"This is the nineteenth-century, you know': traces of the Victorian Gothic Romance in Daphne du Maurier's Jamaica Inn
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Before publishing her seminal novel Rebecca (1938), Daphne du Maurier had published Jamaica Inn in 1936, deliberately setting its action in the nineteenth-century and featuring a young heroine, Mary Yellan, who, after her mother’s demise, is compelled to live with her aunt Patience and her uncle Joss Merlyn in their gloomy house known as Jamaica Inn. Explicit references to the nineteenth-century become recurrent in the novel; as a case in point, Francis Davey, the vicar in the novel, openly addresses the heroine stating “this is the nineteenthcentury, you know.” Jamaica Inn especially underlines clear intertextual links with early Victorian gothic romances such as Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre and Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights. This article aims at analysing the intertextuality established between Daphne du Maurier’s novel Jamaica Inn and the Brontës’ canonical nineteenth-century gothic romances so as to highlight Jamaica Inn as a forerunner of Neo-Victorian fi ction as well as to show that not all literary manifestations written at the time of modernism adopted an entirely critical position with regard to the immediately preceding Victorian past.
Is part ofGrove: Working papers on English studies, 2013, núm. 20, p. 81-98
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