Fun Facts Friday: Ann Radcliffe

July 9, 2021

Ann Radcliffe (9 July, 1764 – 7 February, 1823) was an English author who is known for pioneering the Gothic fiction genre.

Fun Facts Friday: Ann Radcliffe
Books by Ann Radcliffe*

Fun Facts about Ann Radcliffe:

  1. Born as Ann Ward in Holborn, London. The family moved to Bath and managed a China shop. In fact, her uncle, Thomas Bentley, was a partner of Josiah Wedgwood – from the Wedgwood China fame.
  2. In 1787 Ann Ward married journalist William Radcliffe. As a part-owner and editor of the English Chronicle, Mr. Radcliffe worked many hours. To occupy her time, Mrs. Radcliffe began writing.
  3. Ms. Radcliffe published fine novels during her lifetime. She was the most popular writer of the time, being called the Shakespeare of romance writers.
  4. We know very little of Mrs. Radcliffe, she did not appear much in public, or mingled in society.
  5. In her novels, Ann Radcliffe portrayed females equals to males, even having them overtake male villains.
  6. In her works, Mrs. Radcliffe contains hostile portrays of Catholics and Catholicism. We don’t know why this is the case, however literary scholars believe that it was partly a response to the 1791 Roman Catholic Relief Act.
  7. Painters Claude Lorrain and Salvator Rosa were influenced by the expansive landscape descriptions in Ann Radcliffe’s novels. The author, however, rarely visited places she wrote about.
  8. Some of the notable fans of Ann Radcliffe’s works were Jane Austen, Sir Walter Scott, Harriet Lee, Edgar Allan Poe, and even the Marquis de Sade.
  9. As a child, Fyodor Dostoyevsky used to “spend the long winter hours before bed” reading or having read to him the novels of Ann Radcliffe.
  10. Ann Radcliffe died at home, and is buried in a vault in the Chapel of Ease at St George’s, Hanover Square, London.

Books by Ann Radcliffe*

Zohar — Man of la Book
*Ama­zon links point to an affiliate account

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Fun Facts Friday: Ann Radcliffe
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Fun Facts Friday: Ann Radcliffe
Ann Radcliffe (9 July, 1764 – 7 February, 1823) was an English author who is known for pioneering the Gothic fiction genre.
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Man of la Book - A Bookish Blog
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