Twentieth-century and contemporary Welsh gothic

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    According to the testimony of the literary historians of the gothic genre no such thing as a Welsh gothic fiction exists. The 2002 Cambridge Companion to Gothic Fiction, while it includes a chapter on ‘Scottish and Irish Gothic’ makes no reference to Wales, and the Handbook to Gothic Literature (1998) lists ‘Welsh Gothic’ only to state that Wales has in fact contributed virtually nothing to the wealth of world literature in the gothic genre. Yet the fact of the matter is that a trawl of relevant bibliographies and library catalogues will with relative ease disclose a substantial number – over 200 – of what could arguably be categorized as Welsh gothic texts, spread fairly evenly across the decades from the birth of the genre in the second half of the eighteenth century to the present day. This article assesses an array of Welsh Anglophone twentieth-century and contemporary gothic fictions, focusing on four sub-categories: i) gothic reworkings of Welsh myth and folklore, in particular the resurgence into literary life of the Welsh sin-eater; ii) chapel gothic; iii) industrial gothic; and iv) border and postcolonial gothic. It argues that these texts reveals much of interest, in relation to both the gothic genre itself and the changing ways in which Welsh people have historically seen themselves and been perceived by others during the twentieth century.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)281 - 289
    Number of pages8
    JournalLiterature Compass
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2010


    • welsh writing in english
    • gothic literature
    • twentieth-century literature
    • wales
    • fiction


    Dive into the research topics of 'Twentieth-century and contemporary Welsh gothic'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this