Revising the Radcliffean
Roches Clermont and Jane Austens Northanger
This paper seeks to consider the influence
of Ann Radcliffe's fiction on the literary scene at the
end of the eighteenth century. It will examine two very
different responses to the Radcliffean paradigm, through
a study of three aspects of her variety of Gothic as developed
by Jane Austen and Regina Maria Roche. By contrasting
the reactions of these authors to divergent strains which
exist within her work, the legacy that Radcliffe bequeathed
her contemporaries might be observed in the writings of
other significant authors from the Romantic period. As
a consequence of this, it might also become clearer how
Austen's own parodic stance can be seen operating within
the limits set by the structures of Radcliffe's romances.
better example of Radcliffean Gothic exists than the immensely
popular Mysteries of Udolpho, the novel having
gone through four editions and numerous impressions between
1794 and 1799. As well as Austen's only 'Gothic' text,
against Udolpho one can compare a comparably popular
work by Regina Maria Roche: Clermont, which was
published by the avatar of populist literature, the Minerva
Press. Clermont is, in fact, one of the seven 'horrid
novels' mentioned by Isabella Thorpe to Catherine Morland
early in Northanger Abbey. 
Roughly speaking, both Clermont and Northanger
Abbey were written contemporaneously, presenting comparable
instances of eighteenth-century reactions to Radcliffe.
Clermont was published in 1798 as Roche's fourth
novel, in the wake of her previous work, the successful
Children of the Abbey (1796). Although Roche has
since fallen into relative obscurity, Devendra Varma notes
that she and Radcliffe 'were the rival female novelists
of the latter part of the eighteenth and commencement
of the nineteenth century'. 
Austen's novel presents a less straightforward example,
owing to the vicissitudes of its publishing history. The
various critical accounts of the composition of Northanger
Abbey settle on a date of between 1794 and 1798, with
the Gothic elements most likely inserted in 1798. 
Austen sold it for publication under the title 'Susan'
to Crosby and Co in 1803, but it was not issued until
1818, posthumously published with Persuasion, and
two years after she had bought back the copyright. Northanger
Abbey has been considered Austen's most immature and
least unified work, many critics noting an inherent contradiction
between its two volumes. There are, however, many aspects
of the novel which demonstrate Austen's intelligent appreciation
of contemporary literature and her ability to take its
conventions and reinscribe them in her idiosyncratic form.
The Gothic Heroine
Marilyn Butler notes that '[t]he capacity to feel was
presented as the transcendent merit of every sentimental
heroine from Julie to Delphine, enough in itself to lift
them above the common run of mortals'. 
The Radcliffean protagonist is essentially a sentimental
heroine caught in a nightmare world which tests her virtues
to their limit. However, if she is graced with abundant
virtues, then the Rochean heroine is yet more perfect,
and as a consequence even more static. Of Madeline, Clermont's
heroine, we are told,
her perfect knowledge of the historian's record,
and just conception of the poet's beauty, rendered her
a companion well qualified to diversify [her father's]
lonely hours. […] She was tall and delicately made;
nor was the symmetry of her features inferior to that
of her bodily form […] (p. 5)
In the course of her misadventures, Udolpho's
protagonist, Emily St Aubert, learns to balance the imaginative
sensibilities which lead her to terrifying extremes with
a rational awareness of the outside world, while Madeline's
sensibilities are valorised without qualification. 
Radcliffe simultaneously celebrates the heroine's sensibilities
and warns of the dangers they can cause. The essential difference
between Udolpho and Clermont is that the sentimental
preponderances of the Rochean heroine are not perceived
to be dangerous or excessive in any way. The imagined horrors
which Madeline conjures up are soon followed by realities
which verify them; whereas in Udolpho, Emily receives
from the first admonishment from her father:
'Those, who really possess sensibility, ought
early to be taught, that it is a dangerous quality […]
beware of priding yourself on the gracefulness of sensibility
[…] Always remember how much more valuable is the
strength of fortitude, than the grace of sensibility.'
In fact, Madeline's fatherthe eponymous
Clermontis as much an agent of sentimentalism as his
daughter. Throughout Udolpho, Emily calls upon 'fortitude'
to overcome the terrors engendered by her sensibilities,
and her whole Gothic journey militates towards the realisation
that her sensitive imagination is responsible for much of
her terror, and her recognition of 'all the precepts, which
she had received from her deceased father, on the subject
of self-command […] on this most severe occasion of
her life' (p. 518). Madeline, however, undergoes no such
transformation, and, as Natalie Schroeder notes, remains
preserved in her perfection: 'Mrs Roche […] as novelist,
makes no critical reflections on Madeline's emotional distress'.
Roche's answer to the Radcliffean paradigm is to neglect
the dangers to which sensibility can lead, and instead to
celebrate only the gifted intuitiveness of the sentimental
heroine. Despite these differences, the overwhelming impression
given by Radcliffe's Gothic fiction is that virtuous sensibility
is the only source of happiness, is its own reward, and
may indeed received reward in this world as well as in the
an antithetical position to Roche, Austen assumes the critical
stance inherent in Radcliffean Gothic, emphasising the chimerical
nature of sensibility. Daniel Cottom argues that '[a]n accurate
reading of Austen demands that fewer assumptions be made
about her personal psychology and more attention paid to
the disguises, silences, and submissions demanded by the
society she portrayed in her novels'. 
