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American Gothic Art and Architecture in the Age of Romantic Literature [1 ed.]
 9781783161621, 9781783161607

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AMERICAN GOTHIC ART AND ARCHITECTURE IN THE AGE OF ROMANTIC LITERATURE

SERIES PREFACE Gothic Literary Studies is dedicated to publishing groundbreaking scholarship on Gothic in literature and film. The Gothic, which has been subjected to a variety of critical and theoretical approaches, is a form which plays an important role in our understanding of literary, intellectual and cultural histories. The series seeks to promote challenging and innovative approaches to Gothic which question any aspect of the Gothic tradition or perceived critical orthodoxy. Volumes in the series explore how issues such as gender, religion, nation and sexuality have shaped our view of the Gothic tradition. Both academically rigorous and informed by the latest developments in critical theory, the series provides an important focus for scholarly developments in Gothic studies, literary studies, cultural studies and critical theory. The series will be of interest to students of all levels and to scholars and teachers of the Gothic and literary and cultural histories.

SERIES EDITORS Andrew Smith, University of Sheffield Benjamin F. Fisher, University of Mississippi

EDITORIAL BOARD Kent Ljungquist, Worcester Polytechnic Institute Massachusetts Richard Fusco, St Joseph’s University, Philadelphia David Punter, University of Bristol Chris Baldick, University of London Angela Wright, University of Sheffield Jerrold E. Hogle, University of Arizona

American Gothic Art and Architecture in the Age of Romantic Literature

Kerry Dean Carso

UNIVERSITY OF WALES PRESS CARDIFF 2014

© Kerry Dean Carso, 2014 All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any material form (including photocopying or storing it in any medium by electronic means and whether or not transiently or incidentally to some other use of this publication) without the written permission of the copyright owner. Applications for the copyright owner’s written permission to reproduce any part of this publication should be addressed to the University of Wales Press, 10 Columbus Walk, Brigantine Place, Cardiff CF10 4UP. www.uwp.co.uk

British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.

ISBN e-ISBN

978-1-78316-160-7 978-1-78316-161-4

The right of Kerry Dean Carso to be identified as author of her contribution has been asserted in accordance with sections 77 and 79 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

Typeset in Wales by Eira Fenn Gaunt, Cardiff Printed by CPI Antony Rowe, Chippenham, Wiltshire

Dedicated to Brian, Owen and Nathaniel and to the memory of Teddy Dean Carso

This page intentionally left blank.       

CONTENTS

Acknowledgements List of illustrations

ix xiii

Introduction

1

1 Gothic Monticello: Thomas Jefferson’s Garden Narratives

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2 ‘Banditti Mania’: The Gothic Haunting of Washington Allston

29

3 ‘Arranging the Trap Doors’: The Gothic Revival Castles of Alexander Jackson Davis

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4 Old Dwellings Transmogrified: The Homes of James Fenimore Cooper and Washington Irving

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5 Gothic Castles in the Landscape: Thomas Cole, Sir Walter Scott and the Hudson River School of Painting 95 6 The Theatrical Spectacle of Medieval Revival: Edwin Forrest’s Fonthill Castle

115

Conclusion ‘Clap It Into a Romance’: Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Gothic Houses 145 Notes Bibliography Index

161 209 235

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

My greatest intellectual debt is to my graduate school advisor and mentor, Keith Morgan, of Boston University. Over the years, Keith has been very supportive of my work. This book began as a dissertation, and I would like to thank my dissertation committee: Keith Morgan, Patricia Hills, Adam Sweeting, Eliza Richards and Naomi Miller. All of them have assisted me in innumerable ways. Pat and Naomi have been especially helpful as mentors. I am grateful to William Vance, Professor Emeritus of English at Boston University, for introducing me to Washington Allston’s Lectures on Art and Monaldi during my preparation for my comprehensive exam. Thank you to Bruce Schulman for his encouragement and to the Boston University Humanities Foundation for awarding me a dissertation grant in 2000. My fascination with the Gothic began during my junior tutorial in the English Department at Harvard University. I would like to thank my junior tutor Carolyn Dever for introducing me to the thrill of reading Gothic novels and my thesis adviser Cheryl Nixon for helping me to articulate connections between Gothic literature and architectural space. I doubt that Carolyn and Cheryl realized at the time how much they stimulated my intellectual interest in this subject. Of course, this book would not have been possible without the work of scholars who have come before me. I owe a debt to the authors of the many books and articles I consulted on Gothic Revival architecture, Romantic paintings and Gothic literature. Particularly useful were Janice Gayle Schimmelman’s dissertation at the University of Michigan, Patrick Snadon’s dissertation at Cornell University, Donald Ringe’s work on American Gothic literature and John Zukowsky’s research on the Hudson River Gothic Revival.

Acknowledgements

I am grateful to the staffs of the many libraries where I have conducted research, including the Albany Institute of History and Art; the Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library at Columbia University; the International Center for Jefferson Studies at Monticello; the Newington-Cropsey Foundation; the New York Public Library; the New-York Historical Society; the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Maryland Historical Society; the University of Pennsylvania’s Rare Book and Manuscript Library; the Harvard Theatre Collection; the Massachusetts Historical Society; the Longfellow National Historic Site; the Princeton University Library; the American Antiquarian Society; and the New York State Historical Association. Sister Christine Murphy, the archivist at the College of Mount Saint Vincent in Riverdale, New York, was helpful to me on more than one occasion. I would like to thank Hugh MacDougall of the James Fenimore Cooper Society for sharing his research and expertise on Cooper with me. Portions of this book appeared previously and have been revised: chapter 2 first appeared as ‘Banditti Mania: The Gothic Haunting of Washington Allston’, Symbiosis: A Journal of Anglo-American Literary Relations, 11, 1 (April 2007), 105–30; chapter 3 as ‘Diagnosing the “Sir Walter Disease”: American Architecture in the Age of Romantic Literature’, Mosaic: A Journal for the Interdisciplinary Study of Literature, 35, 4 (December 2002), 122–42; chapter 4 as ‘“To Loiter about the Ruined Castle”: Washington Irving’s Gothic Inspiration’, The Hudson River Valley Review, 24, 2 (spring 2008), 22–41 and ‘The Old Dwelling Transmogrified: James Fenimore Cooper’s Otsego Hall’, in Hugh MacDougall (ed.), James Fenimore Cooper: His Country & His Art (Papers from the 2001 Cooper Seminar, No. 13) (Oneonta, NY: State University of New York College at Oneonta, 2002), pp. 26–35; chapter 5 as ‘Gothic Castles in the Landscape: Sir Walter Scott and the Hudson River School’, Gothic Studies, 14, 2 (November, 2012), 1–22; and chapter 6 as ‘The Theatrical Spectacle of Medieval Revival: Edwin Forrest’s Fonthill Castle’, Winterthur Portfolio: A Journal of American Material Culture, 39, 1 (spring 2004), 21–41. My friends George and Nancy Madison played a role in the final stages of my research. They hosted my husband and me in Florence, Italy, for a week and took us to see the Villa Montauto where Hawthorne lived in 1858. Thank you, George and Nancy, for a splendid

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Acknowledgements

morning on the Bellosguardo Hill. In 2013, Theresa Flanigan hosted me in Florence, allowing me a second visit to the villa. Theresa has been unflagging in her support over the years, and I am grateful for her friendship. Rachel Dressler has also acted as a sounding board for my ideas, and her expertise as a medievalist and neo-medievalist has been extremely helpful. I want to thank my graduate school colleagues at Boston University, especially my friends Laura Kay, Laura Driemeyer, Elysa Engelman, Laura Johnson, Stacey McCarroll Cutshaw, Thomas Denenberg, David Brody and Cheryl Boots, as well as my good friend Jane Marsh Manzi whom I first met at Radcliffe College in 1992. In 2002–3, I taught at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, where I had the privilege of working with wonderful people, including Kay Arthur, David Ehrenpreis, Diane Ehrenpreis, Karen Gerard and Rachel Malcolm Ensor. I especially want to thank Diane for encouraging me to apply for a Batten fellowship at the International Center for Jefferson Studies at Monticello, where I spent a month doing research in 2003. Thank you to the scholars and staff of the ICJS for their assistance, especially William Beiswanger. My colleagues at the State University of New York at New Paltz have been very supportive, as have all of my students over the years. Thank you to my art history colleagues Elizabeth Brotherton, Keely Heuer, Jaclynne Kerner, Ellen Konowitz, William Rhoads, Susan DeMaio Smutny, Beth Wilson and Reva Wolf, and thank you to Andrea Varga of the Theatre Arts Department. Susan assisted me with some of the illustrations for this book, and I am very grateful to her. Thank you to Laura Silvernail for administrative support. The Dean’s Office of the School of Fine and Performing Arts and the Art History Department at SUNY New Paltz contributed financial support for the rights and reproductions of this book’s illustrations. The Dr. Nuala McGann Drescher Leave Award from the United University Professions in 2010 and a sabbatical from SUNY New Paltz in 2013–14 allowed me to complete this book. I want to thank the Gothic Literary Studies series editors, Andrew Smith and Benjamin F. Fisher, and the editors and staff of University of Wales Press, especially Sarah Lewis, Siân Chapman, Elin Lewis and Catrin Harries.

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Acknowledgements

James Fenimore Cooper called himself and his family ‘great hunters after the Gothic’, and I could say the same about myself and my family. I would like to thank my parents, Robert and Mary Dean, for their patience and love, and Frank, Megan, Jackson and Madeline for entertaining me on breaks from work. I am grateful to my husband Brian and his family, especially his father Brian, Sr. and his late mother Betty. Brian has edited and proofread this book and has accompanied me on site visits and research trips. He has been with me from my first day in graduate school, supporting me every step of the way. Our young sons Owen and Nathaniel have developed (not surprisingly!) a taste for spooky stories, allowing us to share our love of reading as a family. This book is dedicated with love to Brian, Owen and Nathaniel, and to the memory of Teddy Dean Carso.

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ILLUSTRATIONS

Plates between pages 94–5 I.

Benjamin Henry Latrobe, Sedgeley, Philadelphia, 1799; Thomas Birch, ‘Southeast View of “Sedgeley Park,”’ the Country Seat of James Cowles Fisher, Esq., c.1819, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, 1993.41.

II.

Mount Vernon and Washington’s Tomb by Day, William Matthew Prior, c.1859 [M-3701/A-B]. Courtesy of the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association.

III. James Gillray, Tales of Wonder!, c.1802, etching, coloured by hand, 29.3 x 41.2 cm © Victoria and Albert Museum, London, Jones Bequest, 1232-87-1882. IV. Washington Allston, American, 1779–1843, Donna Mencia in the Robber’s Cavern, 1815, oil on canvas, 141.92 x 111.12 cm (55 7/8 x 43 ¾ in.), Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, gift of Martha C. Karolik for the M. and M. Karolik Collection of American Paintings, 1815–65, 47.1239. Photograph © 2014 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. V.

The Flight of Florimell, 1819 (oil on canvas), Allston, Washington (1779–1843)/Detroit Institute of Arts, USA/City of Detroit Purchase/The Bridgeman Art Library.

VI. Washington Allston, The Dead Man Restored to Life by Touching the Bones of the Prophet Elisha, 1811–13, oil on canvas, 156 x 122 in. [396.2 x 309.9 cm], Acc. No. #1816.1, courtesy of

Illustrations

the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Academy purchase, by subscription. VII. William Marlow, The North and West Fronts of Strawberry Hill, 1776–80, watercolour, 340 x 535 mm © Victoria and Albert Museum, London, W. A. Sandby Bequest. D. 1838–1904. VIII. Alexander Jackson Davis (1803–92), Glen Ellen for Robert Gilmor, Towson, Maryland (perspective, elevation and plan), 1832. Watercolour, ink and graphite on paper, sheet: 21 ¾ x 15 5/8 in. (55.2 x 39.7 cm). Harry Brisbane Dick Fund, 1924 (24.66.17). Image copyright © The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Image source: Art Resource, NY. IX. Christ Church, Cooperstown, NY. Photo by the author. X.

John Quidor, The Money Diggers, 1832, Brooklyn Museum, 48.171, gift of Mr and Mrs Alastair Bradley Martin.

XI. John Quidor, Ichabod Crane Pursued by the Headless Horseman, 1858. Smithsonian American Art Museum, museum purchase made possible in part by the Catherine Walden Myer Endowment, the Julia D. Strong Endowment and the Director’s Discretionary Fund. XII. Thomas Cole, The Departure, 1837, oil on canvas, 39 ½ x 63 in., Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington DC, gift of William Wilson Corcoran, 69.2. XIII. Thomas Cole, The Return, 1837, oil on canvas, 39 ¾ x 63 in., Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington DC, gift of William Wilson Corcoran, 69.3. XIV. 1978.12.1 Jasper Cropsey, The Spirit of War, Avalon Fund, image courtesy of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1851, oil on canvas, overall: 110.8 x 171.6 cm

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Illustrations

(43 5/8 x 67 9/16 in.) framed: 151.8 x 211.5 x 17.2 cm (59 ¾ x 83 ¼ x 6 ¾ in.). XV. NCF PID#573, Jasper Cropsey, The Olden Times–Morning, 1859, 32 x 48 in., Newington-Cropsey Foundation Collection. XVI. Lilly Martin Spencer, American (1822–1902), Reading the Legend, 1852, oil on canvas, 50 3/8 x 38 in.; 127.9525 x 96.52 cm, Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, Massachusetts, gift of Adeline Flint Wing, class of 1898 and Caroline Roberta Wing, class of 1896. Copyright: public domain.

Figures Figure 1. Monticello, west front, photograph by the author. © Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello.

11

Figure 2. Seated Figure of Bearded Man in White, Looking at Wraiths of Man and Woman Walking Over the Sea. 20 July 1797. Watercolour on paper by Benjamin Henry Latrobe. Museum Department. Courtesy of the Maryland Historical Society, Item ID# 1960.108.1.3.9.

13

Figure 3. Monticello garden pavilion, photograph by the author. © Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello. 17 Figure 4. Monticello: castellated tower. Drawing by Thomas Jefferson [1778]. Original manuscript from the Coolidge Collection of Thomas Jefferson Manuscripts. N93; K64. Courtesy of the Massachusetts Historical Society.

20

Figure 5. Monticello: temple or portico. Drawing by Thomas Jefferson, 1807. Original manuscript from the Coolidge Collection of Thomas Jefferson Manuscripts. N184; K165. Courtesy of the Massachusetts Historical Society. 21

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Illustrations

Figure 6. ‘Mount Vernon’, Gleason’s Pictorial, V, 18 (29 October 1853), p. 273.

25

Figure 7. Early photograph of the east facade of the manion at Mount Vernon seen from the south-east, photographer unknown, c.1858. Courtesy of the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association. 27 Figure 8. Engraving after Washington Allston’s Spalatro’s Vision of the Bloody Hand, 1831, from Clara Erskine Clement, A Handbook of Legendary and Mythological Art (New York: Hurd and Houghton, 1871), frontispiece.

31

Figure 9. Romantic Landscape, c.1800, Washington Allston (American, 1779–1843). Sepia Wash on paper © Image courtesy of the Gibbes Museum of Art/Carolina Art Association, 1922.003.0001.

34

Figure 10. Washington Allston (1779–1843), Tragic Figure in Chains, 1800, watercolour on paper mounted on panel, 12 5/8 x 9 5/8 in. (32.07 x 24.45 cm), Addison Gallery of American Art, Philips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts, museum purchase, 1941.24. 48 Figure 11. Alexander Jackson Davis (1803–92), diary, nineteenth century, pen and ink, gift of Richard H. Pratt, 1946 (46.114.81). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY. Image copyright © The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Image source: Art Resource, NY. 55 Figure 12. ‘A Prison Scene Drawn by A. J. Davis in 1818. Done in Alexandria, aged 15 and without any knowledge of architecture or perspective’. Alexander Jackson Davis Architectural Drawings and Papers Collection, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University. 58 Figure 13. Abbotsford, from William Beattie, Scotland Illustrated (London, G. Virtue, 1838), before p. 39.

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62

Illustrations

Figure 14. Otsego Hall, from James Fenimore Cooper, The Works of J. Fenimore Cooper (New York: P. F. Collier, Publisher, 1891), vol. II, frontispiece.

72

Figure 15. Melrose Abbey, from William Beattie, Scotland Illustrated (London, G. Virtue, 1838).

78

Figure 16. Sunnyside from Benson J. Lossing, Pictorial Field-book of the Revolution, vol. II (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1852), p. 193. 86 Figure 17. First-floor plan of Sunnyside, Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, HABS, NY, 60-TARY.V, 1.

89

Figure 18. William Hart, Sketch of Abbotsford, 1851, William Hart (1823–94), pencil on paper, 14 ½ x 10 1⁄8 in., inscribed, lower right: Abbotsford 1851/Scotland/Wm. Hart, gift of Alan Lewis in honour of Janice Hart White, 2004.46.223, Albany Institute of History & Art, Albany, NY. 107 Figure 19. Engraving of Fonthill, from Benson John Lossing, The Hudson: from the Wilderness to the Sea (Troy, NY: H. B. Nims and Co., c.1865), p. 365. Courtesy, The Winterthur Library: Printed Book and Periodical Collection. 117 Figure 20. The great hall at Fonthill Castle. Nathalie Bailey Morris photographs of American Gothic Revival architecture, 1853–1937. Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University.

119

Figure 21. Alexander Jackson Davis, Elevation and plan of Fonthill Castle. Alexander Jackson Davis Architectural Drawings and Papers Collection, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University.

123

Figure 22. ‘Fonthill Abbey: View of the West, and North Fronts’, designed by James Wyatt, 1796–1812, from

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Illustrations

John Rutter, Delineations of Fonthill and Its Abbey (London: Charles Knight and Co. [etc.], 1823), plate 11, ‘Fonthill Abbey: View of the West, and North Fronts’. Courtesy, The Winterthur Library: Printed Book and Periodical Collection. 130 Figure 23. ‘Macbeth, at the Boston Theatre’, from Ballou’s Pictorial 9, no. 25 (22 December 1855), 396. Courtesy, The Winterthur Library: Printed Book and Periodical Collection.

136

Figure 24. Frank O. Branzetti, photographer, exterior, front and side, looking north-east, The Wayside, Lexington Road, Concord, Middlesex County, MA. Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, HABS, Reproduction number HABS MASS, 9-Con, 9-2.

151

Figure 25. Villa Montauto, on the Bellosguardo Hill, Florence, Italy; photo by the author. 154

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Introduction

K In 1821, Sir Walter Scott defended Ann Radcliffe’s Gothic novel The Romance of the Forest (1791) against its critics by noting the ‘actual pleasure which it produces’, and the ‘real sorrow and distress which it alleviates’.1 In this passage, Scott identifies an essential characteristic of Gothic fiction: the delight experienced by the reader. Gothic literature created a fantasy world for an enraptured audience. The Gothic genre transported its readers to an imaginary realm, a pseudo-medieval place filled with dungeons, caverns and all manner of subterranean labyrinths. Haunted castles, lascivious monks, disembodied voices – the trappings of the Gothic novel gripped late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century readers with spine-tingling tales of treacherous villains and virtuous heroines. Without risking a hair on one’s head (but perhaps raising more than one), the Gothic reader vicariously experienced supernatural happenings and gained access to the awful and sublime secrets of the human soul. Although some Gothic novels also contained moralistic messages, the main purpose was to release the reader’s imagination. Horace Walpole wrote his novel The Castle of Otranto as a method of escapism, a way of ‘exchanging what is called the realities of life for dreams’.2 The genesis of the Gothic Revival in both architecture and literature was Horace Walpole’s Strawberry Hill, an eighteenthcentury castellated villa in Twickenham, England. Strawberry Hill represents a pastiche of medieval forms, knitted together by lath

American Gothic Art and Architecture

and plaster rather than traditional Gothic stonework. Walpole and his committee on taste ignored medieval building methods to create a whimsical building, more a work ‘of fancy than of imitation’, as Walpole admitted.3 It was Walpole’s residence that inspired him to write what is considered the first Gothic novel, The Castle of Otranto, in 1764. In the first preface, written anonymously, Walpole states that the author seems to describe certain parts of a presumably real castle: ‘The chamber, says he, on the right hand; the door on the left hand; the distance from the chapel to Conrad’s apartment: these and other passages are strong presumptions that the author had some certain building in his eye.’4 The building the author had in mind was his own castle, Strawberry Hill. The link between Gothic literature and Gothic Revival architecture is certainly strong, beginning with Walpole’s Strawberry Hill. Indeed, as Anne Williams has pointed out, Walpole’s castle itself was in part inspired by Alexander Pope’s poem ‘Eloisa to Abelard’.5 From the very beginning, the Gothic Revival has been a phenomenon that crosses modern disciplinary boundaries. Therefore, the Gothic as an aesthetic movement should not be studied in isolation. In twentieth- and twenty-first-century scholarship, literary scholars and art and architectural historians often note the obvious connections between literature and the arts when discussing the Gothic. Mention of these correlations has become almost obligatory. But while interdisciplinary studies of the Gothic are more common in investigations of British Gothic, American Gothic has languished in the shadow of studies of the British tradition. Bringing together architecture, painting and literature, this book analyses the impact Gothic novel reading had on American art and architecture between 1776 and 1850. My broad approach to the topic will provide a necessary context for understanding the interconnectedness of the arts in this period.6 Among the nineteenth-century Gothic enthusiasts were many leaders of the Boston and New York artistic communities. But the popularity of Gothic novels was certainly not confined to the elites of the north-eastern United States. Gothic readers could be found in every social class. In his preface to his satirical book The Algerine Captive; or, The Life and Adventures of Doctor Updike Underhill (1797) Royall Taylor writes:

2

Introduction Dolly, the dairy maid, and Jonathan, the hired man, threw aside the ballad of the cruel stepmother, over which they had so often wept in concert, and now amused themselves into so agreeable a terror, with the haunted houses and hobgoblins of Mrs. Radcliffe, that they were both afraid to sleep alone.7

In addition, southerners were particularly enamoured with the historical romances of Sir Walter Scott.8 This book focuses on individual artists and architects who incorporated their reading of Gothic novels into their artistic expressions. Although this book is not a regional study, most of these national figures lived and worked in New York state and the Hudson River Valley.9 The exceptions in this book are the Virginian, Thomas Jefferson, and Washington Allston, who was a southerner by birth but lived abroad and in Boston for most of his life. This study begins with Thomas Jefferson and his plantation house Monticello. The first chapter, ‘Gothic Monticello: Thomas Jefferson’s Garden Narratives’, reveals the Gothic sensibilities of an historical figure most commonly associated with the Enlightenment. Although Monticello itself is neoclassical, Jefferson envisioned a garden full of mystery and suspense, complete with Gothic Revival garden structures, including a castellated prospect tower. This chapter revises our understanding of Jefferson as an architect by examining his reading habits, particularly his interest in Ossianic and graveyard poetry. The chapter also presents George Washington’s Mount Vernon through a Gothic lens. Like Monticello, Mount Vernon appears neoclassical to its core; however, this chapter will show how the picturesque and the Gothic pervade the Mount Vernon landscape in unexpected ways. The American Romantic painter Washington Allston, the subject of the second chapter, was a reader of Gothic novels, and Radcliffe in particular. ‘“Banditti Mania”: The Gothic Haunting of Washington Allston’ examines how Allston’s youthful literary indulgences found their way into his artistic practices throughout his life, despite his insistence that what he called his ‘banditti mania’ subsided as he matured into adulthood. Pursued by personal demons and engulfed in grief after the loss of his first wife, Allston often engaged in supernatural subject matter in his paintings and even wrote his own

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American Gothic Art and Architecture

Gothic novel, Monaldi. The novel features an artist who descends into madness in much the same way Allston appeared to his friends to become mentally unstable. Allston was not alone in his Gothic obsession. Numerous artists, architects and their patrons indulged in Gothic novel reading. As the nineteenth century continued, these readers became engrossed with the historical romances of Sir Walter Scott, himself a devotee of Gothic literature. Chapter three, ‘“Arranging the Trap Doors”: The Gothic Revival Castles of Alexander Jackson Davis’, deals with the influence of Gothic literature and Scott’s historical romances on Davis, the prominent Gothic Revival architect whose designs brought to life the fictional architecture of Gothic novels. Although Davis never travelled to Europe, his partner Ithiel Town toured England, France and Italy in 1829–30. From Europe, Town sent Davis hundreds of architectural books that he and Town then used to create Gothic Revival designs such as Glen Ellen in Maryland (1832). The client for Glen Ellen was a young man named Robert Gilmor III, who had visited both Walpole’s Strawberry Hill and Scott’s Gothic Revival home, Abbotsford, in Scotland. These Gothic Revival homes inspired the design of Glen Ellen, which was the first of many Davis-designed castellated residences in the 1830s and 1840s in the United States. This chapter examines the importance of literature in shaping mid-nineteenth-century American domestic architecture. The fourth chapter, ‘Old Dwellings Transmogrified: The Homes of James Fenimore Cooper and Washington Irving’ looks at two famous American authors’ homes. The novelist James Fenimore Cooper visited European Gothic and Gothic Revival sites, and then Gothicized his federal-style house, Otsego Hall in Cooperstown, New York. In redesigning Otsego Hall, Cooper brought the latest architectural fashion to his provincial hometown and introduced the literary Gothic into American architecture. One of his characters uses the word ‘transmogrified’ to describe the eclectic concoction of a fictional version of Otsego Hall with its unlikely fusion of neoclassicism and the Gothic. Like Cooper, Washington Irving was both a producer of Romantic fiction and a house designer. After a visit to Scott’s Abbotsford and Lord Byron’s medieval Newstead Abbey, Irving and his friend George Harvey created a picturesque cottage, Sunnyside, in Tarry-

4

Introduction

town, New York. Like Otsego Hall, Sunnyside unites various architectural traditions, including colonial Dutch architecture, Gothic Revival and the picturesque into a storybook cottage that then becomes incorporated into Irving’s own fiction. At Sunnyside, like at Strawberry Hill, literature and architecture merge seamlessly in a building that is part fiction and part reality. The fifth chapter, ‘Gothic Castles in the Landscape: Thomas Cole, Sir Walter Scott and the Hudson River School of Painting’, looks closely at travel narratives describing the American experience of the Gothic abroad to explain the phenomenon of the American Gothic Revival. Artists were among the tourists visiting Gothic architectural sites of interest. When travelling abroad, tourists brought along their favourite romances – such as Scott’s Kenilworth (1821) – from which to quote as they lingered among the ruins and castles that had become popular spots. Some returned immediately and employed their fresh memories of the Gothic on canvas. This chapter looks at Thomas Cole, who launched the landscape movement later termed ‘The Hudson River School’, and other landscape painters such as Jasper Cropsey, William Hart and Sanford Robinson Gifford, who painted Gothic castles on canvas after visiting sites associated with Scott. The well-known American actor Edwin Forrest was another Gothic Revival devotee who returned from Europe to build a medieval castle on the Hudson River. Forrest named Fonthill Castle (1848–52) after Fonthill Abbey (1796–1812), William Beckford’s Gothic mansion designed by James Wyatt. Like Walpole, Beckford was also the author of a Gothic novel, Vathek (1786), again providing links between literature and architecture. Although Forrest was familiar with Beckford’s Abbey, I argue in chapter six, ‘The Theatrical Spectacle of Medieval Revival: Edwin Forrest’s Fonthill Castle’, that the main influence on Fonthill Castle was the stage set designs from Forrest’s plays. Throughout the nineteenth century, stage scenery became more historically accurate. Medieval architectural elements provided spectacular backdrops to those Shakespearean plays set in the Norman and Gothic periods (such as King John, Richard III and Macbeth). Forrest was first and foremost a Shakespearean actor, and the stage sets from his performances of Macbeth became the inspiration for his castle.

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American Gothic Art and Architecture

Forrest was a fiercely patriotic American, and nationalism is a key issue in this chapter. It was the conflict between Forrest and the aristocratic British actor William Macready that sparked the Astor Place Riot in 1849. Indeed, Forrest placed in the cornerstone of Fonthill Castle an explanation of the castle’s purpose as a retirement home for actors (in Forrest’s words, ‘all foreigners to be strictly excluded’).10 Why then did he choose to design his castle in the medieval revival style? After all, the Gothic Revival was an English importation in domestic architecture. When the nationalistic Forrest chose the Gothic, it is a sure sign that the style had become Americanized, a radical transformation discussed in this chapter. Indeed, the Gothic Revival can tell us something about early American nationalism. In his ‘Essay on American Scenery’ (1836), Thomas Cole addressed America’s ‘want of associations’, its lack of history and legends such as ‘arise amid the scenes of the old world’. He noted that ‘the Rhine has its castled crags, its vine-clad hills, and ancient villages; the Hudson has its wooded mountains, its rugged precipices, its green undulating shores—a natural majesty, and an unbounded capacity for improvement by art’. He anticipated that someday the ‘ample waters [of the Hudson River] shall reflect temple, tower, and dome, in every variety of picturesqueness and magnificence’.11 At this time, concerns about the newness of the New World were on the minds of many American artists and writers. Nathaniel Hawthorne’s penchant for writing romances infused with history presented a challenge because America had ‘no shadow, no antiquity, no mystery, no picturesque and gloomy wrong’.12 James Fenimore Cooper observed, ‘Europe itself is a Romance, while all America is a matter of fact, humdrum, common sense region’.13 So why did American artists, architects and patrons choose a borrowed medieval style in this era? This seeming paradox is at the heart of this book. By co-opting the vocabulary of medieval British Gothic and contemporary Gothic Revival, Americans were striving to create their own national identity, by simultaneously reiterating their strong ties to European architectural heritage while displaying erudition and historical knowledge of past styles. Nathaniel Hawthorne is the subject of the conclusion of this book. In the tradition of Radcliffe and Scott, Hawthorne’s novels, especially The House of the Seven Gables and The Marble Faun, fuse

6

Introduction

literature with art and architecture. Indeed, 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.14 The conclusion traces the Gothic literary and architectural influences on Hawthorne’s additions to his colonial house, The Wayside, in Concord, Massachusetts. Hawthorne transformed the fictional villa Monte Beni (featured in The Marble Faun) and Monte Beni’s real-life inspiration, the medieval Villa Montauto in Florence, Italy, into his own private vision of The Wayside. At the core of this book is an analysis of American architecture in the early nineteenth century, an understudied period. In general, the study of nineteenth-century Gothic Revival architecture has been limited to formal analyses and attempts to see the style as prefiguring later architectural movements. About Gothic Revival architects such as Alexander Jackson Davis and Richard Upjohn, Talbot Hamlin writes: ‘Creation, not nostalgia, was their brightly burning torch.’15 Hamlin highlights how these architects were innovators in the new materials of glass and iron. Often, architectural historians attempt to place Gothic Revival buildings into a modernist continuum, as if the style’s relationship to modernism is the only way in which it can be redeemed. My approach, however, is different. Rather than analyse Gothic Revival architecture in light of proto-modernist innovations, my aim is to place the style in its historical and cultural context. Examining American romanticism in art and architecture in light of the contemporaneous Gothic novel-reading craze reveals new interpretative possibilities. My goal is to recreate the intellectual climate of the period. In this sense, my approach to the Gothic Revival is revisionist. In the past few decades, Gothic literature has experienced a renaissance of sorts. Scholarly books and articles on the Gothic have proliferated, while paperback editions of long-forgotten Gothic novels have become available. With this new interest and the elevation of Gothic literary studies, we can now look at the effect of Gothic literature on other cultural expressions, including art and architecture. The scholars who have rescued the Gothic novel from literary history’s dust heap have provided cultural historians with a

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base from which to examine the sweeping influence of this significant literary genre. In the United States, Gothic literature and Scott’s historical romances had an enormous impact on both painting and architecture in the period between 1776 and 1850. The groundwork in Gothic literary scholarship allows us to move beyond literature to examine how the Gothic seeps into other forms of artistic creation.

