Willard Thorp (essay date June 1928)
SOURCE: Thorp, Willard. “The Stage Adventures of Some Gothic Novels.” PMLA 43, no. 2 (June 1928): 476-86.
[In the following essay, Thorp discusses strategies employed by Gothic playwrights to minimize the effects of the horrors they were staging.]
The characteristic drama of the first years of the nineteenth century was, as everyone knows, absurdly romantic and sentimental. Incited by the extravagant Kotzebue and charmed into emulation by the new mélodrame from France, the first specimen of which reached England in 1802, the English playwrights supplied the stage with a variety of plots involving robber barons, victims of the Inquisition, captive maidens...
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