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The Function of Sound in the Gothic Novels of Ann Radcliffe, Matthew Lewis and Charles Maturin

La fonction du son dans les romans gothiques d’Ann Radcliffe, de Matthew Lewis et de Charles Maturin.
Angela M. Archambault

Résumés

À la fin du dix-huitième siècle, pendant les années qui ont suivi la parution du texte fondateur d’Horace Walpole, la littérature gothique a incorporé la thématique du son, par exemple dans les romans de Radcliffe, de Lewis et de Maturin. Certes, ces écrivains utilisent les thèmes requis et prescrits par Walpole dans son célèbre manifeste du genre, à savoir la transgression, la mort et l’architecture du cloître ; mais l’image est désormais accompagnée d’un complément "sonore" jusqu’à présent inexistant. Les grands enjeux du genre gothique s’opposent à la raison et aux lois de l’homme ; le son fonctionne de la même manière. La musique et les voix moroses ou mystérieuses se présentent comme des structures implicites de terreur. S’il est impossible de contrôler les corps immortels des protagonistes gothiques, il est de même impossible de régir ou d’enfermer le son, puisque, comme le corps immortel, il ne connaît pas de barrière. Les auteurs Radcliffe, Lewis et Maturin nous montrent que la cacophonie, les hymnes lugubres et les voix désincarnées soutiennent et augmentent les enjeux essentiels du genre.

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1When Horace Walpole penned the preface to the second edition of The Castle of Otranto (1764), outlining a new literary genre of terror, melancholy, catastrophe and the sublime – he simultaneously laid claim to a visual concept in dubbing it “gothic”. British readers at the time would have identified the term as foreign barbarism, uncouth feudal clans, or synonymous with medieval architecture. While it is true that Gothicism owes nothing to the Goths themselves – the genre is not wholly without parentage; Goths themselves may be absent but the feudal manor and its gloomy arches are certainly not. Gothic literature’s namesake is rooted in these styled forms with architecture enduring as its true inheritance.

  • 1 H. A. N. Brockman, The Caliph of Fonthill, London, Werner Laurie, 1956, p. 20.

2Indeed, pioneer Gothic novelists Walpole and William Beckford relied so heavily upon the heritage and traditional signature of gothic arches, striking abodes and labyrinth-like recesses that they set forth a tacit formula for the visual cues needed to conjure up terror and Burkean sublimity. This penchant for constructing the anatomy of terror brick by brick in fiction even carried over into their personal lives, with Walpole’s Strawberry Hill and Beckford’s Fonthill Abbey serving as emblematic monuments to the revival of Gothic architecture in Britain1 – a movement they themselves helped to ignite. The ocular experience was incorporated not simply to pay homage to a certain style of architecture but woven into their fiction as a structural buttress for the sublime.

3Yet, the genre proved itself rather ungovernable and ever shifting. It began, after all, in the form of a misbegotten manuscript – an orphaned text and record of a nightmare that Walpole initially distanced himself from. In the decades that followed, Gothic literature would prove unruly in its evolution and in the last decade of the eighteenth century would veer towards an auditory experience in the works of Radcliffe, Lewis and Maturin. Certainly their novels honored Walpole’s architectural requisites with an abundance of castles, abbeys, and cloisters that confined, entangled and oppressed; yet acts of transgression – the principal occupation of Gothicism itself – were now underscored by a sort of audio soundtrack of noise, music and voice. These sounds, capable of triggering panic and confusion, ushered in greater unpredictability and breakthroughs in making this corner of literature something even further beyond the firm grasp of logic and control.

  • 2 Frits Noske, “Sound and Sentiment: The Function of Music in the Gothic Novel,” Music & Letters, 62. (...)

4Voice is a potential means of expressing menacing threats in the novels of Radcliffe and Lewis. Like many elements in the Gothic, the sound of voice is not immediately represented as cacophony or belonging to a supernatural realm – it begins, on the contrary, as what most would consider to be innocuous sonority – or even romantic happenings of serenades or birdsong. Much like the voices of the heroines in Daniel Defoe, Samuel Richardson and Henry Fielding who “sing their pretty songs or play the harpsichord with taste and elegance,”2 voice first emerges in the Gothic novel as a means of establishing a romantic connection between two protagonists.

5Radcliffe and Lewis develop themes of voice as connections/misconnections and as enabling affinity and seduction. In The Italian (1797) and The Monk: A Romance (1796) the first descriptions we receive of the heroines Ellena and Antonia are of their voices. That they are pleasing in tone establishes the girls’ upright character and confirms their attractiveness. So powerful is voice in establishing amorous preferences that Radcliffe’s Vivaldi experiences a reversal of the phrase love at first sight. Vivaldi hears Ellena’s voice before he actually sees her in The Italian and it is love at first sound:

  • 3 Ann Radcliffe, The Italian, ed. Frederick Garber, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2008, p.5.

6The sweetness and fine expression of her voice attracted his attention to her figure, which had a distinguished air of delicacy and grace; but her face was concealed in her veil. So much indeed was he fascinated by the voice, that a most painful curiosity was excited as to her countenance, which he fancied must express all the sensibility of character that the modulation of her tones indicated. He listened to their exquisite expression with a rapt attention.3

  • 4 Matthew Gregory Lewis, The Monk, ed. Howard Anderson, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2008, p. 9.
  • 5 Ibid., p. 20.

7Likewise, in The Monk, when Lewis’s cavaliers overhear the “tone of unexampled sweetness” of a female voice behind them, they are eager to meet the speaker who remains veiled.4 Lewis later dedicates three pages of text to describe the tones of the monk Ambrosio’s voice, whose frequencies strike Antonia so powerfully that she cannot help but confess her admiration: “Till this moment, I had no idea of the powers of eloquence. But when he spoke, his voice inspired me with such interest, such esteem, I might almost say such affection for him, that I am myself astonished at the acuteness of my feelings.”5

8The fact that voice may assist in predicting affinity between protagonists indicates a sort of inherent instinct possessed by the auditor. This inner voice, so to speak, enables them to identify their mate according to tones that immediately ring true to their ears. While intuitive impulses based on consonance may assist characters in identifying lovers or even long-lost family members, in The Monk, Lewis experiments with distorting this method of discovering romance. Antonia’s immediate connection to Ambrosio’s voice is first presented as a sort of elusive sixth-sense recognition. Even Elvira, Antonia’s mother is struck by the familiarity she experiences when hearing the monk’s voice:

  • 6 Ibid., p. 250.

His fine and full-toned voice struck me particularly; But surely, Antonia, I have heard it before. It seemed perfectly familiar to my ear […] There were certain tones that touched my very heart and made me feel sensations so singular, that I strive in vain to account for them.6

  • 7 Syndy Conger, “Sensibility Restored: Radcliffe’s Answer to Lewis’s The Monk,” Gothic Fictions: Proh (...)