Northanger's heroine, Catherine Morland, is a notorious
example of the 'female Quixote', the heroine whose perceptions
of the world are shaped by the literature she reads. Catherine,
however, is far from the sentimental heroine she aspires
She had a thin awkward figure, a sallow skin
without colour, dark lank hair, and strong features;so
much for her person;and not less unpropitious for
heroism seemed her mind. She was fond of all boys' plays,
and greatly preferred cricket not merely to dolls, but
to the more heroic enjoyments of infancy, nursing a dormouse,
feeding a canary-bird, or watering a rose-bush. […]
She never could learn or understand any thing before she
was taught; and sometimes not even then, for she was often
inattentive, and occasionally stupid. (p. 13)
From the start, Austen establishes Catherine
Morland as an antitype to the sentimental heroine. The adolescent
Catherine begins to become interested in sensibility, however,
as an arbitrary part of the maturing process of a young
eighteenth-century woman, learned from reading certain kinds
of books. Hence, Austen defines sentimentalism as a pose
rather than nature. During the eighteenth century, sensibility
was seen by many as the correct expression of femininity,
but Austen attempts to prove it as a limiting fiction imposed
upon women, and open to abuse. The exemplar of this potential
is the conceited social-climber Isabella Thorpe, who uses
the language of sentimental excess to mask her shallowness.
Sentimental language is used when Austen describes the nascent
friendship between Catherine and Isabella: 'They called
each other by their Christian name, were always arm in arm
when they walked, pinned up each other's train for the dance,
and were not to be divided in the set' (p. 33). Isabella's
actions, however, belie her words; such as, for instance,
when she ignores Catherine for her flirtation with Catherine's
brother: 'James and Isabella were so much engaged in conversing
together, that the latter had no leisure to bestow more
on her friend than one smile, one squeeze, and one dearest
Catherine (p. 54). A speedy engagement
with James follows, and is severed as quickly, when Isabella
attempts to appropriate the more prosperous Captain Tilney,
and failing to do so, imputes her treatment of James to
a great misunderstanding. Isabella's code of propriety,
her own and others', is drawn from sentimental literature,
and disregards the social conventions of the real world.
Austen's criticism of such excess is most explicit in her
description of the first acquaintance between Catherine
and Eleanor Tilney:
in all probability not an observation was made,
nor an expression used by either which had not been made
and used some thousand oftimes before, under that roof,
in every Bath season, yet the merit of their being spoken
with simplicity and truth, and without personal conceit,
might be something uncommon. (p. 66)
However, mundane such a meeting might be,
it is 'uncommon' because, unlike Isabella's behaviour, it
does not seek to aggrandise the ego through reflections
of the self in others (the sudden intimacy of 'kindred spirits'),
but is the real attempt of two people to converse socially.
This philosophy is endorsed by the fact that it is Eleanor
who proves to be Catherine's true friend, while Isabella
merely serves her with the established platitudes learned
from fiction and detached from reality. Whereas the Radcliffean
heroine requires 'fortitude' to overcome her sentimental
excesses, Austen replaces fictional poses, such as sensibility,
with a social propriety which itself becomes the correct
definition of 'femininity'.
Austen and Roche once again polarise the divergent
aspects which inhere in Radcliffe's presentation of the
Gothic villain. Clermont is populated by a plethora
of villains and sub-villains, but the most evil are the
D'Alemberts, father and son. Madeline's first sight of the
younger D'Alembert is as he stands over the bleeding body
of the Countess de Merville, his mother-in-law and her benefactress,
having attempted to assassinate herhowever, at this
stage his face is obscured, so he remains unrecognised to
both heroine and reader. After the Countess dies, Madeline
is unprotected and vulnerable to the typical threats made
by the Gothic villain. D'Alembert's wife, the late Countess's
daughter, tries to prevent him from raping Madeline by hiding
her. The shared identity of the murderer and the husband
is kept a secret until the very end of the novel when he
has finally succeeded in kidnapping Madeline in order to
marry her for lust and fiscal gain:
The most violent rage took possession of
D'Alembert […] but the terror which his rage inspired,
was trifling to the shock which Madeline received, when
in his inflamed countenance she traced the dreadful countenance
of him beneath whose poiniard she had trembled at midnight
in the ruined monastery of Valdore. (p. 342)
In the retrospective strand of Clermont
(another Radcliffean device), the narrative looks back to
the dark past of the previous generation, and we discover
the link between Clermont and D'Alembert père.
He leads the young Clermont to attempt the murder of his
half-brother. His motives, again are typical of the Gothic
villain: Clermont's brother is heir to the estates of D'Alembert
père's uncle, and must be disposed of for
D'Alembert to inherit the money to pay the debts of his
dissipation. Clermont is led to believe that he has murdered
his brother, although this is not the case, and he flees.
When Clermont resurfaces many years later (in the novel's
present) at his father's house, D'Alembert threatens to
reveal his 'crime' unless he allows Madeline to wed his
son. When Madeline first perceives him, 'she saw, or fancied
she saw (which had just the same effect upon her mind),
in his countenance a dissatisfaction that denoted his not
feeling what he professed' (p. 270). Within four pages,
he has already proposed union between Madeline and his son,
been refused, and flies into a violent rage with her, 'grasping
her hand, and looking at her with a fiend-like countenance'
(p. 274). Whereas Radcliffe's Montoni is essentially
a bandit whose evil is exaggerated by Emily's fervid imagination,
the D'Alemberts come closer to the horror-Gothic conception
of villainy, as depicted in M. G. Lewis's The Monk
(1796) and Charles Maturin's Melmoth the Wanderer
(1820). Once again, Roche's response is to polarise the
Radcliffean figures of her novel. Montoni is strangely attractive
to Emily's eye, rising above his peers by sheer force of
charisma: 'Delighting in the tumult and in the struggles
of life, he was equally a stranger to pity and fear; his
very courage was a sort of animal ferocity' (p. 358). Compared
to this ambiguous representation, in Clermont Madeline
finds the D'Alemberts merely repugnant, and although finally
repentant by the end of the novel, the father is no better
than the son.