8

1 Gothic Monticello: Thomas Jefferson’s Garden Narratives K Thomas Jefferson’s vision for the Monticello landscape, articulated in his memorandum book for 1771, was the first mature gardening plan in the English landscape style recorded in America.1 The early plans for the Monticello landscape were distinctly literary in nature. As architectural historian William Beiswanger has noted, Jefferson was inspired by the following lines from English dramatist Nicholas Rowe’s popular play, The Fair Penitent (1703): No sound to break the silence but a brook, That bubbling, winds among the weeds: no mark Of any human shape that had been there, Unless a skeleton of some poor wretch, Who sought that place out, to despair and die in.2

Jefferson chose to quote the character Calista, who is lamenting her faithless lover Lothario. In the play, Calista looks for a private retreat in which to sink into despair and hide from the world her loss of honour. Jefferson adapted the meaning of the original literary source to suit his particular purposes, using the quotation as a general inspiration for a melancholy spot within his grounds. According to his notes, Jefferson envisioned a graveyard in ‘some unfrequented vale in the park’, complete with a labyrinth and a Gothic temple ‘of antique appearance’ in the centre, lit by ‘the feeble ray of an half

American Gothic Art and Architecture

extinguished lamp’.3 Here Jefferson evoked obscurity, one of the key elements of the sublime in Edmund Burke’s influential treatise, which is among the books recommended by Jefferson to Robert Skipwith in 1771.4 Jefferson’s choice of a Gothic temple was significant, given the style’s association with the so-called ‘Dark Ages’, in which obscurity and unknowability make for mysterious architectural drama. Jefferson also planned a waterfall, a temple, pedestals with urns and a grotto featuring a reclining nymph with an inscription from Pope: ‘Nymph of the grot, these sacred springs I keep / And to the murmur of these waters sleep: / Ah! spare my slumbers! gently tread the cave! / And drink in silence, or in silence lave!’5 This chapter will argue that Thomas Jefferson’s designs for the Monticello landscape, conceived between the 1770s and the early nineteenth century but never fully executed, display a narrative programme reliant on literary influences. As Malcolm Kelsall has argued, Jefferson’s plan would have ‘turned the estate at Monticello into a complex iconographical scheme . . . His imaginary projects are rich with unrealized symbolism.’6 What is perhaps most intriguing about Jefferson’s plan is its Gothicism, both literary and architectural. Jefferson is most well known for his neoclassical architectural designs, so his interest in what art historian Sarah Burns has generally called the ‘dark side’ is a new avenue of investigation.7 Indeed, this chapter’s title ‘Gothic Monticello’ appears on the surface to be an oxymoron. The medieval elements of his garden plan are certainly at odds with the common perception of Jefferson as a neoclassical architect. To be sure, Jefferson’s Gothic sources and designs subvert the carefully constructed, classically harmonious landscape and Monticello itself, which has been called ‘one of the most civilized houses ever built’ (figure 1).8 This chapter will re-evaluate Jefferson’s garden designs in light of his interest in Romantic literature and Gothic Revival style. Monticello was not the only founder’s Virginia plantation house with Gothic associations; a Gothic sensibility pervades George Washington’s landscape at Mount Vernon as well, as we shall see later in this chapter. Before turning to the Gothic aspects of the Monticello landscape, it is instructive to review the obvious neoclassicism of the house. Jefferson desired to separate American architecture from the English Georgian style by turning to Roman sources, including the Maison

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Gothic Monticello

Figure 1: Monticello, west front.

Carrée (Nîmes, France, c.1–10 CE), the source for his Virginia State Capitol, and to contemporary French neoclassicism, including Pierre Rousseau’s Hôtel de Salm (1782–6), which was under construction during Jefferson’s tenure as Minister to the Court of France (he visited the building frequently to watch the progress of the construction). In addition, the sixteenth-century Italian Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio influenced Jefferson greatly; Palladio’s Four Books of Architecture were among the first books on architecture Jefferson acquired for his own library. Jefferson’s design of Monticello evolved over the course of many years beginning in 1793; completed in 1809, the house is a paragon of neoclassicism. Coherent and logical, the garden facade features a temple front, surmounted by a Roman dome. The symmetry of the house is in stark contrast to both the winding circuit path Jefferson designed for the grounds and the picturesque garden he envisioned for his ‘little mountain’. The combination of neo-Palladian villa and irregular English garden was familiar to Jefferson from his tour of English country houses in 1786 with John Adams.9

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Despite the neoclassicism of the house, Jefferson’s description of his garden – of the unfrequented vale and the half extinguished lamp – drips with romantic excess and sensibility, clearly inspired by the so-called ‘graveyard poets’. These poets encouraged melancholic reveries appropriate to the graveyard setting. Jefferson was a particular admirer of Edward Young, the English poet of The Complaint; or Night-Thoughts on Life, Death, and Immortality (1742–6). Jefferson purchased a four-volume edition of Young’s Works in 1764 in Williamsburg, and from then on he was smitten; he was still familiar with Young in the 1780s, when he was in Paris. Even in retirement, Jefferson quoted Young in letters to Abigail and John Adams in 1817 and 1822.10 Why Young is considered a ‘graveyard poet’ becomes clear in the following excerpt from Night-Thoughts, which Jefferson copied into his commonplace book in the late 1760s, prior to his description of the intended graveyard at Monticello: Why start at death? where is he? death arriv’d, Is past; not come, or gone, he’s never here. Ere hope, sensation fails; black-boding man Receives, not suffers, death’s tremendous blow. The knell, the shroud, the mattock, and the grave; The deep damp vault, the darkness, and the worm; These are the bugbears of a winter’s eve, The terrors of the living, not the dead. Imagination’s fool, and error’s wretch, Man makes a death which nature never made; Then on the point of his own fancy falls; And feels a thousand deaths in fearing one.11

The young Jefferson was equally enthralled with the poems of Ossian, a third-century Irish poet, as translated and published by Scottish poet James Macpherson, who began publishing these poems in 1760. Macpherson claimed the poems were a translation from the Gaelic of Ossian; in 1805 the public learned that Macpherson was in fact the author.12 Jefferson’s friend, the architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe, was likewise a reader of Ossian. Latrobe’s sketchbooks include literary illustrations, such as Seated Figure of Bearded Man in White, Looking at Wraiths of Man and Woman Walking Over the Sea (20 July 1797), which illustrates the works of Ossian (figure 2). Latrobe’s

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Figure 2: Seated Figure of Bearded Man in White, Looking at Wraiths of Man and Woman Walking Over the Sea.

drawing depicts a chieftain, Armin, who sees the ghosts of his children while sitting on the shore where his children had died. The eerie scene is reminiscent of the works of Swiss painter Henry Fuseli in the contrasts between light and dark, the eerie, dream-like nature of the setting, and the intrusion of the supernatural.13 In the late eighteenth century, Jefferson was so enamoured with Ossianic poetry that he wrote to Charles Macpherson, brother of James, because he wanted to acquire the original Gaelic poetry. He wrote, These pieces have been, and will I think during my life continue to be to me, the source of daily and exalted pleasure. The tender, and the sublime emotions of the mind were never before so finely wrought up by human hand. I am not ashamed to own that I think this rude bard of the North the greatest Poet that has ever existed.

Money was no object for the ardent Jefferson: ‘The glow of one warm thought is to me worth more than money.’14 When the Marquis de Chastellux visited Jefferson at Monticello in 1782,

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Jefferson was still enamoured with Ossian; when the poet’s name came up over a bowl of punch, a spark of electricity . . . passed rapidly from one to the other; we recalled the passages of those sublime poems which had particularly struck us, and we recited them for the benefit of my traveling companions . . . Soon the book was called for . . . And, before we realized it, book and bowl carried us far into the night.15

An appealing aspect of Macpherson’s work is that readers can ‘enter the text and begin creating their own imaginative world’, according to Ossian scholar Fiona Stafford. The plot’s difficulty allows readers to make connections and ‘fill out the narrative gaps with their own stories’.16 This inducement to storytelling adds a level of complexity to Jefferson’s own narrative creation, one to which we do not have access since the garden and graveyard with their temples and towers only ever existed in his own mind. Therefore, these structures together form a narrative to which only Jefferson himself, in his imagination, could fill in the gaps. But the influence of literature, and Ossian in particular, on Jefferson’s Monticello should not be overlooked; as Rhys Isaac notes, even Jefferson’s choice of a mountaintop setting for his plantation house may have been inspired by an Ossianic description of ‘light . . . when it shines thro’ broken clouds, and the mist is on the hills’, lines included in his literary commonplace book.17 Anyone who looks down on Monticello from the top of the adjacent ‘high mountain’, Montalto, on a foggy morning, when Jefferson’s little mountaintop appears as an island in a sea of mist, must acknowledge the scene’s relationship to Ossianic atmospheric effects. In any case, Jefferson’s mountaintop choice is unusual for eighteenth-century Virginia plantation houses, which were more often sited along rivers. Even while demonstrating Jefferson’s neoclassical principles by cataloguing his debt to Palladio, contemporary French neoclassicism, and ancient Graeco-Roman sources, the architectural historian William Pierson notes Jefferson’s elevated choice was ‘intensely Romantic’, as it articulates a clear relationship between architecture and its natural setting.18 Although interested in the graveyard poets and Ossian, Jefferson was not a reader of Gothic novels. In his reading habits, Jefferson

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Gothic Monticello

was more like the fictional character Captain Tilney in Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey (written 1798–9; published 1818), a parody of Ann Radcliffe’s novel, The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794). In Northanger Abbey, the young, impressionable protagonist Catherine Morland becomes girlishly intrigued with Gothic novels. She reads Radcliffe’s Udolpho with glee, saying ‘I should like to spend my whole life in reading it.’ Her friend Isabella makes this dream a reality by giving Catherine a list of similar titles: Castle of Wolfenbach, Clermont, Mysterious Warning, Necromancer of the Black Forest, Midnight Bell, Orphan of the Rhine and Horrid Mysteries.19 But in Northanger Abbey, Catherine’s fascination with the Gothic leads to embarrassment. When Catherine begins to interpret ordinary events as dark deeds, the rational Captain Tilney chastises her in a most vehement manner, saying ‘Dear Miss Morland . . . Remember the country and the age in which we live.’20 Catherine had allowed the Gothic plots to transgress the boundary between the fictional and the real world; she had internalized the Gothic to a socially unacceptable point. Hence, those, like Jefferson, with a good deal of common sense, rejected the Gothic novel as frivolous and even dangerous. In general, Jefferson was not a reader of novels. The personal copy of the Gothic novel Wieland, or The Transformation; An American Tale (1798) that author Charles Brockden Brown presented to Jefferson did not end up among the books he sold to the Library of Congress, suggesting that he gave it away. Although a stranger to Jefferson, Brown sent the book, hoping it would be ‘capable of affording . . . pleasure’.21 In his book, Charles Brockden Brown’s Revolution and the Birth of American Gothic, Peter Kafer ponders the rationale behind Charles Brockden Brown’s curious decision to send Jefferson his Gothic story. After all, Jefferson was a committed neoclassicist in his home design and, as Kafer notes, it is a ‘safe bet’ that Jefferson never read ‘any of Wieland’s English precursors’. Indeed, the author of The Castle of Otranto, Horace Walpole, was the son of Jefferson’s political enemy, the prime minister Sir Robert Walpole, and the story itself, with its moral theme of ancestral sins percolating through generations, is, in Kafer’s words, ‘consummately anti-Jeffersonian’. Kafer dismissed Ann Radcliffe’s novels as too sentimental and full of ‘supernatural gimcracks’ for Jefferson’s rational worldview. Likewise, Matthew Lewis’s The Monk (1796) bordered

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American Gothic Art and Architecture

on the ‘pornographic’, an unseemly choice for Jefferson.22 Indeed, Jefferson’s retirement library contained no modern novels, although his daughter and granddaughters attempted to engage his interest. Although he purchased Sir Walter Scott’s poetry, the books also did not make it into his retirement library. It was Scott’s novels, often set in medieval castles in a romanticized ‘olden times’, which sparked the Gothic Revival of the 1830s and 1840s in the United States. But although many of Jefferson’s contemporaries were great readers of Scott, we cannot count him an aficionado of ‘The Great Unknown’ (Scott’s nickname before he made public his authorship of the Waverley novels). At one point, his daughter convinced him to read Scott’s Ivanhoe (1819), but halfway through it, Jefferson called it ‘the dullest and driest reading he had ever experienced’.23 Despite his lack of interest in Gothic novels and historical fiction, literature, especially graveyard and Ossianic poetry, inspired Jefferson’s garden schemes, just as it did eighteenth-century English gardens. As scholars have shown, these English landscape gardens often have a narrative component, with either literary or nationalistic content. As landscape historian John Dixon Hunt reminds us, the gardens at Stowe are ‘a fine example of an emblematic landscape that requires “reading”’.24 But architectural historian James S. Ackerman writes, ‘unlike the English garden enthusiasts . . . [Jefferson] had no overall plan within which his structures would create a poetic narrative sequence’.25 While it is true that Jefferson’s proposed fantasy landscape does not present a coherent narrative of politically motivated nationalism and imperialism such as one sees at Stowe, he did envision a landscape in which words and buildings unite in telling stories. Throughout his writings, he noted his intention of placing appropriate inscriptions on trees and monuments. For example, he intended to place a Latin inscription on the marble slab on which a ‘sleeping figure’ reclined; on a ‘metal plate fastened to a tree’, he planned to quote the Roman poet Horace. Throughout the garden, he wanted to insert ‘Inscriptions in various places on the bark of trees or metal plates, suited to the character or expression of the particular spot.’26 Had this plan been realized, Jefferson the garden designer would have directed the visitor’s experience of the landscape through language appropriate to each place. In the tradition of English landscape gardens, Jefferson’s garden would have formed a

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Gothic Monticello

Figure 3: Monticello garden pavilion.

narrative. There were more than twenty garden structures designed by Jefferson for the Monticello landscape, only one of which was constructed and has been recreated today in the vegetable garden adjacent to the house (figure 3). Jefferson used the Palladian structure for reading.27 Hence, rather than creating a narrative, as he did in his garden scheme, this building provided space for the consumption of literature. Jefferson next planned designs for his landscape in the late 1770s. For Montalto (‘High Mountain’), a 280-foot high mountain to the south-west of Monticello, Jefferson designed several observation towers. These structures would have had two functions: they would have been ‘eye catchers’ visible from different points in the plantation landscape, and visitors would have been able to climb the towers so as to take in the extensive view. At its higher elevation, Montalto was a perfect location for belvedere towers. The Duc de La RochefoucualtLiancourt, a visitor to Monticello in 1796, described the view of Montalto from the plantation house:

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American Gothic Art and Architecture in the back [west] part the prospect is soon interrupted by a mountain more elevated than that on which the house is seated. The bounds of the view on this point, at some small distance, form a pleasant resting-place, as the immensity of prospect it enjoys [to the east] is perhaps already too vast . . .28

An eighteenth-century literary example encapsulates the power inherent in height. Englishman William Beckford published Vathek, a wild tale of exoticism in 1786. The story is rich in supernatural and necromantic intrigue. The language and scenery of Vathek is exotic, as the novel is based on The Arabian Nights, which had been translated into English in the early eighteenth century. Vathek’s desire to build towers is a driving force in the narrative and, interestingly, Beckford, like his fictional protagonist, was obsessed with towers and built two in his lifetime, Fonthill Abbey (designed 1796–1812 by James Wyatt) and Landsdown Tower in Bath (a classical tower topped with a lantern modelled after the Choragic Monument of Lysicrates in Athens; designed 1825–7 by Henry Edmund Goodridge). In the novel, Vathek looks down from his tower where His pride arrived at its height, when having ascended for the first time, the fifteen hundred stairs of his tower, he cast his eyes below, and beheld men not larger than pismires; mountains, than shells; and cities, than bee-hives. The idea, which such an elevation inspired of his own grandeur, completely bewildered him: he was almost ready to adore himself: till, lifting his eye upward, he saw the stars as high above him as they appeared when he stood on the surface of the earth. He consoled himself, however, for this intruding and unwelcome perception of his littleness, with the thought of being great in the eyes of others; and flattered himself that the light of his mind would extend beyond the reach of his sight, and extort from the stars the decrees of his destiny.29

Clearly, the tower’s height contributed to Vathek’s sense of selfaggrandizement. His bird’s-eye view allows him to contemplate both the sublime vastness of the universe and his own perceived greatness in relation to the rest of humankind. Like Beckford and his protagonist Vathek, Jefferson enjoyed the sublime view from

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above at Monticello. In ‘Dialogue between My Head and My Heart’, Jefferson writes: And our own dear Monticello, where has nature spread so rich a mantle under the eye? mountains, forests, rocks, rivers. With what majesty do we there ride above the storms! How sublime to look down in to the workhouse of nature, to see her clouds, hail, snow, rain, thunder, all fabricated at our feet!30

And like Beckford, Jefferson was keen on towers. On Jefferson’s tour of English gardens in 1786, he visited such highlights as Chiswick, Hagley and Stowe. Visiting Stowe, Jefferson’s travelling partner John Adams noted, ‘I mounted Ld. Cobhams Pillar, 120 feet high, with pleasure, as his Lordships Name was familiar to me, from Popes Works’.31 Although Jefferson did not mention the climb, it is probable that he made the climb himself, and remembered his own plans for a prospect tower at Monticello.32 Montalto dominates the view from Monticello; indeed, a circular window in the dome room frames the view of ‘High Mountain’. The expansive view from Montalto takes in Jefferson’s entire ‘little mountain’ of Monticello and the surrounding area. Jefferson based one of the towers in the classical style in part on James Gibbs’s Plate 31 from Book of Architecture (1728). The most intriguing tower design is a crenellated tower, consisting of four increasingly smaller cubes placed one on top of the other to a height of 120 feet (figure 4).33 Inside, 148 stairs lead the climber to a small chamber from which the view would be enjoyed.34 This tower (c.1776–8) has puzzled architectural historians for years for two reasons. First, the crenellation suggests a fortified, medieval impulse, which would make this structure very ahead of its time for American Gothic Revival design.35 Indeed, the crenellated tower, while ‘uncharacteristic’ of Jefferson ‘seems to be one of the earliest evidences of interest in exotic, ornamental structures in this country’, as Frederick Nichols notes.36 Secondly, the tower features a stark geometric profile, which has led to some interesting theories. In the 1970s, Buford Pickens called Jefferson a ‘revolutionary’ architect in part because of Jefferson’s stacking of minimalist cubes in an abstract manner. Pickens celebrated Jefferson’s ‘escape from historicism, and especially

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Figure 4. Monticello: castellated tower.

from traditional Georgian trimmings, into the realm of abstract geometrical forms’.37 However, the medieval interpretation is the more persuasive analysis, just as Fiske Kimball concluded in his monumental book Thomas Jefferson, Architect, in 1916.38 Jefferson had already considered in 1771 a Gothic temple for his graveyard plan, a choice of style that was unusual in the American colonies at this time. Most

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Figure 5. Monticello: temple or portico.

architectural textbooks cite the very late eighteenth century as providing the earliest examples of built Gothic Revival structures. The key domestic example was Sedgeley, designed by Benjamin Henry Latrobe for William Crammond in Philadelphia in 1799 (plate I).39 Sedgeley’s pointed arch windows in its corner pavilions qualify the house as Gothic Revival, although the Gothic is really a superficial application compared to the later, more mature Gothic Revival. Visible in plate I is a small Gothic Revival temple ornamenting the Sedgeley landscape: positioned naturally in the vegetation, this little temple exploits the organic nature of the Gothic and anticipates even more elaborate Gothic garden designs later in the United States. The path leading from the house takes the stroller past the little temple, complete with pointed arches, Gothic pinnacles and battlements, in what is clearly a picturesque landscape plan leading to the river. Visible from the house, the Gothic temple echoes the pointed arches of Sedgeley itself and was designed either by Latrobe himself for Crammond or commissioned by the house’s subsequent owner, James C. Fisher. Significantly, Jefferson’s fascination with the Gothic pre-dates Sedgeley by about twenty-three years. Jefferson’s attraction to the Gothic continued after the turn of the century. Around 1804, still early for the American Gothic Revival, Jefferson considered a Gothic garden structure derived from the Gothic pavilion illustrated as plate 37 of Friedrich Meinert’s Die Schone Landbaukunst (1798).40 Jefferson’s interest in Meinert’s Gothic Revival structure persisted; in 1807, he sketched a plan for a ‘A

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Gothic temple, or rather portico’ of stone (figure 5), which would have been a combination of Meinert’s plate 37, the last plate in Robert Mitchell’s Plans, and Views in Perspective, with Description, of Buildings erected in England and Scotland (London 1801), and plate 10a from Wilhelm Gottlieb Becker’s Neue Garten und LandscaftsGebaude (Leipzig, 1798–9).41 In 1809, when Margaret Bayard Smith visited Monticello, Jefferson described to her his abiding desire to ‘place a small gothic building’ in the graveyard.42 Like Monticello, George Washington’s plantation house Mount Vernon near Alexandria, Virginia is staunchly neoclassical in style. Indeed, at first glance, Mount Vernon seems as antithetical to the Gothic spirit as does Monticello. In 1743, Washington’s half-brother Lawrence Washington built the original house, which Washington expanded first between 1757 and 1759, and again circa 1773. Restrained, dignified and stately, Mount Vernon is a paragon of Republican virtue, a fitting symbol of its designer and owner. The portico on the east facade with its graceful lawn, sloping down to the banks of the Potomac River, has become iconic. As Joseph Manca has shown in his book George Washington’s Eye: Landscape, Architecture, and Design at Mount Vernon, Washington’s greatest contributions at Mount Vernon were the influential portico and the landscape design, which relied on a combination of influences from eighteenth-century English landscape gardening, especially Capability Brown’s designs, with some innovative American adaptations. While not as well educated as some of his elite contemporaries such as Jefferson, Washington employed his talents as a surveyor in creating an important early American landscape garden.43 If the Gothic managed to seep into Jefferson’s imagination at Monticello, is there a parallel occurrence at Mount Vernon? In other words, is there a Gothic Mount Vernon as well? Manca points out that the walled gardens at Mount Vernon are shaped like Gothic arches; Washington bought a metal lamp with ogival shapes in 1761; and the bookcases in Washington’s study featured lancet arches.44 Of course, these are small touches in an overwhelmingly neoclassical setting. In the larger landscape at Mount Vernon, however, Washington released his Gothic imagination to a greater degree, employing what Manca terms the ‘morbid picturesque’ by incorporating views of the ruins of Belvoir (a nearby

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plantation house built by William Fairfax between 1736 and 1741 and destroyed by fire in 1783). Washington’s guests visited ‘the ruins of Belvoir’, as noted in Washington’s diary in 1787. There they would muse upon the passage of time, and Washington would remember with fondness his former neighbours and friends, who had left the house in 1773. The inclusion of ruins by either framing the view of existent ruins on or near one’s estate, or by actually building new ruins that had the appearance of age, was part of the picturesque theory of landscape gardening in the eighteenth century.45 The genteel pleasure of viewing ruins continued well into the nineteenth century, when American visitors flocked to Great Britain to visit the ruins of sites associated with Sir Walter Scott (a topic explored more in later chapters of this book). There is no indication that Washington was a reader of Gothic novels, although the poems of Ossian were included in his library.46 However, the Gothic found its way into Mount Vernon through Washington’s step-granddaughter, Eleanor Park Custis Lewis (1779– 1852). When describing the winter view from the windows at Mount Vernon, Custis writes: We have had some Winter weather, the Trees, grass, houses &c all covered with ice. The appearance is beautiful, & the river looks so wide & desolate – the Maryland shore so bleak & sublimely horrifying that I am quite delighted – & in better trim than ever to enjoy the beauties of Ossian Poems & the Mysteries of Udolpho. I am sadly afraid my poor pericranium will be rather the worse for my Country residence this Winter – what with the Blues in rainy weather – & the extacies [sic] from seeing all nature dressed in snow & ice.47

Here the Gothic intrudes upon the serenity of Mount Vernon through books. In words, Custis transforms the gentle sweep of the lawn into a frozen Gothic landscape. Custis describes the armchair pleasure of experiencing the Burkean sublime, even while safely ensconced in the familiar rooms of Mount Vernon. The winter scene calls to mind a passage in the Gothic novel Custis anticipates reading, Ann Radcliffe’s The Mysteries of Udolpho. In the novel, Radcliffe describes the Alpine scenery through which Emily St. Aubert and Valancourt travel in similar terms: ‘From Beaujeu the

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road had constantly ascended, conducting the travellers into the higher regions of the air, where immense glaciers exhibited their frozen horrors, and eternal snow whitened the summits of the mountains.’48 On another occasion, the influence of Custis’s Gothic novel reading becomes readily apparent. As a child, Custis happened upon the French sculptor Jean-Antoine Houdon in the process of making a life mask of Washington at Mount Vernon. Using language consonant with Radcliffe’s Gothic, she later remembered the scene. She encountered Washington as I supposed, dead, & laid out on a large table coverd [sic] with a sheet. I was passing the white servants hall & saw as I thought the corpse of one I considered my Father, I went in, & found the General extended on his back on a large table, a sheet over him, except his face, on which Houdon was engaged in putting on plaster to form the cast.49

Here Custis reminds us of the passage in which the heroine Emily discovers a veiled picture in the Castle of Udolpho. What Emily sees upon lifting the veil is so disturbing that she faints: a decaying, worm-ridden corpse that only at the end of the novel is explained as a wax figure that had been placed there to provide an object for contemplation during penance. Like Emily, Custis imagines the worst when she sees Washington lying under a white sheet. The moment of Radcliffian suspense for Custis is only momentary, as she quickly realizes the true circumstances of his situation. The landscape at Mount Vernon becomes gloomier after Washington’s death in 1799. At first Washington was buried in the so-called ‘Old Tomb’ on the estate. In the years following his death, this ‘Old Tomb’ attracted Washington’s admirers, including Thomas Pim Cope in 1802. Like Custis’s Gothic imaginings, Cope’s description of his visit to Washington’s tomb contains Gothic language: I approach this humble recepticle of the once illustrious chieftain, with reverential respect. it was an awful involuntary sentiment, inspired by the solemn recollection, that it contained the mouldering corpse of the greatest man on earth, a loathsome carcase, which, when animated with the etherial fire of Washington, was the love, the admiration, the dread of nations [sic].50

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Figure 6: ‘Mount Vernon’, Gleason’s Pictorial.

