VTU Review: Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences
“ST. CYRIL AND ST. METHODIUS” UNIVERSITY OF VELIKO TARNOVO - UNIVERSITY PRESS

Varia: Mary Robinson’s Lyrical Tales (1800): The Horrors of Alienation, War, Slavery, and Social Segregation


Authors:
Rayna Rosenova University of Sofia, Bulgaria

Pages: 91-103
DOI: https://doi.org/10.54664/QNZF3483

Abstract:

The article discusses a selection of poems from Mary Robinson’s Lyrical Tales (1800), offering a close reading to show how Robinson engaged with pertinent historical issues, such as slavery, war and power relations, that marked the last decade of the eighteenth century. It explores Robinson’s use of Gothic and sublime aesthetics to communicate the ruptures found in society and to represent various states of otherness. In the poems under discussion, the Gothic is used to externalize both psychological and social collapse, communicating the sense of instability, vulnerability, alienation, anxiety, and fragmentation. Robinson’s use of Gothic conventions creates a gloomy atmosphere which seeks to accentuate the ills of eighteenth-century British politics and society and to engage the reader sympathetically.

Keywords:

Gothic, sublime, alienation, warfare, slavery, power relations, marginalization, oppression, society

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