Decadent daughters and monstrous mothers

Angela Carter and European Gothic

By Rebecca Munford

Decadent daughters and monstrous mothers


  • Paperback
  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-7671-8
  • Pages: 240
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £85.00
  • Published Date: July 2013
  • BIC Category: Ireland, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Folklore & Mythology, LITERARY CRITICISM / European / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Myth & Legend Told As Fiction, Literature, United Kingdom, Great Britain, Literature: history & criticism, Literary studies: fiction, novelists & prose writers, Literature & literary studies / Literary studies: fiction, novelists & prose writers


Decadent daughters and monstrous mothers interrogates the vexed question of Angela Carter's feminist politics through the dusty lens of European Gothic. It illuminates her ambivalent relation to some of her most contentious European literary forebears, reveals her rich knowledge of French literature and offers fresh insights into her literary practices afforded by newly available archival material.

This book analyses Carter's textual engagements with a dirty lineage of European Gothic that can be mapped from the Marquis de Sade's obsession with desecration and defilement, through Baudelaire's perverse decompositions of the muse and decadent imaginings of infernal femininity, to surrealism's violent dreams of abjection. It argues that Carter's most troublesome engagements with her European Gothic forefathers are unexpectedly those which are most vital to a consideration of her feminist politics. Decadent daughters and monstrous mothers will be of interest to researchers and students working on contemporary women's writing, the Gothic and comparative literature.


Munford's attention to detail in her dissection of these works and discussion of how Carter's textual practice reveals the mechanics of European Gothic fantasies and allusions is admirable and makes for a fascinating read. Her inclusion within the monograph shortlist for the Allan Lloyd Smith prize is well-deserved., Donna Mitchell, The Gothic Imagination, University of Stirling, 2 July 2015


Introduction: Angela Carter and European Gothic
1. Sleeping Beauty and the Sadeian Gothic
2. Poe, Baudelaire and the decomposing muse
3. Dolls, dreams and mad queens
4. Daddy's girls and the Gothic fiction of maternity
Afterword: The Museum of dust


Rebecca Munford is Senior Lecturer in English Literature at Cardiff University

Decadent daughters and monstrous mothers

By Rebecca Munford

Hardcover £85.00 / $130.00

Paperback £15.99 / $23.95

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