Ambrosio, of course, does not possess the same intuition or sensitivity and fails to recognize any affinity with their voices. He is later revealed to be son and brother to Elvira and Antonia, a fact he learns only after murdering them. Are we to credit this to clichéd notions of feminine intuition or is Lewis’s text referring the reader to a sort of Radcliffean moral dichotomy where the good can “hear” clearly and the bad cannot? Syndy Conger blames Ambrosio’s lack of morality on the cloister – “his natural benevolence has been repressed by his tutors”7 – and Lewis’s text is not short of examples pointing to the miseducation of Ambrosio, which inevitably results in his inability to identify his true family ties.

  • 8 Ann Radcliffe, The Mysteries of Udolpho, ed. Bonamy Dobrée, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2008, (...)
  • 9 Ibid., p. 68.

9If voice may be used to recognize or affirm relationships between characters, it may also be used to alert the reader to realms beyond the grave. Pleasant and harmonious sounds in these novels find themselves reversed – not just by characters such as Ambrosio who fail to recognize their virtue, but by voices or other sounds altogether unexplained and often disembodied. Radcliffe seems to begin this trend in The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794) when she introduces voices that are “scarcely human” into the plot while Emily journeys through southern France: “a voice was heard among the trees on the left. It was not the voice of command, or distress, but a deep hollow tone, which seemed to be scarcely human.”8 As her journey continues, so do the unexplained sounds without a body to match them. When she later hears the eerie music of a lute played and some helpful, picturesque peasants warn her that this sound precedes death, her resolution to ignore superstition falters: “Emily, though she smiled at the mention of this ridiculous superstition, could not, in the present tone of her spirits, wholly resist its contagion”9 (italics mine). Here, it is interesting that Radcliffe employs the adjective “tone” to describe Emily’s spirit, as if her being resonates with the same sound vibration as the lute and is penetrated by its power. The fact that her father’s death coincides with this segment of the novel seems to validate the peasant’s superstitions and the supernatural power of sound as a death omen.

  • 10 Emily Cockayne, Hubbub: Filth, Noise and Stench in England 1600-1770, New Haven, Yale University Pr (...)
  • 11 Ibid., p. 28.
  • 12 Ibid., p. 9.
  • 13 Ibid., p. 124.
  • 14 Ibid., p. 116.
  • 15 Ibid., p. 117.

10This idea of sound being capable of infiltrating the body and producing a negative physical reaction echoes an anecdote concerning Francis Bacon, who apparently could not tolerate the sound of sharpening knives. In a manner similar to Emily’s reaction, Bacon stated that he felt the full effects of “a screeching noise which makes a shivering or horror in the body”.10 Essentially, we understand that external sounds in the environment may engender internal reactions in the body. While nearly all of Radcliffe’s protagonists are Protestant, much like the vast majority of her eighteenth-century British readers, certain superstitions regarding sound and its effects on the body lingered in the social consciousness. Emily Cockayne points out this phenomenon in her work Hubbub when she tells us that during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries sound was thought capable of causing birth defects: “[it was] commonly believed that a pregnant woman exposed to grisly sights or sounds might induce congenital abnormalities to the child she carried.”11 Since London was one of the largest (and noisiest) cities in the eighteenth century,12 legislation on sound was demanded by the ruling classes to “control the sound environment” by placing it indoors.13 The scope of the laws concerning “punishable” sounds often pointed to clashes between vice and virtue. Sound was therefore recognized as a morality marker of sorts. What Cockayne suggests is that sound could be in concord or discord with the prevailing ethics of the day. In addition, those that were deemed disagreeable or inharmonious, like the “odious noise of drunken men in the night”,14 for example, could face legal charges. Cockayne further affirms that the parish of Saint Maes, Clerkenwell, quite literally, did not like the sound of immorality and in 1774 its citizens began demanding legal hearings against those “singing obscene songs”.15

  • 16 Ann Radcliffe, A Journey Made in the Summer of 1794, Vol. I, London, G. G. and J. Robinson, 1795, p (...)

11Radcliffe herself was particularly sensitive to the dissonance of immorality. In her A Journey Made in the Summer of 1794, Through Holland and the Western Front of Germany with a Return down the Rhine: To which Are Added Observations during a Tour to the Lakes of Lancashire, Westmoreland, and Cumberland (1795), she relates the contrast of lovely versus licentious sounds on the street. Her description is uncharacteristically judgmental: “disgusting excess of licentiousness […] for we heard at the same time the voices of a choir on one side of the street and the noise of a billiard table on the other.”16 Radcliffe’s words testify to her acute sensitivity to sound and to how it juxtaposes moralities. Clearly, sound was recognized in the eighteenth century for its potential to infiltrate, disturb and corrupt. The implications of Cockayne’s research paired with Radcliffe’s personal acknowledgement clearly reveal the notion that sound can be good or bad, righteous or rotten. This disparity accentuates the compelling power of the ear, which, even in a darkened cloister vault or under the cover of night, is exposed to external noise and evaluates them according to a pre-established hierarchy of scruples and belief. Moreover, the ear grants our physical equilibrium – functioning quite literally as the needle of a compass might secure our stability and limit the range of our boundaries. As a result, the dis-ease one might experience while listening to disagreeable sounds or sounds supposed to be evil is sufficient to provoke terrible sensations in the body that align it with the sublime and the Gothic and signals moreover a potential disease or contagion for all those within range. The question remains how are we to soundproof ourselves from such threats – in other words, how might the law control sound?

  • 17 E. Cockayne, op. cit., p. 106.

12Cockayne informs us that the faithful parishioners of St. Mary-le-Strand attempted to employ architecture as a viable solution. In the eighteenth-century, they instructed the architect James Gibbs to construct a windowless ground floor of their cathedral in order to “keep out the noises from the street”17 and subsequently protect the flock from undesirable exterior sounds. This approach appears logical and mirrors instinctive human reaction to external bodily threats; we lock the door to protect ourselves from the criminal, we barricade against onslaught. To protect ourselves from piercing noise, strange voices or raucous song, we might very well bolt the door, craft our architecture without windows or, as some unhappy child might, block our ears with firm hands. Nevertheless, the ear itself remains an open organ and channel through which sound penetrates. While brick and mortar constructs may serve as a temporary solution to soundproof against unwanted acoustics, sounds of a keys in rusty locks, howling winds, groans and screams readily trump earthly architectural defenses. Much like those Gothic villains who are immortal – Lewis’s demon Matilda and Maturin’s Melmoth sound is not bound by physical limitations in the sense that it is capable of trespassing locks and protective walls. When Matilda finds herself in an Inquisition cell awaiting trial, Lewis need not invent a logical rescue, she simply moves beyond the walls, beyond the grasp of the law and beyond rational explanation. She cannot and will not be brought to trial.

  • 18 David Punter, Gothic Pathologies: The Text, the Body and the Law, London, Macmillan, 1998, p.10.
  • 19 Ibid., p. 38.
  • 20 Ibid.

13In evoking the effort to govern and even classify certain sounds as illicit, the double sense of the word “hearing” sets up an interesting dichotomy between law, liberty and control. The very faculty of hearing can give rise to a legal hearing before authorities. The sounds that enter the ear can be brought to trial and are therefore subject to punishment – that is to say, those who create them or emit them are held responsible. This is the basis of David Punter’s argument concerning the gothic novel’s obsession with going beyond the law.18 Nearly every gothic novel features a trial scene19 whose result systematically unveils crimes committed by the justice system itself: “it is difficult,” he notes, “to distinguish the Law from the criminal.”20 The law establishes what he calls a “grid” through which all bodies must pass – the true terror of the Gothic is that it presents us with bodies that never need pass through such a grid because they are beyond the law.