Washington had directed in his will that a new tomb replace the dilapidated old tomb. He chose the particular location on the Mount Vernon estate, writing, ‘I desire that a new one of Brick, and upon a larger Scale, may be built at the foot of what is commonly called the Vineyard Inclosure’.51 Built in 1830–1, the ‘New Tomb’ was constructed of red brick in the Gothic Revival style with a large central pointed arch. Located close to the house, the tomb was part of the circuit walk of the Mount Vernon estate.52 The tomb became a place of pilgrimage for those wishing to pay their visits to Washington, and there are many nineteenth-century descriptions and images of this Gothic object romantically nestled in its natural setting within Washington’s neoclassical estate. One example is a Gleason’s Pictorial article (1853), which called Mount Vernon ‘the constant resort of Americans’. The article noted that ‘large numbers of foreign travellers’ also visited Mount Vernon.53 The image accompanying the Gleason’s article (figure 6) was the source for a series of paintings by the American folk artist William Matthew Prior.54 While other versions of the painting are not especially Gothic in mood, the version now in the collection of the Mount Vernon

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Ladies’ Association presents a particularly melancholic image of Washington’s tomb (plate II). Entitled Mount Vernon and Washington’s Tomb By Day (c.1859), the painting shows a solitary traveller in silhouette, while the mansion gloomily crowns the knoll, and the summerhouse (built after Washington’s death) darkens the river’s edge. The landscape is made to look more sublime than beautiful, with a steep precipice looming above the Potomac. An eerie glow suffuses the scene. The brick tomb, with its prominent pointed arch, underscores the mournful aspect. In front of the tomb are two obelisks built in the nineteenth century in memory of Bushrod Washington and John Augustine Washington; these obelisks remind the viewer of ancient Egypt and its funereal culture. Indeed, Prior’s foreground scene is quite reminiscent of cemetery images circulating in the antebellum period. Rural cemeteries began appearing in the American landscape in the 1830s, starting with Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1831.55 Certainly, the death of Washington looms large in this depiction, as the tomb occupies the foreground, while Mount Vernon recedes into the distance. There is paradox in the ‘Gothicization’ of Mount Vernon in the decades after Washington’s death. Washington himself had incorporated the ruins of Belvoir into his landscape views at Mount Vernon and, ironically, his neoclassical house itself began to deteriorate very soon after his death. As early as 1800, visitor Abigail Adams noted that the estate ‘is now going to decay’.56 Figure 7 shows the house in its dilapidated state circa 1858. A visit to Mount Vernon in the mid-nineteenth century was surely a Romantic experience in which visitors could mourn Washington by visiting his Gothic Revival tomb and lament the sorry state of Mount Vernon itself. A similar experience awaited visitors to Monticello: in the nineteenth century, the house became dilapidated with a leaking roof, broken shutters and weeds growing in the gutters after years of neglect.57 While most of the Gothic elements at Mount Vernon were not the product of Washington’s literary imagination, Monticello and its landscape was to be a Gothic fantasy for Jefferson. Jefferson’s interest in the Gothic Revival and his comments and designs revise our understanding of both Jefferson the architect and the Gothic

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Figure 7: Early photograph of the east façade of the mansion at Mount Vernon seen from the southeast.

as a revival style in America. Despite Monticello’s overwhelming classicism, Jefferson’s flirtation with the Gothic is significant. Jefferson was not a reader of Gothic novels as he preferred morally instructive reading, but his youthful encounters with what might be called proto-Gothic texts by the graveyard poets and James McPherson’s Ossianic poetry transported him as a reader to a faraway past, rife with intrigue. Because of their association with the so-called barbaric ‘Dark Ages’, the Gothic structures dotting Jefferson’s imaginary landscape at Monticello undercut the harmony and perfection of Jefferson’s neoclassical plantation. But at the same time, the fusion of neoclassicism and Gothic Revival represents the epitome of romanticism. The duality of Jefferson’s architectural preferences, ranging as they did from stark neoclassicism to literary Gothic Revival, is not surprising. Biographers of Jefferson have shown that he possessed a distinctively paradoxical character: an eloquent apostle of freedom who bought and sold slaves, for instance, and a ruthless political operative who decried factionalism and the emergence of political parties.58 But in the realm of architecture, for a neoclassicist to dabble in Gothic Revival

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reveries was not unusual. Benjamin Henry Latrobe, Jefferson’s friend, was primarily a neoclassicist, but the first Gothic Revival house in the United States, Sedgeley, was his creation. As architectural historians Jeffrey A. Cohen and Charles E. Brownell have shown, Latrobe was capable of blending neoclassicism, the picturesque and the sublime.59 Later in the nineteenth century, Gothic Revival architects such as Alexander Jackson Davis were designing Greek Revival temples such as The Dutch Reformed Church in Newburgh, New York (1835–7). American architects in the Early Republic drew from many sources, and Jefferson’s dabbling in the Gothic Revival prefigures the rampant eclecticism to come later in the nineteenth century. This chapter has argued against the common perception of Jefferson as a strict rationalist. In his pioneering book on the American novel, Leslie Fiedler declared Jefferson’s generation ‘done with ghosts and shadows, committed to live a life of yea-saying in a sunlit, neo-classical world’.60 Through an examination of his reading habits and garden schemes, this chapter has countered this common notion of Jefferson as simply a figure of Enlightenment rationality. Indeed, Jefferson was the designer of Gothic Monticello.

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2 ‘Banditti Mania’: The Gothic Haunting of Washington Allston K While at Harvard College in the late 1790s, American painter Washington Allston (1779–1843) and his friends Edmund Trowbridge Dana and Arthur Maynard Walter would meet in Allston’s room to share their love for Gothic novels and Romantic poetry. Perhaps Allston would indulge in his delight in storytelling, while the three young men huddled around a blazing fire. Engaging in this communal Gothic experience was not confined to these young Romantics, as evidenced by the satirical print Tales of Wonder! (plate III) by British artist James Gillray of women reading Matthew Lewis’s works, of which Allston was also a reader (he imitated Lewis’s Tales of Wonder in his stories ‘The Cloud King’ and ‘The Two Painters’). Just such an event spurred Mary Shelley to write her Gothic masterpiece, Frankenstein, in 1816, after she, Lord Byron and Percy Shelley spent an evening by the fire reading German ghost stories to ward off the cold and rainy weather outside. Like Shelley, who had internalized the ghost stories to the point where she herself became a producer of such tales, Allston infused his artistic works, which include paintings, poetry and fiction, with the Gothic. Allston was a reader of Gothic novels, and Ann Radcliffe in particular. In 1833, ten years before his death, Allston admitted that in his youth he suffered from what he called ‘banditti mania’, an insatiable appetite for reading stories and painting pictures of his favourite subject, Italian banditti. Later in life, Allston would write:

American Gothic Art and Architecture

‘Up to this time [the end of college] my favorite subjects, with an occasional comic intermission, were banditti . . . I did not get rid of this banditti mania until I had been over a year in England’ (c.1802). These ‘clever ruffians’, as Allston called them, populated not only the canvases of one of Allston’s favourite artists, Salvator Rosa, but also the pages of Radcliffe’s novels. But Allston dismissed this early interest in Gothic subjects as a youthful indiscretion of sorts, citing a ‘fondness for subjects of violence . . . common with young artists’.1 Although Allston dismissed his early ‘banditti mania’, I argue that Allston’s infection with the Gothic does not end with his juvenilia. Allston was in fact haunted by the Gothic throughout his life’s work. Indeed, almost all of Allston’s paintings are saturated with the Gothic, not just his overtly Gothic works, but also his religious and pastoral paintings, such as Belshazzar’s Feast (1817–43) and the Flight of Florimell (1819). Allston shared a desire to inject Gothic themes into ostensibly nonGothic subjects with artists such as Henry Fuseli (1741–1825) and William Blake (1757–1857). As Martin Myrone’s Tate Britain catalogue Gothic Nightmares: Fuseli, Blake and the Romantic Imagination (2006) makes clear, Fuseli avoided themes explicitly derived from Gothic novels, as Gothic literature was not ‘seen as an appropriate subject for high art’. According to Myrone, Fuseli chose instead ‘shocking’ and ‘bizarre’ themes from established authors such as Shakespeare: ‘While such paintings played to the popular tastes of the day, they also claimed superior status as works of art.’2 As an American trying to establish himself as a major history painter on both sides of the Atlantic, Allston was keenly aware that his most ambitious works needed a more distinguished origin than the popular Gothic novels of the day. Despite Allston’s occasional embarrassment at his reading habits, he allowed the Gothic to seep into his artistic work. He painted images from Gothic novels, chose supernatural subjects for his paintings, and even wrote his own Gothic novel, Monaldi (1842). Allston considered his painting Spalatro’s Vision of the Bloody Hand (1831; figure 8), a scene taken directly from a Radcliffe novel, one of his best paintings. Rather than uphold Allston’s embarrassment at his predilection for the terrific and the macabre by marginalizing the importance of his Gothic reading, we can embrace his ‘banditti mania’ and fully comprehend his work within the context of an AngloAmerican Gothic literary culture.

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Figure 8: Engraving after Washington Allston’s Spalatro’s Vision of the Bloody Hand, 1831.

This chapter complements research by art historian Sarah Burns whose monograph, Painting the Dark Side: Art and the Gothic Imagination in Nineteenth-Century America (2004), is significant as it is the first book to deal exclusively with Gothic elements in nineteenth-century American art. Although both Burns and I investigate the same possibility of an artistic correlate to the Gothic literary tradition in America, Burns’s book is significantly different from this study. The lens through which Burns sees the Gothic tradition is that of slavery (she declares that ‘slavery is the keystone of my gothic arch’). For instance, she argues that as a member of a southern slave-holding family, ‘Allston built his art on blood money, wealth generated by slave labor’, and that paintings such as Belshazzar’s Feast show evidence of his guilty conscience. While our interests are clearly divergent, I agree with Burns that ‘Allston’s visionary paintings, despite appearances, are gothic to the core’.3 In contrast to Burns’s work, my analysis looks specifically at Allston’s reading habits, connecting his well-documented interest in Gothic novels with his artistic and literary output.

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Besides Burns, most Allston scholars have followed the artist’s lead on the subject, stating that his interest in the Gothic, or in ‘banditti mania’, ended at a young age. Most note that Allston’s interest in Gothic subjects waned after his first sojourn in England between 1800 and 1803. While Edgar Richardson notes Allston’s interest in the border between the known and the unknown throughout his career, he declares that by 1820, Allston ‘no longer intuitively understood’ the subject matters of his paintings Saul and the Witch of Endor and Spalatro’s Vision of the Bloody Hand, an assertion with which I disagree.4 In her dissertation on Allston’s early career, Diana Strazdes writes that Allston’s relocation to Paris in 1803 signalled the end of his interest in typically Gothic subjects, as the Gothic had no currency in post-revolutionary Paris. While Strazdes’s depiction of Parisian apathy toward Gothic novels may be accurate, she does not explore in depth the continued influence of Allston’s Gothic reading on his artistic output.5 While Allston’s love for this literary genre flourished during his years at Harvard College (1796–1800), his fascination with the Gothic traced back to his earliest memories as a child in South Carolina. Allston developed a taste for terror by listening to the supernatural stories told by the African slaves on his family’s plantation. Later in life, he wrote of his love for ‘the wild and the marvelous’, saying I delighted in being terrified by the tales of witches and hags, which the negroes used to tell me; and I well remember with how much pleasure I recalled these feelings on my return to Carolina; especially on revisiting a gigantic wild grape-vine in the woods, which had been the favorite swing for one of these witches.6

These stories sparked his life-long interest in the supernatural. How important were these early experiences? Allston would later write: ‘I seldom step into the ideal world but I find myself going back to the age of first impressions. The germs of our best thoughts are certainly often to be found there.’7 At the age of seven, his family sent him to a Newport, Rhode Island school, after which he went on to Harvard College. During Allston’s school days throughout the 1790s, the Gothic novel craze gripped American readers. In 1793, Gothic novels first

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appeared in the surviving book catalogues of libraries and booksellers and increased in popularity over the course of the decade. Gothic writer Ann Radcliffe dominated these catalogues with her novels The Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne (1789); A Sicilian Romance (1790); The Romance of the Forest (1791); The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794); and The Italian (1797). Three of these books had American editions by 1795 (A Sicilian Romance, The Romance of the Forest and The Mysteries of Udolpho).8 Allston began reading these novels at an early age. But he did not just read Gothic novels. He painted scenes from them as well, beginning in Newport with his first pen and ink composition, entitled The Storming of Count Roderick’s Castle, based on the novel Count Roderick’s Castle; or, Gothic Times, a Tale (anonymous), published in Philadelphia in 1794 by the Minerva Press. Although Allston called the story ‘poor’, he still found it to be ‘delightful’.9 Also, while in Newport, Allston probably read Carl Friedrich Grosse’s The Dagger. Published in 1795, the novel is among Allston’s books still preserved at the Longfellow National Historic Site in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Allston and his friend Edward Malbone shared their interest in the Gothic while at Newport; the book is inscribed ‘Washington Allston’ on the title page and ‘Edw. Malbone 1796’ on the first page.10 In college, perhaps it was Allston’s love of the Gothic that earned him the nickname of ‘Count’ by his friends Dana and Leonard Jarvis.11 According to Jarvis, Allston’s favourite books were German romances, and ‘he would sup on horrors until he would be almost afraid to go to bed until he had made sure that no goblin was under it or in the closet’.12 Allston’s Gothic habit was well documented by his friends and acquaintances from this period. Richard Henry Dana noted that, during his early days, Allston delighted in ‘Romances of love, knighthood, and heroic deeds, tales of banditti, and stories of supernatural beings.’13 Upon first entering Harvard, Allston lived with a member of the Harvard faculty, Dr Waterhouse, who noted Allston’s fascination with supernatural scenes, saying that they were like ‘looking into an intense fiery furnace’.14 During and soon after college, Allston painted a number of images expressing the themes and subject matter that filled his Gothic imagination. Allston made Radcliffe’s novel The Mysteries of Udolpho the subject of another of his college paintings. Allston would have

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Figure 9: Washington Allston, Romantic Landscape, c.1800.

been particularly interested in Radcliffe’s inclusion of banditti in her novels. In Udolpho, gloomy landscapes filled with turreted chateaux and rocky promontories abound, and within these mysterious landscapes banditti often lurk. Radcliffe has always been known for her emphasis on long descriptive passages that detail the particulars of her mountainous landscapes. Allston would have been intrigued by these landscape descriptions, in part because of his aspirations to be a painter, but also because of his desire to travel. Eventually Allston travelled through the Alps himself and sketched the landscape. As a young man, Allston’s favourite subject seemed to be banditti.15 He painted a number of images of horsemen lurking in mysterious landscapes. The earliest extant banditti painting is Landscape with Banditti from circa 1798, now at the Greenville County Museum in South Carolina. It features a group of bandits on horseback crossing a bridge situated within a wild, misty landscape. Around the same time, Allston made a wash drawing of Romantic Landscape (figure 9), again featuring an untamed landscape, this time complete with Gothic castle rising gloomily in the background over the figures on horseback. A couple of years later, Allston painted Robbers Fighting

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with Each Other for the Spoils of a Murdered Traveler (1801) and Rocky Coast with Banditti (1801–2), in which one imagines that the banditti are disembarking their boats in order to escape detection in their secret cavern on the uneven coastline. Allston’s interest in the subject of banditti derives from two sources: his knowledge of seventeenth-century Italian artist Salvator Rosa and his reading of Radcliffe. Allston’s Landscape with Banditti is based on a print of Rosa’s Landscape with a Bridge, while Rocky Coast with Banditti derives from Rosa’s Robbers.16 Inspired by reading Friedrich Schiller’s Don Carlos, in the fall semester of his senior year, Allston composed a paper ‘Procrastination is the Theif [sic] of Time’, a fictional account of an artist, Bernardo, who goes to Rome and falls under the influence of Raphael, Michelangelo, Correggio, Claude Lorrain and, most significantly, Salvator Rosa, the artist who most strikes a chord with the young adventurer. Bernardo feels that ‘the Soul of this master was in unison with his own; he felt a strange pleasure in brooding over his dark rocks and gloomy wilderness and shuddered at, yet could not but admire the noble ferocity of his banditti’.17 Allston himself perpetuated the myth that Rosa had lived among the banditti of Abruzzi as a youth in a letter to Charles Fraser in 1801.18 Allston had knowledge of Rosa, as his banditti images were well known through engravings and copies in the United States. While in Rome, Allston’s friend, the painter John Vanderlyn, lived in a house formerly occupied by Rosa; the building had been converted into an artists’ hostel. Allston lived across the street.19 The legacy of Rosa was no doubt palpable to the young Americans. But it was not solely through Rosa’s prints and paintings that Allston developed his taste for banditti. Just as influential as the prints that Allston saw as a youth was his reading of Radcliffe’s novels. Radcliffe never travelled further south than halfway down the Rhine River, yet her novels contain meticulous descriptions of Alpine scenery. Radcliffe’s knowledge of this landscape comes from Rosa; from him she also develops her interest in banditti.20 Ruminating upon a precipitous landscape in Udolpho, the heroine’s father, St. Aubert, imagines that it is just such a scene that ‘Salvator would have chosen . . . St. Aubert, impressed by the romantic character of the place, almost expected to see banditti start from

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behind some projecting rock’.21 In her novels, Radcliffe turned visual images into words with her elaborate landscape descriptions. The lawless banditti in Radcliffe’s landscapes mirrored the wild nature of the scenery. With their exotic garb and corrupt morals, these outlaws inspired fear in the travellers who encountered them in Radcliffe’s novels. Her books allowed Anglo-American armchair travellers to experience this fear without ever stepping foot in the alien Italian landscape themselves. For Allston, it was the ‘fierce, terrible, [and] unusual’ nature of banditti that drew his youthful attention.22 Soon after college, Allston travelled abroad for a number of years. Before leaving for Europe, however, he went back to South Carolina for his last visit to his home state. At the Charleston Library, he saw engravings from Boydell’s Shakespeare Gallery, including Hamlet and the Ghost (1796), by Henry Fuseli, an image that affected him greatly.23 Given Allston’s reading habits up to that point, it is no wonder that this particular image gripped his imaginative sensibility. Hamlet and the Ghost is a scene of Gothic terror in the guise of Elizabethan drama. Shakespeare’s plays, which reverberate with ghosts, witches, wicked deeds and supernatural events, appealed to Gothic writers, and Radcliffe in particular.24 The engraving of Fuseli’s work contains the kind of melodramatic gesture and expression for which Gothic novels are known. The same is true of another Fuseli painting admired by Allston, Sin Intervening Between Satan and Death (c.1793–6, from Milton’s Paradise Lost). According to Allston, Satan’s attitude is ‘beyond improvement sublime’, as only Fuseli could paint. Allston even wrote some poetic lines to express his excitement about the image.25 Among Fuseli’s prints and engravings, Hamlet and the Ghost was second in popularity after The Nightmare (1781).26 The image displays Fuseli’s interest in subjects of horror. Fuseli was a Swiss artist who relocated to England and became professor of painting and Keeper of the Royal Academy from 1791 until his death in 1825. Allston immediately called upon Fuseli when he arrived in England. Although Allston disliked Fuseli’s profanity and so avoided a professional relationship with him, Fuseli’s images of horror appealed to the younger artist.27 At the time, Allston thought Fuseli was ‘the greatest painter living’.28 In a letter to William Dunlap in 1833, Allston

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described the appeal of Fuseli’s art, stressing the importance of viewer participation in the visual experience. He wrote ‘All he asked of the spectator was but a particle of imagination, and his wildest freaks would then defy the reason. Only a true genius can do this.’ Back in Cambridgeport, Massachusetts in the 1830s, Allston would consult Pilkington’s A Dictionary of Painters, edited by Fuseli in 1805, at breakfast before going into his painting room.29 In 1811, Allston settled in London, where he sought advice and training from another eminent painter, Benjamin West (1738–1820), president of the Royal Academy and the most prominent Americanborn artist in the generation before Allston.30 Allston’s first impression of West was positive, asserting he would rank West first among London painters. West’s Death on a Pale Horse (1796) impressed Allston in particular: he called it the most ‘sublime and awful’ picture he had seen in its ‘fury, horror and despair’. 31 Allston’s reaction is just what West intended; a pamphlet distributed during the painting’s exhibition in the United States in 1830 declared that the picture’s ‘general effect’ was the ‘terrible sublime and its various modifications, until lost in the opposite extremes of pity and horror’.32 West’s painting is a powerful image from the Book of Revelation, replete with a swirl of contorted figures, both in pose and facial expression. The emotional extremism, tumultuous sky and fainting female victim in the foreground are hallmarks of the Gothic tradition. Indeed, the biblical supernaturalism of West’s painting is akin to that of M. G. Lewis’s The Monk, a tale of treachery, lust and incest that ends with the villain’s gruesome punishments at the hands of a vengeful Satan. It is not surprising that of all of West’s paintings, Allston would single out Death on a Pale Horse as especially worthy.33 Allston’s contacts in Europe were certainly not limited to the art world. In Italy in 1805, Allston befriended two major writers, fellow American Washington Irving (1783–1859) and the English Romantic poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772–1834). Allston and Irving met in the spring of 1805 in Rome, and they became close companions immediately. Allston taught Irving how to look at paintings; under Allston’s spell, Irving even contemplated painting as a profession.34 Irving, of course, became a successful writer who is best known for his Gothic tales, ‘Legend of Sleepy Hollow’ and ‘Rip Van Winkle’. Allston and Coleridge began a life-long friendship in Rome in 1806,

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where the two walked ‘under the pines of the Villa Borghese’, discussing matters of culture, including architecture (both preferred the Gothic).35 Their friendship continued when Allston lived in England from 1811–18; the two men were often together, as Coleridge was an almost daily visitor to Allston’s studio. During his residency in England, Allston’s fascination with Gothic subjects continued in 1815 with Donna Mencia in the Robber’s Cavern (plate IV), a literary subject from French novelist Alain-René Lesage’s The Adventures of Gil Blas (1715). This picaresque, episodic narrative follows the career of a Spanish rogue named Gil Blas. Although Gil Blas pre-dates the Gothic novel craze of the late eighteenth century, there is one scene in which a number of later conventions of Gothic novels converge. The young Gil Blas encounters two bandits who kidnap him and force him into service in their underground lair. This subterranean dwelling is described as labyrinthine with large iron lamps hanging from the earthen ceilings. Gil is forced to sleep in the ‘cemetery’ of the cavern, where dead robbers and his unlucky predecessor now eternally reside. Desperate to escape, Gil ingratiates himself with the highwaymen, and eventually they allow him to become one of their own. Their first capture is the beautiful Donna Mencia, who is briefly imprisoned in the cavern. This is the episode that Allston chose to illustrate. Given his predilection for banditti, this choice is understandable. In his review of the painting in the Allston exhibition of 1839, Oliver Wendell Holmes admired the painting’s rich colour and noted that Donna Mencia was ‘the realization by the artist, in the maturity of his powers, of some of the conceptions of banditti adventurers for which he has recorded his early fondness’.36 Besides the obvious Gothic elements – the banditti subject matter and the cavernous setting – Donna Mencia illustrates another major Gothic theme, sexual transgression. The figure of Donna Mencia occupies a slightly off-centre position, but the viewer’s gaze is drawn to her because, in contrast to the foregrounded bandit captain Rolando, she is spotlighted. Surrounding her is a group of lecherous soldiers, jeering at her. She is the object of almost every figure’s gaze. The text tells us that the robbers are intent on indulging their ‘lustful desires’, and that ‘death itself would probably not have protected her honor’.37 Captain Rolando stops his cohorts from raping their female victim, telling them that they should at least

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wait until she recovers from her kidnapping ordeal, during which the bandits murdered her husband and three other men. In Allston’s painting, Rolando’s stance is potent as he handles his rifle, while another robber wipes his sword in a suggestive manner. The atmosphere is sexually charged with the threat of gang rape. The marginalized Gil watches from a corner, seemingly powerless and even disinterested (his stance disguises his true feelings, since later he rescues Donna Mencia). Such a subterranean scene of sexual transgression was a common theme in Gothic novels, beginning with Matthew Lewis’s scandalous novel The Monk. The Monk is the tale of an outwardly pious, but secretly villainous clergyman, Ambrosio, who rapes and kills Antonia (later revealed to be his sister). This scene of incest and murder takes place underground in the monastic charnel house. In general, the plot of the novel Gil Blas is on the lighter side, tracing Gil’s adventures throughout the countryside. But Allston chose a particularly dark moment to depict in his painting, and then Gothicized the image even more by clearly infusing it with the threat of sexual transgression. Another literary source for Allston was Spenser. While still in college, Allston borrowed from the college library Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene (published in 1590 and 1596).38 This narrative poem, set in medieval times, would become a rich source for Allston’s Gothic imagination. Although the poem itself was written in the Elizabethan period, Allston’s reading of Gothic novels clearly influenced his interpretation of Spenser’s chivalric romance. As such, Radcliffe acts as a mediator between Spenser and Allston. He painted two images from The Faerie Queene: The Flight of Florimell (1819) and Una in a Wood (c.1831), as well as a number of sketches of Una. While the unfinished Una in a Wood is a pastoral, dreamy female portrait, The Flight of Florimell (plate V) is downright Gothic in its portrayal of the frightened female heroine pursued on horseback. In his painting, Allston remains faithful to Spenser’s text; the knights, from whose point of view the action unfolds, are situated in the middle ground, emerging from an inky background. The foreground is a lit tableau of Florimell in flight on her white steed forming a diagonal across the canvas. Despite the horse’s supposed motion, the image is static, a frozen moment in time. Her clothing, golden hair and the horse’s tail dance in the rush of wind. Her face is

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angelic. Here is the quintessential Gothic heroine, virtuous and uncomplaining, as she flees from the ‘evil’ located off-canvas to the right. In their article on American medievalism, Alice Kenney and Leslie Workman note the Gothic nature of this painting: ‘the delicacy of the terrified heroine, the power of her galloping horse, and the brooding mystery of the enchanted forest through which she flees from her evil pursuers evoke the fusion of pity and terror cherished by Mrs. Radcliffe’s devotees’.39 Indeed, this image epitomizes Allston’s fascination with the borderline between the known and the unknown, between the gloomy forest and the lit foreground. It is significant that Allston chose not to depict the evil that is pursuing Florimell: evil is not particularized because it is unknowable. The same is true in Radcliffe’s novels, in which terror is often the creation of the heroine’s imagination. In Radcliffe, evil is ambiguous and perhaps non-existent, and supernatural events are always explained at the end of the text. The exaggerated emotion of Florimell, the scale of figures in relationship to the landscape, the medieval setting, the uncertainty of resolution and the dream-like (or nightmarish) quality of the painting are all Gothic elements infused into Spenser’s epic poem. Allston painted two images from Radcliffe’s novels. While at Harvard, he painted Scene from Mrs. Radcliffe’s Mysteries of Udolpho, now lost. In 1831, he painted a scene from Radcliffe’s The Italian, entitled Spalatro’s Vision of the Bloody Hand (figure 8), which is now known only from the frontispiece engraving of A Handbook of Legendary and Mythological Art by Clara Erskine Clement Waters, as the original was lost in a fire. Hugh Swinton Ball from South Carolina (an art collector and cousin of Allston’s first wife) commissioned the painting but left the subject matter up to Allston. Allston had done some sketches of Schedoni, the evil antagonist of The Italian, and when Ball saw them, he agreed on Allston’s proposed subject.40 Allston considered Spalatro one of his best paintings.41 The painting depicts the moment when Schedoni and Spalatro are going to Ellena’s cell to murder her, and the bloody hand appears. The text reads: ‘Spalatro’s eyes were still moving in horror, “Do you see nothing?” said he pointing. Schedoni looked again, but did not distinguish any object in the remote gloom of the passage, whither

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Spalatro’s sight was now fixed.’42 Allston’s image shows the two men in a darkened passage, Schedoni holding high a luminous candle. Spalatro starts back, his face twisted in fright as he turns towards the viewer. Spalatro has seen the hand and hesitates, while Schedoni presses forward. What is most significant about the painting is not what we see in the image, but rather what Allston chose to elide, namely, the bloody hand itself. In the text, only Spalatro sees the hand, beckoning him on to the treacherous murder of Ellena. Conscience-stricken, Spalatro hangs back, while Schedoni, who apparently has no conscience, fails even to see the supernatural hand. Allston heightens the psychological aspect of the scene by interpreting the bloody hand as a sign of Spalatro’s conscience. In scenes of biblical supernaturalism, Allston did not hesitate to display otherworldly events, such as the appearance of the Witch of Endor. In Spalatro, the focus is on Spalatro’s reaction to a supernatural occurrence, rather than the event itself. One reason for Allston’s choice to leave out the bloody hand is that such a depiction would be outside the context of Radcliffe’s novel. Radcliffe always explains whatever supernatural events take place in her novels, so in Radcliffe’s world, the supernatural does not exist. Hence, in Allston’s painting, the supernatural likewise does not exist, but the conscience of an assassin does. Indeed, Allston’s interpretation of this particular scene in The Italian reinforces Radcliffe’s use of the supernatural in fiction. Burns provides an alternative reading of the painting, arguing that the bloody hand relates to tensions between the north and south in the United States in the decades leading up to the Civil War. She asks, ‘Did the bloody hand call to mind the murderous black slave or the brutal hand of the master’?43 Certainly, Allston’s choice of this particular scene from The Italian highlights his interest in the Gothic twin themes of transgression and guilt, which had a particular resonance in the racially volatile politics of the era. The lack of a bloody hand in Spalatro’s Vision of the Bloody Hand confused some viewers. In her review of the 1839 exhibition of Allston’s works at Chester Harding’s Gallery, Elizabeth Palmer Peabody (a Boston educator and author, and a friend of Allston’s) wrote that Spalatro is frightened by his own shadow. Clearly, Peabody was not familiar with the novel, which is a prerequisite to

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understanding the action of the painting (she also mistakenly calls Ellena ‘Emilia’).44 Spalatro was first exhibited in Boston under the title The Bloody Hand, rather a misnomer given the absence of this object in the painting. The words ‘The Bloody Hand’ did appear, however, at the exhibition ‘in a lantern like shaped thing of red light’.45 One viewer, a little girl, reacted to the painting as one does to a Gothic novel. She shut all the blinds in her room, saying ‘I want to shut out that light in the picture’.46 This anecdote about the power of Allston’s fictional painting to affect one’s reality is typical of the Gothic literary genre as well. Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto (1764) affected poet Thomas Gray and his friends so much that they were ‘afraid to go to bed o’nights’, just as Allston had been afraid of goblins in his closet after reading German Gothic romances in college.47 Gothic novels and paintings of Gothic subjects caused readers and viewers alike to experience a breakdown between fantasy and reality. Indeed, in order to paint the picture, Allston stepped into Radcliffe’s Gothic world. According to George Flagg, when painting Spalatro (as well as other subjects) Allston would step back and assume the identity of the characters he was painting.48 As anyone who has ever read a Gothic novel will testify, the reading experience is not merely an intellectual exercise. The Gothic is a literary genre that takes hold of the body, ‘its glands, muscles, epidermis, and circulatory system’, as literary critic Ellen Moers has suggested. Mary Shelley intended Frankenstein to ‘curdle the blood, and quicken the beatings of the heart’, and contemporary readers of Gothic novels delighted in feeling their flesh creep and their hair stand on end.49 In his letter to Charles Fraser in 1801, Allston related in poetic form similar feelings upon seeing Henry Fuseli’s Sin Intervening Between Death and Satan: Allston wrote, ‘Artist sublime, I own thy powerful spell, I feel thy fire, and hear the blasts of Hell; I see thy monster from the canvas stride; While chilly tremors o’er my senses glide.’50 This was high praise indeed from Allston, who no doubt endeavoured to create this kind of sensory reaction to his own paintings. He specialized in painting people’s reactions to horror and the supernatural, a concentration that he shared with his mentor Benjamin West. Art historians have noted Allston’s desire to translate emotions to the canvas. David Huntington refers to Allston’s fascination with

