Gothic Fiction and the Invention of Terrorism
This book examines the connections between the growth of'terror fiction' - the genre now known as 'Gothic' - in the late eighteenthcentury, and the simultaneous appearance of the conceptual origins of'terrorism' as a category of political action. In the 1790s, Crawford argues, fourinter-connected bodies of writing arose in Britain: the historical mythology ofthe French Revolution, the political rhetoric of 'terrorism', the genre ofpolitical conspiracy theory, and the literary genre of Gothic fiction, known atthe time as 'terrorist novel writing'. All four bodies of writing drew heavilyupon one another, in order to articulate their shared sense of the radical andmonstrous otherness of the extremes of human evil, a sense which was quite newto the eighteenth century, but has remained central to the ways in which wehave thought and written about evil and violence ever since.
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