Abbey also contains villains, but they are deployed
in far from Gothic terms. Catherine experiences two Gothic
encounters well before she goes to the Abbey. The first
instance occurs when she is due to meet the Tilneys for
a walk, and is 'kidnapped' by John Thorpe, who lies to her,
stating that Eleanor and Henry have broken their engagement
with Catherine. When she passes them on the street, and
attempts to stop Thorpe, he 'only laughed, smacked his whip,
made odd noises, and drove on; and Catherine, angry and
vexed as she was, having no power of getting away, was obliged
to give up the point and submit' (p. 78). Austen ironically
contrasts the fear of kidnapped Gothic heroines when they
are taken to the Gothic ruin with the fact that such an
event is Catherine's only consolation: 'Blaize castle remained
her only comfort; towards that, she still looked
at intervals with pleasure' (p. 79). The deflationary tone
of this passage is established by the fact that Blaize Castle
was a modern folly built in 1766 (in the vein of Walpole's
Strawberry Hill), something that many contemporary readers
would have known. The irony is perpetuated when the trip
is cancelled because of the late hour of departure and the
nature of the 'villain', who is nothing more than a boorish
youth. The second instance is less parodic, and more threatening,
when Catherine's arrangements are thwarted by Thorpe, and
her attempt to make amends is physically interrupted by
the Thorpes and her brother: 'Isabella, however, caught
hold of one hand; Thorpe of the other; and remonstrances
poured in from all three. Even James was quite angry' (p.
90). Her response echoes Emily's desire for 'fortitude'
in the face of Montoni: 'Away walked Catherine in great
agitation, as fast as the crowd would permit her, fearful
of being pursued, yet determined to persevere'. This serious
tone is not sustained, however, as once Catherine arrives
at the Tilneys' to explain, she finds herself too much out
of breath to speak at first.
it is this event which precipitates the suspicious behaviour
of the major villain of the novel, General Tilney:
To such anxious attention was the general's
civility carried, that not aware of her extraordinary
swiftness in entering the house, he was quite angry with
the servant who had reduced her to open the door of the
apartment herself. […] And if Catherine had not
warmly asserted his innocence, it seemed likely that William
would lose the favour of his master for ever, if not his
place, by her rapidity. (pp. 92-93)
Once at the Abbey, Catherine's Gothic delusions
obscure her vision completely, and she explains the General's
irascible behaviour and selfish decisions by constructing
a fiction that he has murdered his wife. From her first
day at the Abbey, she commits herself to discover the secrets
that lurk within it, and once she begins to suspect the
General, her imagination is obsessed with the notion. On
the one hand, her intuition leads her to infer that the
General is not all he would have her believe: 'in spite
of their father's great civilities to her […] it has
been a release to get away from him. It puzzled her to account
for all this' (p. 115). On the other hand, her limited knowledge
magnifies his evil until in her eyes he becomes a Gothic
It was the air and attitude of a Montoni!What
could more plainly speak the gloomy workings of a mind
not wholly dead to every sense of humanity, in its fearful
review of past scenes of guilt? Unhappy man! (p.
However, when she reveals her suspicions
to Henry, it is not long before he disabuses her of such
idle speculations: ' Dear Miss Morland, consider
the dreadful nature of the suspicions you have entertained.
What have you been judging from? […] what ideas have
you been admitting? ' (p. 172). Catherine accepts
this disenchantment wholeheartedly, and the general is 'cleared
from the grossly injurious suspicions which she must ever
blush to have entertained, [although] she did believe [him],
upon serious consideration, to be not perfectly amiable'
attitude is scrutinised, however, when the General expels
Catherine mysteriously and shamefully from Northanger Abbey:
'Turned away from the house, and in such a way!without
any reason that could justify, any apology that could atone
for the abruptness, the rudeness, nay, the insolence of
it' (p. 197). When Henry reveals to Catherine that the General
had been promoting a union between the pair because he believed
her to be an heiress, and then expelled her upon discovering
she was not, she concludes, 'in suspecting General Tilney
of either murdering or shutting up his wife, she had scarcely
sinned against his character, or magnified his cruelty'
(p. 215). Catherine is able to realise that she did not
mistake the General's character, just how it would be exhibited
in his behaviour. The difference between the Gothic villain
and the General is not based on the evil within, but (as
Henry attempts to make clear) in the manner in which that
evil is realised. Austen's villains are a disruptive influence
in her world, yet they are not subversive ones: the General
does not have the sexual charisma or sexual energy of a
Montoni; rather, he is an ill-tempered observer of forms
whose fundamental evil is a sense of his own superiority.
As George Levine notes, 'what is monstrous about him is
only social greed and banality'. 
novel demonstrates that there is real malice present in
the General, unlike Udolpho the text suggests that
the threat he poses is not the loss of her life or chastity,
but of her dignity and happiness. Even the seven-hour journey
she faces alone is never presented as dangerous or alarming,
rather as uncivilised. The General's villainy rests on his
adherence to the surfaces of supposedly proper behaviour,
while it in actual fact transgresses the conventions of
common decency. His mercenary attitude matches that of the
avaricious Gothic bandit, Montoni; yet compared to the latter's
control over the heroine and his inherent power, the General
is depicted as comically prosaic. Austen is aware of the
fact that eighteenth-century England is not a world which
allows for the monochrome villains of the Gothic milieu,
and to seek them is to ignore the fundamental evils which
are perpetuated by people, like the Thorpes, and Captain
Tilney, as well as his father. Tara Ghoshal Wallace draws
an excellent contrast between Catherine's Gothicising of
the villain and the reality of his evil:
the General remains a puzzle. His aggressive
courtship of Catherine is as much a mystery to us as it
is to his children. While Catherine, baffled by his inconsistencies,
looks for an explanation for his darker side, we try to
uncover a motive for his kindness to her. 