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pose and facial expression; according to Huntington, Allston’s greatest interest was to paint all possible reactions to supernatural events.51 Scholars have concluded that the treatises of Charles Le Brun, Johann Kaspar Lavater and Gérard de Lairesse influenced Allston. These treatises categorized human emotions and illustrated the facial expressions proper to each emotion.52 Allston was clearly influenced by these theorists, filtered through Sir Joshua Reynolds and William Hogarth, whom Allston studied. Allston accepted the notion that art is related to passion, a theory articulated by Edmund Burke and Richard Payne Knight. Allston also grappled intellectually with Edmund Burke’s treatise A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful (1757).53 Allston authored what is considered to be the first American art treatise, Lectures on Art, in which he deals at length with the concept of the sublime.54 Allston intended to deliver his lectures to the artists and writers of Boston; he never completed his project, although he did read some of his lectures aloud to his friends C. C. Felton and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. In his treatise, Allston departs from Burke’s analysis. Burke postulates that one’s experience of the sublime was an emotional one; in contrast, Allston states that although fear may be one’s first impression, the pleasure of the sublime comes only upon its safe contemplation after the encounter. According to Allston: We needed not to be told, that no pleasurable emotion is likely to occur while we are unmanned by fear . . . A terrified person is in any thing but a fit state for such emotion. He may indeed afterwards, when his fear is passed off, contemplate the circumstance that occasioned it with a different feeling . . . he feels the sublimity in a contemplative state: he can feel it in no other.55

Allston’s interest in the sublime helps explain his fascination with Gothic novels, which explore inherently unknowable topics, such as the supernatural and the possible presence of evil in the world. The idea of contemplating the sublime from a distance is exactly what made Gothic novels popular amongst Anglo-American readers. A novel reader could safely enjoy the sublime imaginatively without being in any kind of danger himself. Allston’s paintings provided a similar kind of sublime enjoyment for the viewer.56

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In her book, Strange Fits of Passion: Epistemologies of Emotion, Hume to Austen, Adela Pinch elaborates on the importance of feelings in late eighteenth and early nineteenth-century literary culture in Britain. She characterizes feelings as contagious entities that circulate among people, arguing that in the Romantic period, one’s feelings were not always one’s own. Indeed, Burke explains vicarious experience as the way in which ‘poetry, painting and the other affecting arts, transfuse their passions from one breast to another’.57 As Pinch points out, the quintessential genre for exploring emotional response is the Gothic.58 Radcliffe wrote her novels during the Age of Sensibility, when sympathy for the suffering of others was the ultimate sign of gentility. Allston wrote that the ‘power of infusing one’s own life as it were, into that which is feigned, appears to me the sole prerogative of genius’.59 Allston wanted to blur the boundaries between real and fictional, between self and other. To identify sympathetically with the characters in Gothic novels indicates that a reader has internalized their feelings. In his paintings, Allston was attempting to have the viewer experience the paintings in a fashion similar to his own experience in reading Gothic novels. He used physiognomical studies to develop a method of showing emotion through facial expressions. To view these paintings was akin to feeling the creeping of the blood that Gothic readers experienced. Nowhere are Allston’s intentions more explicit than in his verbal descriptions of two of his most important works, The Dead Man Restored to Life by Touching the Bones of the Prophet Elisha and Belshazzar’s Feast. Dead Man Restored . . . (1811–14) (plate VI) is the painting that established Allston’s reputation in both Great Britain and the United States. While the muscular figures and the composition of the piece are neoclassical, the image, and the facial expressions in particular, are suffused with Gothic horror. Allston’s own description of the painting reveals its Gothic impetus. In this description, Allston details the cavernous scene, in which the bones of Elisha are ‘peculiarized by a preternatural light’. The emotion of the foreground figures is one of ‘astonishment’ and ‘fear’; the physiognomy of the figure at the dead man’s head is full of ‘unqualified, immovable terror’.60 Meanwhile, unable to withstand the excitement of her husband’s reincarnation, the dead man’s wife faints in the background,

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a typical female reaction to supernatural events, according to the Gothic tradition. Allston’s most ambitious religious painting was the highly anticipated, but never completed, Belshazzar’s Feast, which depicts the moment when Daniel the prophet interprets the so-called ‘handwriting on the wall’ for the decadent Belshazzar, king of Babylon. About the painting’s topic, Allston wrote to his friend Washington Irving in 1817: I know not any [subject] that so happily unites the magnificent and the awful: a mighty sovereign surrounded by his whole court, intoxicated with his own state, in the midst of his revellings, palsied in a moment under the spell of a preternatural hand suddenly tracing his doom on the wall before him; his powerless limbs, like a wounded spider’s, shrunk up to his body, while his heart, compressed to a point, is only kept from vanishing by the terrific suspense that animates it during the interpretation of his mysterious sentence.61

As Joy Kasson has pointed out, Allston’s description of the scene echoes the Gothic novels that Allston enjoyed reading.62 Indeed, Allston’s description of his painting is reminiscent of the scene in The Mysteries of Udolpho when Montoni’s ownership of the castle of Udolpho is questioned, and he is consequently implicated in the death of its former owner, Signora Laurentini. A disembodied voice, much like the ‘handwriting on the wall’, comes from the walls of Udolpho challenging him to repeat the story of how he obtained possession of the castle. Montoni orders a search of the chamber, which uncovers nothing. At this, Montoni is ‘discomposed’, and ‘visibly and greatly disordered’.63 The point here is that even in his most overtly religious paintings, Allston injects the Gothic. The underlying reference to Radcliffe and the overt supernaturalism of Belshazzar’s Feast Gothicizes the painting. Sometimes Allston’s method falls short and verges on caricature. Huntington sees caricature in the faces of the soothsayers and the high priest in Belshazzar’s Feast. 64 Likewise, critics have censured Radcliffe and other Gothic writers for the superficiality of their characters. Artificiality, exaggeration, convention and stock characters are characteristics of Gothic novels and also appear in Allston’s

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paintings as well. In his desire to show extreme emotionalism, Allston was influenced not only by the proponents of artistic expressionism, Le Brun and Lavater, but also by Gothic writers. Allston desired to translate the emotions of the canvas to the viewer. In Allston’s work, as well as in Gothic fiction, sentimental identification is a crucial element linking the painting/story with the viewer/reader. Allston’s infection with the Gothic is most apparent in his own Gothic tale, Monaldi, written in 1821 for Richard Henry Dana’s publication The Idle Man, but not published until 1842, the year before Allston’s death. The plot involves two artists, Monaldi, a talented and idealistic painter, and his friend Maldura, who vainly desires public adulation as a poet. The main tension of the novel occurs when Monaldi succeeds as a painter, while Maldura fails as a poet. Maldura’s bitterness fuels his evil plot to bring about Monaldi’s downfall, especially after Monaldi marries Maldura’s love interest, the beautiful Rosalia Landi. Maldura’s duplicities spur Monaldi to attempt to murder his wife: she lives, but in typical Gothic fashion, Monaldi flees and fails to see the outcome. The belief that he has killed Rosalia makes Monaldi lose his senses. Allston’s ‘banditti mania’ is conspicuous in Monaldi. Like many Gothic novels, the story begins with a frame narrative involving a manuscript. The frame narrator is an American gentleman travelling in Italy. In the very first scene, his carriage overturns on a deserted by-way. It is not long before he suspects that his driver is a bandit intent on robbing him. This encounter with banditti sets the stage for the entrance of one of the main characters in the story, Count Fialto, an Italian outlaw Maldura meets when Fialto tries to rob him. Maldura exploits Fialto’s evil nature by hiring him to help plot Monaldi’s ruin. Besides the inclusion of banditti, Allston’s novel shares many similarities with Radcliffe’s works. In the scene in which the frame narrator sees Monaldi’s great painting of Satan, the narrator describes the painting as if it is an actual Burkean vision before him: I seemed to be standing before an abyss in space, boundless and black. In the midst of this permeable pitch stood a colossal mass of gold, in shape like an altar . . . no words can describe the gigantic Being that sat thereon . . . It was the appalling beauty of the King of Hell.65

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The image is then quickly revealed to be just a painting – albeit a terrifying one – but the reader is reminded in the interval of the recurring Radcliffian moment of apparent supernaturalism, rationally explained later in the text. Allston co-opts a number of other elements from the eighteenth-century Gothic, including: forbidden sexual transgression (the seduction of a nun, no less); the use of dissembling and doubling in a plot reliant on coincidence; tension between sense and sensibility, or rationalism and emotionalism; and the use of the sublime landscape. Readers and reviewers recognized Allston’s debt to Radcliffe. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote about Monaldi: There is a coarse kind of horror in it; adapted to the taste of the times, when it was written; the times when Monk Lewis and Mrs. Radcliffe danced the Carmagnole together in grave-yards, and the dead clapped their bony hands, and cried with dusty lips, ‘Encore!’66

Throughout Allston’s artistic and literary output, and especially evident in Monaldi, is the recurring Gothic theme of madness. The intricacies of the mind, like the twists and turns of the labyrinth in Donna Mencia in the Robber’s Cavern, are ultimately unknowable. In Gothic fiction, fear of madness is paramount. Perhaps the bestknown example is Charlotte Brontë’s madwoman in the attic, Bertha Mason, who destroys Thornfield Hall and maims Mr Rochester in the process; in Brontë’s Jane Eyre (1847), the legacy of the Gothic literary tradition persists in this frightful character whose actions are violent and utterly unpredictable. But before Jane Eyre, earlier Gothic writers such as Charles Maturin explored the theme of madness.67 Evidence of Allston’s interest in madness appears early in his career. In college he illustrated Robert Southey’s lines from Joan of Arc (1796) – ‘Cruelty came next grasping with savage smile a widowed dove’ – by painting a madman crushing a dove. The year Allston graduated from college he painted Tragic Figure in Chains (figure 10), a dramatic depiction of the ravages of insanity on the human frame.68 The half-naked body, demented look and unkempt hair articulate in visual terms the figure’s disordered state of mind. Here uncontainable Gothic interiority exhibits itself on the body of the maniac. This Allston painting prefigures his fictional character

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Figure 10: Washington Allston, Tragic Figure in Chains, 1800.

of Monaldi, who in fact goes insane after being deceived by Maldura and Fialto into stabbing his innocent wife Rosalia. When the frame narrator first comes upon the mad Monaldi, he declares: ‘Such eyes! I shall never forget them; they were neither fierce nor fiery, but

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white and shining, like the eyes of a dead man’, a description that coincides with Allston’s visual depiction of Tragic Figure in Chains.69 Since the story of the Romantic artist Monaldi is in many ways autobiographical, it seems appropriate to view Tragic Figure in Chains and the mad Monaldi as Allston’s alter ego, the demonic side to the otherwise sane artist. Indeed, at points in his life, Allston seemed to teeter on the brink of mental instability. The death of his first wife in 1815 was a great blow to Allston. That year he painted only one picture, Donna Mencia in the Robber’s Cavern, and he did so while constantly in tears.70 William Dunlap reported that at that time Allston suffered a ‘temporary derangement’.71 Although his friend Charles Leslie denied Dunlap’s assertion, stating that Allston had ‘mastery of his mind’, Leslie also wrote in his autobiography that after his wife’s death Allston ‘suffered extreme depression of the spirits . . . he was haunted during sleepless nights, by horrid thoughts . . . diabolical imprecations forced themselves into his mind’.72 Where did Allston’s ‘diabolical imprecations’ originate? Burns provides a compelling case for examining Allston’s biography for answers. She sees Allston’s desire to enshroud his painting Belshazzar’s Feast from the prying eyes of his friends and the public as a ‘metaphor for the veil Allston habitually cast over his southern origins and his identity as a member of the master class’.73 Perhaps it was his own guilt that haunted Allston; his love of Gothic fiction may have provided an outlet for the ‘diabolical imprecations’ pursuing him. Allston was not alone in the Anglo-American literary world in his fascination with madness. Allston and his friends, and Coleridge in particular, were fascinated with madness. What interested them was the sublime, unknowable quality of madness. In mid-eighteenthcentury thought, madness and sublime transcendence were related in that both involve a loss of self-control. As Max Byrd writes in Visits to Bedlam: Madness and Literature in the Eighteenth Century, ‘Sublimity bursts bonds, overruns boundaries, shatters restraints, cannot be contained.’74 Allston’s poem ‘The Mad Lover at the Grave of his Mistress’ describes how a young man’s grief over his dead sweetheart spills over into madness. In the poem, Allston personifies death as a ‘fiend’ eager to steal the man’s sanity: ‘Avaunt, thou Fiend! Nor tempt my brain / With thoughts of madness brought from hell!’ Indeed, Allston believed that a ‘man in despair’ may be

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a ‘sublime object’. But he noted, significantly, ‘not to himself ’.75 Perhaps what drew Allston’s intellectual interest towards the puzzle of the mind’s disintegration into madness was the realization that he saw the sublime darkness of derangement in his own temperament. Allston’s ‘banditti mania’ continued long after its supposed dissipation around 1802. Not only did Allston write Gothic fictions of his own and paint Gothic subjects, but his reading continued as well. Throughout his life, he read Gothic novels. As late as 1829, Allston read William Mudford’s The Five Nights of St. Albans.76 After Allston’s death in 1843, an anonymous article appeared in The United States Magazine and Democratic Review (possibly authored by the painter John Greenough). In the article, the author notes Allston’s fictional reading habits, citing ‘stories having something of the terrible in them’ as among Allston’s favourites. The author says he remembers Allston praising Mudford’s book, despite its ‘diablerie’.77 Indeed, as I have argued, Allston never really surrendered his ‘banditti mania’. In Murder Most Foul (1998), Karen Halttunen argues that the Gothic as a literary genre often seeps into non-literary forms such as nineteenth-century American murder narratives.78 Mark Edmundson argues in his book, Nightmare on Main Street (1997), that in late twentieth-century American culture, Gothic conventions have ‘slipped over into ostensibly nonfictional realms’.79 My analysis of Allston’s work strengthens the critical view that the Gothic as a literary genre explodes boundaries, that it cannot be contained within circumscribed spaces. Allston’s love of the Gothic was not confined to his reading habits. He internalized his Gothic readings to the point where he himself became a producer of Gothic art and fiction. His artistic and literary works break down the boundaries between fiction and reality. In 1826, he likened his fear of failure to ‘the gigantic hand in the “Castle of Otranto” as if stretched forth from my picture, and about to crush me through the floor’.80 Allston’s casual reference to Walpole’s quintessential Gothic novel suggests the extent to which his novel reading habits influenced his artistic imagination, despite his proclaimed embarrassment at his ‘banditti mania’.

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3 ‘Arranging the Trap Doors’: The Gothic Revival Castles of Alexander Jackson Davis K When a client commissioned American architect Alexander Jackson Davis (1803–92) to design a house, the first thing Davis wanted to know was the client’s reading habits. Davis wrote to one client, It is impossible to tell what expression to give the exterior that will answer your own beau ideal unless I am better acquainted with your temper! That is, whether you read Shakespeare more than Thomson; Moore more than Collins; or Homer at all; either in the Iliad or Odyssey [sic]; or whether you read the great book of Nature.1

Although Davis does not mention Radcliffe or Walpole here (he concentrates on the more heady poetry and drama of Shakespeare and other literary luminaries), he very well could have. Because on Davis’s bookshelf, along with Boydell’s Shakespeare library, were a number of Gothic novels that he read on a regular basis. Gothic novels and historical romances, such as those written by Sir Walter Scott, can be categorized as pleasure reading. Is it possible that mere pleasure reading could have influenced the architects and clients of American architecture? Indeed, ‘works of the imagination’ (as Davis labelled them in his book catalogues), profoundly affected American architecture in the heyday of Gothic Revival design (the 1830s and 1840s). In this period, Scott’s novels were particularly widely read and admired. The architectural allure of Gothic novels and historical

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romances fascinated Davis. As a young man, Davis was known to ‘pass hours in puzzling over the plan of some ancient castle of romance, arranging the trap doors, subterraneous passages, and drawbridges, as pictorial embellishment was the least of his care, invention all his aim’.2 Here Davis is likely referring to either Walpole’s Castle of Otranto or Radcliffe’s The Mysteries of Udolpho, two of the most popular and influential of the Gothic novels. Davis’s book catalogues show that he owned both books. That American architects and clients read Gothic literature and historical romances is significant. When Davis first became a practising architect, neoclassicism, and the Greek Revival in particular, held sway. But Davis and his clients, their imaginations full of Gothic stories, transformed American domestic architecture, creating neo-medieval fantasies in stone unlike anything that had come before. Davis was not the first American architect influenced by Gothic literature. As we have seen, Jefferson enjoyed Romantic literature, and Jefferson’s friend Benjamin Henry Latrobe (1764–1820) was a reader of Radcliffe’s works. Although born in Great Britain and educated in Europe, Latrobe immigrated to the United States at the age of thirty-one, arriving in March 1796. About three months after relocating to Virginia, Latrobe wrote in his journal that he found Radcliffe’s descriptions of buildings so ‘successful’ that he ‘once endeavored to plan the Castle of Udolpho from [Radcliffe’s] account of it and found it impossible’.3 Latrobe’s interest in Gothic literature influenced his artistic endeavours. He grew up near Leeds, Yorkshire, where the medieval Kirkstall Abbey stood in ruins. At the age of twelve, he made a drawing of the abbey, which had captured his youthful imagination. As an adult, he made another drawing of the abbey and included it in his ‘An Essay on Landscape’ (1798–9). Latrobe’s atmospheric drawing depicts the abbey in all its mouldering glory.4 In the realm of architecture, Latrobe began experimenting with Gothic architectural forms for residential design in the United States in 1799. Latrobe’s Gothic work includes Sedgeley (discussed in chapter one; built for William Crammond near Philadelphia in 1799 and considered the first Gothic Revival house in the United States); the Baltimore Cathedral design (unexecuted; 1805); Christ Church in Washington DC (1806–7), the Bank of Philadelphia (1807–8)

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and St. Paul’s in Alexandria, Virginia (1817). But, overall, Latrobe’s Gothic output pales in comparison to his rational neoclassical efforts such as the Bank of Pennsylvania (1799–1801). Although Latrobe’s landscape paintings display an intense interest in the picturesque and his interiors (such as the south wing of the U.S. Capitol, 1804–6; altered c.1818–27) betray these leanings, in general, his Gothic Revival buildings are not full-blown picturesque.5 Indeed, his Gothic Revival buildings are symmetrical designs with superficial Gothic detailing. For example, Sedgeley (plate I) is a geometric form that is Gothicized by the placement of pointed arch windows in the pavilions that protrude from the four corners of the house.6 Despite this Gothic touch, there is no mystery or surprise in store for the observer of Latrobe’s Gothic creations. Although he clearly read Radcliffe’s books, and was quite possibly influenced by them, he did not translate the mysterious architectural spaces of her stories into his own architecture. Other American architects also dabbled in Gothic Revival design before the 1830s. Some notable examples include Maxmilian Godefroy’s St Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore (1806); Charles Bulfinch’s Federal Street Church in Boston (1809); and the unexecuted design for Columbia College (1813) by James Renwick, engineer and father of the architect James Renwick, Jr. Daniel Wadsworth, who designed for himself a Gothic Revival villa called Montevideo (c.1818) near Hartford, Connecticut, explained that to him, the Gothic style was not inherently foreboding as are the castles and convents of Gothic novels: ‘there is nothing in the mere forms or embellishments of the pointed style . . . in the least adapted to convey to the mind the impression of Gothic Gloom’.7 His house bears out this belief: Gothic details appear as an afterthought, a decorative motif rather than a programmatic agenda.8 It was not until the 1830s and 1840s that American Gothic Revival architecture came of age. The most prominent designer of Gothic residences in this period was Davis. Davis was born in New York City in 1803 but during his boyhood he lived in New Jersey and New York state. When he was sixteen years old, he moved to Alexandria, Virginia to learn a trade with his older brother Samuel. Davis worked as a type compositor in the newspaper office. Besides work, his four years at Alexandria were filled with two of his favourite activities: reading and acting. An amateur actor who

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performed in several plays while in Virginia, Davis was a voracious reader as well. His two pocket diaries from this period, preserved at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, are filled with youthful exuberance. Elaborately illustrated (Davis was an aspiring artist as well), these diaries reveal an acute interest in Gothic fiction and dark drama. Often, Davis would begin an entry with an illustration from a text, which would then be excerpted in his own handwriting. Among the stories that he read and illustrated were Charles Maturin’s Bertram and Heinrich Zschokke’s Abaellino.9 Charles Maturin was an Irish Gothic novelist and dramatist who corresponded with an encouraging Sir Walter Scott. After reading Maturin’s drama Bertram, Scott wrote that the character of Bertram had a ‘Satanic dignity which is often truly sublime’.10 Starring Edmund Kean, Bertram opened on 9 May 1816 at the Drury Lane Theatre in London, with the support of Lord Byron who was impressed with the play.11 Bertram and Maturin’s Gothic novel Melmoth the Wanderer were young Davis’s favourites.12 In one of his pocket diaries, Davis made an illustration of the play’s opening scene, showing a ship tossed on a stormy sea in sight of a Gothic convent. On the shore are monks kneeling in prayer for the safety of the ship, which is captained by Bertram, the hero-villain of the play. Bertram was a ruined nobleman who became a leader of bandits. He manages to survive the storm and takes shelter at the convent, which coincidentally turns out to be next to his former castle, now inhabited by Lord Aldobrand. Bertram’s sworn enemy, Aldobrand has since married Bertram’s former sweetheart, Imogene. Bertram and Imogene reunite and consummate their love. Fuelled by revenge, Bertram then murders Aldobrand. Imogene descends into madness and dies, while Bertram commits suicide at the end of the play. The setting of the play is quintessentially Gothic from the ‘rock-based turrets’ of the convent to the moonlit ‘terrassed rampart’ of the castle of Aldobrand.13 Davis copied an excerpt from the play into his diary, and the budding actor included Bertram in his list of recitations. Heinrich Zschokke’s Abaellino (1795) is a German drama that was translated and adapted to the American stage by William Dunlap and opened in New York on 11 February 1801. A popular play, it was performed in New York for the next twenty-five years, and was

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Figure 11: Alexander Jackson Davis, diary.

also produced in Philadelphia, Boston, Albany, Charleston and other American cities as well. Abaellino is the story of a bandit in Venice who strikes fear into the citizens of the city. Intrepid and boastful, Abaellino claims to assassinate those close to the Doge while he befriends members of a conspiracy to overthrow the state. At the end of the play, Abaellino reveals that he has played a double role, disguising himself as the nobleman Flodoardo to win the favour of the Doge and his daughter Rosamonda. It turns out that Abaellino has not committed the wicked deeds of which he had boasted. Like Bertram, Abaellino is a fascinating Gothic hero-villain. Davis chooses Act I, Scene I to illustrate in his journal (figure 11). In Davis’s drawing, Abaellino sits sullenly in a ‘mean apartment’, as it is described in the play. On the table are ‘a Bottle and Glasses, Chairs’.14 Such is the extent of the stage directions. Davis greatly elaborates this meagre description by adding what appear to be instruments of torture and weapons hanging on the wall. Alongside these medievallooking implements are a shelf and more bottles, which hint at the wanton excess of the bandit lifestyle (do they contain poison?

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Alcohol?). The figure of Abaellino is seated off-centre, a compositional choice that emphasizes the room rather than the figure. A Gothic representation, Davis’s visualization of the bandit’s chamber suggests the potential cruelty and perversity of the bandits. While a youth in Alexandria, Davis engaged in amateur theatricals and became interested in stage design. He dreamed of becoming a professional actor. Davis and his brother Samuel took part in the Philo-Dramatic Society, a group that performed plays in Alexandria. In his diary, he kept a list of his performances, which included Shakespearean tragedies Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, King Lear and contemporary pieces Douglas, Lovers’ Vows, Abaellino and Venice Preserved. In the same diary in which Bertram and Abaellino appear, he also illustrates ‘Bed Scene in Othello’. Davis’s illustration filters the Shakespearean scene through contemporary Gothic, emphasizing the mysterious flicker of the nightstand candle and the inky blackness of unknowable architectural spaces. Again, it is possible that Davis’s representation of Othello derives from contemporary performances of the play that he witnessed. In the spring of 1823, on his way to New York City, Davis stopped in Baltimore where he made an attempt at professional acting by auditioning with a group of players from North Carolina. He was not selected, so he moved on to Wilmington, Delaware where he performed ‘Rhetorical Entertainments’ to support himself. Again in Philadelphia and New Brunswick, New Jersey, he attempted acting, to no avail. These youthful experiences were just the beginning of Davis’s life-long interest in the theatre. Throughout his life, he advised builders on acoustics and sight lines in theatre design.15 At the age of twenty, Davis moved to New York. During this time, Davis’s fascination with the theatre continued. In the evenings, he frequented the theatre and was on the free list at both the Park Theatre and the Castle Garden Theatre in 1826 and 1828.16 He also expressed his love of drama in his artistic work during this period. In 1825, he completed a study for a proscenium featuring Egyptian columns and Greek bas-relief sculpture and numerous portraits of actors in character, including ‘Brutus in the Rostrum’ and ‘Mr. Kemble as Roma’.17 That early in his life Davis was fascinated with the theatre is significant to his later Gothic Revival architectural creations. The

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dramatic images he drew for his youthful diaries display his acute interest in stage design and scenography. Indeed, Gothic Revival architecture is inherently theatrical, a quality often commented upon by architectural critics. For instance, architectural historian William Pierson declares that Strawberry Hill ‘is a stage set. It was meant to create a special kind of environment, to accommodate the taste and vision of the owner.’18 Davis often used trompe l’œil materials to create theatrical effects, substituting plaster for stone. Davis’s houses, then, became stage sets, in which the owners’ medieval fantasies, inspired by Gothic romances, could take flight. While still in Alexandria, Davis’s sensible older brother bristled at what he perceived to be the younger Davis’s useless pastime of reading Gothic books. Later in life, Davis wrote to William Dunlap about himself in the third person for Dunlap’s History of the Rise and Progress of the Arts of Design in the United States: Like another Franklin, strongly addicted to reading, he limited himself to the accomplishment of a fixed task, and being a quick compositor, he would soon complete it, and fly to his books, but not like Franklin, to books of science and useful learning, but to works of imagination, poetry, and the drama; whence, however, he imbibed a portion of that high imaginative spirit so necessary to constitute an artist destined to practise in the field of invention.19

Davis’s brother condemned such reading and turned Davis’s attention to ‘history, biography and antiquities, to language and the first principles of the mathematics’.20 His brother’s concern was perhaps warranted: one British critic lambasted Maturin’s Bertram for its ‘rotten principles and a bastard sort of sentiment’, while another felt that the play excited ‘undue compassion for worthless characters, or unjust admiration of fierce and unchristian qualities’.21 His brother’s admonitions taught the young Davis that reading Gothic novels was a frivolous activity. From the evidence of his diaries, it appears that Davis took little heed of his brother’s warnings. In fact, he became a life-long reader of Gothic novels and plays. One of Davis’s early architectural drawings from the age of fifteen (1818) survives at the Avery Library at Columbia University (figure 12). The image depicts a partly ruinous labyrinthine space with a

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Figure 12: A. J. Davis, ‘A Prison Scene’, 1818.

multitude of pointed arches leading to mysterious staircases. Light filters in through barred windows. The architectural space of this dungeon is inherently unknowable. This drawing shows his early interest in the Gothic underworld, which is described in detail in The Castle of Otranto. The castle of Otranto contains intricate subterraneous passages that lead from the castle to the church of St Nicholas, and through which the virtuous Isabella is chased by the lustful Manfred. That the future Gothic Revival architect delighted in Gothic romances comes as little surprise, since architectural space is a preeminent concern of writers such as Walpole and Radcliffe. Indeed, in Udolpho, the castle plays such an important role that it almost transforms into a freethinking character in the text. When the heroine Emily first views Udolpho, the castle ‘seemed to stand the sovereign of the scene, and to frown defiance on all, who dared to invade its solitary reign’. The mood evoked by the mysterious medieval setting is crucial to the genre. Emily looks at the castle with ‘melancholy awe’ and almost expects to see ‘banditti start up from under the trees’. Illuminated by the setting sun, ‘the gothic greatness of its features, and its mouldering walls of dark grey stone,

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rendered it a gloomy and sublime object’.22 Such descriptions no doubt piqued Davis’s architectural curiosity. As an adult, Davis remained faithful to his early love of Gothic novels. To Radcliffe’s Romance of the Forest (1791), he gave the highest praise. His daybook indicates that he spent 22 April 1848 re-reading Radcliffe’s novel. Around the same time he also re-read Oliver Goldsmith’s The Vicar of Wakefield (1766), an early British novel pre-dating the Gothic craze. In his daybook, in the margin next to these entries, he scribbled ‘considering forgetfulness of these works a fault’.23 It is likely that Davis was reading his edition of John Ballantyne’s Novelist’s Library, published by Sir Walter Scott with introductory prefaces on the authors. Both The Romance of the Forest (volume 10) and The Vicar of Wakefield (volume 5) were in this collection. Indeed, by owning this collection, Davis had in his library all of Radcliffe’s books, as well as Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto, which he carefully notes in his book catalogue. And he made a point to remember these early influences even in the course of his busy architectural practice in 1848, when he was at the height of his popularity as a designer of Gothic villas for wealthy clients. The popularity of Radcliffe, ‘the Queen of Ghost Stories and Subterranean Horror’ (as one of Sir Walter Scott’s contemporaries called her), along with her ‘numerous train of imitators’, gave way in the early nineteenth century to Scott’s brand of historical romance.24 Trained as a lawyer, Scott began writing antiquarian histories and preparing Scottish border ballads in his spare time. Then in 1805, he published his first narrative poem The Lay of the Last Minstrel, and its success allowed Scott to become a professional writer. Three years later he published Marmion (1808), which sold 25,000 copies within ten years, and The Lady of the Lake (1810).25 When Lord Byron’s popularity began to eclipse that of Scott, he turned to novel writing. Waverley (1814) was the first in a long succession of historical novels that enchanted his readers in both Great Britain and the United States. Among his more than twenty novels are Guy Mannering (1815), Rob Roy (1818), The Heart of Midlothian (1818), The Bride of Lammermoor (1819), Ivanhoe (1819) and Redgauntlet (1824). Scott was the first major historical novelist; his popularity outlived him and continued long after his death in 1832.

