Here at CF, we are no strangers to recognizing the fashion potential of a Gothic fiction writer, but we haven’t featured one since last year. So this week, for author-inspired fashion, we’re spotlighting the elegant writing and picturesque imagery of Ann Radcliffe.
About the Author
Not much is known about Ann Radcliffe; she is as mysterious as the settings of her novels. She kept out of the spotlight for the most part and led a private life that included discreet travels with her husband and not discussing her writing in social settings, even her most successful work The Italian.
Although the author herself is mysterious, her work is famous. After all, Ann was one of the first very successful Gothic writers, specializing in a sub-genre called “the feminine Gothic.” This sub-genre is characterized by its use of tropes like young and virtuous heroines, scheming and creepy villains out to get the heroine, foreign and exotic castles, and supernatural elements that end up being a machination of the human imagination. These novels took 18th century England by storm and Radcliffe continues to excite people to this day.
So cuddle up with one of her books on a cold, rainy day and take style inspiration from this author’s romantic and mysterious novels!
This outfit is inspired by the romance and luxury of Radcliffe novels. These stories always revolve around nobility, usually in countries other than England. For example, A Sicilian Romance, revolves around the spirited and virtuous Julia, a noblewomen who tries to escape a forced marriage to a disgusting Duke and find her one true love. Radcliffe novels often follow this sort of plot-line, albeit tweaked with different characters and settings.
The characters of Radcliffe novels can be sensible and enjoy life as it is, but they also live in luxury. Oftentimes the villains become overcome with greed and their pursuit of luxury initiates the plot. A lace dress, like this one in a dreamy Victorian style, and a velvet clutch make a perfect picture for a date or a night out with the girls. For further luxury, add these trendy yet classy flats, a sparkly necklace, and a dramatic eye look. You’re sure to turn heads.
Ann Radcliffe’s work is characterized by her attention to detail, especially when it comes to the picturesque landscapes and settings that she describes in beautiful prose. Radcliffe was certainly a fan of nature, and all of her heroes and heroines are fans as well, pretty much dividing the good and the bad characters based on their feelings about natural beauty.
A black scuba dress and a denim jacket are comfortable yet feminine, while a coat of metallic gold nail polish could be worn with any outfit you choose. Radcliffe heroines, while adventurous, never really “rough it,” always bringing inexplicable changes of clothes and activities like watercolor paints with them on the road. So for an impractical touch that shines like you do, choose these fabulous heels to dress up the look.
I have to admit, I’m a little jealous of Ann Radcliffe’s heroines. They get to go on amazing adventures through gorgeous countrysides… although they’re often being pursued by villains. For this look, take inspiration from these adventures.
This sweater is pretty and bright enough to carry over into spring. These jeans are comfy, casual, and can be worn with literally anything, but these boots are the real star of this outfit, perfect for trekking through caves and mountains while still looking gorgeous. Finish your look with your favorite statement necklace for a personal touch.
Ann Radcliffe has a rightful place in history as one of the best and most influential Gothic writers of English literature. There’s a reason that her work continues to be produced and studied to this day.
So what did you think? Which outfit was your favorite? Have you read any of Ann Radcliffe’s novels? Who is your favorite Gothic writer? What author would you like to see next? Let us know in the comments below!