The issue that Wallace raises here is that,
unlike sentimental fiction, Catherine and the narrative
impulse of Northanger Abbey move in opposite directions
when analysing the nature of evil in the Austenian world;
despite this, however, both ultimately arrive at the same
Describing the typical Gothic ruin, Elizabeth
MacAndrew notes: ‘A dire and threatening place, it
remains more than a dwelling. It starts out as a stone representation
of the dark, tortured windings of the eminently civilized,
and therefore “unnatural” vices, ambition and
In Gothic fiction, the ruin represents the antithesis to
the Augustan ideal: the triumph of chaos over order, of
imagination over rationalism, of nature over man. These
paradigmatic aspects establish the ruin as the definitive
symbol for the Romantics' acknowledgement of the insignificance
of humanity. The approach to the Gothic ruin generally occurs
through its lowest point so that the most picturesque, and
therefore sublime, view of it can be apprehended. 
In Clermont, there are two Gothic castles within
which Madeline faces the terrors of the D'Alemberts: the
Chateaux de Merville and Montmorenci. Her initial view of
the first is representative of the genre:
Behind the chateau lay its old fashioned gardens
[.] and above them, bounding the horizon, were seen the
towering Alps, those gigantic sons of creation [.] The
vast magnitude and decaying grandeur of the chateau, impressed
Madeline with surprise and melancholy; which were almost
heightened to awe and veneration on entering a gloomy-vaulted
hall of immense size [.] (pp. 38-39)
After the death of the Countess, and the
arrival of her daughter and son-in-law, Madeline is led
by Madame D'Alembert to hide from her lecherous husband,
first in the room where her benefactress died, and then
in the vaults which connect to the castle: 'she felt chilled,
she felt oppressed beyond expression, as she viewed the
records of mortality' (p. 188). It is not long before her
life is threatened by a mysterious stranger, 'drawing a
small dagger from his breast with which he […] approached
Madeline' (p. 190). Similarly terrifying phenomena occur
in the Chateau de Montmorenci, which is even more decaying
than its predecessor: Madeline sees ghostly hands, hears
noises, and is threatened by the elder D'Alembert on a number
of occasions. As Mark Madoff notes, ‘Inside and outside
is the Gothic dimension; inside and outside is the line
along which the protagonists move, between experience and
innocence, between danger and security, […] between
anarchy and civilization, between license and repression.’
The Gothic ruin represents the exaggeration of the villain's
evil to which the heroine is forced to submit, yet also
encouraged to defy. It is a place of testing, whereby the
sentimental virtues are investigated, tempered with knowledge,
and finally reinstated. Essentially, the ruin embodies a
transition, a process in which these characteristics encounter
the Sublime and combine with it to manifest ultimately in
the paradigmatic heroism of the sentimental protagonist.
obsession with Gothic castles and her anticlimactic experience
of them is first exhibited in her abortive 'abduction' by
John Thorpe to Blaize Castle. Austen is preparing the reader
for the centrepiece of the novelNorthanger Abbey itself.
On the way to the Abbey, Henry presents Catherine with a
'Gothic story' about what she can expect upon her arrival:
' Are you prepared to encounter all the horrors
that building such as 'what one reads about' may produce?Have
you a stout heart?Nerves fit for sliding panels and
tapestry? (p. 138). Henry intersperses
details from various Radcliffean romances, whilst including
real details of what does exist in the housethe chest
and the japanned closetso that when Catherine does
arrive she confuses reality with fiction. Austen deflates
the Gothic potential of the Abbey as soon as it appears:
‘To pass between lodges of a modern appearance, to
find herself with such ease in the very precincts of the
abbey, and driven so rapidly along a smooth, level road
of fine gravel, without obstacle, alarm, or solemnity of
any kind, struck her as odd and inconsistent.’ (p.
141) When she finally arrives, Catherine's initial feelings
leave her disappointed, because she enters 'without feeling
one aweful foreboding of future misery to herself, or one
moment's suspicion of any past scenes of horror being acted
within the solemn edifice'. Austen's ironic comparison between
the reality of the Abbey and her heroine's Gothic dreams
continues the deflationary impulse of Northanger Abbey:
it was delightful to be really in an abbey!but she
doubted, as she looked round the room, whether any thing
within her observation, would have given her the consciousness.
The furniture was in all the profusion and elegance of
modern taste. […] The windows, to which she looked
with peculiar dependence, from having heard the General
talk of his preserving them in their Gothic form with
reverential care, were yet less what her fancy had portrayed.