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Scott’s books were republished in the United States as soon as they appeared in England. Boston publisher Samuel Goodrich gives us a sense for Scott’s renown on the American side of the Atlantic: The appearance of a new novel from his pen caused a greater sensation in the United States than did some of the battles of Napoleon, which decided the fate of thrones and empires. Everybody read these works; everybody – the refined and the simple – shared in the delightful trances which seemed to transport them to remote ages and distant climes, and made them live and breathe in the presence of the stern Covenanters of Scotland, the gallant bowmen of Sherwood Forest, or even the Crusaders in Palestine.26

Goodrich reported that one of his younger sisters memorized the long poem The Lady of the Lake and ‘was accustomed of an evening to sit at her sewing, while she recited it to an admiring circle of listeners’.27 Goodrich’s sister was not the only American reading Scott by the fireside. Davis also recorded such pleasant pastimes in his journals. On a visit with friends in October 1841, Davis recorded that he and his hosts, Mr and Mrs James, ‘passed the evening in agreeable conversation, and reading Scott and Shakespeare’ before retiring to bed at 11 p.m.28 On 15 October 1848, he was engrossed in Waverley.29 Indeed, Davis’s book catalogue shows that he owned all of the Waverley novels, and his daybook indicates that he read them often. Scott cannot be considered a Gothic novelist in the same way that his predecessors Walpole and Radcliffe are. Scott’s genre is historical romance, but the influence of the Gothic is omnipresent in his work. From his earliest days and throughout his life, Scott read tales of terror. In 1808 in his ‘Ashestiel Autobiography’, he wrote of a youthful taste – not unlike Allston’s – for ‘the wonderful and terrible, – the common taste of children, but in which I have remained a child even unto this day’.30 He contributed to Matthew Lewis’s Tales of Wonder (1801); wrote reviews of Gothic novels, including Maturin’s Fatal Revenge in 1810 and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein in 1818; and composed studies of individual Gothic authors Walpole, Radcliffe and Clara Reeve for Ballantyne’s Novelist’s

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Library (1821–4).31 Scott’s entry on Walpole shows that he was especially fond of the early Gothic writer, whose The Castle of Otranto he called ‘the first modern attempt’ to write fiction based on ‘the ancient romances of chivalry’.32 Scott preferred Walpole to Radcliffe, because of Radcliffe’s use of the explained supernatural. Scott justifies the use of unexplained supernatural events as naturally harmonizing with medieval settings. Scott applauds Walpole for his precise style, unabashed use of the supernatural, well-drawn characters and unity of action.33 The influence of the Gothic on Scott is perhaps most obvious in his third poem Marmion: A Tale of Flodden Field (1808) and in his novel The Bride of Lammermoor (1819). Marmion contains ‘the most notorious of all [Scott’s] scenes of Gothic horror’, the episode in which the nun Constance de Beverley is punished for breaking her vows by being buried alive in a secret underground tomb at Lindisfarne.34 In addition to this Gothic scene of horror, Marmion is suffused with other Gothic conventions, including the appearance of spectres, Gothic architectural spaces, omens, superstitions and magic. The setting is the battle of Flodden Field, between the Scottish and English on 9 September 1513. The hero-villain is Marmion, a wilful Englishman and messenger from King Henry VIII of England to James IV of Scotland. Marmion’s evil deeds are revealed slowly throughout the story: he had stolen Constance, a nun, away from her convent, yet still attempted to marry the rich heiress Clara de Clare who is in love with Ralph De Wilton. Marmion forges some letters implicating De Wilton in treason and seemingly kills De Wilton in a duel. Unbeknownst to Marmion, De Wilton survives and disguises himself as a palmer and accompanies Marmion to Scotland, where the battlefield climax leaves Marmion dead and De Wilton free to marry Clare. Not all reviewers appreciated Scott’s use of the Gothic. Coleridge was critical of Scott’s poems in general, saying that to form an opinion of Scott’s poetry, one would have to ‘take away all his names of old castles . . . all the old armour and weapons; next I would exclude the mention of all nunneries, abbeys, and priories, and then I should see what would be the residuum – how much poetry would remain’.35 Take away the Gothic paraphernalia, Coleridge concludes, and Scott’s poems are not poetry at all.

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Figure 13: Abbotsford.

The Bride of Lammermoor likewise shares in the Gothic tradition. Central to the setting is the Castle of Wolf ’s Crag, a ‘solitary and naked tower, situated on a projecting cliff ’, partly crumbling but still the ancestral home of the hero, Edgar Ravenswood, a young, ruined Scottish aristocrat who embodies the attributes of the Byronic Hero: dark, moody, dangerous, yet ennobled. ‘Fired with the pride of birth and sense of internal dignity’, this wronged aristocrat plans revenge on the man who has ruined his ancient family, Sir William Ashton, until he falls in love with Ashton’s beautiful daughter Lucy.36 The story is rife with Gothic elements, such as spectral appearances, dark prophecies, revenge plots, sinister portraits and a bloody bridal chamber scene. Despite generic differences between Scott and his Gothic predecessors, his romances, with their Gothic overtones, fed the public’s insatiable appetite for immersing themselves in a supernaturalized medieval past. In 1812, after the success of his three poems and before he began writing his Waverley novel series, Scott purchased 110 acres upon which he built his elaborate Gothic castle (1812–15; enlarged in 1819) (figure 13). He named his new home Abbotsford after the monks of adjacent Melrose Abbey. The architect was William

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Atkinson. Abbotsford has been described as ‘an asymmetrical pile of towers, turrets, stepped gables, oriels, pinnacles, crenelated parapets, and clustered chimney stacks, all assembled with calculated irregularity’.37 Visitors flocked to Abbotsford to see the author and his residence first-hand, and Abbotsford soon ‘became infested to a great degree with tourists, wonder-hunters, and all that fatal species of people’.38 Included among the tourists was Robert Gilmor III who returned to the United States with visions of Abbotsford and its charming host prominent in his fertile imagination. Robert Gilmor III (1808–74) was the nephew of the well-known Baltimore art collector Robert Gilmor. In 1828, Gilmor graduated from Harvard and received a diplomatic appointment that took him to Europe from 1829 until 1830. When his father died in 1830, the young Gilmor returned to the United States. Gilmor’s travel diary, now at the Maryland Historical Society, details his visits to France, Italy, Switzerland, England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. On 24 May 1830, Gilmor visited Strawberry Hill, ‘the famous residence of Walpole’, as he called it.39 Horace Walpole bought Strawberry Hill, a small house overlooking the Thames River in Twickenham, in 1748 (plate VII). In 1754, he created the ‘Strawberry Hill Committee’, including himself and designers Richard Bentley and John Chute (other architects also contributed to the design). Over the course of the following decades, Walpole and his associates made additions to Strawberry Hill, creating a Gothic Revival castle unlike any building before it. The style, which has been called everything from ‘light Gothic’, to ‘rococo Gothic’, relied as much on whimsical inventiveness as on archaeological research into medieval architectural forms. For the overall effect, Walpole sought the ‘gloomth of abbeys and cathedrals’.40 He filled his castle with his collection of curiosities and opened it for viewing to the public. Architectural historians often praise Strawberry Hill for introducing asymmetry into British domestic design and historicism into the Gothic Revival. But it is also important for another reason: the castle inspired Walpole to write his Gothic novel The Castle of Otranto in 1764. In his A Description of the Villa of Mr. Horace Walpole, Walpole wrote that Strawberry Hill was ‘a very proper habitation of, as it was the scene that inspired, the author of the Castle of

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Otranto’.41 One June morning, Walpole awoke from a dream in which ‘I had thought myself in an ancient castle (a very natural dream for a head filled, like mine, with Gothic story) and that, on the uppermost bannister of a great staircase, I saw a gigantic hand in armour’.42 That evening, Walpole sat down to write, without having the faintest idea of where his tale was going. The Gothic romance he created, which features numerous unexplained supernatural events, subterranean passages and hints of incest, is considered the first Gothic novel. The setting of the story, as Walpole tells us in the preface, is ‘undoubtedly laid in some real castle’; indeed, as W. S. Lewis has shown, the rooms at Strawberry Hill and those in the pages of The Castle of Otranto correspond.43 Read by British and American readers alike, The Castle of Otranto enjoyed popularity long after Walpole’s death in 1797. When Gilmor visited Strawberry Hill in 1830, the castle was in the possession of Walpole’s heir, the Earl of Waldegrave. Upon arriving at Strawberry Hill, Gilmor admired the ‘superb pile’, and especially enjoyed the company of his hosts, the Earl of Waldegrave and his wife. About the castle, Gilmor wrote: Tis in the most beautiful Gothic (light) style. Much cut up into small rooms, none, except the long picture gallery being large. Some of the ceilings beautifully gilded others beautifully fitted in wood or scagliola. But all things, wainscottings, – doors – fireplaces – all Gothic . . . These same rooms crammed – most literally crammed – with chef d’oeuvres of Antient and modern paintings, statuary, sarcophaguses, Bronzes & silver carvings of Benvenuto Cellini and others . . . In this superb cabinet of curiosities for such the gothic castle deserves to be called, I strolled delighted.44

Gilmor is most affected by the fact that he is in the actual building in which Walpole wrote his Gothic tale, The Castle of Otranto. About that evening he wrote: ‘We retired about 11 – I to my nice little Gothic chamber where I slept most soundly till . . . next morning. Lord W & I breakfasted together in the superb gothic library – where the Castle of Otranto was written.’ Gilmor clearly relishes the proximity to Walpole and to the place where the first Gothic novel was written. On 28 May 1830, Lady Waldegrave opened to Gilmor ‘all the precious cabinets’ of Walpole, bringing

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the young Gothic enthusiast that much closer to the fascinating figure of Walpole.45 Three months later, on 18 August 1830, Gilmor would have the opportunity to actually meet a great novelist, Sir Walter Scott. Upon meeting the ‘Great Enchanter’, Gilmor was struck by his countenance in which beamed ‘all that genius which his voluminous and highly interesting works indicate’. The next day, Gilmor went to Abbotsford, where Scott led him through his ‘splendid castle’. Gilmor admired Scott’s library and armoury, ‘the finest things of the kind’ he had ever seen. The highlight for Gilmor was his visit to Scott’s ‘little sanctum sanctorum, a snug place from which have emanated those great works which have so long enchanted the world’.46 Again, what most impressed Gilmor was his proximity not only to the novelists themselves, but also to the fiction he loved. Scott entertained Gilmor on rides through the countryside with storytelling. On one occasion, Scott recounted the ending of his novel The Bride of Lammermoor and on another Gilmor himself recited a couplet from Scott’s poem The Lay of the Last Minstrel.47 An aspiring poet, Gilmor, like Davis, was an avid reader of Scott’s works. John Donoghue characterizes Gilmor as having ‘an almost fanatical passion for the romances of Sir Walter Scott’.48 Perhaps it was a love of Gothic fiction that brought Gilmor and Davis together when the former returned to the United States in 1830. In 1832, Gilmor commissioned Davis and his partner Ithiel Town to design for him a castellated residence on the Gunpowder River near Baltimore (plate VIII). During the design process, Davis reduced the height of the house from two stories to one story. The horizontal massing of Glen Ellen is vertically punctuated by tall narrow towers and clustered chimney pots. The half-octagonal bay on the west facade features delicate tracery and pinnacles. The roofline is castellated; the walls are ashlar-cut marble. Davis called Glen Ellen the ‘first English Perpendicular Gothic Villa [in America] with Barge Boards, Bracketts, Oriels, Tracery in Windows, etc’.49 The executed design is significant in American architectural history as the first consciously designed asymmetrical American house since the seventeenth century.50 On 21 September 1832, not long after Gilmor’s return in late 1830 or early 1831, Scott died. Two weeks later, on 5 October

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1832, Davis made his first notes on Glen Ellen in his daybook. Davis scholar Patrick Snadon suggests that Gilmor may have conceived of Glen Ellen as a tribute or romantic memorial to his genial host at Abbotsford. Indeed, as William Pierson has shown, the plans of Abbotsford and Glen Ellen both display a progression from left to right of octagonal corner turret to octagonal bay to square corner tower.51 Davis also designed a ruined gate lodge for the Glen Ellen estate, reminiscent of Scott’s beloved Melrose Abbey, a ruined medieval structure near Abbotsford.52 But Abbotsford is not the only source for Glen Ellen. Gilmor was very impressed with the rococo Gothic he saw at Strawberry Hill and the interior decoration of Walpole’s residence became the inspiration for the exterior ornamentation at Glen Ellen.53 The battlements, pinnacles, towers and pointed arch windows all recall Strawberry Hill, and the long rectangular parlour mirrors Walpole’s medieval gallery.54 Both Abbotsford and Strawberry Hill are sited along rivers; it is significant, then, that Gilmor chose a site for Glen Ellen on the Gunpowder River, twelve miles north of Baltimore.55 While Town, Davis and Gilmor were clearly indebted to Walpole and Atkinson, Glen Ellen is quite unlike anything that had come before it in American architecture. Most striking is its adoption of the complete Gothic programme: it is asymmetrical in plan and elevation; its rooms are of disproportionate sizes; its ornamentation is both whimsical and reliant on recognizable medieval architectural forms. Glen Ellen is certainly not a repetition of Benjamin Henry Latrobe and Daniel Wadsworth’s earlier forays into the Gothic Revival style for domestic architecture. Unlike Sedgeley and Montevideo, where Gothic Revival ornament appears as an afterthought, Glen Ellen wears its medieval styling in a more assertive manner. Here Town and Davis enlisted the picturesque element of surprise; the beholder of Glen Ellen views a shifting facade with unexpected tower protrusions and heavily ornamented bay windows. Although light and airy Glen Ellen lacks the gloom of Radcliffe’s architectural spaces, the architects do create a villa in which the element of surprise is paramount. What is most significant about Glen Ellen is its conception as a place of fantasy, a literary indulgence to whet the Gothic appetite of its well-travelled owner. That Glen Ellen imitates the facade of

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Abbotsford or the interior ornamentation of Strawberry Hill is important, as Pierson and Snadon have shown; but more momentous is the idea of Glen Ellen as a retreat into the medieval world popularized by Walpole’s and Scott’s fiction. Glen Ellen is fiction transformed into stone, a constant reminder of its owner’s favourite reading material. With Glen Ellen, Gilmor pays homage to his favourite writers, thus participating in the cult of the Gothic author. Although he is the first, Gilmor will not be the last to yield to his literary fantasies by creating a permanent reminder of his Gothic passion.56 Influenced by Gothic novels and historical romances, American writers James Fenimore Cooper and Washington Irving Gothicized their houses (Otsego Hall and Sunnyside, respectively) after visiting Gothic sites in Europe (the subject of the next chapter). After Glen Ellen, Davis went on to design numerous Gothic Revival cottages and villas, including his masterpiece, Lyndhurst in Tarrytown, New York (1838; 1865) and the Gothic Revival castle Belmead in Powhatan County, Virginia (1845–8). Davis’s client for Belmead, Philip St George Cocke, had fifty-four volumes of Scott’s Waverley series in his library.57 Why were American architects, artists and their clients so interested in medieval architecture? Their reading habits tell us a great deal. Like Washington Allston, Americans in the 1830s and 1840s read Gothic novels. When Scott’s historical romances replaced Radcliffe’s novels as the pleasure reading of choice, Americans indulged in Scott’s brand of medievalism. Medieval architecture plays a crucial role in these texts, leading some curious readers to visit medieval and Gothic Revival architectural sites related to their favourite novels. That American Gothic Revival architecture was closely related to the fictional works of writers such as Radcliffe and Scott is highlighted by a nineteenth-century observer’s comments on the New York University building, designed by Ithiel Town and James Dakin in 1836 (Davis designed the interior of the school’s chapel). Thomas Aldrich Bailey wrote in 1866 about the Gothic Revival University of the City of New York (now New York University) on Washington Square: There isn’t a more gloomy structure outside of Mrs. Radcliff ’s [sic] romances, and we hold that few men could pass a week in these

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Usually, though, the Gothic Revival buildings constructed in the United States in this period were anything but gloomy. Like Strawberry Hill, Davis’s designs were light and airy, delicate rather than dark and massive (Davis does begin to experiment more with fortified castle designs in the 1850s; chapter six will discuss this development). As Schimmelman has argued, Scott’s novels recast the Gothic architectural style, moving it away from the barbarism associated with the Middle Ages and towards a more domestic ideal. A contemporary writer sums it up nicely by saying ‘a castle without a ghost is fit for nothing but to live in’.59

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4 Old Dwellings Transmogrified: The Homes of James Fenimore Cooper and Washington Irving K ‘In architecture’, announced James Fenimore Cooper (1789–1851) in 1828, ‘the Americans have certainly no great reason to exult’.1 The dominant style at that time was, of course, Greek Revival, which Cooper roundly criticized in his writings. Cooper had travelled abroad from 1826 until 1833 and visited the architectural wonders of Europe. He concluded that the United States lagged far behind Europe in architectural heritage. Upon his return from Europe, perhaps in an effort to rectify the situation, Cooper decided to remodel his father’s house, Otsego Hall in Cooperstown, New York, in 1834. In so doing, he transformed a turn-of-the-century federal manor house into what he called ‘a mongrel of the Grecian and Gothic orders’.2 He added battlements, pointed arch windows and towers to the neoclassical structure in an attempt to recreate the Gothic architecture he had seen in Europe. Two major factors contributed to Cooper’s renovations at Otsego Hall: his exposure to the Gothic style in Europe and his reading of Gothic novels and historical romances, which profoundly influenced American architecture in the 1830s and 1840s, as we have seen with the work of Alexander Jackson Davis. Cooper’s Otsego Hall is one of the first examples of the Gothic Revival in American domestic architecture, and as such, the house holds an important place in American architectural studies.

American Gothic Art and Architecture

Washington Irving (1783–1859) brought acclaim to American literature through his many books and short stories and distinction to American architecture through the alterations (with George Harvey) to his house, Sunnyside, on the Hudson River in Tarrytown, New York (1835–7). Irving’s rich imagination drew inspiration from a variety of sources for his architectural creation. The most obvious influence is American colonial architecture, especially the Dutch heritage of the Hudson Valley region.3 Less understood but equally important is Irving’s conception of the medieval; in fact, he called Sunnyside ‘a perversion of the Gothic’.4 Irving enhanced his sense of the Gothic past through his reading of both Gothic novels and historical romances and applied this sensibility to his architectural tastes. In redesigning Sunnyside, Irving was imitating a man he much admired for both his literary and architectural endeavours, Sir Walter Scott. At Sunnyside, Irving borrowed architectural elements from Scott’s baronial house, Abbotsford; these recycled features were both literal (in the case of ivy clippings from Scotland) and conceptual (in the massing and details). The connection to Scott was palpable for visitors to Sunnyside: one writer commented, ‘A ramble at Sunnyside is equal to a pilgrimage to Abbotsford.’5 In order to understand the complexity of the cultural exchange between past and present that Irving achieved, we must understand the Gothic context of both his literary and architectural endeavours. An interdisciplinary analysis of Irving’s literature and architectural design reveals his debt to both Gothic and Dutch traditions. This chapter will examine these New York homes of authors James Fenimore Cooper and Washington Irving as early examples of American domestic architecture infused with literary Gothic. Cooper’s views on American architecture can be gleaned from his novel of manners, Home as Found (1838), which tells the story of the transformation of Otsego Hall. A sequel to Homeward Bound (1838), Home as Found continues the story of the Effingham family who return to Templeton, New York (a fictional version of Cooperstown) after being abroad for a number of years. Edward (Ned) Effingham (considered by some to be a self-portrait of Cooper himself ) has his cousin John Effingham make alterations to the family home, known in the novel as the ‘Wigwam’.6 The characters

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in the novel are acutely aware of the novelty of a Gothic Revival house in Templeton. The novel situates the Gothicization of the ‘Wigwam’ within the context of the Greek Revival in American architecture, which swept through the United States beginning in the 1820s. One reason for the popularity of the Greek Revival was its association with ancient Greece and its democratic form of government, as well as contemporary Greece’s struggle for independence.7 Early in the novel, Aristabulus Bragg, a Templeton local, calls the new Gothic Revival ‘Wigwam’ ‘denationalized’.8 Bragg notes that Greek Revival edifices would be more ‘republican’ than Gothic Revival ones.9 Ned Effingham responds by saying that domestic Greek Revival ‘seems better suited to heathen worship than to domestic comfort’. Bragg concurs, calling Greek Revival a ‘malady’.10 About the ‘Wigwam’, Bragg states: Mr. John Effingham has considerably regenerated and revivified, not to say transmogrified, the old dwelling . . . The work of his hand has excited some speculation, a good deal of inquiry, and a little conversation throughout the country. It has almost produced an excitement!11

When Eve Effingham first sees the house, she calls it ‘an odd jumble of the Grecian and Gothic’,12 a statement which recalls Cooper’s own description of Otsego Hall as ‘a mongrel of the Grecian and Gothic orders’.13 Like his fictional creation Ned Effingham, Cooper also made arrangements to Gothicize his old family home upon his return from Europe. The original house had been built from 1797 to 1799, replacing William Cooper’s manor house in Cooperstown, New York (figure 14). Unlike its predecessor, Otsego Hall was set back from the street amid spacious grounds with ornamental gardens and a picket fence. Designed in the federal style, Otsego Hall was the first brick structure in the county and the largest private residence west of Albany. The plan was typically symmetrical with a centre hall.14 Cooper renovated Otsego Hall in 1834 by raising the ceiling on the first floor three feet, from ten feet to thirteen, and installing Gothic windows and battlements, which proceeded to cause leaks when the winter snow clogged the down spouts.15 Helping him

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Figure 14: Otsego Hall.

with the designs was his friend, painter Samuel F. B. Morse, who designed two towers for the front and east sides of the structure.16 In a letter to a friend in 1834, Cooper sketched his plans for the hall.17 Cooper’s remodelling of Otsego Hall is significant as it is only the second castellated Gothic country house in the United States, after Town and Davis’s Glen Ellen.18 Cooper enlarged the grounds from three acres to five and added plantings and winding paths to create a picturesque garden. His

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instructions regarding the planting of trees – no ‘straight lines’ allowed – are decidedly picturesque.19 Irregularity was the rule at this Gothic estate. Around the property, he built a wall that resembled that of a castle. In a letter from 1835, he made a drawing of his plan for the gate of the hall. The Gothic gate he envisioned sported crenellations similar to those adorning the roofline of the house. The gateway tower was to be an elaborate two-storey affair, creating a fanciful, medieval entrance to Cooper’s romanticized estate.20 Never built, Cooper’s gateway was replaced with a smaller Gothic entrance to the grounds. Not long after the renovations at Otsego Hall were completed, Cooper was appointed to a one-person committee responsible for remodelling and enlarging Christ Church in Cooperstown in 1839 (plate IX). In so doing, Cooper attempted to give a ‘true churchly feeling’ to a building he called ‘singularly ugly’ and ‘better suited to a country ball-room, than to a church’.21 Cooper wanted to remake the church following the model of Gothic ecclesiastical architecture in Europe, which he had seen first-hand during his European travels. He added decorative buttresses to the exterior of the church, replaced its windows with pointed arch windows and completely overhauled the interior by replacing the painted pine with natural oak.22 Cooper had an oak screen based on the one in Newstead Abbey in Nottingham from the twelfth century carved for the altar.23 A new chancel was built, attached to the western facade of the original church. Of the final product, Cooper commented, ‘It is really a pretty thing – pure Gothic, and is the wonder of the country round.’24 With the renovation of Christ Church, Cooper had again brought medieval Gothic to Cooperstown. Cooper’s church is significant not in the history of American church architecture, but as a testament to the impact Gothic architecture had on Cooper during his travels abroad. In altering Christ Church, Cooper was attempting to bring his knowledge of European architecture to his village in upstate New York, thus educating the town’s populace in the heritage of Gothic architecture.25 Why did Cooper choose to design in a Gothic Revival style at the height of the Greek Revival? European architecture, and the English Gothic style in particular, had made an enormous impact on Cooper. Cooper’s interest in the Gothic style derived from his love of historical .

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romances, such as Sir Walter Scott’s, and from his perusal of publications featuring the Gothic. As a young man, Cooper served as a sailor in the merchant marine and as a midshipman in the United States navy. While a sailor, Cooper studied Gothic architecture through prints as much as time would allow.26 Although he had spent two months in London as a boy, he had never visited Westminster Abbey until 1826. Calling himself ‘a great devotee of Gothic architecture’, Cooper made Westminster Abbey his first stop upon his arrival in London. He positioned himself in St Margaret’s churchyard and, for the first time in his life, looked ‘upon a truly Gothic structure of any magnitude’. As he stood gazing at the pile, he felt the sensation we term ‘a creeping of the blood’. . . If I were to enumerate the strong and excited feelings which are awakened by viewing novel objects, I should place this short visit to the Abbey as giving birth in me, to sensation No. 1 . . . This was absolutely my introduction to the Gothic, and it has proved to be an acquaintance pregnant of more pure satisfaction, than any other it is has been my good fortune to make since youth.27

Cooper’s reaction to his first contact with authentic Gothic architecture was an emotional as well as a physical one. Like Gothic novel readers, who have a bodily reaction to the Gothic when their spines tingle and their palms sweat, Cooper felt a ‘creeping of the blood’. For some Americans, medieval architecture elicited an intense physical reaction, but it also ‘operates on all our sensations’, as one anonymous American writer asserted in 1830.28 Such a response to the Gothic sublime echoes Edmund Burke’s theories that form the theoretical base for Gothic fiction. Throughout his time in Europe, Cooper sought out Gothic edifices, calling himself and his family ‘great hunters after the Gothic’.29 But Cooper did not limit his interest to Gothic architectural sites, but Gothic Revival ones as well. He was less impressed with the latter. He went to Twickenham to see Walpole’s Strawberry Hill, but Cooper was denied admission. Although one of Cooper’s friends had told him that the interior was ‘a jewel’ and the grounds ‘delicious’, Cooper was unimpressed with the little he saw of Walpole’s estate behind its high wall. He still proceeded to judge:

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Old Dwellings Transmogrified We were much disappointed with the house, seen as we saw it, for it appeared to me to be composed of lath and stucco; in part at least. It is a tiny castle, and altogether it struck me as a sort of architectural toy . . . it may be possible to see the wit of Horace Walpole, where I saw nothing but his folly.30

Although Cooper had criticized Strawberry Hill, the crenellated roofline of Otsego Hall echoes that of Walpole’s residence. Cooper’s transformation of Otsego Hall likewise resembles Walpole’s process of reworking an earlier structure. Cooper was influenced not just by the architecture he saw in Europe, but also by his reading of Gothic novels and historical romances in which the Gothic style of architecture is predominant. As a boy, he read American Gothic novelist Charles Brockden Brown’s Wieland, about which he asserted: ‘I take it to be a never failing evidence of genius, that amid a thousand similar pictures which have succeeded, the images it has left still stand distinct and prominent in my recollection.’31 Cooper also read Brown’s Edgar Huntly.32 In his section on American literature in Notions of the Americans, Cooper laments that in the United States, there are ‘no obscure fictions for the writer of romances’; he goes on to say that ‘the darkest ages of [Americans’] history are illuminated by the light of truth’.33 Although Cooper believed that his country lacked the history and settings necessary for the writer of Gothic romances, he was still influenced by Gothic writers. Cooper is not considered primarily a Gothic novelist, but some of his novels do display the Gothic influence that often seeped into ostensibly non-Gothic fictions, such as The Spy (1821), The Pilot (1824), Lionel Lincoln (1825), The Heidenmauer (1832) and The Bravo (1831).34 Although Cooper’s well-known novel The Last of the Mohicans (1826) does not exploit the usual Gothic conventions of setting, Donald Ringe has suggested that The Last of the Mohicans is a Gothic novel. Ringe argues that Cooper employs Gothic conventions in his use of enclosed space, fear of the unknown or unexpected, and forest settings in which sublime landscapes, à la Salvator Rosa, create a naturally terrifying backdrop to the novel’s action.35 It is clear that Cooper was very familiar with Gothic novel conventions.

