ann Radcliffe published The Italian in 1797, and it was the last novel published in her lifetime.


Ann Radcliffe portrayed her female characters as equal to male characters, allowing them to dominate and overtake the typically powerful male villains and heroes, creating new roles for women in literature previously not available.


Ann Radcliffe was known for including supernatural elements but eventually giving readers a rational explanation for the supernatural.


Usually, Ann Radcliffe would reveal the logical excuse for what first appeared to be supernatural towards the end of her novels, which led to heightened suspense.


Ann Radcliffe's work have been considered by some scholars to be part of a larger tradition of anti-Catholicism within Gothic literature; her works contain hostile portrayals of both Catholicism and Catholics.


Ann Radcliffe portrays the confessional as a "danger zone" controlled by the power of the priest and the church.


Some scholars have suggested that Ann Radcliffe's anti-Catholicism was partly a response to the 1791 Roman Catholic Relief Act passed by the British parliament, which was a major component of Catholic emancipation in Great Britain.


Ann Radcliffe used the framing narrative of personifying nature in many of her novels.


Ann Radcliffe often wrote about places she had never visited.


Ann Radcliffe influenced many later authors, both by inspiring more Gothic fiction and by inspiring parodies.


Ann Radcliffe is known for having spawned a large number of lesser imitators of the "Ann Radcliffe School", such as Harriet Lee and Catherine Cuthbertson.


Ann Radcliffe was, indeed, a prose poet, in both the best and the worst senses of the phrase.


Ann Radcliffe was admired by French authors like Honore de Balzac, Victor Hugo, Alexandre Dumas, and Charles Baudelaire.


The film depicts Ann Radcliffe as meeting the young Jane Austen and encouraging her to pursue a literary career.