14In a similar way, sound is capable of escaping governing forces because it naturally functions as a Gothic body might. Regardless of its quality – be it saintly or sinful – sound wafts over walls, passes through latched doors and knows no real barrier. Unable to be confined, it is in its very essence a rather elusive “thing” to control. Gothic novelists Radcliffe, Lewis and Maturin experiment with its potential as a menacing device that elicits terror. Orchestrating dissonance, cacophony, blasphemous chants and disembodied voices seems a choice occasion indeed to celebrate the chaotic force and contagion for which the genre is so well known.

15What I would like to suggest in parallel to Punter’s argument is that the Gothic novel’s tendency to depict sound as being an ungovernable power connects it with the notion of the uncontrollable body. Sound, just like the body, is an ungovernable force to be reckoned with. The law itself is distorted, as Punter suggests, because protagonists cannot trust the voice of justice. Justice is supposedly blind (i.e. impartial) yet in these Gothic novels sensory deprivation takes on an added dimension as Justice reveals itself to be deaf – or at least deafened and oblivious to any legitimate sense of rectitude.

  • 21 Elizabeth Rapley, A Social History of the Cloister: Daily Life in the Teaching Monasteries of the O (...)
  • 22 Charles Robert Maturin, Melmoth the Wanderer, ed. Victor Sage, London, Penguin Books, 2000, p. 118.
  • 23 Ibid., p. 119.

16In Melmoth the Wanderer (1820), monastic law consistently echoes perversion and injustice. Elizabeth Rapley states that monastic settings were ripe with “inadequate” authorities21 and Maturin seems to revel in providing the reader with examples of unsound legal proceedings behind cloistered walls. Melmoth’s narrator, Alonzo, relates the violent assault and murder of a young novice by fellow monks when he confesses to the “crime” of having provided an elderly monk (convicted of some petty crime) with a cushion to relieve his pain against a stone floor. When the Samaritan then “confesses his guilt22 (italics are Maturin’s), the narrator gravely states: “They compelled him to quit his bed, and applied the scourge with such outrageous severity, that at last, mad with shame, rage and pain, he burst from them, and ran through the corridor calling for assistance or mercy.”23

  • 24 Horace Walpole, The Castle of Otranto, ed. W.S. Lewis, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2008, p. xi (...)
  • 25 A. Radcliffe, Udolpho, op. cit., p. 289-290.
  • 26 Ibid.

17If the quality of the voice of justice is distorted, so too are the voices that would challenge the status quo. Voices of opposition to the trial (in whatever form it may take) are rarely issued from human bodies. Groans, chants and voices of the dead are the manifestation of opposition to injustice. Yet sound and voice do not function as an endearing hero who rights the wrongs of misused power. Sound may be distorted even outside of the courtroom setting with no political or social agenda other than, as Walpole originally intended, to “frighten us out of [our] senses”.24 While Walpole’s Otranto depicted disembodied hands and helmets, they visions unaccompanied by sound. It was Radcliffe who first introduced the art of disembodied sounds. In Udolpho, the villain Montoni’s conversation is interrupted by a demanding voice: “repeat them!”25 This voice has no body to own it and panic and confusion arise in the party: “Montoni was silent; the guests looked at each other to know who spoke, but they perceived that each was making the same enquiry […] ‘Listen!’ said a voice […] all the company rose from their chairs in confusion.”26

  • 27 A. Radcliffe, Udolpho, op.cit., p. 394.
  • 28 Radcliffe, Udolpho, op.cit., p. 459.
  • 29 Ann McWhir, “The Gothic Transgression of Disbelief: Walpole, Radcliffe and Lewis,” Gothic Fictions, (...)
  • 30 Walter Scott, Lives of the Novelists, Paris, A and W. Galignani, 1825, p. 241.
  • 31 Ibid., p. 250.

18Radcliffe provides no clue to the origins of these sounds and we are left to conclude that they come from some ghostly presence in the castle. This idea is further sustained by the groans and cries Emily hears from her bedchamber at night. When this particular “voice” is heard a second time, accompanied by groans, the ghostly presence seems more than certain: “‘This night!’ repeated another voice […], ‘he was interrupted by a groan which seemed to rise from underneath the chamber they were in’.”27 Nevertheless, Radcliffe concludes her novels with explanations for all seemingly supernatural elements. In short, while Radcliffe may have been the first to introduce disembodied voices these sounds systematically turn out to be owned by human beings thus still accountable to Punter’s grid as previously mentioned. Occasionally, Radcliffe allows her human characters to impersonate the dead for they themselves are acutely aware of the power of unearthly sounds. In Udolpho, Dupont confesses: “I had heard of the superstition of many of these men, and I uttered a strange noise, with a hope, that my pursuer would mistake it for something supernatural, and desist from pursuit.”28 Ann McWhir states that “Radcliffe exposes the impostures” of her own novels.29Yet, falsified or ventriloquized ghastly sound still achieves the desired effect. Radcliffe knew this and allows Dupont’s scheme to be successful: the sonorous masquerade frightens away his enemies. Sir Walter Scott, for one, admired Radcliffe as a “mighty magician,”30 but nevertheless felt disappointed each time Radcliffe revealed the secrets behind her “magic”: “The reader feels tricked, and like a child who has once seen the scenes of a theatre too nearly, the idea of pasteboards, cords and pulleys destroys forever the illusion with which they were first seen from the proper point of view.”31 Radcliffe systematically rehabilitates any dissonance: unsound sounds are made sound once again. Despite this disillusionment, Radcliffe’s readership did not dwindle in the final decade of the eighteenth-century – satisfied perhaps to be privy to danger yet safely escorted from it in the end. Matthew Lewis, writing at the same time, would offer no such refuge, however.

  • 32 M. Lewis, The Monk, op. cit., p. 153.

19While Lewis also presents the subject of human voice feigning sounds from the grave, he refrains from providing any reasonable or humanly possible explanation for the haunted voices. When Lewis’ lovers Don Raymond and Agnes hear of the tale of the Bleeding Nun, a damned spirit who roams Agnes’ aunt’s castle, the pair dismiss the legend as mere nonsense and the “influence of superstition and weakness of human reason”.32 Still, Don Raymond, despite scoffing at superstition, much like Radcliffe’s Dupont, decides to wield imitation of the supernatural as a weapon. He advises his lover Agnes to imitate the Bleeding Nun as a fail-proof scheme for her escape from her guardians so that she may elope with him. But Lewis makes no room for impostures. There is in fact a “real” Bleeding Nun and she wastes no time in overtaking the plan and in a complete reversal, dupes Don Raymond by posing as Agnes and is subsequently whisked away in Don Raymond’s getaway carriage. Lewis shames human impostures by having true spirits and ghosts call their bluff. The Bleeding Nun goes on to appear for nightly hauntings at Don Raymond’s bedside. Interestingly, the rhythm of these visits coincides with the sound of the clock striking one. The chime signals her appearance and her “low sepulchral voice” which mocks a speech that Raymond had intended for his lover Agnes:

  • 33 Ibid., p. 160.