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Cooper was also a reader of Sir Walter Scott’s novels, to which he turned when writing his own first novel, Precaution, in 1820. To plan the length of Precaution, Cooper consulted the length of Ivanhoe.36 Cooper was thrilled to meet Scott in Paris in 1826. In Gleanings in Europe, Cooper describes in detail his first encounter with Scott, and the events leading up to it, including Scott’s arrival in Paris and the general excitement that such an occasion produced. Cooper saw Scott a number of times while in Paris and concluded that ‘Sir Walter Scott, in his peculiar way, is one of the pleasantest companions the world holds.’37 Beginning with the publication of The Spy and The Pioneers, Cooper was often referred to as ‘The American Scott’. Although he disdained this title, he did acknowledge his debt to Scott in his private letters.38 When asked if he admired Scott, he answered that although Ivanhoe was ‘very unequal’, it ‘stood quite at the head of the particular sort of romances to which it belonged’. He believed The Antiquary and Guy Mannering to be ‘much nearer perfection’. When asked if he thought Ivanhoe lacked historical truth, Cooper answered that Ivanhoe was not intended to be a work of history, but rather a ‘work of the imagination’.39 Influenced by the architecture described in Gothic novels and historical romances, Cooper chose the Gothic style for his own home. At Otsego Hall, Cooper was attempting to recreate a Gothic edifice but the outcome is stylistically confusing. Even with the addition of towers, Cooper failed to radically alter the symmetry of the hall, and therefore the neoclassical two-storey block remained intact.40 Cooper’s conception of the Gothic was limited to surface ornament, a quality that traced back to his first encounter with the Gothic style at Westminster Abbey. There, Cooper was particularly struck by the ornamentation of the chapel of Henry VII. He noted that the ‘miniature port-cullises, escutcheons, and other ornaments, give the whole the rich, and imaginative – almost fairy-like aspect’.41 When Cooper Gothicized Otsego Hall, his conception of the Gothic was purely ornamental, which is not surprising, given his fascination with the ornament at Westminster.42 Because he arrived at Westminster after it was closed, he was not able to enter, so the exterior ornament, rather than the structural engineering, provoked his strongest reaction. Many Americans in this period, including Alexander Jackson Davis, used inauthentic materials such as plaster to imitate

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Gothic vaulting. Cooper was no different in his failure to understand the complexities of medieval building techniques and to employ only ornament for effect. While Cooper met Scott in person in Paris, he never visited Scott’s home Abbotsford in Scotland.43 However, Washington Irving, like many nineteenth-century Americans, made the pilgrimage to Abbotsford. Scott-related sites were extremely popular tourist destinations in the nineteenth century. American historian Francis Parkman visited the border country – and Abbotsford, Melrose Abbey and Dryburgh Abbey in particular – in 1844. In Edinburgh, Parkman wrote, Sir Walter Scott is everywhere. His name is in everybody’s lips, and associates itself with every spot around this place. I ask the name of such a street – such a mountain, or island, or cottage, or piece of woods – the words of the reply have been familiar to me as my own name for the last six years.44

Visits to literary shrines were important tourist activities. In England, of course, there was an increasing interest in the history of the nation, while, at the same time, religion was on the wane. As literary critic Emily Jane Cohen has written, ‘The homage paid to the defunct writer would be the equivalent of the late medieval pilgrimage.’45 Unlike the many Americans who visited Scotland after Scott’s death, Irving had the privilege of actually meeting Scott. In 1817, after he had published Diedrich Knickerbocker’s A History of New York (1809), but before he published his first fictional foray, The Sketch-Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. (1819–20), Washington Irving stopped by Abbotsford on his way to Melrose Abbey. Scott greeted him warmly and invited Irving to stay for a while. The occasion turned into a visit of several days and resulted in Irving’s essay ‘Abbotsford’, published in 1835.46 During Irving’s visit, two tourists arrived to visit Scott and, after they departed, Scott commented on ‘the great influx of English travellers, which . . . had inundated Scotland’. Irving reminded him that it was his own writings that drew the curious to the ruins and castles of Scotland.47 Irving delighted in visiting ruins himself. On his first day at Abbotsford, Scott’s young son Charles accompanied Irving to

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Figure 15: Melrose Abbey.

Melrose Abbey (figure 15), which was near Abbotsford and which had been featured in Scott’s poem The Lay of the Last Minstrel (1805). A place with many romantic associations, Melrose Abbey was a must-see destination for Irving. Through his literary persona Geoffrey Crayon, Irving had written of a longing ‘to tread, as it were, in the footsteps of antiquity – to loiter about the ruined castle – to meditate on the falling tower’.48 Visiting the abbey was just such an opportunity, and Irving relished it. When they arrived at the abbey, Charles introduced Irving to the caretaker, Johnny Bower, who cited lines from Scott’s poem as he took Irving on a tour of the ruins. Irving noted that The Lay of the Last Minstrel had ‘become interwoven with [the caretaker’s] whole existence’ so much so that Bower had merged his own identity with those of Scott’s characters, an effect resulting from Bower’s ‘constantly living among the ruins of Melrose Abbey’.49 This merging of fact with fiction, of reality with romance, was part of the tourist experience. Indeed, it was common for nineteenthcentury travellers to bring along not only their travel guides, but also the fiction relevant to each attraction. When visiting the ruins of Kenilworth, for instance, Prince Puckler-Muskau brought along Scott’s novel Kenilworth (1821): ‘With Sir Walter Scott’s captivating

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book in my hand I wandered amid these ruins, which call up such varied feelings . . .’50 When Henry Ward Beecher visited Kenilworth, suddenly the scenes from Scott’s novel rushed to mind: ‘But as I sat in a room, upon a fallen stone, one incident after another from the novel, and from history, came to me, one after another, until I seemed to be visiting an old and familiar place.’51 It is in these circumstances that Gothic literature takes on a didactic quality, teaching its readers how to react to and experience Gothic architecture. For example, Johnny Bower told Irving that because Scott wrote in his poem that the best time to view the abbey was by moonlight, some visitors insisted on seeing it at night.52 While at Abbotsford, Irving’s excitement at his proximity to ‘the mighty minstrel of the North’ kept him awake at night: ‘the idea of being under the roof of Scott, in the very centre of that region which had for some time past, been the favorite scene of romantic fiction . . . nearly drove sleep from my pillow’, Irving wrote.53 Irving was an admirer of Scott’s literature, and his essay ends with Irving’s unbridled admiration for the novelist, whose works Irving always eagerly anticipated. But it was not just his literary efforts that Irving admired: it was also his lifestyle and architectural endeavours at Abbotsford. During Irving’s visit, Scott was renovating his home, changing it from a ‘snug gentleman’s cottage’ into a ‘huge baronial pile’.54 Irving noted that Scott’s process of architectural invention paralleled the great man’s writing method, stating that Scott ‘pleased himself with picturing out his future residence as he would one of the fanciful creations of his own romances’.55 Scattered about the grounds were the fragments of Melrose Abbey that Scott was incorporating into Abbotsford. In so doing, Scott was blending into his home not only the medieval past, but also the tangible materials out of which his own fiction sprang. Literary scholar Duncan Faherty describes Scott’s purpose: ‘A jumble of old and new, and with a great many fictionalized additions, the estate Irving visited was carefully manipulated to create a historic sensibility where nothing had existed. Not inheriting a house with storied associations, Scott unabashedly manufactured one.’56 Likewise Ann Rigney has called Abbotsford a ‘display building’ since Scott salvaged objects from elsewhere to put on curatorial display at Abbotsford, much like Irving will later do at Sunnyside.57

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Published along with ‘Abbotsford’ in The Crayon Miscellany was Irving’s essay ‘Newstead Abbey’.58 This essay about Irving’s visit to Romantic poet Lord Byron’s ancestral home tells us a great deal about Irving’s Gothic sensibility. Irving visited Newstead Abbey for the first time in 1831; in January 1832, he returned to spend three weeks there. Henry II founded the abbey in the twelfth century; under Henry VIII it was given to Byron’s ancestor, Sir John Byron, who converted it into a dwelling. Byron sold it to his schoolmate Colonel Wildman who restored it. Irving begins his essay with the history of the dwelling, and its eccentric owners, including Byron’s great uncle and Byron himself who, in true Gothic fashion, dug up the bones of the former residents (the Newstead monks) and kept them about the house. As evidenced by Byron’s strange act of disinterment, the past weighed heavily upon the abbey, especially in Irving’s mind, but the past is constantly mingled with Irving’s fertile imagination. The abbey appeals to Irving because it is ‘haunted by monkish, and feudal, and poetical associations’, a heady mix for a romantic sensibility.59 As he wanders about, he ruminates on the fact that monks once trod the quadrangle. He delights in fantasizing about the past, about the people depicted in the abbey’s portraits, people who used to inhabit the dwelling. Irving’s chamber is an ‘imaginary realm’ to him where he weaves ‘a thousand fancies’; here he would ‘conjure up fictions of the brain’.60 Not at all concerned with his current hosts, as he himself asserts, Irving fixates on both the ancient architecture and Lord Byron’s romantic life. He even visits nearby Annesley Hall to see the place where Byron fell in love with Mary Ann Chaworth. Irving believes that the abbey was a source of inspiration for the poet, as it ‘addressed itself to his poetical imagination’.61 As Irving explores the place, he quotes Byron’s poetry, especially Byron’s own poems about the abbey, ‘Lines on Leaving Newstead Abbey’ and ‘Elegy on Newstead Abbey’. Once again, literature and the experience of authentic Gothic architecture go hand in hand for Irving. And fiction plays an equally important role in Irving’s experience of the countryside surrounding Newstead Abbey. The abbey is located in the heart of Robin Hood country, near Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire. Irving tells us that as a child, he loved

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to read about the outlaw. During his visit, Irving goes to the forest to see the locations most associated with the Robin Hood legend. He communes with the past in the Sherwood villages, where ‘every thing has a quaint and antiquated air’.62 Every experience Irving has at the abbey and in the surrounding area is shrouded in fiction and history, and he revels in it all. Irving had been fascinated with stories, such as Robin Hood’s, since his youth. In ‘The Author’s Account of Himself ’, from The Sketch-Book, Irving’s alter ego Geoffrey Crayon writes that he actively sought out the history and fables of the countryside: ‘I knew every spot where a murder or a robbery had been committed, or a ghost seen.’63 From Irving’s youthful journals, which chronicle his first European visit between 1804 and 1806, we learn that Irving was a Gothic aficionado, often mentioning Radcliffe’s works. While travelling through the French countryside in 1804, Irving was reminded of Radcliffe’s landscape descriptions. He passed ‘an old Castle in a very ruinous state’ with one habitable wing and is reminded of the Chateau of M. St. Aubert from The Mysteries of Udolpho, writing, ‘this would have formed a fine picture for her [Radcliffe’s] talents to work upon’.64 In October 1804, Irving lent his copy of Radcliffe’s The Italian (1797) to a friend, who was so interested ‘that he read it all the road & had nearly broken his head against several walls & trees which he encountered’.65 From his journals, one senses that Irving was often contemplating the Gothic novels he had read, comparing Radcliffe’s scenery to that which he saw, and Radcliffe’s fictional Gothic edifices to the buildings he examined. When visiting Haddon Hall, an English baronial mansion, Irving writes that ‘Mrs. Radcliff [sic] is said to have taken the idea of the Castle of Udolpho from this old hall & this singular box may have given the idea of her mysterious picture’, referring to the wax figure hidden behind a curtain in Udolpho castle.66 Irving’s sketch on a visit to Westminster Abbey likewise relies on Gothic novel conventions. Crayon, the narrator, delights in the ‘mournful magnificence of the old pile’. Upon crossing the threshold, it ‘seemed like stepping back into the regions of antiquity’. Irving’s description of Crayon’s entrance into the abbey reads like a Gothic romance. After passing through a ‘vaulted passage’, that looked ‘almost subterranean’, he caught sight of ‘an old verger, in

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his black gown, moving along their shadowy vaults, and seeming like a specter from one of the neighboring tombs’. The sketch is a melancholy musing on mortality and the heaviness of the past. The scale of the edifice dwarfs the viewer who feels a sense of sublime awe, as articulated by Edmund Burke in A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful. The narrator does not fail to think of Scott, who is not explicitly named, but whose chivalric romances are brought to the reader’s mind when Crayon describes the sepulchre of a crusader in the abbey.67 By his second visit to Europe between 1815 and 1832, Irving’s reading habits had evolved, and this time he was everywhere reminded of Scott’s works, which had superseded Radcliffe’s in popularity by that time. In August 1817, Irving travelled up the coast of Scotland en route to Edinburgh, following a path similar to that of the abbess in Scott’s Marmion (1808). Such an occurrence does not pass unnoticed in Irving’s letter to his brother, in which he quotes Scott’s poem, and even notes the location of Constance de Beverley’s trial and execution.68 In a letter from 1815, Irving reports that he and a friend have gone to Kenilworth and Warwick castles. Kenilworth is the subject of Scott’s novel of the same name, published after Irving’s visit, in 1821. The castle dates from 1120, and had stood in ruins since the time of Cromwell. About Kenilworth, Irving writes that anyone who has seen ‘this magnificent wreck of feudal grandeur can never forget it. It surpassed all my anticipations, and has a proud grandeur even in its ruins . . .’ He is equally impressed with Warwick, and even indulges in some Gothic daydreaming there, declaring It is sufficient to say that when loitering within its vast court, surrounded by immense towers, long stretching battlements and lofty keeps, all mantled with ivy and stained by time, you may almost realize the dreams of chivalry and romance, and fancy yourself back into the days of tilts and tourneys.

When seeing a young woman at a tower window, Irving humorously imagines her to be a damsel in distress trapped in the ‘dark and dismal tower by some “Grim baron”’, a scenario strikingly reminiscent of one of Radcliffe’s plots. Irving’s goal at Warwick was to ‘forget

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the present in the past’, and he borrows the imagery of Gothic novels and historical romances to do so.69 The influence of the Gothic seeped into Irving’s fictional writings as well. His best-known Gothic story is ‘The Legend of Sleepy Hollow’, the tale of Ichabod Crane’s moonlit adventure with the Headless Horseman. The most complete discussion of Irving as a Gothic writer appears in Ringe’s book American Gothic.70 While Ringe acknowledges that Irving read Radcliffe, he minimizes her impact on his work, citing Common Sense Philosophy (which sought rational explanations for supernatural phenomena) and German romances as stronger influences. Irving often employs the supernatural in his sketches to demonstrate the fallibility and gullibility of certain characters whose engagement with the supernatural is the result of mental deceptions. Irving’s comic elements clearly separate him from earlier Gothic writers.71 However, Irving takes up a favourite Gothic subject in the final section of his Tales of a Traveller (1824). Part III, ‘The Italian Banditti’, is a series of interlocking sketches, bringing the reader inside the world of Italy’s morally bereft robbers. The wild, romantic landscape is a major element in the stories. At one point, the painter (the narrator of ‘The Painter’s Adventure’, ‘The Story of the Bandit Chieftain’ and ‘The Story of the Young Robber’) is asked by the chieftain to draw his likeness. The painter is excited at the rare prospect. He remembers that seventeenth-century Italian artist Salvator Rosa had lived among the banditti of Calabria (a popular myth about the artist) and ‘had filled his mind with the savage scenery and savage associates’.72 When he looks at the scenery, he is reminded of Rosa. Irving has a fine eye for the wild landscape of Italy and describes in picturesque detail the banditti who lurk in the mountains. Here Irving is drawing upon one of Radcliffe’s favourite subjects and elaborating on it. He takes us behind the scenes of bandit life, chronicling their humanity. Besides the banditti elements and the sexual threat to female virginity (in ‘The Story of the Young Robber’), the stories are not Gothic, per se, because they lack the intrusion of the supernatural. This is not the case in Irving’s ‘The Adventure of the German Student’, also in Tales of a Traveller. In this story, his ‘unhealthy appetite’ for ‘decayed literature’ causes the German student’s melancholy: ‘He was, in a manner, a literary ghoul, feeding in the charnel

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house of decayed literature’, the narrator tells us.73 The setting is revolutionary Paris, the accoutrements of which (including the guillotine) serve to frighten the student on his rambles through the city. The student meets a woman he finds in the pouring rain by the guillotine. He leaves her alone in his apartment and, upon his return, finds her ‘lying with her head hanging over the bed, and one arm thrown over it’, a posture eerily reminiscent of the female figure in Henry Fuseli’s Gothic painting The Nightmare (1781).74 In a Gothic twist, it turns out the woman was guillotined just the night before. Upon undoing her neck band, the student watches as her head rolls onto the floor. The student ends up in a madhouse. In ‘The Adventure of the German Student’, Irving once again turns to the wealth of his Gothic knowledge. One interpretation of Irving’s work that is decidedly Gothic is that of John Quidor (1801–81).75 Quidor, a relatively unknown painter in his time, specialized in literary subjects, and Irving’s works in particular. His painting The Money Diggers (1832) (plate X) is based on Irving’s ‘Wolfert Webber, or Golden Dreams’ and ‘The Adventure of the Black Fisherman’ from Tales of a Traveller. Wolfert Webber, an impecunious Dutch burgher in old Manhattan eager to rise above his financial misfortune, becomes obsessed with the legends of buried treasure in the area. Wolfert, Doctor Knipperhausen (Wolfert’s black magic-practising physician) and Sam (the black fisherman of the story’s title) attempt to dig up some of the booty buried in the earth by pirates years before. A witness to the scene might have ‘mistaken the little doctor for some foul magician, busied in his incantations, and the grizzly headed negro for some swart goblin, obedient to his commands’.76 Their midnight adventure climaxes when a supposedly deceased buccaneer appears leering at them from the cliff above. Chaos breaks out, and this is the scene that Quidor chooses to illustrate. The story certainly contains Gothic elements – intrigue, spectral appearances, ruined buildings, necromancy – but the tale is told in a humorous tone that pokes fun at Wolfert’s credulity. However, Quidor’s interpretation is more seriously Gothic than his source. As Bryan Wolf has argued, Quidor takes Irving’s work and transforms it into ‘a more gothic exploration, however burlesque, of subterranean and unknown forces’.77 According to Wolf, the gaping hole in the centre of the composition is the

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Gothic underworld, representing the character’s irrational fears. The space of the painting is claustrophobic: all around the figures are grotesquely twisted, leafless trees, a mysterious moonlit landscape and inky darkness. Equally Gothic is Quidor’s interpretation of Irving’s ‘The Legend of Sleepy Hollow’ (plate XI), entitled Ichabod Crane Pursued by the Headless Horseman (1858). Once again, Quidor chooses to illustrate the story’s most dramatic point, when Ichabod flies through the forest on his emaciated steed, Gunpowder, pursued by the ‘Galloping Hessian’. In Quidor’s painting, Ichabod and Gunpowder are diminutive compared to the overwhelmingly dark and mysterious landscape encircling them. The composition draws attention to the frightened figure on horseback chased through the primeval forest.78 The small scale of the figures compared to the vast web of trees in the background highlight the exaggerated sense of horror that Quidor infuses into his source. Indeed, as David Sokol has shown, Quidor reconstructs Irving’s works, creating imaginative paintings that in their intensity go beyond his sources.79 Quidor Gothicizes Irving’s story, creating an image pulsating with horror. When Irving returned to the United States after seventeen years in Europe, he decided to settle on the banks of the Hudson near Tarrytown. In 1835, he purchased an old Dutch farmhouse that had belonged to the Van Tassel family (whom Irving had immortalized in ‘The Legend of Sleepy Hollow’). The original house on the site, dating to 1656 (according to Irving), was the residence of Wolfert Acker, a privy councillor to Peter Stuyvesant. This Dutch house was burned down during the Revolution; the house that replaced it, known as the Van Tassel Cottage, was built in the 1780s. Irving engaged his friend George Harvey, a painter of Hudson River landscapes, as the architect and the two collaborated on the renovation between 1835 and 1837 (figure 16). The original structure was retained, but Harvey and Irving heightened the walls; enlarged the west window; added dormers; rebuilt the chimney; and added a new wing and veranda on the river side. The renovations included the addition of crow-stepped parapets to the gables and an arcaded entrance pavilion forming a porch. The whole creates an extremely romantic effect; the building is asymmetrical through the addition of wings and features an irregular roofline, created by crow-stepped

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Figure 16: Sunnyside.

gables, weathervanes, clustered chimneystacks and a cupola with spire and dormers. It is low to the ground and harmonizes with nature with its vine-covered walls and surrounding trees. Irving and Harvey added a tower with an oriental flair (nicknamed the ‘Pagoda’) to the north-east corner of Sunnyside in 1847, after Irving’s four-year sojourn in Spain. Although the tower’s function was mundane (it contained a laundry, store rooms, pantries and servants’ rooms), the ‘Pagoda’ further romanticized what was already an eclectic concoction.80 Irving’s description of Sunnyside as ‘a perversion of the Gothic’ is an accurate description given its diverse sources. Indeed, Sunnyside is an amalgamation of styles. Perhaps the most obvious source is the colonial Dutch architecture of the Hudson Valley region, evident

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in the crow-stepped gables of Sunnyside.81 In Dutch colonial America, the crow-stepped gable was a feature prevalent in urban architecture. Curiously, Irving chose an urban architectural element for his Hudson Valley home. As Wayne Franklin has shown, illustrations of urban Dutch influenced houses in New York City appeared in The New-York Mirror in a series of articles illustrated by Alexander Jackson Davis in the early 1830s.82 Irving repeatedly emphasized the Dutch nature of his house; it is clear from his descriptions of Sunnyside that its Dutch aspect was of great importance to him. Contemporaries noted the varied inspiration of Irving’s creation. A critic in The Corsair praised Sunnyside as ‘a combination of the old fashioned Dutch North-river mansion, with the modern English cottage’.83 The overall feeling of the house is picturesque, and its interior architectural spaces are quite Gothic, in the novelistic sense, a fact that was not lost on contemporary observers. Nathaniel Parker Willis reported that the building was ‘not wholly comprehensible’, much like the architectural space of a castle of Udolpho in which passages lead to nowhere and secret doors abound.84 Irving had described a similar Gothic house earlier, when in The Sketch-Book he writes of John Bull’s house in his essay on his perceptions of the typical Englishman, ‘John Bull’. Bull’s house is, of course, a fictional composite of what Irving perceives as the representative English manor house: His family mansion is an old castellated manor house, gray with age, and of a most venerable though weather-beaten appearance. It has been built upon no regular plan, but is a vast accumulation of parts, erected in various tastes and ages . . . Like all relics of that style [Saxon architecture], it is full of obscure passages, intricate mazes, and dusky chambers . . . Additions have been made to the original edifice from time to time, and great alterations have taken place; towers and battlements have been erected during wars and tumults, wings built in time of peace . . . until it has become one of the most spacious, rambling tenements imaginable.85

Sunnyside is like John Bull’s house in many ways. It has the appearance of ‘accumulation’ in its synthesis of various styles. As an addition

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to the main house, the ‘Pagoda’ accordingly looks like an appendage, a result of accumulation. Access to the tower from the original house is awkward; as Willis pointed out, the plan of Sunnyside, especially the tower addition, is not straightforward. Narrow hallways and staircases, nooks and crannies, and cramped spaces abound. The generally small rooms on the first floor often have more than one point of access. The intricate, maze-like plan features numerous small hallways and closet spaces (figure 17). Irving evidently delighted in these complicated schemes, as evidenced from his description of John Bull’s house. The key difference between John Bull’s house and Sunnyside, however, is that the former was created over a span of centuries, while Sunnyside is the creation of one owner over a much shorter amount of time. John Bull’s house is an authentic accumulation involving many owners and builders, who employed the styles appropriate to their respective ages. As Irving writes, John Bull’s house is of ‘irregular construction, [resulting] from its being the growth of centuries, and being improved by the wisdom of every generation’.86 Sunnyside displays a similar outward aspect, but without the accretion of time. Hence, Sunnyside represents a nineteenth-century gentleman’s quick fix for Gothic intricacies. In order to pseudo-authenticate the building’s age, Irving affixed the date ‘1656’ to the west gable of the house, indicating the year the original dwelling (which burned down during the Revolution and was replaced in the 1780s) was built. The decorative arts at Sunnyside, many of which belonged to Irving, further illuminate his diverse interests. Most interesting from a Gothic standpoint are the two whimsical cast iron benches that adorned the entrance to Sunnyside. The benches were a gift to Irving from Gouverneur Kemble, owner of the West Point Foundry in Cold Spring, New York. The design of the benches was based on Irving’s sketches that he included in a letter to Harvey in 1836.87 While the interior of Sunnyside is not entirely devoid of Gothic Revival touches in its furnishings, the overall eclectic sensibility is that of comfort, taste and refinement, suitable to Irving’s stature as a man of letters. The opposite of Gothic Revival whimsy, Irving’s desk in his study (a gift from G. P. Putnam) is downright functional, allowing two people to work simultaneously on its oak surface. Nuances of the Gothic Revival are found, however, in the pointed

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Figure 17: First floor plan of Sunnyside.

arches of the dining room chairs and the decoration of Irving’s wine cabinets. In general, though, the architectural ornamentation inside Sunnyside, including the keystone arches of the west bedroom, as well as the furnishings, are far from Gothic; indeed, it is the spirit of picturesque irregularity in the plan and in the exterior of Sunnyside that most strongly relates the house to the Gothic Revival. Outside his cottage, on the picturesque landscape surrounding Sunnyside, Irving built two Gothic Revival buildings – the icehouse and gardener’s cottage – which were simultaneously ornamental and functional. What was Irving’s inspiration for Sunnyside? Certainly, Scott’s Abbotsford was the most significant model. Irving was imitating Scott, as evidenced by a letter he wrote in 1852, in which he asserts that he is not overspending on the renovations, ‘as poor Scott did at Abbotsford’.88 Abbotsford and Sunnyside share architectural similarities such as steeply pitched roofs, cross-gabling, stepped

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gables, clustered chimney stacks and irregular window sizing.89 In addition, Sunnyside was stuccoed to have the illusion of cut stone, of which Abbotsford is constructed. Like Scott, Irving mingled the past into his home. Irving imported ivy clippings from the walls of Melrose Abbey to plant on his cottage, thereby organically linking the medieval past of Scotland with his own architectural creation. Scott had incorporated the stones of Melrose into Abbotsford, while Irving settled for a lighter souvenir to make the transatlantic passage. In so doing, Irving was adjusting for America’s historical inadequacies; the horticulturist Andrew Jackson Downing praised ivy for its Old World associations, even suggesting that ivy failed to grow in the United States because of the nation’s youth: Certainly the finest of all this class of climbers is the European ivy. Such rich masses of glossy, deep green foliage, such fine contrasts of light and shade, and such a wealth of associations, is possessed by no other plant; the Ivy, to which the ghost of all the storied past alone tells its tale of departed greatness; the confidant of old ruined castles and abbeys . . . True to these instincts, the Ivy does not seem to be naturalized so easily in America as most other foreign vines. We are yet too young – this country of a great future, and a little past.90

Historian Adam Sweeting notes the significance of Irving’s ivy clipping, writing that with one clip of the pruning shears, a remarkable associational web involving Scottish history, Dutch legend, Robert the Bruce, and Katrina Van Tassel were forever linked by a vine . . . Using an old farmhouse on the banks of the Hudson the way his mentor appropriated the history of Melrose Abbey, Irving created a useable literary and historical past that existed outside the commercial present.91

The ‘associational web’ that Sweeting describes is rich with implications: Irving’s house is architecturally and intellectually eclectic. Irving included another tangible thread in his associational web with the addition of weathervanes from Dutch sources. According to Irving, one weathercock once adorned the Stadt-House in New Amsterdam (New York City) and another the Vander Heyden

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Palace of Albany. Irving asserted that a third weathervane, a gift from Gill Davis, came from Rotterdam.92 Historically, however, the provenance itself is less important than Irving’s assertions about the provenance of these weathercocks. Irving’s descriptions of Sunnyside – his words – are as vital to the mythology of Sunnyside as the physicality of the house itself. With the construction of his fanciful cottage, Irving attempted to blend fiction and reality in true Gothic fashion. He wrote a quasi-fictional history of the building, ‘Wolfert’s Roost’, originally published in 1839 and rewritten in 1855. In the sketch, Irving describes Sunnyside as ‘a little, old-fashioned stone mansion, all made up of gable ends, and as full of angles and corners as an old cocked hat’.93 He then wraps the little house in superstition. During the pre-Revolutionary War Period, the house was ‘reputed to be harassed by Yankee witchcraft. When the weather was quiet every where else, the wind, it was said, would howl and whistle about the gables; witches and warlocks would whirl about upon the weather-cocks, and scream down the chimneys . . .’94 After the British burned the house down, it became a ‘melancholy ruin’, avoided by the superstitious.95 The ‘Tappan Sea’ near the house was also said to be haunted. Even if the house itself lacks Gothic architectural elements in its original Dutch colonial aspect, Irving recreates it as a haunted Gothic ruin. In so doing, he also recreates the atmosphere of Newstead Abbey, where, as he tells us in his essay, supernatural sightings were common among the domestic staff. Sunnyside represents the breakdown between fiction and reality, due to Irving’s imaginative creation of legends surrounding his house. Such was Irving’s style, as indicated by his alter ego, Geoffrey Crayon, who claims that ‘when I attempt to draw forth a fact, I cannot determine whether I have read, heard, or dreamt it; and I am always at a loss to know how much to believe of my own stories’.96 Scott’s Abbotsford was not the only British source for Sunnyside, as Irving’s house is in many respects an American version of Horace Walpole’s Strawberry Hill (1749–77). At Strawberry Hill and Sunnyside, the Gothic impulse is the same, and both owners wrote stories about the Gothic architectural creations they designed themselves with the help of others. When one examines Walpole’s

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and Irving’s own descriptions of their houses, it becomes clear that Irving was conscious of his imitation of Walpole’s castle. Walpole often referred to Strawberry Hill in Lilliputian terms, exemplified by the following quotation: ‘[Strawberry Hill] is a little playthinghouse . . . and is the prettiest bauble you ever saw’.97 Irving describes Sunnyside in similarly diminutive terms, repeatedly using the word ‘little’ to describe the house. His intention, he says, was ‘to make a little nookery somewhat in the Dutch style, quaint but unpretending’.98 This miniaturization displays both Walpole’s and Irving’s sense of humour, which acts as an antidote to the gloom and doom of the Gothic literary genre in which both indulged in their writings. Irving’s little cottage had an important impact on American architectural history: it influenced Alexander Jackson Davis, the premiere domestic Gothic Revival architect in the decades before the Civil War. Davis and Irving met in 1837 through Davis’s friend James A. Hillhouse of New Haven, Connecticut. According to Davis’s daybook, in May 1839, he was reading Irving’s works. Davis visited Sunnyside on occasion and drew the house on wood block for publication in A. J. Downing’s A Treatise on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening Adapted to North America (1841). Friendship with Irving led to Davis’s commission to design Knoll (later renamed Lyndhurst) in Tarrytown, New York for William and Philip R. Paulding (1838; enlarged 1865–7), a villa that echoes Sunnyside in its veranda, the Dutch crow-stepped gables and the projecting two-storied entrance gable. Architectural historian Patrick Snadon argues that Davis’s progress in architectural design between Glen Ellen (designed by Davis and his partner Ithiel Town for client Robert Gilmor III near Baltimore, Maryland in 1832) and Knoll can be attributed to his exposure to Sunnyside. In particular, Snadon argues that the two-storied, gabled entryway at Knoll, a more sophisticated design than that of Glen Ellen, owes its inspiration to Sunnyside’s similar entrance. It is significant that Sunnyside, the amateur effort of Harvey and Irving, influenced Davis, a professional architect.99 Perhaps Irving and Sunnyside are most like their Scottish counterparts Scott and Abbotsford in the steady stream of visitors that they received, brought there by the fame of the authors. Irving had arrived at Scott’s doorstep in 1817 unannounced, and Scott welcomed