To be sure, the pointed arch was preservedthe form
of them was Gothicthey might be even casementsbut
every pane was so large, so clear, so light! To
an imagination which had hoped for the smallest divisions,
and the heaviest stone-work, for painted glass, dirt and
cobwebs, the difference was very distressing. (pp. 141-42)
Despite such ironic inversions, and although
Catherine tells Henry, '[t]his is just like a book!But
it cannot really happen to me' (p. 139), when she discovers
the mysterious chest in her room, her words typically echo
those of the Gothic heroine: 'I will look into itcost
me what it may, I will look into itand directly tooby
day-light .If I stay till evening my candle may go
out' (p. 143). What she finds within is a 'white cotton
counterpane', and Austen points out the absurdity of such
delusions, when Eleanor arrives at her door: 'the rising
shame of having harboured for some minutes an absurd expectation,
[to] which was then added the shame of being caught in so
idle a search' (p. 144). However, Catherine's perceptions
remain obscured by her reading: later the same day, she
searches through a promising closet, and finds 'a roll of
paper pushed back into the further part of the cavity, apparently
for concealment' (p. 148). Austen's dismantling of
Gothic apparatus reaches its climax when the papers disclose
their secret: 'Could it be possible, or did not her sense
play her false?An inventory of linen, in coarse and
modern characters, seemed all that was before her!' (p.
150). Unable to find any secrets in the Abbey, Catherine
transfers her Gothic fantasies onto the General, until all
her romantic indulgences are shown to be false by Henry's
famous remonstrance about her perceptions. The Abbey is
not what Catherine has made it, and each moment of surrender
to ordinary reality is followed by a resolution not to make
the same errors of imagination again, but each resolution
is then followed by an application of the same error. She
finds the chest, then the cabinet, then the laundry bill,
and finally the General. The heroine cannot locate the true
meaning of evil for herself, as is manifest by her uncomprehending
response to her expulsion. Whereas the Gothic ruin interrogates
the values of sensibility and the progress to a world tempered
with knowledge, Austen's thoroughly modern Abbey represents
the deflation of the false aesthetic attitudes Catherine
has adopted from her reading, from Isabella, and even from
Henry. As Darrel Mansell notes, 'It is the Udolpho that
Jane Austen is going to destroy with commonplace facts'.
The romanticised Abbey is, ironically, a place where romantic
ideas are banished for the quotidian realities of the world,
and where the Gothic delusion about the General's behaviour
must be replaced with tangible fact of his evil, which is
essentially the same, even if manifests itself in an entirely
Jane Austen and Regina Maria Roche exemplify
two contradictory aspects which form a fundamental part
of Radcliffean Gothic. While Radcliffe's fictions celebrate
the imaginative power of the heroine, they also militate
against the sensibility which underpins it. Emily St Aubert's
experiences lead her to realise that, however admirable
sentimental virtues might be, a perception grounded in feeling
is an essentially problematised one. Roche, on the other
hand, uniformly adopts those tropes of Radcliffe's fiction
which validate the prescience of sentimentalism without
question. While some of its excesses are brought into relief,
sensibility is never as fully interrogated in Clermont
as it is in The Mysteries of Udolpho. Roche's Gothicism
ultimately resolves itself as a distillation, and simplification,
of her predecessor's texts: while Roche's heroines might
be braver and more resilient than Radcliffe's, they are
less self-aware. Hence, Roche's role in the Radcliffean
paradigm may be perceived as a retroactive one, returning
to the more unilateral forms of the earlier Gothic writers.
Austen, on the other hand, develops the critical aspects
of Radcliffe's Gothicism, emphasising the absurdity of attempts
to relate romance to reality. Austen's progression from
Radcliffe is evident in the fact that, while Radcliffe disturbs
eighteenth-century theories of sensibility, Austen herself
challenges the particular texts which exemplify such notionsin
this case, Radcliffe's own Mysteries of Udolpho.
It is, then, from this understanding, that one can begin
to place Austen identifiably within the terms of an antecedent
Q.v., Northanger Abbey, ed. Marilyn Butler
(1818; London: Penguin, 1995), p. 37: 'I will read you their
names directly; here they are, in my pocketbook. Castle
of Wolfenbach, Clermont, Mysterious Warnings, Necromancer
of the Black Forest, Midnight Bell, Orphan of the Rhine,
and Horrid Mysteries'. Subsequent references to the text
are taken from this edition, and will be included in parentheses
in the essay.
For interesting commentaries
on the 'horrid novels', q.v., Michael Sadleir, 'The Northanger
Novels: A Footnote to Jane Austen', The English Association
Pamphlet 69 (1927), 1-23; and Bette B. Roberts, 'The Horrid
Novels: The Mysteries of Udolpho and Northanger
Abbey ', Gothic Fictions: Prohibition/Transgression,
ed. Kenneth W. Graham (New York: AMS Press, 1989; Ars Poetica
Series 5), pp. 89-111. See also section III of this essay.
'Introduction' to Regina Maria Roche, Clermont:
A Tale in Four Volumes, ed. Devendra P. Varma (1798;
London: Folio Press, 1968; The Northanger Set of Jane Austen
Horrid Novels), p. vii. Subsequent references to the text
are taken from this edition, and will be included in parentheses
in the essay. For more information on Roche's writings,
q.v., Natalie Schroeder, 'Regina Maria Roche, Popular Novelist,
1789-1834: The Rochean Canon', Papers of the Bibliographical
Society of America 73 (1979), 462-68: 'Regina Maria
Roche is one of the major luminaries of the generation of
Charlotte Smith and Ann Radcliffe. By the critical establishment
of the 1790s, such as it was, she was not as much admired
as the authors of Emmeline and The Romance of
the Forest, but her readers were legion' (p. 462). See
also section II of this essay.
Q.v., Alan D. McKillop, 'Critical Realism in Northanger
Abbey', Jane Austen: A Collection of Critical Essays,
ed. Ian Watt (New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1963), pp. 52-61;
also, B. C. Southam, Jane Austen's Literary Manuscripts
(London: Oxford University Press, 1964), pp. 60-62; and
Cecil S. Emden, 'The Composition of Northanger Abbey',
RES ns. 19 (1968), 279-87.
