Literary Precedents for The Haunting of Hill House

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The wealth of previous examples of Gothic ghost stories to which Jackson adds her novel reaches back to at least Roman times. Works such as The Castle of Otranto (Walpole; 1765), The Mysteries of Udolph o (Radcliffe; 1794), to some degree Frankenstein (Shelley; 1818) and Dracula (Stoker; 1897), and scores of others form the long tradition in which Jackson is writing.

As Carol Cleveland has perceptively shown, Jackson can be seen to be reversing the contemporary formula Gothic novel: in the formula Gothic, a beautiful heroine encounters a haunted mansion, but the mystery or the ghost is unveiled and the story ends with her in the arms of a handsome rescuer.

Here, a relatively plain-appearing victim loses out to the haunted mansion, with it becoming her "lover" at the end of the tale.

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This section contains 133 words
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Buy The Haunting of Hill House Study Guide
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