1st Edition

Gothic Heroines on Screen
Representation, Interpretation, and Feminist Inquiry

ISBN 9781138711006
Published May 13, 2019 by Routledge
224 Pages

USD $46.95

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Book Description

Gothic Heroines on Screen explores the translation of the literary Gothic heroine on screen, the potential consequences of these adaptations, and contemporary interpretations of the form.

Each chapter illuminates the significance of this moving image mediation, relating its screen topics to their various historical, social, and geographical moments of production, while maintaining a focus on the key figure of the investigating woman. Many chapters – perhaps inescapably – delve into the point of adaptation: the Bluebeard story and du Maurier’s Rebecca as two key examples. Moving beyond the Old Dark House that frequently forms both the Gothic heroine’s backdrop and her area of investigation, some chapters examine alternative locations and their impact on the Gothic heroine, some leave behind the marital thriller to explore what happens when the Gothic meets other genres, such as comedy, while others travel away from the usual Anglo-American contexts to European ones.

Throughout the collection, the Gothic heroine’s representation is explored within the medium, which brings together image, movement, and sound, and this technological fact takes on varied significance. What does remain constant, however, is the emphasis on the longevity, significance, and distinctiveness of the Gothic heroine in screen culture.

Table of Contents


Frances A. Kamm and Tamar Jeffers McDonald


Part I: Bluebeard’s Ghost

  1. Bluebeard’s Women Fight Back: the Gothic heroine in contemporary film and Heidi Lee Douglas’s Little Lamb (2014)
  2. Gisèle Baxter

  3. Bluebeard in the Cities: The Use of an Urban Setting in Two 21st Century Films
  4. Lawrence Jackson

  5. Blueprints from Bluebeard: Charting the Gothic in contemporary film
  6. Tamar Jeffers McDonald


    Part II: Returning to Manderley

  7. Impossible Spaces: Gothic Special Effects and Feminine Subjectivity
  8. Christina G. Petersen

  9. The Certified Accountant Gothic Heroine: Paranoia and The Second Woman (1951)
  10. Guy Barefoot

  11. "But it’s happening to you, Eleanor": The Haunting as a Buildingsroman
  12. Johanna Wagner


    Part III: The Gothic and Genre Forms

  13. The Gothic in Space: Genre, Motherhood and Aliens (1986)
  14. Frances A. Kamm

  15. The Gothic heroine out West: A Town Called Bastard (1971)
  16. Lee Broughton

  17. Laughing at Periods: Gothic Parody in Julia Davis’ Hunderby
  18. Sarah McLellan

  19. There’s a secret behind the door. And that secret is me. The Gothic Reimagining of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None.
  20. Katerina Flint Nicol


    Part IV: National Cinema and the Gothic

  21. East German Gothic: Kurt Maetzig’s The Rabbit Is Me (1965)
  22. Dana Weber

  23. ‘I See, I See…’: Goodnight Mommy as Austrian Gothic
  24. Lies Lanckman

  25. The Babadook, maternal gothic and the ‘woman’s horror film’

Paula Quigley

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Tamar Jeffers McDonald is Reader in Film at the University of Kent and co-organiser of the Gothic Feminism research group. She has published on issues of film genre, film costume, stardom, performance, and movie magazines.

Frances A. Kamm is an early career researcher and Associate Lecturer at the University of Kent, and co-organiser of the Gothic Feminism research project. She was awarded her PhD in Film Studies with the thesis entitled ‘The Technological Uncanny and the Representation of the Body in Early and Digital Cinema’.