Marilyn Butler, Jane Austen and the War of Ideas
(Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1973), p. 169.
Q.v., Ann Radcliffe, The Mysteries of Udolpho,
ed. Bonamy Dobrée (1794; Oxford: Oxford University
Press, 1980), p. 342: consider, for instance, when Emily
chastises herself 'for suffering her romantic imagination
to carry her so far beyond the bounds of probability, and
determined to endeavour to check its rapid flights, lest
they should sometimes extend into madness'. Subsequent references
to the text are taken from this edition, and will be included
in parentheses in the essay.
Natalie Schroeder, 'The Mysteries of Udolpho
and Clermont: The Radcliffean Encroachment on the
Art of Regina Maria Roche', Studies in the Novel
12 (1980), 137.
Daniel Cottom, The Civilized Imagination: A Study
of Ann Radcliffe, Jane Austen, and Sir Walter Scott
(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985), p. 87
George Levine, 'Translating the Monstrous: Northanger
Abbey ', NCF 30 (1975), 335.
Tara Ghoshal Wallace, 'Northanger Abbey and
the Limits of Parody', Studies in the Novel 20 (1988),
Elizabeth MacAndrew, The Gothic Tradition in Fiction
(New York: Columbia University Press, 1979), pp. 48-49.
Q.v., Michael Charlesworth, 'The Ruined Abbey: Picturesque
and Gothic Values', The Politics of the Picturesque:
Literature, Landscape and Aesthetics since 1790, edd.
Stephen Copley and Peter Garside (Cambridge: Cambridge University
Press, 1994), pp. 62-80.
Mark S. Madoff, 'Inside, Outside, and the Gothic Locked-Room
Mystery', Gothic Fictions, ed. Graham, p. 49.
Darrel Mansell, The Novels of Jane Austen: An Interpretation
(1973; London and Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1974), p. 41.
Roche , 1764?1845:
Bibliography of Novels
Below is a chronological listing of the
fiction published by Regina Maria Roche during her career
as a novelist, including a list of 'doubtful and suppositious
works'. Each entry lists the full title, year of publication,
publisher, and information regarding holdings listed in
the Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Short Title
Catalogues [ESTC/NSTC]. The presence of copies in the
Corvey Microfiche Edition (CME) is also indicated when possible.
The letters BI before a list of holding libraries denotes
that they are to be found in Britain and Ireland, and similarly
the letters NA denote libraries in North America. For the
purpose of consistency the abbreviations for holding libraries
are the same as those used in the ESTC, even when the source
of the holding is the NSTC. Where the edition which provides
the entry does not appear in the ESTC or NSTC, this will
be denoted by a preceding 'x' (e.g. xESTC).
The Vicar of Lansdowne; or, Country Quarters.
A Tale. By Maria Regina [sic] Dalton. In Two
Volumes. (Printed for the Author: and Sold by
J. Johnson, 1789). 2 vols. 12mo.
ESTC t071894 (BI L, NA OU, ViU).
* Further edns: London 1800, Baltimore 1802, New York
1802, London 1825; French trans. 1789, German trans.
The Maid of the Hamlet. A Tale. By Regina Maria
Roche, Author of The Vicar of Landsdown. (London:
Printed for H. Long, ). 2 vols. 12mo.
xESTC [1st edn not located].
* Further edns: London 1800, Boston 1801, Dublin 1802,
London 1821, 1833; French trans. 1801.
The Children of the Abbey, a Tale. In Four Volumes.
By Regina Maria Roche. (London: Printed for William
Lane, at the Minerva-Press, 1796). 4 vols. 12mo.
ESTC t119309 (BI C, L; NA ViU).
* Further edns: Philadelphia 1796, London 1797,
1798, Cork 1798, London 1800, Philadelphia 1801, London
1805, New York 1805, Philadelphia 1812, New York 1816,
Philadelphia 1816, Belfast, 1826, Glasgow 1826, London
1836; French trans. 1797, German trans. 1803.
Clermont. A Tale. In Four Volumes. By Regina Maria
Roche, Author of The Children of the Abbey, &c.
&c. (London: Printed at the Minerva-Press,
for William Lane, 1798). 4 vols. 12mo.
Corvey (CME 3-628-45156-6); ESTC t144530 (BI L; NA
CtY-BR, InU-Li, ViU etc.).
* Further edns: Dublin 1799, Philadelphia 1802, London
1836; French trans. 1798.
Nocturnal Visit. A Tale. In Four Volumes. By Maria
Regina [sic] Roche, Author of The Children
of the Abbey, Maid of the Hamlet, Vicar of Lansdowne,
and Clermont. (London: Printed at the Minerva-Press,
for William Lane, 1800). 4 vols. 12mo.
Corvey (CME 3-628-48463-4); ESTC t127131 (BI L; NA
* Further edns: Philadelphia 1801; French trans. 1801,
German trans. 1802.
The Discarded Son; or, Haunt of the Banditti.
A Tale. In Five Volumes. By Regina Maria Roche, Author
of The Children of the Abbey, &c. (London:
Printed at the Minerva-Press, for Lane, Newman, and
Co., 1807). 5 vols. 12mo.
Corvey (CME 3-628-48458-8); NSTC R1415 (BI C, L).
* Further edns: New York 1807, London 1825; French
The Houses of Osma and Almeria; or, Convent of
St. Ildefonso. A Tale. In Three Volumes. By Regina
Maria Roche, Author of The Children of the Abbey,
Discarded Son, &c. (London: Printed at the
Minerva Press, for A. K. Newman and Co., 1810). 3
Corvey (CME 3-628-48462-6); NSTC D147 (BI L).
