Otherworldly goods: gender, money and property in the ghost stories of Charlotte Riddell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This article explores Riddell's representational strategies around gender: in particular her male narrators and her female characters made monstrous by money. It argues that Riddell, conscious of social prohibitions on financial knowledge in women, employs male protagonists to subversive effect, installing in her stories a 'feminine' wisdom about the judicious use of wealth. Her narratives identify the Gothic potential of money to dehumanise, foregrounding the culpability of economic arrangements in many of the horrors of her society. While they contain pronounced elements of social critique, they ultimately however defend late-Victorian capitalism by proff ering exemplars of the ethical financial practice by which money's action is to be kept benign.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-85
Number of pages20
JournalGothic Studies
Volume16
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2014

Keywords

  • Gothic
  • ghost story
  • short story
  • women's writing
  • Victorian literature
  • popular fiction
  • gender
  • property
  • class.

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