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Thanks! -- Arnie Perlstein, Portland, OR

Sunday, October 18, 2015

A Gothic literary quiz

I am thinking of a very famous story by a very famous author, which has all of the following elements:

ONE: The heroine is the youngest heroine in any story written by the author during adulthood.

TWO: During the action, the heroine is primarily in the care of a ditzy older woman known for her digressive speaking and erratic romantic advice, even though the heroine’s mother is still alive.

THREE: Significant romantic development takes place between hero and heroine at a large festive gathering with dancing;

FOUR: The story has a number of prominent Gothic elements, including:

FIVE: the heroine’s fearful imaginings about burial in a claustrophobic space in the family property, &

SIX: the heroine’s fears about poison and sleeping potions, and a reference to providers of such products;

SEVEN: There is repeated reference to an Italian setting for the Gothic elements;

EIGHT: The author puns a sexual double entendre on a young woman’s “cheeks”

NINE: There are coded textual references to “Satan” and “plague” in relation to a play

TEN: There are references to “north” and “anger” in VERY close textual proximity to each other;

ELEVEN: One of the two lovers is banished by patriarchal decree from the presence of the other, only to be reunited later.

TWELVE: The story is explicitly linked intertextually to Radcliffe’s The Mysteries of Udolpho

THIRTEEN: The heroine has another suitor, whom she experiences as a toad rather than a prince.

So, who is the author and what is the title of the story?

And as usual with my little quizzes, be prepared to find out that there is more than one correct answer to this quiz!

Cheers, ARNIE

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