un’altra donna amante del mistero – Anne Radcliff

Année (Ann) Ward Radcliffe (1764-1823), is another woman writer who told Gothic stories.

She was born in London, quite shy (=  timida), and reclusive (= amante della solitudine) in her later years, at  the age of twenty-two she married William Radcliffe, lawyer (= avvocato), and then editor and owner (= proprietario) of The English Chronicle. The couple had no children. She is buried (= è sepolta) in Saint George’s Church, Hanover Square in London .

Her works include 
  • A Highland Story (1789), her first novel;  
  • A Sicilian Romance (1790) which gives a poetic vision and historical detail of Sicilian sensibilities; 
  • A Romance of the Forest (1791) rich in detail of 19th century Roman Catholicism and oppression, it  deals with  Adeline’s adventures after her arrival in Paris where she takes refuge(= si rifugia) in an isolated abbey, sees mysterious ruins (= rovine) and struggles to escape its owner’s attempts (= tentativi) to imprison her
  • Her masterpieces (= capolavori) are The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794), and The Italian: or, The Confessional of the Black Penitents (1797) published posthumously.
 In 1795 Radcliffe wrote her travelogue (= diario di viaggio)A Journey Through Holland and the Western Frontier of Germany .
Radcliffe’s main themes are the journey into the self of the protagonist and her struggle (= lotta) against the evil forces around her. Her descriptions of natural landscapes (= paesaggi) are famous for their allusion to supernatural and sublime forces at work.
All these aspect create suspense and give the mysterious atmosphere typical of the gothic fiction. Her works influenced authors such as Sir Walter Scott, Mary Wollstonecraft, Charles Baudelaire, Alexandre Dumas, Victor Hugo.