* Further edn: Philadelphia 1810.
The Monastery of St. Columb; or, the Atonement.
A Novel. In Five Volumes. By Regina Maria Roche, Author
of The Children of the Abbey; Houses of Osma and Almeria;
Discarded Son, &c. (London: Printed at the
Minerva-Press, for A. K. Newman and Co., 1813). 5
Corvey (CME 3-628-48460-X); NSTC D149.5 (BI L).
* Further edns: New York and Philadelphia 1813; German
trans. 1816, French trans. 1819.
Trecothick Bower; or, the Lady of the West Country.
A Tale. In Three Volumes. By Regina Maria Roche, Author
of The Children of the Abbey; Discarded Son; Houses
of Osma and Almeria; Monastery of St. Columb; Vicar
of Lansdowne, &c. &c. (London: Printed
at the Minerva-Press, for A. K. Newman and Co., 1814).
3 vols. 12mo.
Corvey (CME 3-628-48465-0); NSTC D151 (BI L, O).
* Further edn: Philadelphia and Boston 1816.
The Munster Cottage Boy. A Tale. In Four Volumes.
By Regina Maria Roche, Author of The Children of the
Abbey, Trecothick Bower, Monastery of St. Columb,
&c. &c. (London: Printed at the Minerva-Press
for A. K. Newman and Co., 1820). 4 vols. 12mo.
Corvey (CME 3-628-48461-8); NSTC 2D1379 (BI L, O).
* Further edns: New York 1820; French trans. 1821.
Bridal of Dunamore; and Lost and Won. Two Tales.
By Regina Maria Roche, Author of The Children of the
Abbey, Trecothick Bower, Maid of the Hamlet, Munster
Cottage Boy, Vicar of Lansdown, Houses of Osma and
Almeria, &c. In Three Volumes. (London: Printed
for A. K. Newman and Co., 1823). 3 vols. 12mo.
Corvey (CME 3-628-48428-6); NSTC 2R14777 (BI C, L,
* Further edn: French trans. 1824.
The Tradition of the Castle; or, Scenes in the
Emerald Isle. In Four Volumes. By Regina Maria Roche,
Author of The Children of the Abbey, Vicar of Lansdown,
Maid of the Hamlet, &c. (London: Printed for
A. K. Newman and Co., 1824). 4 vols. 12mo.
Corvey (CME 3-628-48464-2); NSTC 2D1381 (BI L, O).
* Further edn: French trans. 1824.
The Castle Chapel. A Romantic Tale. In Three Volumes.
By Regina Maria Roche, Author of The Children of the
Abbey; Bridal of Dunamore; Clermont; Discarded Son;
Houses of Osma and Almeria; Munster Cottage Boy; Tradition
of the Castle; Trecothick Bower; Maid of the Hamlet;
Vicar of Lansdowne, &c. (London: Printed for
A. K. Newman and Co., 1825). 3 vols. 12mo.
Corvey (CME 3-628-48429-4); NSTC 2D1372 (BI L, O).
* Further edn: French trans. 1825.
Contrast. In Three Volumes. By Regina Maria Roche,
Author of The Children of the Abbey; Discarded Son;
Vicar of Lansdown; Bridal of Dunamore; Tradition of
the Castle; Castle Chapel, &c. &c. (London:
A. K. Newman & Co., 1828). 3 vols. 12mo.
Corvey (CME 3-628-48457-X); NSTC 2D1378 (BI E, L,
* Further edn: New York 1828.
The Nun's Picture. A Tale. By Regina Maria Roche,
Author of The Children of the Abbey, Discarded Son,
Castle Chapel, Contrast, Bridal of Dunamore, Maid
of the Hamlet, Clermont, Vicar of Lansdowne, &c.
&c. In Three Volumes. (London: Printed
for A. K. Newman and Co., 1836). 3 vols. 12mo.
NSTC 2D1380 (BI L).
* Further edn: Dublin 1843.
and Suppositious Works
The works listed below have at one time been attributed
to, or associated with, Regina Maria Roche. The evidence
available at present indicates that these titles are likely
not to be by Roche herself, and that the 'Mrs Roche' referred
to in entries 2 to 4 is either another author or a fictional
device invented by their publishers, with the intent of
capitalising on the fame of Regina Maria Roche. This seems
especially the case since works accepted to be written
by Regina Maria Roche were printed only at the Minerva
Press, following her success with The Children of the
Abbey in 1796. These last three suppositious works,
published within the limited timespan of 1814-15, seem
to have no links with the Minerva whatsoever, despite
the fact that Roche continued her association with A.
K. Newman until 1836. As well as the seven-year gap between
1800 and 1807, there seem to be, however, no works published
under her (full) name from 1815 to 1819, by either Minerva
or any other publisherat present this hiatus is
unaccounted for. For a fuller examination of the status
of these titles, see Natalie Schroeder, 'Regina Maria
Roche, Popular Novelist, 1789-1834: The Rochean Canon',
Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America
73 (1979), 462-68.
Alvondown Vicarage. A Novel. In Two Volumes.
(London: Printed at the Minerva-Press, for Lane, Newman,
and Co., 1807). 2 vols. 12mo.
Corvey (CME 3-628-47051-X); NSTC R1414 (BI O).
* This title had been widely catalogued as by Roche,
although not in the English Catalogue of Books;
another unusual fact which leaves the issue of authorship
open to question is that the usual formula of title-chains
is omitted here.
