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Byron's GhostsThe Spectral, the Spiritual and the Supernatural$
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Gavin Hopps

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781846319709

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781846319709.001.0001

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Byron, Ann Radcliffe and the Religious Implications of the Explained Supernatural in Don Juan

Byron, Ann Radcliffe and the Religious Implications of the Explained Supernatural in Don Juan

Chapter:
(p.165) Chapter Seven Byron, Ann Radcliffe and the Religious Implications of the Explained Supernatural in Don Juan
Source:
Byron's Ghosts
Author(s):

Alison Milbank

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/liverpool/9781846319709.003.0008

This chapter proposes a Radcliffean Gothic structure to the ghost scenes of Canto XVI of Byron’s unfinished epic, Don Juan, in an attempt to both explicate the complex nature of the poet’s attitude to the transcendent and to clarify the overall philosophical trajectory of his poem. In suggesting that the explained supernatural is used by Byron to trace a middle path between idealism and a dead materialism, it also hopes to mediate between the Christian idealism of Bernard Beatty’s interpretation of these English Cantos and those, like Jerome McGann, who uphold Byron’s ultimate scepticism and proleptic postmodernity.

Keywords:   poetry, Radcliffean Gothic structure, ghost scenes, transcendent, idealism, materialism, Bernard Beatty, Jerome McGann, scepticism

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