Podcast: Thinking through Poems in Romantic-Era Novels

When heroines write poetry in dangerous situations, are they just caught up in feelings or do they claim agency? In this episode, Yasemin Hacıoğlu, Senior Lecturer at NTNU, shares her research on Gothic heroines' poetry with the LCE podcast.

Yasemin Hacioglu in the podcast studio in front of a microphone.

Yasemin Hacıoğlu. Photo: Marlene Andresen

The Gothic novel calls to mind abandoned castles, ghosts and vampires. But perhaps it is time to look beyond these familiar tropes. Often taking their inspiration from Ann Radcliffe's The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794), a classic in the genre, there exists an interesting and understudied corpus of late eighteenth-century popular gothic fiction written by women authors. Writing against the increasing conservatism in British politics in the wake of the French Revolution, these authors often chose female protagonists fond of composing poems. These poems appear to be marginal, but they in fact suggest a profound rethinking of female agency and emotions. Listen to how Yasemin Nurcan Hacıoğlu, senior lecturer in English at NTNU and associate researcher with LCE, in conversation with Stijn Vervaet, discusses female characters writing poems in Gothic novels. Discover writing as a form of extended cognition and as a method of constructing radically unconventional feelings and decisions, and follow Yasemin and Stijn on their journey from eighteenth-century England all the way to post-Napoleonic Russia.

Yasemin’s reading recommendations:
Charlotte Dacre. 1805. Confessions of the Nun of St. Omer. London: Printed by D.N. Shury, for J.F. Hughes. (Recent reprint: London: Routledge, 2016)

Ann Radcliffe. 1794. The Mysteries of Udolpho. London: Printed for G.G. and J. Robinson.

Nadezhda Durova/Aleksandr Aleksandrov. [1839] 1996. “The Sulphur Spring.” In Russian Women's Shorter Fiction: An Anthology, 1835-1860. Ed. Joe Andrew.  272–300. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Learn more about 18th century popular fiction by women authors in Yasemin’s PhD thesis

Thinking through Poems: Composition and Decision-Making in Late Eighteenth-Century Women’s Novels 

Post-production: HF:Studio – Baoxin Long & Bernt Brundtland

Listen to the episode:


By Trine Ottosen
Published June 13, 2022 11:00 AM - Last modified July 6, 2022 12:15 PM