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Crosscurrents between the English Gothic novel and the German Schauerroman

Andrew Philip Seeger, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


This study will examine the phenomenon of Gothic literature in England and Germany in the latter half of the eighteenth century. While the English Gothic novel has received a good deal of scholarly attention, its German counterpart, the Schauerroman, has for the most part been neglected and its ties to the English Gothic novel ignored. What scholarship there is often either dismisses the Schauerroman as a whole, trivializes its contribution to literary history, or focuses more on dividing the German Gothic tales into arbitrarily conceived subgenres. This study aims to bring the focus back on the Gothic genre as a whole in the two lands. It will examine the explosive emergence of the Gothic genre in both countries, along with its popularity and the vital role it played in the development of the novel, and of book publishing, authorship, and readership in general. It will also explore the connections and crosscurrents between Gothic tales of both lands, which includes discussing some non-Gothic works that influenced and were influenced by the genre. The focus of the study is on three main questions: first of all, whether there was a German counterpart to the English Gothic novel; secondly, whether all Schauerromane belong in the category of Trivialliteratur, and finally, whether any crosscurrents between the Gothic literatures of England and Germany exist.

Subject Area

Comparative literature|Germanic literature|British and Irish literature

Recommended Citation

Seeger, Andrew Philip, "Crosscurrents between the English Gothic novel and the German Schauerroman" (2004). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3131562.