Raymond! Raymond! Thou art mine!Raymond! Raymond! I am thine!
In thy veins while blood shall roll,
I am thine!
Thou art mine!
Mine thy body! Mine thy soul!
33

  • 34 Ibid., p. 160.
  • 35 Ibid., p.173.

20The Nun’s presence mutes Don Raymond: “I would have called for aid but the sound expired, ere it could pass my lips […] Breathless with fear I listened.”34 After an hour, the clock strikes two and the Nun disappears. The same sounds are repeated nightly: the clock strikes one announcing her presence and then strikes two and signals her departure. Here, Lewis presents the reader with an oscillation between two worlds: natural and supernatural. The intersection of these realms, where oneiric states or delirious hallucinations meet reality and reason, seems to be sound itself. The sound of the clock chimes accompanies both arrival and departure as if the chimes are in fact responsible for allowing her to hurdle the boundary between real and surreal. In addition, the power of sound is underscored when Don Raymond learns from a hired exorcist (who communicates directly with the hell-bound soul of the nun) that her salvation shall only come through the power of voice in repetitive ritual prayer: “Let thirty masses be said for the repose of my spirit. Now let me depart! Those flames are scorching!”35 While sound has been previously depicted as agency for evil spirits, in a strange reversal, it is now voice and the word spoken, chanted and sung at Catholic mass, which will undo damnation and effectively quell her nightly serenades. It is voice that will grant her salvation and allow the permanent passage from hell to heaven.

  • 36 Ibid., p. 177.
  • 37 Ibid., p. 273.
  • 38 Ibid., p. 274.

21Witnessing this strange reversal and graphic exorcism, Don Raymond pointedly asks the exorcist: “How am I to account for this?”36 The true spirit of the Gothic, of course, demands that no answer be given and Lewis certainly does not acquiesce. We are steeped in uncertainty, an uncertainty sustained by other disembodied voices, sounds and noises that Lewis patches into the plot as evidence that one may never truly soundproof oneself from the supernatural. Even on the supposed holy ground of the cloister, Ambrosio hears strange noises and the “groaning of one in pain”37 coming from the monastery’s vaults at midnight. While he knows Matilda is present in the vaults he cannot fathom the otherworldly cries he hears from within.38

  • 39 C. Maturin, Melmoth, op. cit., p. 68.
  • 40 Katharine M. Rogers, “Fantasy and Reality in Fictional Convents of the Eighteenth Century,” Compara (...)
  • 41 Ibid., p. 289.

22In a century known for its scientific progress, these voices, apparently come from out of “no where”, (i.e. their true source remains unknown) and thus have the potential to come from “any where”. Maturin follows Lewis’s example, when young John Melmoth hears a voice in his bedchamber: “– I am alive, – I am beside you.” Melmoth started, sprang from his bed, – it was broad day-light. He looked around, – there was no human being in the room but himself.”39 Maturin’s text highlights both fear of the unknown and fear of sounding unreasonable – how to account for and how to give an account of such unexplainable goings-on? Certainly, terror may arise when a voice is heard with no body around to match it but the underlying layer of fear comes from the utter lack of reason. The fact is that, despite intentionally soundproofing architecture (as Cockayne’s parishioners of St. Mary-le-Strand did with their windowless first-floor cathedral) and despite city regulations dictating punishment for London’s raucous, drunken tinkers, Gothicism reveals that sound cannot be controlled, managed and even, at times, rightly identified. Freud would later call this brand of unfamiliarity unheimlich in his 1919 eponymous essay, or, that which is capable of producing frightening sensations and sometimes coinciding with demonic spirits. Sound offers no respite from experiencing its effects or from being exposed to its volume and quality. This holds true in both secular and sacred settings – though the British Gothic novel of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries tended to favor foreign cloisters as places where sound could function as another type of ungovernable contagion. The official dissolution of convents in England had occurred in 1535 yet, as Katharine Rogers notes, they nevertheless played “an active part in English fantasy, reflecting writers’ assumptions about “Popery”.40 While some eighteenth-century authors “idealized” it as an intellectual sanctuary where single women might be offered suitable alternatives to marriage,41 others, such as Gothic novelists, “degraded the convent to a prison”. This was achieved by installing dungeons, vaults, secret passages and laboratories with tinctures and malefic potions. In addition to that, Catholicism was on the whole presented as an unsound institution.

  • 42 Anthony Milner, “Music in Vernacular Catholic Liturgy,” Proceedings of the Royal Musical Associatio (...)

23For centuries preceding the heyday of British Gothicism and its anti-papist convictions, sound and voice were centerpieces of the Catholic faith and hallowed requisites of the Catholic mass. St Augustine remarked that their frequency was not only a useful but in fact a holy occupation: “apart from those moments when the Scriptures are being read or a sermon is preached […] is there any time when the faithful assembled in the church are singing? Truly I see nothing better, more useful, or more holy that they could do.”42 At the Council of Trent, one of the most important ecumenical councils in the history of the Catholic Church, clergy focused on condemning Protestantism, establishing the seven sacraments and strengthening the Catholic practice of the veneration of saints. Amid such heavy discussion and essential reforms the role of music and song was introduced and decrees proclaiming its sacred nature were issued. Pope Pius V stated that singing during the liturgy should function as an ingredient needed to elevate the soul and something that should be carefully orchestrated towards that end:

  • 43 Ibid., p. 25.

24The singing should be arranged not to give empty pleasure to the ear, but in such a way that the words may be clearly understood by all, and thus the hearts of the listeners be drawn to the desire of heavenly harmonies or the contemplation of the joys of the blessed.43

  • 44 Jean-Baptiste Thiers, Traité des Cloches et de la Sainteté de l’offrande du pain et du vin aux mess (...)
  • 45 Ibid., p.77 “le son des cloches fait peur aux esprits qui errent dans l’air et les privent du repos (...)
  • 46 Ibid., p. 131 : “on sonne les cloches pour chasser les démons qui sont dans l’air et qui font leurs (...)
  • 47 Ibid., p. 132.
  • 48 Ibid., p. 124.
  • 49 Ibid., p. 124.

25Sound was not only linked to salvation but was also associated with protective powers in Catholicism. Much as the reciting of masses were prescribed for the release of the damned spirit of the Bleeding Nun in The Monk, a French Catholic, Abbé Thiers, notes in his treatise on the importance of bells in the Roman Catholic faith that most priests wore small chimes on their robes44 as it was believed that their sounds chased away evil spirits.45 Church bells, likewise, were rung not simply to announce the start of prayer service but to ward off demons and their malicious attempts to interrupt the parishioners’ hymns to God.46 According to Thiers, there was a twofold benefit of sound: first to protect body and soul against the powers of evil and second to honor heaven: “bells have a marvellous effect, which is that the devils flying overhead flee when they hear such sounds and are repulsed by them […] bells move men’s spirits and elevate their souls to prayer.”47 A Papal Bull from Clement VII48 in the sixteenth century had recognized bells for their use in announcing the beginning of mass but also in casting a specific invitation to heavenly beings and/or angels to join in the prayers: “by ringing the bells we invite the Angels to join in with prayers taking place in the Church.”49

  • 50 Ibid., p. 151.
  • 51 Ibid., p. 127-128.