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him heartily. In 1854, when the people of Dearman (a ten-minute walk from Sunnyside) voted to rename their railroad stop ‘Irvington’, Irving was a very well-known figure and Sunnyside, through numerous prints, was equally famous. One guidebook called Sunnyside and its grounds ‘the great attraction of tourists from all parts of the world’.100 After Irving’s death, the artist Christian Schussele celebrated Irving’s similarities to Scott in his painting Washington Irving and His Literary Friends at Sunnyside (1863), which closely resembles, in subject, composition and title, Thomas Faed’s Sir Walter Scott and His Literary Friends at Abbotsford (1854), an engraving of which Scott had given to Irving as a gift.101 For Irving, like Scott, the romanticized medieval past was a rich source for both literary and architectural inspiration. For Cooper, Irving and other Americans who Gothicized their dwellings or commissioned architects to build Gothic houses for them, their choice of style was the result of their exposure to Gothic edifices and medieval culture through Gothic novels and historical romances. Often, travel to European Gothic architectural sites gave them the visual cues needed to recreate the Gothic at home. Why choose the medieval style for use in the United States? In Gothicizing both Otsego Hall and Christ Church, Cooper co-opted the architectural heritage of England and made it his own. In so doing, he was countering his own observation that ‘Europe itself is a Romance, while all America is a matter of fact, humdrum, common sense region’.102 With the remodelling of Otsego Hall, he legitimized American architecture by linking it to England’s rich medieval heritage.103 Otsego Hall was certainly not the equivalent of the Gothic Revival structures in England; rather, it was ‘an odd jumble of the Grecian and Gothic’, an American transformation of British sources. ‘Transmogrified’, the word Aristabulus Bragg uses to describe the ‘Wigwam’, is an appropriate descriptive term, because the resulting combination of neoclassical and Gothic elements is, in the end, incongruous. Sunnyside is likewise patched together, a combination of fact and fiction. However, Irving and Harvey are more successful at creating a unified whole, a picturesque object ensconced in nature on the Hudson River, and in Duncan Faherty’s words ‘the preeminent antebellum architectural shrine in America’.104 Today visitors can make the pilgrimage to Irving’s Sunnyside, as it

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is now open to the public as a Historic Hudson Valley property. Otsego Hall did not fare as well as Sunnyside. After Cooper’s death, Otsego Hall was sold and turned into a hotel. The house burned down in October 1853 and was soon after demolished.105

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5 Gothic Castles in the Landscape: Thomas Cole, Sir Walter Scott and the Hudson River School of Painting K Sir Walter Scott’s popularity in the United States was on display on 15 August 1871, the centenary of Scott’s birth, when the foundation stone for the monument to Scott in New York’s Central Park was laid. A procession, led by bagpipers and made up of the Seventy-Ninth Regiment, members of the Caledonia Club and the St. Andrew’s Society, wound its way through the streets of New York. An article in Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper describing the event was accompanied by a full-page spread of ‘Haunts and shrines of Sir Walter Scott’, including several pictures of Scott’s house Abbotsford, his grave in Dryburgh Abbey, two Scott monuments, his town house and even his bedroom window. These images encircled a picture of Scott himself.1 Like the general public, artists were also attracted to Scott’s novels. Decades before the dedication in Central Park, Scott’s influence was palpable on the evening of 27 March 1829 when the New York Sketch Club met at the home of poet James Abraham Hillhouse in New York City. Among those present were Samuel F. B. Morse, first president of the National Academy of Design, and Thomas Cole, the leading artist of the Hudson River School of American landscape painting.2 That year, members of the National Academy of Design had formed the Sketch Club with the purpose of ‘mutual intercourse’ and ‘impromptu sketching’. 3 Meeting regularly, the members of the Sketch Club would sketch or write poetry based

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on a subject of the host’s choosing. That evening Hillhouse had chosen Scott’s literature as the theme. Only two sets of drawings from Sketch Club meetings still exist, one depicting Lord Byron’s poem ‘A Dream’, later known as ‘Darkness’, and the other the thirteenth verse, third canto of Scott’s poem The Lay of the Last Minstrel (1805). In this canto, the Elfin Page has led the young son of Lady Branksome into the forest. Suddenly, his spell is broken, and the page’s true form appears, frightening the child. Morse’s sketch of the scene is typically figurative, re-telling the narrative visually. Cole’s sketch is quite distinct from those by the other artists that evening. In a move that was ‘prophetic for the future of the [Hudson River] school’, as art historian Theodore E. Stebbins, Jr. has described it, Cole took a landscape approach to the subject, choosing to foreground a blasted, uprooted tree trunk, with the page and boy diminutively placed in the distant background well beyond the tree’s natural arch.4 This drawing is an early example of how the Hudson River School of painters grappled with Scott’s literary work, which is the subject of this chapter. The challenge for Cole that evening was to incorporate Scott’s narrative into his landscape vision, which led him to create diminutive figures dwarfed by nature. The Scott-inspired images that followed Cole’s Sketch Club drawing most often featured medieval castles and abbeys, a common setting for narrative action in Scott’s historical romances. Although scholars have examined paintings of castles – many of them inspired by Scott’s novels – these studies have most often been in the context of studies of single artists, especially Cole. In contrast, this chapter will look at a number of landscape painters in addition to Cole and how their reading of Scott, coupled with their own travel experiences, resulted in paintings of castles, real and imaginary.5 That so many American artists engaged in painting castles suggests the paradoxical nature of American culture in the nineteenth century, when commentators clamoured for a uniquely American culture, even while American authors and artists copied or borrowed from European culture. Castles function as perhaps the ultimate European signifier in otherwise generalized landscapes. The influential art critic John Ruskin summed up the perceived inadequacy of American culture and landscape – in the context of praising the writings of Scott – when he wrote in his autobiography in the 1880s: ‘And at

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this day, though I have kind invitations enough to visit America, I could not, even for a couple of months, live in a country so miserable as to possess no castles.’ Ruskin defined American culture by what it lacked – the physical remnants of age and tradition. As objects in a landscape, castles gave meaning to a place and, in this instance, their absence equalled a lack of culture in Ruskin’s estimation. By painting castles, American artists countered Ruskin’s derogatory comments by co-opting the very object – the castle – that made a view worthy in Ruskin’s eyes. Ruskin wrote that ‘it was probably much happier to live in a small house, and have Warwick Castle to be astonished at, than to live in Warwick Castle and have nothing to be astonished at’.6 Those American artists who included castles in the landscape created views worthy of the viewer’s astonished gaze and, this chapter will argue, gave American culture a modicum of legitimacy in an era of rising American nationalism. Among the earliest American landscapes to include castles were those by Thomas Doughty, one of the first professional landscape painters in the United States. Self-taught, Doughty did not travel to Europe until 1837, after he had painted a number of scenes featuring castles, including A Swiss Scene (1829), Round Tower on the Rhine (c.1830) and Fanciful Landscape (1834). Painted in Boston, Fanciful Landscape was no doubt inspired by European landscape paintings as well as the popular literature of the period, including Gothic novels by Ann Radcliffe and historical romances by Scott, in which castle settings figure prominently. Of course, crumbling castles were not part of the American scene. Given that there was no authentic medieval tradition of castle construction in the United States, the fascination with such structures is noteworthy and compelling.7 One author, Isaac Mitchell, went so far as to create a fictional castle in Connecticut in order to satiate the American desire for such medieval piles. Mitchell’s novel The Asylum, or Alonzo and Melissa (later plagiarized by Daniel Jackson, Jr. as Alonzo and Melissa) serves as a parallel to Hudson River School paintings of castles. Set during the American Revolution, the novel tells the story of engaged lovers, Alonzo and Melissa. When Alonzo’s family loses its fortune, Melissa’s father tries to force her to marry another suitor. In an attempt to separate her from Alonzo, Melissa’s father sends Melissa

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to a family owned, partly ruinous castle located on Long Island Sound. Melissa’s aunt is her jailer at the castle. Although the castle was supposedly built in the seventeenth century by one of the earliest English settlements in Connecticut to protect the inhabitants from Indian attacks, it is described in typical Gothic terms, as a large, oldfashioned, castle like building . . . The gate which opened into the yard, was made of strong hard wood, thickly crossed on the outside with iron bars, and filled with old iron spikes . . . The house was of real Gothic architecture, built of rude stone with battlements.8

The castle has both a moat and a drawbridge, and its interior is riddled with secret passageways. Everything is described as ‘ancient’ (even if it is only about one hundred years old at the time of the novel’s action). Melissa’s aunt leaves her locked in the castle for a time during which the Gothic episodes in the novel occur. For several nights, Melissa’s sleep is disrupted by the intrusion of apparently supernatural noises and spectral appearances. She hears pistol shots and voices warning her ‘Away, Away’. A cold hand grabs her as she lies in bed, but when she awakes, her room is empty. A tall figure with ‘matted gore’ in its hair, blood spattered on its white robe and a bloody knife in hand, appears in her bedroom.9 All of these Gothic intrusions occur while the drawbridge is pulled up and the castle locked tightly. The castle scenes in Alonzo and Melissa represent the classic Gothic locked door mystery. Mitchell’s work belongs to the Radcliffian tradition in that all of the apparently supernatural occurrences are explained in rational terms at the end of the text. The explanation reveals yet another anachronism: the spectral intruders were ‘illicit traders’ using the castle as a retreat because of its proximity to Long Island Sound. When they discover Melissa in their lair, they attempt to frighten her away with supernatural happenings that they stage with theatrical flair appropriate to the gloomy surroundings of the castle. With this exegesis, Mitchell brings banditti to the shores of America to complement his Gothic castle. Mitchell is often criticized for placing a real medieval castle in the setting of Connecticut during the Revolutionary War. Indeed, the novel’s Connecticut castle is wildly anachronistic in architectural

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terms, a problem inherent in using a traditional Gothic setting for a story set in the New World. However, Alonzo and Melissa was very successful, ‘probably one of the most popular works of fiction written in nineteenth-century America’, according to literary scholar Alexander Cowie. The popularity of Alonzo and Melissa suggests that the American public craved the castle scenery presented in its pages, an allure that did not go unrecognized by landscape painters.10 Although painters before Cole depicted castle scenes, it was Cole who popularized the tradition. Cole was born in England in 1801 and came to the United States with his family in 1818. A poet himself, Cole’s reading of Romantic literature informed his artistic work. In 1835, Cole praised Scott, for Scott had ‘no mawkishness, no morbid sensitiveness, no feverish fantasies, but a sound heart, a grasping, a creative, a powerful mind, and an herculean body knit wonderfully together’.11 Also, Cole travelled to important architectural sites in Europe and returned to the United States to create American Gothic Revival style not in stone or wood but on canvas. As Cole scholar Ellwood Parry writes, ‘Alone at his easel, employing private rather than costly public materials, oil pigments in place of carefully quarried marble or sandstone, an artist like Cole could “build” gothic structures on a massive scale, unrivaled by his contemporaries.’12 Cole’s writings, including literary sketches, essays and poetry, reveal a genuine Romantic sensibility. Visiting Volterra, Italy, Cole stood on the cliffs and wrote in his journal: ‘I shuddered as I stood upon the edge of this abyss, and feared for a moment that the crumbling earth would slide from beneath me.’13 In his sketch ‘The Bewilderment’, Cole wrote of being trapped in a storm. Parts of his description drip with Gothic sensibility. He contemplated seeking shelter in a cave which ‘yawned like [a] sepulchre’. Where did it lead? ‘Perhaps to unfathomable gulfs, into black labyrinths, into the dayless caverns of the earth. In vain imagination [I] pictured dreadful things.’ Cole was influenced by the concept of the sublime, as is evident in his paintings depicting minute figures in awe of the natural landscape.14 Cole travelled to Europe between 1829 and 1832 and again between 1841 and 1842. In Europe, Cole was enthralled with medieval architecture. On his first visit in 1829, he went to Westminster Abbey and wrote to his parents that it ‘far exceeds my expectations: no prints or descriptions can give a true notion of its grandeur’.15 In 1830 he

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visited Newstead Abbey and made pencil sketches of the abbey and the surrounding landscape. While viewing these and other medieval edifices, Cole, like other tourists, fantasized about the human events linked to these ancient buildings. About his trip down the Rhone River in 1831, he wrote: The scenery on the Rhone is exceedingly fine, resembling very much that of the Hudson. Crowning the abrupt precipices, which sometimes rise into very grand forms, are numerous castles in ruins . . . These castle-views carry the mind back to feudal times. Through the crumbling gate-ways fancy easily calls forth the steel-clad warriors, and sounds the trumpet, or sees the dark-eyed ladies looking through the narrow windows of the mouldering towers for the return of their beloved knights from the ways.16

Gazing at the medieval castles, he wrote his own Romantic histories in the vein of Scott. In September 1841, Cole visited Kenilworth and Warwick Castles, which both appear in Scott’s novel Kenilworth (1821). Kenilworth exceeded his expectations with its ‘ivy-clad towers’, ‘dismantled windows’ and ‘ragged loopholes’ while Warwick was to Cole ‘the most complete specimen of Feudal architecture’.17 He also made sketches of Kenilworth, including an oil sketch, which he used for his finished painting of Kenilworth (unlocated). Cole was an avid admirer of the Gothic architectural style. In an unpublished essay from the late 1830s, he wrote that ‘[Gothic] architecture aspires to something beyond finite perfection . . . All is lofty, aspiring and mysterious . . . Ever hovering on the verge of the impossible, on it the mind does not dwell with satisfied delight, but takes wing & soars into an imaginary world.’18 Cole’s paired paintings that deal with the Middle Ages, The Departure and The Return (1837) and Past and Present (1838), were no doubt influenced by his reading of Scott’s novels. The subject matter of Cole’s paintings The Departure (plate XII) and The Return (plate XIII) is, in Cole’s words, ‘Scenes Illustrative of Feudal Manners and Times’.19 Cole’s patron for the paintings was William P. Van Rensselaer, who left the subject up to Cole. Cole then reached into his reserve of Gothic imagery to paint the medieval images. The fantasy that he described while travelling on the Rhone comes to

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life on his canvas. In his description of The Departure, Cole wrote that the Lord of the Castle, at the head of ‘a troop of knights and soldiers’, ‘waves his sword as though saluting some fair lady, who from some lofty battlement or narrow window, watches her Lord’s departure to the war’.20 By including in his written description the image of the fair lady, Cole expands his narrative beyond what is explicitly depicted in his painting. In this manner, he further fictionalizes his own fiction; he recreates the kind of fantasy that Americans abroad, their heads filled with the legends and romances of Scott’s novels, paint in their imagination while visiting Gothic buildings. There is, then, a direct link between Cole’s travel experiences, his novel reading and his completed paintings. Parry has argued that Cole’s abbey in The Return is based on American collegiate Gothic Revival, such as Town, Davis and Dakin’s New York University, on Washington Square (1833–7), which may be one source.21 But it is significant that Cole had also seen European Gothic architecture first-hand. Also, in the 1830s, when Cole was creating these paintings, illustrations from Scott’s novels, which prominently feature medieval castles in particular, were popular. Published in London in 1832, Landscape Illustrations of the Waverley Novels: with Descriptions of the Views is filled with medieval castle views, as is Landscape-Historical Illustrations of Scotland and the Waverley Novels from Drawings by JMW Turner, published in London, Paris and the United States between 1836 and 1838. A typical engraving from Landscape Illustrations is ‘Warwick Castle’ from Scott’s novel Kenilworth. This view of Warwick from the Avon River may have been the source for Jasper Cropsey’s painting Warwick Castle, England (1857), which is very similar in composition. An admirer of Scott, Cole would likely have been familiar with these popular illustrative works of Scott’s novels as well. Cole was also familiar with Scott’s home Abbotsford. On 24 June 1835 Cole read Washington Irving’s essay ‘Abbotsford’, which detailed Irving’s visit to Scott at his baronial mansion. In response, Cole praised Scott as a ‘healthy genius’.22 When his patron first realized that Cole was planning to use medieval imagery in The Departure and The Return, Van Rensselaer was dismayed. In a letter to Cole, he wrote that his first impression was that he ‘did not like the 13th century & the knights’.23 But both

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the patron and the press looked favourably upon Cole’s completed works. Another of Cole’s patrons, Peter G. Stuyvesant, was so impressed with the paintings that he commissioned Cole to paint a similar pair, entitled Past and Present.24 In Past, Cole depicts a jousting match in front of a medieval castle. Once again, the viewer is brought back to feudal times. In Present, the scene is centuries later, the structure now a gloomy ruin. Cole shows both the past life of the building and its present state of Romantic decay in the painted equivalent of Gothic tourism. Although best known for landscapes of American scenery, Asher B. Durand indulged in imaginary landscapes à la Cole. Durand’s Landscape—Scene from ‘Thanatopsis’ (1850) illustrates the melancholic poem of the same title by William Cullen Bryant (1811, 1817). The poem is a musing about mortality with the moral message of the inevitability of death. The castle and cathedral in the distance in Durand’s painting illustrate Bryant’s lines ‘Thou shalt lie down / With patriarchs of the infant world,–with kings, / The powerful of the earth,–the wise, the good, / Fair forms, and hoary seers of ages past’.25 This painting is an anomaly in Durand’s body of work and was painted in the years following Cole’s death; other artists, however, more enthusiastically followed Cole’s tradition of historical-allegorical paintings. In his interest in castle scenes, Jasper Cropsey followed Cole’s example more closely. He is perhaps best known today for works such as Autumn—on the Hudson River (1860), but in his own day, American critic Henry T. Tuckerman called his most ‘characteristic’ works scenes of medieval architecture such as Days of Elizabeth (Hawking Party in the Time of Queen Elizabeth) (1853) and The Olden Times–Morning (1859), which are in the style of Cole.26 A practising architect, Cropsey had a fondness for painting large-scale architectural works, leading one reviewer in the New York Herald to write that Cropsey almost stood alone in architectural painting.27 Accordingly, during Cropsey’s first trip abroad – his honeymoon in the summer of 1847 – he and his wife visited Scott’s Abbotsford and a selection of British castles and abbeys. Cropsey’s wife Maria described in her correspondence what they saw, including Melrose Abbey, ‘the most perfect speciman [sic] of Gothic architecture in Scotland’.28 While his wife painted her picture in words, Cropsey sketched the famous

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abbey on paper. Located near Abbotsford, Melrose Abbey became a favourite haunt of tourists after Scott featured the ruins in his poem The Lay of the Last Minstrel. In her description of Melrose, Mrs Cropsey was paraphrasing the guidebook Black’s Picturesque Tourist of Scotland, which the Cropseys had with them on their tour (their copy is still in the collection of the Newington-Cropsey Foundation in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York). The guidebook called Melrose ‘one of the finest specimens of Gothic architecture in Scotland’, whereas Mrs Cropsey heaped even greater praise by calling it the ‘most perfect’.29 The next morning they visited Abbotsford, which was ‘very interesting, everything yet remains as [Scott] left them’.30 In addition, Cropsey quoted lines from Scott occasionally in his correspondence.31 Among Cropsey’s most celebrated imaginary scenes are the paired paintings, The Spirit of War and The Spirit of Peace (both 1851). The Spirit of War (plate XIV) depicts the Middle Ages as a time of darkness and barbarism (a pejorative view which gave the period its popular name ‘The Dark Ages’). A gloomy castle broods over a sublime landscape in which knights on horseback stream from the castle. The ominous sky portends great violence. Two descriptions by Cropsey of these paintings survive, one a draft of a letter to a ‘Mr. M’, and the other, a description that accompanied the paintings’ exhibition, which is very similar. In the draft letter, Cropsey wrote that he was painting ‘that period when constant strife existed among the knights Barons – as it at once afforded picturesque incident and material of an appropriate kind for the subject’.32 In describing The Spirit of War, Cropsey invoked Scott’s lines from The Lay of the Last Minstrel: Full wide and far was terror spread For pathless marsh, and mountain cell, The peasant left his lowly shed. The frightened flocks and herds were pent Beneath the peel’s rude battlement; And maids and matrons dropp’d the tear While ready warriors seized the spear.33

Cropsey takes these lines and applies them fairly literally onto his canvas. He then explains in great detail what is occurring in The Spirit of War. He describes the ‘red, lurid clouds’ and the ‘wild

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jagged mountains in the distance’ after a ‘stormy and rainy night’. The ‘stern feudal castle’ rises above the hamlet and in its windows ‘there yet glows the light of the Banquet hall where debauched knights, and Baron’s vassals keep their midnight revelry’. But the enemy approaches, and the warriors exit through the portcullis while the ‘goatherd hurries his flock to the castle court for safety, the mother and child fled from her burning home has fallen exhausted by the road side’.34 The painting’s companion, The Spirit of Peace presents the tranquillity that follows war. The Spirit of Peace is a dramatic scene of ancient times, in which a slightly off-centre classical round temple (perhaps inspired by the Temple of the Sibyl in Tivoli, Italy) presides over a sunny, tropical landscape. Looking at the political context of the year in which Cropsey painted these two scenes (1851), art historian Angela Miller has argued that the painting’s themes parallel national events in the United States. At the end of the Mexican-American War in 1848, new American territories in the west came into existence, causing fierce debate among abolitionists and pro-slavery advocates. Whether these new territories would be free or slave was the issue. Moderates praised the Compromise of 1850, a series of laws passed by Congress that cooled the tension for the moment and delayed the Civil War for a decade. According to Miller, Cropsey’s paintings concern the threat of secession and war (in The Spirit of War) and the respite from anxiety and potential for peace (in The Spirit of Peace).35 The cultural context of the Gothic Revival in the mid-nineteenth century United States is also important to consider. When Cropsey completed his paired paintings in 1851, a wave of Gothic Revival building was sweeping the country. Gothic Revival villas, such as Ithiel Town and Alexander Jackson Davis’s Glen Ellen in Baltimore, Maryland (1832), and smaller middle-class villas, such as Davis’s Delamater Residence in Rhinebeck, New York (1844), had recently appeared in the American landscape. Vernacular builders followed suit. However, these structures share little in common with the overwhelming castles depicted in paintings by the Hudson River School. The castles of the Middle Ages had to be domesticated to make them palatable as actual residences for American clients. Davis designed Ericstan for John Herrick in 1855 and created a watercolour

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of the moonlit castle set within a picturesque landscape. The similarities between Davis’s painting and landscapes by Hudson River School painters are striking and demonstrate the notion that some patrons wanted more than a castle picture to hang on the wall; they wanted their very own castellated residence. Why does Cropsey choose to depict war as a medieval event while peace takes the guise of classicism? These two paintings and the preponderance of castellated villas and cottages tell us a great deal about how Americans viewed the Middle Ages in 1851. The romanticized Middle Ages provided a literary and artistic outlet in the face of rapid industrialization and urbanization while promoting an Anglo-American hegemony among educated elites in the United States. Art historian Alan Wallach has called Cole’s medieval images – which were painted during the period when American aristocracy was in decline – ‘elegies for America’s fallen elite’. According to Wallach these paintings ‘embodied romantic longings for an idealized medieval society – a hierarchically ordered world free of the upheavals and dislocations of contemporary life’.36 Indeed, Cole asserted that seeing Warwick Castle first-hand carried him ‘away from the steamboat and railroad world in which we now live’.37 In the absence of seeing Warwick on a regular basis, an image of it or any British castle served the same purpose for Americans. Michael Alexander, a scholar of medievalism in Great Britain, describes the nineteenth-century longing for the past in this way: ‘The world in which revivalists live seems to them to lack something which they believe to have been present in the culture of another time.’38 Preindustrial and aristocratic medieval Britain held a certain appeal for nineteenth-century American elites struggling to maintain their cultural hegemony. Although Alexander rejects the notion that medievalism was merely escapist, there is certainly an element of fantasy expressed in the desire to gaze at a castle picture or live in a Gothic Revival residence; as Marc Girouard writes, in Great Britain in the age of Scott, ‘Castles suggested romance, dashing deeds, ancient lineage, and lavish hospitality in baronial halls.’39 Cropsey painted a number of Scott-inspired scenes, including Days of Elizabeth (Hawking Party in the Time of Queen Elizabeth) (1853), in which a hawking party returns to a medieval fortress, and The Olden Times–Morning (1859) (plate XV), which originally

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had a companion piece, The Olden Times–Evening (unlocated). When exhibited in the nineteenth century, The Olden Times–Morning received an interesting review in the Cosmopolitan Art Journal in 1859, which read: ‘Mr. Cropsey has just completed a picture entitled “The Olden Time”, representing a tournament and calling vividly to mind the field of Ashby de la Zouche.’40 The comment, while lost to some readers today, would have resonated with the nineteenthcentury American public, enamoured as these readers were with Scott’s novels, since the reviewer here refers to Scott’s most popular novel Ivanhoe (1820). In the story, Scott describes in great detail a jousting tournament in which Wilfred of Ivanhoe is injured. It is tempting to look at Cropsey’s painting and match the figures represented to the novel’s characters that attended the Ashby tournament. Such an attempt fails, however: while one figure could be Isaac the Jew, Cropsey’s figure is not accompanied by his beautiful adult daughter Rebecca, but a young child. The knight, whom we might mistake for Ivanhoe, cannot possibly be Wilfred, since his face is uncovered (and the suspense of the novel’s scenes lies in the shroud of mystery of who the ‘Disinherited Knight’ might be, as the knight covers his face with his visor). Although the painting’s companion is unavailable to us, it is possible that the scene showed an injured knight carried away on a litter (similar to Cole’s Return). These castle paintings, then, are not always literal interpretations of Scott’s novels, but as the reviewer makes clear, the mere subject of knights and castles calls to mind Scott. Scott was so popular that he had a large influence on tourism in Great Britain in the nineteenth century. Like Cole and Cropsey, many nineteenth-century Americans went on the ‘Grand Tour’ of Great Britain and followed similar patterns. Literary pilgrimage played a large role in mapping out places to be visited. Sites associated with Scott, whether the author’s own haunts or places described in his writings, became popular tourist destinations. The drawings and paintings of the Hudson River School artists who made such pilgrimages provide a visual record of the tourist experience. One such pilgrim was William Hart (1823–94), who came to Albany, New York from his native Scotland with his family, including his brother, James Hart (1828–1901) in 1831.41 The Hart brothers both pursued painting, and much of their work focuses on idyllic

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Figure 18: William Hart, Sketch of Abbotsford, 1851.

bovine scenes. Of these two second-generation Hudson River School painters, William Hart was more intrigued by scenes of Old World architecture in the vein of Cole. In his hand-written autobiography (never published), Hart describes how Cole came to Albany to give a lecture, and the next day visited Hart and encouraged him to continue his landscape painting.42 With the financial assistance of his patron Dr Armsby, Hart went to Scotland between 1849 and 1852. The sketches he made in Scotland, recently acquired by the Albany Institute of History and Art, function as a visual diary of his trip. In 1851, he sketched in the vicinity of Abbotsford (figure 18). Most often, Hart positioned himself at a distance from the architectural objects that lend the sketches their names. Here Scott’s mansion, with its jagged roofline of gables and towers, disappears into the rolling Scottish countryside. A diminutive figure communes with nature or reads a book in the right foreground. Who is this figure? Perhaps he is another picturesque tourist, perhaps the artist himself or perhaps, in a gloss of nostalgia, this is an imaginary scene of Scott haunting the border landscape that he knew and loved so well (Scott

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had died in 1832). Indeed, the compositional relationship between Abbotsford and the slouched figure are reminiscent of a well-known print of Abbotsford, published in William Beattie’s Scotland Illustrated, in which Scott reads in a chair while his dog relaxes nearby (figure 13). Hart seems significantly less interested in architecture than in landscape in most of his sketches. One exception is his close-up view of Edinburgh Castle (1851), in which the fortification boldly perches on the cliff overlooking the rest of the city. But most of Hart’s encounters with Scottish architecture are similar to his view of Abbotsford. Hart visited Dryburgh Abbey, Scott’s burial place. He carefully notes on his sketch of Dryburgh Abbey that the building is ‘the resting place of Walter Scott’. Hart appears to have placed himself and his sketchbook at a highly recommended position for viewing the abbey. Scott himself comments on the picturesque interest medieval structures can hold from afar; in Ivanhoe, Scott writes that ‘The distant appearance of this huge building [the Castle of Coningsburgh] . . . is as interesting to the lovers of the picturesque, as the interior of the castle is to the eager antiquary.’43 Guidebooks concurred: Black’s Picturesque Tourist of Scotland advocated viewing Dryburgh from the top of Bemerside Hill, where ‘from no other point can the eye command with equal advantage the whole vale of Melrose’.44 The guide reproduced a woodcut copy of J. M. W. Turner’s view from this spot – first illustrated in the Poetical Works of Sir Walter Scott – and, juxtaposed, the two scenes are strikingly similar. Here again the abbey is scarcely noticeable in the vegetation surrounding it; the medieval architecture is simply another projection in the irregular and natural landscape. That Gothic architecture was related to nature was a common nineteenth-century notion, expressed by Ralph Waldo Emerson in a lecture in 1836, when he noted: ‘The Gothic church plainly originated in a rude adaptation of forest trees, with their boughs on, to a festal or solemn edifice.’45 Hart made two sketches of Melrose Abbey, again positioning himself away from the buildings. One includes an idyllic foreground scene of a horse-drawn carriage and pedestrian going about their country business, reminiscent of Hart’s favourite subject of pleasant rural scenes in the United States. The medieval abbey forms the

