American Gothic Art and Architecture in the Age of Romantic Literature analyses the influence of British Gothic novels and historical romances on American art and architecture in the Romantic era. American artists and architects were among the most avid readers of Gothic fiction, which in turn informed their artistic output. In a period of increasing nationalism, the Gothic Revival architectural style in particular served to legitimise the American landscape with the materiality of European culture. At the core of this book is an analysis of American architecture in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, an understudied era. Key figures include Thomas Jefferson, Washington Allston, Alexander Jackson Davis, James Fenimore Cooper, Washington Irving, Thomas Cole, Edwin Forrest, and Nathaniel Hawthorne. Hawthorne articulated the subject of this book when he wrote that he could understand Sir Walter Scott's romances better after viewing Scott's Gothic Revival house Abbotsford, and he understood the house better for having read the romances. From the very beginning, the Gothic Revival has been a phenomenon that crosses modern disciplinary boundaries.The groundwork in Gothic literary scholarship allows us to move beyond literature to examine how the Gothic seeps into other forms of artistic creation.
This interdisciplinary book investigates the symbiotic relationship between the arts and Gothic literature to reveal new interpretative possibilities.
Kerry Dean Carso is associate professor of art history at the State University of New York at New Paltz.
Introduction Chapter One - Gothic Monticello: Thomas Jefferson's Garden Narratives Chapter Two - 'Banditti Mania': The Gothic Haunting of Washington Allston Chapter Three - 'Arranging the Trap Doors': The Gothic Revival Castles of Alexander Jackson Davis Chapter Four - Old Dwellings Transmogrified: The Homes of James Fenimore Cooper and Washington Irving Chapter Five - Gothic Castles in the Landscape: Thomas Cole, Sir Walter Scott And the Hudson River School of Painting Chapter Six - The Theatrical Spectacle of Medieval Revival: Edwin Forrest's Fonthill Castle Conclusion - 'Clap It Into a Romance:' Nathaniel Hawthorne's Gothic Houses Bibliography