26Thiers even prescribes that bells be rung in specific ways in order to emit certain tones50 and asserts, without actually giving the “various proofs” he speaks of, that angels attend mass regularly: “we have several pieces of proof from the Fathers of the Church and in the History of the Church that angels often attend services, in particular the awe-inspiring sacrifices held on our altars.”51 Music and song during mass were to be taken with utmost seriousness because it was believed that human voice mingled with that of the angels attending mass – angels who were singing along with them. Abbé Thiers records a rebuke of Saint John Chrysostom on the subject of lack of reverence for sound:

  • 52 Ibid., p. 128-129.

Do you not know that you are standing with the angels, that you recite hymns with them, that you sing with them? And yet you stand and laugh! I would hardly be surprised if the thunders of heaven fell not only on you but on us all because such irreverence deserves such thunder. The Church is not a shop for barbers, apothecaries or merchants. It is the dwelling of angels and archangels, it is the heavenly palace, indeed, heaven itself. Tremble then when you are there.52

  • 53 Arlene Oost-Zinner and Jeffrey Tucker “The Uneven History of Church Music,” Catholic Culture News F (...)
  • 54 Moshe Sluhovsky, “The Devil in the Convent,” The American Historical Review, 107.5, Dec. 2002, p. 1 (...)

This tradition seems nearly as old as the Church itself. In the ninth century, for instance, Pope Leo IV threatened excommunication to any abbot who neglected to include Gregorian chants into daily monastic practice53 in order to release “people from the demon’s control”.54

  • 55 Ibid., p. 1383.

27In addition to song, the sound of the spoken word to summon, worship, heal and curse is a focal point of the Catholic faith. It is epitomized in the fiat lux of Genesis and the logos of the Gospel of John whose opening lines pair the spoken word with God and God as the spoken word: “In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God and the word was God.” The word, according to the Bible, has the power to create: it is the alpha and the omega of life. As such, its powers to protect, ward off evil were believed to be quite significant. The word preserves life and holiness. Pope Alexander VI, for instance, prescribed the reading aloud the names of possessed nuns at mass to deliver them from damnation,55 as if speaking with intention would cure them.

28Maturin, an Irish Protestant, takes up this same idea when the Catholic priest Father Olavida heals with the sound of his voice and with the “word” of Holy Scripture. Maturin’s novel further supports the healing powers of sound against evil by placing languages like Latin and Greek in a sort of hierarchy of healing power, the latter proving to be the more effective of the two:

  • 56 C. Maturin, Melmoth, op. cit., p. 38.

29The devil never fell into worse hands than Father Olavida’s, for when he was so contumacious as to resist Latin, and even the first verses of the Gospel of John in Greek, which the good Father never had recourse to but in cases of extreme stubbornness and difficulty.56

  • 57 M. Sluhovsky, art. cit., p. 1380.

30Maturin may use this example to describe the potential for sound to purify; yet he also provides examples of demons that are powerful enough to resist sound by muting it. When the real-life Jesuit Priest Jean-Joseph attempted to perform an exorcism for the infamous case of the Ursuline nuns of Loudun, France in 1634, he experienced a complete loss of “verbal capacities”.57 Likewise, Maturin’s Olavida is tongueless and cannot “utter a blessing” in the presence of Melmoth:

  • 58 C. Maturin, Melmoth, op. cit., p. 38-39.

31He prepared to utter a short prayer. He hesitated, – trembled, – desisted; and putting down the wine, wiped the drops from his forehead with the sleeve of his habit […] his lips moved as if in the effort to pronounce a benediction […] but again the effort failed; and the change in his countenance was so extraordinary that it was perceived by all the guests.58

  • 59 Joseph Garnier, Violation de l’abbaye de Cîteaux par Marie de Savoie, Dijon, Lamarche Libraire, 186 (...)
  • 60 Ibid., p. 10.

32The power of the word is thus such that evil must defend itself against it – must silence it. A true historical account of the power of the word in the Catholic faith as defense against evil can be found in the 1866 publication by the Frenchman Joseph Garnier, entitled The Violation of Cîteaux by Marie de Savoie. Garnier’s text is a French translation of a fifteenth-century Latin text written by the Abbot of Cîteaux, Jean de Cirey, in 1484. The record details the “crime” of Marie de Savoie’s entering the monastery (the male cloister was forbidden to females). Garnier’s preface to the text states: “The forbidden entry of members of the opposite sex into monasteries always figured among the first lines of religious rule.”59 For reasons unknown, Marie de Savoie forces herself into the abbey of Cîteaux in 1484 with a train of attendants. Her presence provokes chaos: “at the noise of her invasion the monks abandoned their activities and ran in every sense.”60 Upon her exit from the grounds moments later, an intense purification of the entire abbey took place, with incense, holy water and song as cleansing agents. Abbot Jean de Cirey, ordered a special procession of two hundred monks, which traced the exact route of Marie de Savoie as they sang from the Psalms:

  • 61 Ibid., p. 11-12.

33The Abbot had straw laid down to cover the profaned path; and the following day before celebrating mass, a priest blessed the cross with holy water; novices were ordered to burn straw, and the entire procession of two hundred men followed her path chanting the Psalms in the midst of burning incense.61

34In his description the Abbot refers to her womanly presence as “filthy”, “an infectious horde”, “a crime”, “profanity” and ends his account with the following prayer he instructed his monks to chant for protection,

  • 62 Ibid., p. 19. “Heavenly almighty Father! Holy Virgin Mary, mother of God! Avenge and repair the inj (...)

Domine Deus omnipotens, beati Dei genetrix Maria cum omnibus sanctis, vindicate et reparate injuram et violentiam vobis et huic domui vestre injuste illatam et a consimilibus vel gravioribus nos et hanc domun vestram preservate per Christum.62

  • 63 M. Sluhovsky, art. cit., p.1385.
  • 64 Ibid., p. 1388.

Moshe Sluhovsky affirms in his article “Devil in the Convent” that purifications of such sort were “as old as the church itself”63 and that these, coupled with possession and exorcism, were “the enactment of the promises of the Revelation […] and textual/theatrical allegories of the conflict between the Church and Satan”.64 Even the eschatological texts in the Bible are inherently linked to sonorous experiences of one kind or another, like the seven trumpets of doomsday in Revelations.

  • 65 A. Milner, art. cit., p. 21.

35So, we understand that music and voice have a particular and extremely powerful importance in church history. Even in more modern times, the presence of music in the Church remains important, while not currently advertised as a means to ward off evil; the Second Vatican Council’s Constitutio De Sacra Liturgia in the 1960s declared music to be “the outstanding means whereby the faithful may express in their lives and manifest to others the mystery and the real nature of the true Church”.65

  • 66 Marina MacKay, “Catholicism, Character and the Invention of the Liberal Novel Tradition,” Twentieth (...)