London Tales; or, Reflective Portraits. (London:
Printed for John Booth, 1814). 2 vols. 12mo.
Corvey (CME 3-628-51094-5); NSTC D148 (BI L).
* The copy held in the British Library has the name
'Mrs. Roche' inscribed on the title-page. Schroeder
notes, 'the style is spare and unliterary in character,
and (except on the title page) there is no use of
mottoes or intercalated poetry, which, since The
Children of the Abbey, Mrs. Roche had regularly
employed to give her work a genteel atmosphere' (pp.
Plain Tales. By Mrs. Roche, Author of The
Moor, &c. In Two Volumes. (London: Published
and Sold by G. Walker [.] Sold also by Cradock and
Joy, 1814). 2 vols. 12mo.
xNSTC [copy located in Bristol University's Early
* The Moor has so far not been located.
Anna; or, Edinburgh. A Novel, in Two Volumes.
By Mrs. Roche, Author of London Tales, or Reflective
Portraits, The Moor, Plain
Tales; &c. (London: Printed for R. Hill
[.] Sold also by Cradock and Joy; and All Other Booksellers,
1815). 2 vols. 12mo.
Corvey; CME 3-628-48427-8; xNSTC.
of the Northanger Novels
This section contains details of the
'horrid novels' mentioned by Isabella Thorpe in Northanger
Abbey. The structure of the entries is identical to
that of section II, with the exception that author's names
have also been included with the entries; brackets are
used to enclose the names of authors who published anonymously
or those parts of names not included on title-pages.
GROSSE, [Karl Friedrich August]; translated by
Horrid Mysteries. A Story from the German of the
Marquis of Grosse. By P. Will. In Four Volumes.
(London: Printed for William Lane, 1796). 4 vols.
Corvey (CME 3-628-45056-X); ESTC t166402 (BI Ota;
* Trans. of Memoiren des Marquis von G***s
[KAHLERT, Carl Friedrich]; translated by TEUTHOLD,
The Necromancer: or the Tale of the Black Forest:
Founded on Facts. Translated from the German of Lawrence
Flammenberg, by Peter Teuthold. In Two Volumes.
(London: Printed for William Lane, at the Minerva-Press,
1794). 2 vols. 12mo.
ESTC t014934 (BI L; NA CLU-S/C, ICN, ViU etc.)
* Trans. of Der Geisterbanner (1792). Further
edn: Dublin 1795.
The Midnight Bell, a German Story, Founded on Incidents
in Real Life. In Three Volumes. (London: Printed
for H. D. Symonds, 1798). 3 vols. 12mo.
Corvey (CME 3-628-45116-7); ESTC t173059 (BI L, C;
NA CaAEU, IU, NjP etc.).
* Further edns: Dublin 1798, Cork 1798, Philadelphia
1799, London 1825; German trans. 1800.
Castle of Wolfenbach; a German Story. In Two Volumes.
By Mrs. Parsons, Author of Errors of Education, Miss
Meredith, Woman as She Should Be, and Intrigues of
a Morning. (London: Printed for William Lane,
at the Minerva Press [.] and Sold by E. Harlow, 1793).
2 vols. 12mo.
ESTC t185360 (BI O; NA IU, ViU).
* Further edns: London 1794, 1824, 1835, 1839, 1854.
The Mysterious Warning, a German Tale. In Four
Volumes. By Mrs. Parsons. Author of Voluntary Exile,
&c. (London: Printed for William Lane, at
the Minerva Press, 1796). 4 vols. 12mo.
ESTC t141205 (BI L; NA ICN, IU, MH-H, ViU).
ROCHE, Regina Maria.
Clermont. A Tale. [See entry 4 of Section II,
The Orphan of the Rhine. A Romance, in Four Volumes.
By Mrs. Sleath. (London: Printed at the Minerva-Press,
for William Lane, 1798). 4 vols. 12mo.
xESTC [Library of Congress online gateway <http://lcweb.loc.gov/z3950/gateway.html>
indicates copies of 1st edn located in Yale and Virginia
Universities (Sadleir-Black Collection of Gothic Novels)
This article is copyright © 1999 Centre for Editorial
and Intertextual Research, and is the result of the independent
labour of the scholar or scholars credited with authorship.
The material contained in this document may be freely
distributed, as long as the origin of information used
has been properly credited in the appropriate manner (e.g.
through bibliographic citation, etc.).
A. A. MANDAL. 'Revising the Radcliffean Model: Regina
Maria Roche's Clermont and Jane Austen's Northanger
Abbey', Cardiff Corvey: Reading the Romantic Text
3 (September 1999). Online: Internet (date accessed):
Anthony Mandal (BA Dunelm, MA Wales) is a PhD student
at Cardiff University, examining the literary and publishing
world faced by Jane Austen in the 1810s. His thesis seeks
to consider a number of pertinent questions: What
were contemporary novelists writing? How easy was
it for a woman writing in the nineteenth century? How
successful was Austen compared to her peers? How
astute was she, entering the literary marketplace at a
time when female authors were at their most prolific?
Answering these questions might lead to Austen being considered,
not as an isolated author, but as one who was very much
a part of the publishing world of the early nineteenth
include entries in the forthcoming Cambridge Bibliography
of English Literature (3rd edn), and New Dictionary
of National Biography, as well as articles (including
one on Radcliffe's Mysteries of Udolpho) in Fitzroy-Dearborn's
Encyclopedia of the Novel (1999). Other main interests
include information technology and the Internet, and how
these advances can be combined with traditional scholarly
skills to produce dynamic tools for researchers.
26 September, 2005
This document is maintained by Anthony Mandal