Property and Power in English Gothic Literature
by Ruth Bienstock Anolik
Cover Artist: Le Chateau, Frieda Lefeber, artist: photo by Robert Anolik
Review by Mel Jacob
McFarland Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780786498505
Date: 29 December 2015 List Price $35.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Dr. Ruth Bienstock Anolik provides a detailed discussion of property, ownership, and power in English Gothic literature primarily of through novels written in the mid-eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and reflections on their legal basis in English law in Property and Power In English Gothic Literature. It also includes the concept of women as property.
The literary works of Horace Walpole, Clara Reeve, the Bronte sisters, Wilkie Collins, Charlotte Mae Yonge, Elizabeth Gaskell, and a variety of others are examined.
Primarily of interest to those involved with literary criticism, this work also provides a rationale for the various stories and how they reflect the views and legal situation of the period. She also notes diverse trends such as industrialization, enclosure/clearance policies, attitudes toward the aristocracy, inheritance laws, and copyright. She notes how several novels feature a true heir as a peasant only to reveal he is of the aristocracy, while the false heir is a usurper and often an illegitimate offspring or poser.
The book contains extensive notes, a bibliography, and an index all in 236 pages.