36The works of Radcliffe, Lewis and Maturin dramatize the notion that sound and voice are powerful elements indeed because within the Gothic cloister they can be used for evil. Certainly, this evil comes from usual suspects like evil spirits and murderous villains, but the specific brand of trauma these novels suggest is that this evil can come directly from the clergy itself which appropriates sound as a device which is used to control and manipulate. This, of course, would have contributed to the British reader’s view during the eighteenth century that “Catholicism is part of the bad old world that modernists should reject”,66 for Catholic settings often seem to foster evil doings and phenomena. This evil may be outright in terms of punishments, confinements and physical violence but it may also take shape in the most innocuous of sources like bells and song.

37Bells and hymns first appear in Radcliffe’s A Sicilian Romance where bells are used to structure the daily life of the nuns’ prayers and also to warn of potential threats from the outside world. In one moment of confusion the ringing bells terrify Julia who knows that their sounding was unscheduled, and therefore must indicate danger:

  • 67 Ann Radcliffe, A Sicilian Romance, ed. Alison Milbank, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2008, p. 13 (...)

Julia was awakened by the bell of the monastery. She knew it was not the hour customary for prayer, and she listened to the sounds, which rolled through the deep silence of the fabric, with strong surprise and terror. Presently she heard the doors of several cells creak on their hinges, and the sound of quick footsteps in the passages.67

While this isolated excerpt may seem rather commonplace upon first reading, it hints at a more profound insight into the structure of convent life and the use of bells as instruments of behavior control. Certainly, for Radcliffe to develop such a subversive slant against the Church would be most uncharacteristic of her style. Her writings were never as pointedly critical of the Church as Lewis or Maturin.

  • 68 A. Radcliffe, Udolpho, op. cit., p. 483.
  • 69 A. Radcliffe, Italian, op. cit., p. 97.
  • 70 Ibid., p. 138.

38Radcliffe’s monastic bells and songs seem to function to inspire a dismal melancholy: “the monks were singing the hymn of vespers, and some female voices mingled with the strain, which rose by degrees, till the high organ and the choral sounds swelled into full and solemn harmony.”68 They also serve to punctuate certain moments of the plot, in The Italian, where the summons of the cloister bells must be obeyed at all times. Olivia hastens away from her friend at the sound: “But hark! What bell is that? It is the chime which assembles the nuns in the apartment of the abbess […] My absence will be observed;”69 similarly the monk Jeronimo desists from his activity and exclaims in alarm: “The matin bell strikes! I am summoned.”70

  • 71 A. Radcliffe, Udlopho, op. cit., p. 87.

39Maturin, too, would pick up on this particular variety of monastic sonorities though he, of course, would craft his version into something more sinister and telling of the character of the Church of Rome. According to Alonzo’s narrative, the monastic bells structure the monks’ daily lives into clearly defined segments. Bells guide and control the monks’ motions and have a definite and alarming impact upon their psychological wellbeing. While walking in the garden, Alonzo notes that the sound of the bell ringing “produced its effect on all of us”.71 This sound, however, means much more to one who listens from within the monastery, than to the one who listens from without. Maturin makes a distinct division between intra- and extra-mural sounds and how they affect their listener. Usually, those listening to church music from beyond the cloister interpret the melodies as many of Radcliffe’s heroines did, with a certain melancholy inspiration. The innocent Isidora listens to distant bells with her lover, Melmoth, and is inspired by the very “voice of religion”:

  • 72 C. Maturin, Melmoth, op. cit., p. 574.

the bells of a neighbouring convent, where they were performing a mass for the soul of a departed brother, suddenly rung out. Isidora seized that moment when the air was very eloquent with the voice of religion, to impress its power on that mysterious being whose presence inspired her equally with terror and with love. “Listen!” she cried. The sounds came slowly and stilly on, as if it was an involuntary expression of that profound sentiment that night always inspires […] the effect of these sounds was increased, by their catching from time to time the deep and thrilling chorus of voices, these voices more than harmonized, they were coincident with the toll of the bell, and seemed like them set in involuntary motion, – music played by invisible hands. “Listen,” repeated Isidora, “is there no truth in the voice that speaks to you in tones like these?”72

40The fact that the music is played by ‘invisible hands’ engenders a supernatural effect; yet these otherworldly effects are interpreted by Isidora to be equivalent to the voice of truth. Of course, Maturin’s depiction of this scene functions as proof of Isidora’s deluded innocence in that she is unable to distinguish between heavenly and hellish sound. The fact that she has fallen in love with a demon based upon the pleasing musicality of his voice and then, in this extract, judges the choir music as heavenly inspiration undeniably casts her as wildly misguided. For Maturin, at this point in the plot, has already supplied abundant evidence of monastic discord based on sound. Isidora seems to have been taken directly from a more romantic Radcliffean plot and inserted into Maturin’s text in order to contrast the picturesque with sublime terror.

  • 73 Ibid., p.158.
  • 74 Ibid., p.208.
  • 75 Ibid., p. 115.
  • 76 Ibid., p. 200.
  • 77 Ibid., p. 284.
  • 78 Ibid., p. 284.

41Alonzo’s narration provides the reader with several harrowing examples of the unlikely terror of bell music. As in Radcliffe’s novels, Maturin’s bells summon or dictate behavior: “that terrible bell, that requires every member of a convent to plunge into his cell.”73 In addition, their knell can serve to alarm the community of a criminal’s escape;74 just as their absence indicates complete lack of order: “no bell was rung […] all order was at end.”75 Maturin clearly develops a mechanical-like aspect of these sounds, as Alonzo repeatedly refers to his existence as being synonymous with the rote workings of a timepiece: “I was like a clock.”76 The sounds of these bells are contrasted with the oscillation between heaven and hell: “I was a maniac oscillating between hope and despair. I seemed to myself all day to be pulling the rope of a bell, whose alternate knell was heavenhell, and this rung in my ears with all the dreary and ceaseless monotony of the bell of the convent.”77 The mechanical aspect of his existence is underscored yet again as he feels himself literally going through motions which he has no real control over: “I appeared to myself like a piece of mechanism wound up to perform certain functions […] I was like a clock whose hands are pushed forward and I struck the hours I was impelled to strike […] my existence was so purely mechanical.”78

  • 79 Ibid., p. 23-124.

42Maturin presents another monk, Fra Paolo, suffering the same effects of cloistered life. On his deathbed Paolo confesses to Alonzo: “I never ate with appetite, because I knew, that with or without it, I must go to refectory when the bell rung. I never lay down to rest in peace, because I knew the bell was to summon me in defiance of nature […] I never prayed for prayers were dictated to me.”79 Alonzo, horrified at this confession questions him further:

  • 80 Ibid., p. 123-124.

