Gothic Labyrinth
Jane Austen enjoyed the works of Charlotte Smith, Samuel Richardson, Henry Fielding, Matthew Lewis, Fanny Burney, and Maria Edgeworth (to whom she sent a copy of Emma, before it was released to the public). Maria's father, Richard Lovell Edgeworth, was a friend of Jane's aunt and uncle. Most, if not all, of these authors are referred to in Austen's novels. Austen's only gothic contribution is a satire, Northanger Abbey. From this we may obtain a list of popular gothics of the period, the so-called Northanger Canon, which is given to the heroine as recommended horrid reading.

Although Charlotte Brontë found her cold, writing the Passions are perfectly unknown to her; she rejects even a speaking acquaintance with that stormy Sisterhood. Austen had many admirers, among them Sir Walter Scott who believed she possessed that exquisite touch which renders ordinary commonplace things and characters interesting.

The Northanger Canon: The Mysteries of Udolpho and The Italian by Ann Radcliffe; The Castle of Wolfenbach; or the Horrid Machinations of the Count Berniti and The Mysterious Warning, a German Tale, by Eliza Parsons; Clermont. A Tale, by Regina Maria Roche; The Necromancer; or, The Tale of the Black Forest, by Karl Friedrich Kahlert; The Midnight Bell. A German Story, by Francis Lathom; The Orphan of the Rhine. A Romance, by Eleanor Sleath and The Horrid Mysteries. A Story From the German Of The Marquis Of Grosse, by P. Will.

Also referred to in the novel are: Matthew Lewis' The Monk, Fielding's Tom Jones, Richardson's Sir Charles Grandison, Maria Edgeworth's Belinda, and Fanny Burney's Camilla and Cecilia.

Gothic Labyrinth