“but my brother, you were always punctual in your religious exercises –”
“That was mechanism – will you not believe a dying man?”
“But your regularity in religious exercises –”
“Did you never hear a bell toll?”
“But your voice was always the loudest and most distinct in the choir –”
“Did you never hear an organ played?”
“The repetition of religious duties, without the feeling or spirit of religion produces an incurable callosity of heart […] I verily believe half our lay brothers to be Atheists.”80

43So, we can see an immediate and significant connection between the tolling of bells and the automated behavior that it instills. Here, Fra Paolo postures as a victim and compares his existence within the monastery to a “performance”. His acquiescence to the bell’s toll is equated to an organ played by deceitful hands. The ulterior aim of the music is to manipulate and control those who are listening. Over time, its knell produces a perfunctory, mechanical effect that is so “incurable”, as Fra Paolo states, that it becomes the subject of nightmare for Alonzo who dreams that he is condemned to be burned alive. The clear connection between terror and sound is understood when he further relates that bells echo throughout the dream and are rung at each horrible stage of it:

  • 81 Ibid., p. 262-263.

I am convinced that a real victim of an auto da fe (so called) never suffered more during his horrible procession to flames temporal and eternal, than I did during that dream. I dreamed that the judgment had passed, – the bell had tolled, – and we marched out from the prison of the Inquisition; my crime was proved, and my sentence determined, as an apostate monk and a diabolical heretic […] All the bells of Madrid seemed to be ringing in my ears. […] I was chained to the chair, amid the ringing of bells, the preaching of the Jesuits and the shouts of the multitude […] the fires were lit, the bells rang out, the litanies were sung […] and still the bells rung on […] I was a cinder body and soul in my dream.81

The sound of the bells literally haunts Alonzo to the extent that it invades his subconscious and penetrates his dreams. The mechanism of sound thus reveals itself as a powerful dynamic that controls and manipulates.

44Sound, therefore, in the Gothic is both a way to express the lawlessness and chaotic aspects of the sublime and the sinister possibility of restraining human behavior. When priests pray in the The Italian, The Monk or Melmoth, it is in order to sway and seduce their auditors to their secret agendas; when bells ring, it is not to protect the community from evil, but to constrain it and render it tame and obedient before communal laws. Although Catholicism was regarded as a distant, exotic religious institution by British readers the Gothic reanimated it as rotten and profligate. To be sure, the dungeons, unjust punishments and unchecked zeal of its members were terrifying in and of themselves, but the fact that these elements were contained, so to speak, within the cloister walls provided a hope they might remain in a state of quarantine within their own establishment. True, the institution itself might produce evil but its victims were those who either lived within its walls or who solicited direct contact with one of its members. Otherwise, the self-regulating laws, rules and ‘order’, as aberrant as they were, remained enclosed in the convent. Yet, solicited or not, sound floats over locked gates, permeates walls and wafts into the ear. We cannot really soundproof ourselves from the triple threat force of music, voice and noise.

45The possibility therefore remains that sublime terror induced by sound could occur virtually anywhere, although it seems that Lewis, Maturin and Radcliffe (with The Italian) would pair it inextricably with power abuse and the corruption of Catholicism. Sound as a textual device in these texts has a compelling and unmistakable role as a deliberate structure that exists to both promote and amplify the sublime and themes of ungovernable forces so essential to the Gothic genre. We might even suggest that these novels present a Gothic soundtrack that sustains the very fabric of the texts themselves for these sounds break down norms, reverse logic and order, and forewarn us that even seemingly innocuous church bell notes in the distance hold the frightful potential of ushering in chaos.

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Bibliographie

Primary Sources

Beckford, William, Vathek, ed. Roger Lonsdale, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2008.

Garnier, Joseph, Violation de l’abbaye de Cîteaux par Marie de Savoie, Dijon, Lamarche Libraire, 1866.

Lewis, Matthew Gregory, The Monk: A Romance, ed. John Berryman, New York, Grove, 1952.

Lewis, Matthew Gregory, The Monk: A Romance, ed. Howard Anderson, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2008.

Maturin, Charles Robert, Melmoth the Wanderer, ed. Victor Sage, London, Penguin Books, 2000.

Radcliffe, Ann, The Italian, ed. Frederick Garber, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2008.

Radcliffe, Ann, A Journey Made in the Summer of 1794, Through Holland and the Western Front of Germany with a Return down the Rhine: To which Are Added Observations during a Tour to the Lakes of Lancashire, Westmoreland, and Cumberland, Volume I, London, G.G. and J. Robinson, 1795.

Radcliffe, Ann, The Mysteries of Udolpho, ed. Bonamy Dobrée, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2008.

Radcliffe, Ann, A Sicilian Romance, ed. Alison Milbank, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2008.

Scott, Walter, Lives of the Novelists, Paris, A. and W. Galignani, 1825.

King James Bible, New Authorized Translation, London, Harwin Press, 1976.

Thiers, Jean-Baptiste, Traité des Cloches et de la Sainteté de l’offrande du pain et du vin aux messes des morts – Non confondu avec le pain et le vin qu’on offroit sur les Tombeaux, Paris, Benoît Morin, 1781.

Walpole, Horace, The Castle of Otranto, ed. W.S. Lewis, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2008.

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Brockman, H. A. N., The Caliph of Fonthill, London, Werner Laurie, 1956.

Cockayne, Emily, Hubbub: Filth, Noise and Stench in England 1600-1770, New Haven, Yale University Press, 2007.

Conger, Syndy, M., “Sensibility Restored: Radcliffe’s Answer to Lewis’s The Monk,Gothic Fictions: Prohibition/Transgression, ed. Kenneth Graham, New York, AMS Press, 1989, pp. 113-149.

Freud, Sigmund, L’Inquiétante étrangeté et autres essais. Trans. Bertrand Féron, Paris, Gallimard, 1985.

Hagstrum, Jean, H., The Sister Arts: The Tradition of Literary Pictorialism and English Poetry from Dryden to Gray. Chicago, Chicago University Press, 1958.

MacKay, Marina, “Catholicism, Character and the Invention of the Liberal Novel Tradition,” Twentieth Century Literature, 48.2, Summer 2002, pp. 215-238.

McWhir, Anne, “The Gothic Transgression of Disbelief: Walpole, Radcliffe and Lewis” in Gothic Fictions: Prohibition/Transgression, ed. Kenneth Graham, New York, AMS Press, 1989, pp. 29-47.

Milner, Anthony, “Music in Vernacular Catholic Liturgy,” Proceedings of the Royal Musical Association, 91st Sess. 1964-1965, pp. 21-32.

Noske, Frits, “Sound and Sentiment: The Function of Music in the Gothic Novel,” Music & Letters, 62.2, April 1981, pp. 162-175.

Oost-Zinner, Arlene and Jeffrey Tucker, (April 2003) “The Uneven History of Church Music,” Catholic Culture News Features, April 15, 2003, January 2011. http://www.catholicculture.org/news/features/index (last accessed 1 March 2013)

Punter, David, Pathologies: The Text, the Body and the Law, London, Macmillan, 1998.

Rapley, Elizabeth, A Social History of the Cloister: Daily Life in the Teaching Monasteries of the Old Regime, Montreal, McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2001.

Rogers, Katharine, M., “Fantasy and Reality in Fictional Convents of the Eighteenth Century,” Comparative Literature Studies, 22.3, Fall 1985, pp. 297-316.

Sluhovsky, Moshe, “The Devil in the Convent,” The American Historical Review, 107.5, December 2002, pp. 1379-1411.

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Notes

1 H. A. N. Brockman, The Caliph of Fonthill, London, Werner Laurie, 1956, p. 20.

2 Frits Noske, “Sound and Sentiment: The Function of Music in the Gothic Novel,” Music & Letters, 62.2, April 1981, p.162-175, here p. 162-163.

3 Ann Radcliffe, The Italian, ed. Frederick Garber, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2008, p.5.

4 Matthew Gregory Lewis, The Monk, ed. Howard Anderson, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2008, p. 9.

5 Ibid., p. 20.

6 Ibid., p. 250.

7 Syndy Conger, “Sensibility Restored: Radcliffe’s Answer to Lewis’s The Monk,” Gothic Fictions: Prohibition/Transgression, ed. Kenneth Graham, New York, AMS Press, 1989, p.127.

8 Ann Radcliffe, The Mysteries of Udolpho, ed. Bonamy Dobrée, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2008, p 62-63.

9 Ibid., p. 68.

10 Emily Cockayne, Hubbub: Filth, Noise and Stench in England 1600-1770, New Haven, Yale University Press, 2007, p. 125.

11 Ibid., p. 28.

12 Ibid., p. 9.

13 Ibid., p. 124.

14 Ibid., p. 116.

15 Ibid., p. 117.

16 Ann Radcliffe, A Journey Made in the Summer of 1794, Vol. I, London, G. G. and J. Robinson, 1795, p. 187.

17 E. Cockayne, op. cit., p. 106.

18 David Punter, Gothic Pathologies: The Text, the Body and the Law, London, Macmillan, 1998, p.10.

19 Ibid., p. 38.

20 Ibid.

21 Elizabeth Rapley, A Social History of the Cloister: Daily Life in the Teaching Monasteries of the Old Regime, Montreal, McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2001, p.140.

22 Charles Robert Maturin, Melmoth the Wanderer, ed. Victor Sage, London, Penguin Books, 2000, p. 118.

23 Ibid., p. 119.

24 Horace Walpole, The Castle of Otranto, ed. W.S. Lewis, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2008, p. xiii.

25 A. Radcliffe, Udolpho, op. cit., p. 289-290.

26 Ibid.

27 A. Radcliffe, Udolpho, op.cit., p. 394.

28 Radcliffe, Udolpho, op.cit., p. 459.

29 Ann McWhir, “The Gothic Transgression of Disbelief: Walpole, Radcliffe and Lewis,” Gothic Fictions, ed. K. Graham, op. cit., p. 40.

30 Walter Scott, Lives of the Novelists, Paris, A and W. Galignani, 1825, p. 241.

31 Ibid., p. 250.

32 M. Lewis, The Monk, op. cit., p. 153.

33 Ibid., p. 160.

34 Ibid., p. 160.

35 Ibid., p.173.

36 Ibid., p. 177.

37 Ibid., p. 273.

38 Ibid., p. 274.

39 C. Maturin, Melmoth, op. cit., p. 68.

40 Katharine M. Rogers, “Fantasy and Reality in Fictional Convents of the Eighteenth Century,” Comparative Literature Studies, 22.3, Fall 1985, p. 297-316, here p. 279.

41 Ibid., p. 289.

42 Anthony Milner, “Music in Vernacular Catholic Liturgy,” Proceedings of the Royal Musical Association, 91st Sess. 1964-1965, p. 21-32, here p. 21.

43 Ibid., p. 25.

44 Jean-Baptiste Thiers, Traité des Cloches et de la Sainteté de l’offrande du pain et du vin aux messes des morts, Paris, Chez Benoît Morin Imprimeur-Libraire, 1781, p. 107.

45 Ibid., p.77 “le son des cloches fait peur aux esprits qui errent dans l’air et les privent du repos dont ils jouissent”.

46 Ibid., p. 131 : “on sonne les cloches pour chasser les démons qui sont dans l’air et qui font leurs efforts pour empêcher les fidèles de prier et de chanter les louanges de Dieu.”

47 Ibid., p. 132.

48 Ibid., p. 124.

49 Ibid., p. 124.

50 Ibid., p. 151.

51 Ibid., p. 127-128.

52 Ibid., p. 128-129.

53 Arlene Oost-Zinner and Jeffrey Tucker “The Uneven History of Church Music,” Catholic Culture News Features, April 15, 2003, January 2011. http://www.catholicculture.org/news/features/index (last accessed 1 March 2013).

54 Moshe Sluhovsky, “The Devil in the Convent,” The American Historical Review, 107.5, Dec. 2002, p. 1379-1411, here p. 1393.

55 Ibid., p. 1383.

56 C. Maturin, Melmoth, op. cit., p. 38.

57 M. Sluhovsky, art. cit., p. 1380.

58 C. Maturin, Melmoth, op. cit., p. 38-39.

59 Joseph Garnier, Violation de l’abbaye de Cîteaux par Marie de Savoie, Dijon, Lamarche Libraire, 1866, p. 4.

60 Ibid., p. 10.

61 Ibid., p. 11-12.

62 Ibid., p. 19. “Heavenly almighty Father! Holy Virgin Mary, mother of God! Avenge and repair the injury and violence committed against you and your Church, and preserve it, as us, from such outrage and evil. In the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ.”

63 M. Sluhovsky, art. cit., p.1385.

64 Ibid., p. 1388.

65 A. Milner, art. cit., p. 21.

66 Marina MacKay, “Catholicism, Character and the Invention of the Liberal Novel Tradition,” Twentieth-

Century Literature, 23.2, Summer 2002, p. 215-238, here p. 223.

67 Ann Radcliffe, A Sicilian Romance, ed. Alison Milbank, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2008, p. 131.

68 A. Radcliffe, Udolpho, op. cit., p. 483.

69 A. Radcliffe, Italian, op. cit., p. 97.

70 Ibid., p. 138.

71 A. Radcliffe, Udlopho, op. cit., p. 87.

72 C. Maturin, Melmoth, op. cit., p. 574.

73 Ibid., p.158.

74 Ibid., p.208.

75 Ibid., p. 115.

76 Ibid., p. 200.

77 Ibid., p. 284.

78 Ibid., p. 284.

79 Ibid., p. 23-124.

80 Ibid., p. 123-124.

81 Ibid., p. 262-263.

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Référence électronique

Angela M. Archambault, « The Function of Sound in the Gothic Novels of Ann Radcliffe, Matthew Lewis and Charles Maturin », Études Épistémè [En ligne], 29 | 2016, mis en ligne le 16 juin 2016, consulté le 23 novembre 2017. URL : http://episteme.revues.org/965 ; DOI : 10.4000/episteme.965

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Auteur

Angela M. Archambault

Angela Archambault earned an M.A. in British literature from the Sorbonne-Nouvelle-Paris III as well as an M.A. in French literature from Middlebury College (USA). She currently instructs French language in Sharon, Massachusetts.

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