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quotidian backdrop in this sentimental view of the pre-industrial landscape of Scotland. Hart’s oil painting Windsor Castle above the Thames (1852) presents a similar scene of everyday life in the foreground with the castle a distant object in the landscape. Such images would have intrigued Americans whose own landscape lacked such picturesque scenery. One area of particular interest for Scott’s devotees was the area around Stratford. As historian Allison Lockwood writes ‘No selfrespecting nineteenth-century American tourist could fail to honor the English trinity of Stratford-on-Avon, Warwick Castle, and the ruins of Kenilworth Castle, the last two recommended and endorsed by their beloved Sir Walter Scott.’46 Stratford, popularized as the birthplace of Shakespeare, was often the first stop for such explorations. From there, tourists visited Kenilworth Castle. One such group included the painter John Casilear, who travelled there in 1840 with his friends, the painters John Frederick Kensett, Asher B. Durand and others. The pages of Scott’s novel Kenilworth (1821) had brought to life the events at the castle during Elizabeth I’s reign, when she entertained Dudley, the earl of Leicester, within its walls. Since 1650, the castle had been in ruins, the victim of Cromwell’s destruction. Before writing his novel, Scott visited the ruins in 1815. With some changes, Scott’s description of the castle is fairly accurate: The lordly structure itself, which rose near the centre of this spacious enclosure, was composed of a huge pile of magnificent castellated buildings, apparently of different ages, surrounding an inner court, and bearing in the names attached to each portion of the magnificent mass, and in the armorial bearings which were there blazoned, the emblems of mighty chiefs who had long passed away.47

Scott’s words raise the issue of accumulation; what appealed to many Americans was the idea that these structures bore the stamp of generations. In contrast, American architecture was relatively new, none of it aristocratic. Despite the pride in America’s democratic republic, aristocracy still held an attraction for elite Americans. Seeing the gloves, hats and overcoats of Warwick castle’s current occupants – ‘indication of hereditary proprietorship’ – startled the American Henry T. Tuckerman, who wrote:

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This quotation sums up the appeal of both Scott’s literature and castle paintings, especially in Tuckerman’s New York, where it was indeed rare to find ‘hereditary proprietorship’. Southerners likewise cherished the family’s rootedness to the landscape over time. In the nineteenth century the United States possessed a culture of change and instability, leading some Americans to admire the idea of being attached to a specific place over the course of generations. Another landscape painter, Sanford Robinson Gifford, travelled to Europe in 1855 and wrote letters home to his father describing his travels (these letters served as his travel journal). As he travelled around, Gifford was often reading Scott’s novels. For instance, he read Rob Roy (1817) to prepare for his visit to Scotland. Gifford was not alone. One American writer commented that all tourists have a copy of Kenilworth under their arms: ‘The novel is a guidebook to them.’49 Gifford bought a copy of Kenilworth at Leamington and read it before visiting the castle, of which he wrote ‘the genius of Scott has invested these magnificent remains with a far livelier interest than bald history would ever give them’.50 He especially delighted in Guy’s Tower, which he found picturesque in its ivy covering. He continued ‘My abhorence [sic] of Cromwellian vandalism I fear is somewhat mitigated by the beauty of the ruin it caused.’51 He positioned himself to sketch the tower and realized that the view was familiar to him. He wrote to his father: ‘I knew that tower – and so indeed I did. Both Cole and Cropsey have sketched it from near the same spot.’52 This quotation shows both the influence of Cole and his castle pictures, but also highlights that these architectural sites were well trodden by American landscape painters, who were following the tourism trends of the larger well-heeled American public. Indeed, Gifford noted that the historical characters of Scott’s imagination were often ‘jostled by the numerous parties of sight-seers who are always wandering about the ruins’.53 Gifford’s

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oil painting of the Kenilworth ruins (Kenilworth Castle, 1858) includes a genteel tourist with a parasol admiring the pleasing decay before her. Unlike Hart, Gifford did not go to Abbotsford and Melrose, but he mentioned them in his letters. He did visit Scotland, which American author Bayard Taylor wittily renamed ‘Scott-land’ in 1844. With his long poem The Lady of the Lake, Scott popularized the Trossachs, an area of beautiful lake and mountain scenery where the Scottish Highlands and Lowlands meet.54 The most well-known Hudson River School painting of the Trossachs is Robert Scott Duncanson’s Ellen’s Isle, Loch Katrine (1871). Tourists visited the Trossachs seeking the locations that Scott had described. Gifford followed the popular route, beginning at Stirling Castle (which he sketched) and heading to the village of Callander. From Callander, tourists such as Gifford made excursions to the Trossachs and Loch Katrine. In his letters, Gifford quoted lines from Scott’s poem and noted where significant events from the poem took place, stating that ‘The scenery of all this region is made famous by Scott in the Lady of the Lake.’ At Ben Venue, a mountain overlooking Loch Katrine in the Trossachs, Gifford risked life and limb in search of ‘good points of view’. He left the beaten path and found it difficult to proceed, and he joked that the mountain was ‘offended’ by his boldness: ‘as I toiled up, [the mountain] opposed me with such a succession of frowning crags and treacherous morass . . . that I was forced . . . to descend’.55 Gifford’s humorous prose belies the seriousness of purpose that landscape painters felt in finding the right vantage point from which to sketch. To conclude, it is useful to turn to a painter not usually associated with landscape, Lilly Martin Spencer, whose painting Reading the Legend (1852) captures exactly the kind of romantic reverie inspired by Scott’s novels (plate XVI). As a man reads from a book (perhaps one of Scott’s novels?), a woman gazes at a craggy ruined castle that has succumbed to nature. Backlit windows give the appearance of possible habitation, adding to the intrigue of the forlorn place. The castle is likely a fictive imagining on the part of the young woman, whose mind has escaped the mundane world of domestic chores – the more common subject of Spencer’s paintings – in favour of a nostalgic longing for the past and a life of adventure and mystery.

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Scott’s novels made Gothic architecture familiar to an American audience of readers like the ones depicted in Spencer’s fantasy. When actually in the presence of castles while touring Great Britain, Americans referred to Scott to understand what they saw. As American clergyman Henry Ward Beecher (1813–87) wrote about viewing Warwick Castle, ‘And now, too, am I to see . . . the things which Scott has made so familiar to all as mere words – moats, portcullises, battlements, keeps or mounds, arrow-slit windows, watch-towers.’ For Beecher, the sight of an actual medieval building, so magnified by Scott’s descriptions, was electrifying. Upon seeing Warwick Castle for the first time, Beecher wrote, ‘It was the first sight of a real baronial castle! It was a historic dream breaking forth into a waking reality.’56 Andrew Jackson Downing, the Hudson Valley landscape gardener, summed up the American thrill of seeing the architecture of Scott’s novels first-hand: ‘To an American, whose country is but two hundred years old, the bridging over such a vast chasm of time by the domestic memorials of a single family . . . is something that approaches the sublime.’57 For those who did not travel abroad, or for those who wished to remember their travels, the paintings of the Hudson River School provided a visual reminder of a past America never experienced, offering the comfort of a recognizable history. But these paintings also allowed patrons to own a piece of British history, as it were. After all, as historians have argued, Gothic architecture was a ‘symbol of English nationality’.58 Through paintings of castles in the landscape, this symbol could be co-opted by Americans eager to legitimize American culture. For this reason, the influence of Scott’s literary imagination on landscape painting in the United States was both profound and long lasting. As late as 1892, William Trost Richards produced The Ruins of Fast Castle, Berwickshire, Scotland: The Wolf ’s Crag of the Bride of Lammermoor (1892), a dramatic image inspired by Scott’s novel The Bride of Lammermoor (1819). Richards completed this painting more than a half century after Scott’s death and sixty-three years after the Sketch Club had met in New York City, with Scott’s The Lay of the Last Minstrel as inspiration for the evening’s activities. Scottinspired paintings provided an antidote to what was perceived by critics as a deficiency in American culture, what Cole himself called a ‘want of associations’ in his ‘Essay on American Scenery’

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(1836).59 But, as this chapter has shown, even by the end of the nineteenth century, American artists were still depicting castles in the landscape, linking past and present through a flourish of romanticized medievalism.

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6 The Theatrical Spectacle of Medieval Revival: Edwin Forrest’s Fonthill Castle K Although not an architect, Gothic Revival advocate and Alexander Jackson Davis collaborator Andrew Jackson Downing (1815–52) designed his own Tudor Gothic Revival house in 1838–9 on the banks of the Hudson and dubbed it Highland Garden. Downing’s friend George William Curtis related in a memoir that one night while visiting Downing, he was reading in the library of the house, thinking all had gone to bed. Unexpectedly, a bookcase swung open and Downing emerged from a secret passageway he had built connecting the library to an office addition. Curtis writes ‘suddenly one of the book-cases flew out of the wall, turning upon noiseless hinges, and, out of the perfect darkness behind, Downing darted into the room, while I sat staring like a benighted guest in the Castle of Otranto’.1 Curtis’s reference to Horace Walpole’s Gothic novel The Castle of Otranto is telling. Typically, a Gothic novel is set in a gloomy castle or manor house, full of intricate passageways and secret rooms. The architecture is inherently unknowable, and unexpected events and circumstances are commonplace. The kind of dramatic spectacle that Curtis describes is also entirely consonant with the Gothic Revival style of architecture, as is the addition of a secret passageway, which functions in this case similarly to a trap door on a stage. Given Downing’s prank, perhaps it is not surprising that he delighted in parlour theatricals.2 Although charades were popular before 1850, parlour theatricals subsequently became increasingly

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elaborate, with special effects, costumes, make-up and stage curtains. Medieval rituals and pageants were prevalent at this time in America and England alike. To mid-nineteenth-century Americans, Gothic Revival architectural spaces must have seemed ideal for this form of entertainment. Indeed, Gothic Revival architecture is often described as theatrical. Horace Walpole’s Strawberry Hill in Twickenham, England is a case in point. In The Gothic Revival, Chris Brooks states that at Strawberry Hill, ‘gothic assumed a new character, for its conception was theatrical, even melodramatic’.3 In mid-nineteenth-century America, one building in particular stands out for its dramatic nature: actor Edwin Forrest’s Fonthill Castle. Architectural historian James Early has suggested that all Romantic revivals are inherently theatrical; if so, then Fonthill is the quintessential medieval revival castle.4 In this period, medieval revival architecture relied on spectacle and disguise to create semifictional spaces. Fonthill Castle can also tell us something about nationalism. Edwin Forrest was a patriotic American, but despite his nationalist tendencies, Forrest created a castle derived from British Gothic and Norman precedent, and even named the castle after a British building, William Beckford’s Fonthill Abbey. This chapter addresses the reasons for this apparent paradox. Edwin Forrest was born in 1806 in Philadelphia. His mother, of German descent, was a native of Philadelphia. His father was a Scottish immigrant employed by the First Bank of the United States. When his father lost his job, the family became debt-ridden; after his father’s death, they were destitute. Forrest’s poor childhood led to an adult obsession with making money, which his extraordinarily successful acting career satiated. Forrest has been called the ‘first native-born, native-trained actor to become a star’.5 He was immensely popular in his role as King Lear, but he also played a number of tragic figures, including Macbeth and Othello. As a young actor, he adopted a regimen of physical fitness, which included a half-hour of gymnastics and posture practice every morning, followed by a walk around his room two or three times on his hands.6 He was known for his commanding voice and hyper-masculine physique; he showed off his calf muscles and biceps on stage as often as possible. Forrest’s extreme masculinity was the subject of much commentary. At age eighteen, Sophia Peabody (who later married Nathaniel

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Figure 19: Engraving of Fonthill.

Hawthorne) wrote about Edwin Forrest: ‘His limbs are the most exquisitely beautiful created things I ever saw in a man.’7 At the height of his success, and before his well-publicized and scandalous divorce, Forrest created Fonthill Castle (1848–52). Fonthill is located sixteen miles from New York City in northern Riverdale (bordering Yonkers) on a fifty-five-acre site that Forrest purchased in 1847. Forrest had just recently returned from Great Britain and Ireland, where medieval and medieval revival edifices abound. Before building his castle, Forrest constructed a cottage and stables on the estate in 1847. Now occupied by the Sisters of

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Charity and known as the ‘Villa’, Forrest’s symmetrical grey fieldstone cottage has a pointed arch entrance, diamond casement windows, a decorative bargeboard on the clipped gable in the centre pavilion and exceptionally large brackets under the eaves. In all likelihood, Forrest consulted the writings of Andrew Jackson Downing in choosing his cottage design. He owned copies of the second editions of Downing’s A Treatise on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening and Cottage Residences, both published in 1844 (originally published in 1841 and 1842, respectively). The cottage resembles Downing’s designs, and the stable is likewise picturesque with its brackets and roofline of steeply pitched gables.8 The focus of the Forrest estate was Fonthill Castle, an imposing fortress on a rocky promontory overlooking the Hudson River – now with a view of the George Washington Bridge (figure 19). Forrest sold the estate to the Sisters of Charity in 1856, and today Fonthill Castle is used as the admissions office for the College of Mount Saint Vincent. The structure is of rough-hammered grey granite, and the style is a mixture of Norman and Gothic. The plan of the building and its massing are quite different from the Gothic Revival villas most often associated with the Hudson River style. The Fonthill plan consists of interlocking octagons, each octagon representing a room. The great hall is the central octagon, which connects directly to the dining room, drawing room, library and by way of a small hallway, Mrs Forrest’s reception room. The smallest octagon (also the highest, at seventy feet) is the stair tower. The interiors are quite rich in detail: for example, the floor of the great hall features encaustic tile arranged in a tessellated pattern (figure 20). Above the great hall, supported by large oak brackets, is a gallery that Forrest intended to use for displaying paintings. The octagonal rooms on the second floor were designed as bedrooms. The plan is amazingly compact. One contemporary observer commented, ‘The design of the building is certainly original. Most castles consist of a centre building, flanked with towers. Mr. Forrest’s castle . . . is composed of nothing but towers, presenting . . . a very unique and a very picturesque appearance.’9 As architectural historian Patrick Snadon concludes, Fonthill Castle represents a departure from the elegant castellated villa and towards a more imposing fortress that is decidedly less domestic than, for instance, Davis’s Glen Ellen or

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Figure 20: The great hall at Fonthill Castle.

Lyndhurst (heavily fortified castles such as Davis’s Ericstan appear after Fonthill Castle). These castellated villas feature delicate tracery, graceful towers, bay windows and elegant verandas. In contrast, Fonthill Castle more closely resembles a medieval fortress, with its dearth of windows (which often resemble narrow loopholes), its short, wide towers and its rugged masonry.10

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Although Fonthill Castle was primarily designed as a private domicile, Forrest intended the structure to have public functions as well. In this period, homes of famous Americans came to symbolize their owners, re-casting private residences in a public light. Up the river from Fonthill is Sunnyside, Washington Irving’s house (1835–7). The author of ‘Rip Van Winkle’ and ‘The Legend of Sleepy Hollow’, Irving was a familiar figure in mid-nineteenthcentury America, and Sunnyside, through numerous prints, was equally celebrated. Irving was so famous that ‘his name was on street signs, hotels, steamboats, public squares, wagons, cigars, schools, a spring in Oklahoma, and a cliff in New Jersey’, one historian writes.11 Sunnyside was featured in the pages of popular journals, books and editions of Irving’s works. The house even appeared on the lid of a cigar box. Because of this publicity, Irving received invited guests and unannounced tourists who stopped by in a steady stream. ‘They come at all hours and without ceremony’, he said.12 Although Sunnyside was a private residence that became, in some ways, public, P. T. Barnum intended his house, Iranistan, in Bridgeport, Connecticut (built 1846–8; burned down 1857) to function as a public billboard for the great showman. Inspired by the Royal Pavilion in Brighton, England, this orientalized fantasy was meant to be ‘unique’, according to Barnum. He wrote, ‘In this, I confess, I had “an eye for business”, for I thought that a pile of buildings of a novel order might indirectly serve as an advertisement for my Museum.’13 Barnum held his housewarming at Iranistan in the same year that construction began on Forrest’s Fonthill Castle. And like Barnum, Forrest conceived of Fonthill as a public building, as much as a house. His original intention was that, after his death, Fonthill would become a home for retired actors who would ‘inhabit the mansion and enjoy the ground thereunto belonging’.14 Fonthill was well known as the home of the illustrious actor during his residence there, just as Iranistan and Sunnyside were celebrated for their inhabitants. Forrest was quite famous, so much so that in his lifetime ‘race horses were named after him, yachts, club boats, pilot boats, steamers, merchantmen, locomotives, military companies, fire engines, and fire companies. At least seven thespian groups called themselves the Forrest Dramatic Association.’15 Articles on Fonthill Castle appeared in popular journals, and even articles not expressly

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about Fonthill itself mention the castle as the home of Edwin Forrest. The castle’s highly visible location on the busy Hudson River also sparked interest by passers-by.16 The architectural authorship of Fonthill Castle has long been a source of debate among historians.17 Because Davis and Forrest corresponded and may have even met to discuss ideas, it has been suggested that Davis may have been responsible. Davis was definitely involved with the design process, but probably only in the early stages. What limited evidence survives points to a minimal role by Davis. Forrest’s biographers intimate that Forrest’s wife Catherine designed the plans, with approval by Forrest. In a speech, Forrest names Thomas Smith as his ‘architect’, although he also calls Smith his ‘builder’.18 In all likelihood, Forrest and his wife designed their own castle, with the advice of architects and builders and with the assistance of a host of architectural books that he and Catherine obtained during their European travel. But Davis did offer advice, some of which appears to have impacted the castle’s design. He had seen the Fonthill site from a friend’s hill at Fordham, after which, on 7 September 1847, he sent Forrest an unsolicited letter suggesting the interlocking octagonal plan, which Davis had used at Ravenswood, the Kent Villa of 1846 at Gowanus, Long Island.19 Snadon suggests that the plan of Ravenswood, with its interlocking octagons and half-octagons, may have inspired the Fonthill plan.20 However, such a claim can really only be partially true. While Davis makes use of the octagon shape at Ravenswood, the overall plan is quite different from Fonthill. As is usual with Davis’s plans, the Ravenswood scheme fans out in two directions from a central core of octagons. What is revolutionary about Fonthill is its centralization: with the exception of Mrs Forrest’s reception room and the staircase tower (which connect through a very short hallway), all of the first-floor rooms connect directly to the great hall. This centralization also makes Fonthill appear less like a villa and more like a fortress. In the same letter, Davis also suggested the Gothic style, which he had used at the W. C. H. Waddell Villa (on Murray Hill at Fifth Avenue and Thirty-eighth street in Manhattan). The Waddell Villa is interesting not just for its style, but for its compact plan, which could have influenced Fonthill Castle. The site was suburban at the

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time, and Davis was constricted by the grid plan of the streets. Hence, the plan of the villa is less sprawling than some of Davis’s rural designs. The Waddells used their villa for numerous social gatherings in the 1840s, and Davis’s plan facilitated the circulation of party guests. In addition, the use of octagonal towers flanking the entrance to the house foreshadowed Fonthill Castle’s river facade, although Davis’s towers are narrower and more elegant than Fonthill’s massive, squat towers. Davis’s last suggestion, which he felt was most appropriate for Forrest, was the Norman style, which he was using to plan an unexecuted villa for Dr Amos Hull in Newburgh, New York. This suggestion could have led Forrest to choose the Norman style, mixed with Gothic elements, for Fonthill – although once again, Davis’s Norman design, with its one round tower, is quite unlike that of Fonthill Castle. Probably, Forrest considered Davis’s suggestions and used features from the three villas Davis suggested (the octagonal shape, the compact plan and the Norman style) to create his castle. In the letter, Davis invited Forrest to make use of his architectural library; it is possible that Forrest accepted Davis’s offer and the two met to discuss Fonthill Castle, although Davis did not note such a meeting in his detailed Daybook.21 Davis continued in his letter to Forrest ‘about taste in Arch[itecture]’, as he called it in his Daybook: To succeed, even in the most humble effort at building, the proprietor’s personal attention must be devoted to the subject, as it is not enough to have a good architect, since the house will finally bear the impress of the Proprietor’s mind, and no better course can be taken than to visit buildings in any way remarkable; which exhibit either beauties or defects. This address is not intended as an application for a professional job, since I am fully and most agreeably occupied . . . but I would fain assist in trying to preserve a worthy brother from the condemnation of the judicious few to whom the public taste in the fine arts are sooner or later committed, and where criticism is alone respected.22

Davis also visited the Fonthill site and sketched its plan and elevation, possibly for inclusion in the supplements to his Rural Residences, which had been published in 1837 (figure 21). During this period,

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Figure 21: Alexander Jackson Davis, Elevation and plan of Fonthill Castle.

Davis was a regular at Forrest’s performances: on 16 September 1843, he saw Forrest as King Lear, and just days before writing Forrest the letter quoted above, Davis saw Forrest as Spartacus on 1 September 1847. In his daybook, Davis simply noted these occasions; however, two years later when he saw Forrest as Jack Cade, he wrote, on 1 May 1849, ‘Disgusted with both play & player.’23 Whether this pejorative review reflects personal tension between the two men is

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not known, but perhaps Davis felt rebuffed that Forrest had not hired him for the Fonthill commission. Another possibility is that Davis was siding with British actor William Macready in the feud between Macready and Forrest, which resulted in the Astor Place Riot on 10 May 1849, just nine days after Davis’s comment. Edwin Forrest has been characterized as a fiercely patriotic American in a period of increasing nationalism. As historian Sally Leilani Jones has convincingly argued, ‘Forrest came to represent the very embodiment of American national character’ to Jacksonian Americans.24 To be sure, many of Forrest’s actions were the result of his own patriotic fervour (and, at times, his own desire for self-aggrandizement). In 1828, Forrest announced the first American playwriting competition; he stipulated that the main character of the tragedy be ‘an aboriginal of this country’.25 Playwright and actor John Augustus Stone’s script Metamora; or, the Last of the Wampanoags won the $500 prize and became one of Forrest’s most popular roles. Forrest would later exult in his ability ‘to give to my country, by fostering the exertions of our literary friends, something like what might be called an American national drama’.26 On 4 July 1838, Forrest delivered an oration at the Democratic Republican Celebration in New York City. He began by calling the signing of the Declaration of Independence, ‘the most august event which ever constituted an epoch in the political annals of mankind’. Rhetorical overstatement marks the entire speech, which was subsequently published. 27 While planning a trip abroad, in January 1834, Forrest donated money to the Young Men’s Association of Albany to purchase ‘books PURELY AMERICAN’. Knowing that his stipulations would be widely quoted, he may have wanted to suggest that his patriotism would be undiminished by foreign influences, as his biographer Richard Moody points out.28 When Forrest first met his future wife Catherine Sinclair, he regretted her British nationality, saying to his friend Henry Wikoff in jest, ‘O, if she were only an American!’ Wikoff defended ‘Kate’, saying she was as good as an American, and even spoke better English. She could not help being born ‘on the wrong side of the Atlantic’, Wikoff insisted, to which Forrest lamented, ‘True, most veritable . . . but I am resolved. None but an American for me.’29 A year later, in 1837, Forrest married Sinclair in London. Her charm

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had somehow overcome his initial nativism, but the anecdote is significant in demonstrating the depth of Forrest’s extreme patriotism. One of his contemporaries, a critic for the Albion, remarked that Forrest was ‘the very embodiment’ of ‘the masses of American character’. Twentieth-century historians have agreed with this portrayal of Forrest. Historian Jill Lepore words her characterization strongly: if one’s political allegiances and cultural inheritances are expressed, in part, in one’s way of moving, talking, walking, and eating, then Edwin Forrest embodied Americanness. In . . . an age obsessed with a search for American identity, Forrest’s theatrical performances were, in a sense, at the vanguard of establishing what it was to be an American.30

His Jacksonian politics (he was an ardent admirer of Andrew Jackson); his anti-British stance; his support of the common man; and his success as the first native-born American actor all made him an American icon to his large following of theatre-goers.31 Forrest’s extreme Americanness also worked to his career advantage. He cultivated his image as a working-class American hero to great advantage at the box office. As Lawrence Levine has shown, theatre-goers demanded allegiance to the American democratic republic – as demonstrated by the Astor Place Riot of 1849. Rather than a highbrow experience, Shakespearean drama was a form of popular entertainment in the first half of the nineteenth century. In this milieu, Forrest cultivated an image of the brawny, working-class American hero in opposition to his nemesis, the aristocratic British actor William Macready. The rivalry began when Forrest hissed at Macready’s effeminate portrayal of Hamlet in Edinburgh in 1845. The two men continued to spar over the next few years. In 1849, Macready was in New York performing Macbeth when the rowdy crowd pelted the stage with eggs, vegetables and even chairs. The next day, Macready decided to cancel his engagement at the Astor Place Opera House, but the intervention of a number of prominent New Yorkers forestalled his plans. Macready agreed to another performance on the following

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Thursday evening, 10 May 1849. The result was the Astor Place Riot, during which twenty-two people died in a clash between police and rioters incensed at Macready’s highbrow performance of Macbeth.32 Forrest’s contemporaries, subsequent historians and even Forrest himself all characterize Forrest as quintessentially American. But what historians have not considered is the paradoxical question raised by Forrest’s choice of architectural style for his own house: why would a patriotic American such as Forrest choose the medieval revival castellated villa mode (an English importation) for his home overlooking the Hudson River? Forrest placed in the cornerstone of Fonthill Castle a document explaining his motivations for building the structure, including his desire to bequeath the castle to elderly American actors: In erecting this edifice I am impelled by no vain desire to occupy a grand mansion for the gratification of self love; but my aim is to build a durable spacious and comfortable abode for myself and my wife to serve us during our natural lives, and at our death to endow the building with a sufficient yearly income, so that a certain number of decayed or superannuated actors and actresses of American birth (all foreigners to be strictly excluded) may inhabit the mansion and enjoy the ground thereunto belong, so long as they lived, and at the death of any one of the actors or actresses inhabiting the premises, his or her place to be supplied by another from the theatrical profession who from age or infirmities is unable to obtain a livelihood upon the stage. The rules and regulations by which this Institution is to be governed will be framed by me at some future date.33

‘All foreigners to be strictly excluded’ – make no mistake, Forrest’s marriage to an Englishwoman had done little to change his strident views. (However, by the time he finalized his will at the end of his life, Forrest had softened his stance on foreigners. He allowed into his Philadelphia house ‘Springbrook’ foreign-born actors who had spent at least three years in the United States and ten years in the theatrical profession.)34 An image from Gleason’s Pictorial from soon after the castle’s completion shows Fonthill’s western facade, as seen from the Hudson River.35 Elevated above the viewer, the castle cuts a bold picture. Most notable about this depiction of Forrest’s

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castle is the prominent American flag waving from its highest tower. A more contradictory image cannot be imagined: how can Fonthill castle, named after the English Fonthill Abbey, in a mixture of English medieval styles, be the highly visible home of such a prominent pro-American individual? The choice of medieval revival was not new in this period, of course. Despite calls for a uniquely American architecture, none was forthcoming. In April 1864, one commentator, A. W. Colgate, rejected the notion that Americans could break away completely from European influence. ‘If this is our idea’, he writes, ‘we might as well give up at once and confess to the world our imbecility. Never, from Adam’s day to this, did anybody ever invent a new architecture.’36 Architectural historian W. Barksdale Maynard agrees, arguing in Architecture in the United States, 1800–1850 (2002) that American architecture in this period is more reliant on British architectural precedents than has been previously acknowledged.37 Indeed, despite Forrest’s patriotism, in the case of his house, he looked to British architecture. Like his hero Andrew Jackson, whose Hermitage was derivative of elite British architecture, Forrest conformed to the same principles of European taste, even while he celebrated the common American man. But, although British in architectural inspiration, Fonthill expresses a great deal about Forrest himself: in its muscularity, the castle approximates the man. The idea that houses should be representative of their owners circulated widely in nineteenth-century American thought. According to Downing, a villa ‘should, above all things, manifest individuality. It should say something of the character of the family within – as much as possible of their life and history, their tastes and association, should mould and fashion themselves upon its walls’.38 Henry Ward Beecher wrote of a desire ‘to embody our fancies and thoughts in some material shape – to give them an incarnation’.39 As an architect, Davis believed that a house should reflect the ‘temper’ of its owner.40 By this criterion, Fonthill is quite successful. Forrest’s muscular physique parallels the bravado of his compact and powerful composition in stone. Downing got to the heart of the matter when he wrote that there is ‘something wonderfully captivating in the idea of a battlemented castle’ because it displays personal ambition. ‘But’, he goes on, ‘unless there is something of the

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castle in the man, it is very likely, if it be a real castle, to dwarf him to the stature of a mouse’.41 Although Downing’s disapproval of castellated residences may have rendered Forrest mouse-like, Forrest’s castle still stands out as an apt tribute to this powerful American actor. But Fonthill Castle echoed not only his physique, but also his calling as an actor. The theatricality of Fonthill Castle helps explain Forrest’s choice of the medieval revival, despite its British origins. Forrest was not alone in his interest in medieval revival architecture and theatre. It is significant that two of the most important Gothic Revival figures on either side of the Atlantic – English architect A. W. N. Pugin (1812–52) and Davis – were theatre enthusiasts. Known for his ardent Catholicism (he converted in 1834) and his interest in functionalism (he believed that a building should express its purpose), Pugin was also a zealous proponent of the Gothic style. In July 1829, he worked at the English Opera House as a ‘super flyman’, a dangerous job requiring courage and balance. Standing high above the stage on small platforms, the young Pugin was responsible for controlling the up-and-down movement of blackcloths.42 Pugin was not only interested in stage machinery, but stage representation as well. Between 1827 and 1833, he worked as a stage painter for the Grieves, a family firm of stage designers. In 1831, he designed the stage scenery for the new opera Kenilworth, based on Scott’s novel of the same name. Not surprisingly, the design had a substantial architectural component. Pugin was so passionate about his art that he converted the upper storey of his parents’ house into a model theatre. His friend and first biographer Benjamin Ferrey describes Pugin’s creation in detail: This he did at much expense, removing the attic ceiling, cutting away the roof, constructing cisterns, and adapting everything necessary to his object. On this model stage he designed the most exquisite scenery, with fountains, tricks, traps, drop-scenes, wings, soffites [sic], hilly scenes, flats, opens flats, and every magic change of which stage mechanism is capable. Large parties were invited to witness his performances, and probably a more skillfully made model theatre had never been seen. It was not a toy in any sense of the word, but a piece of construction sufficiently large to enable Pugin to exhibit experiments and study compositions before they were adopted on the actual stage. The

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In the nineteenth century, there was a trend towards greater historical accuracy in the staging of Shakespearean drama in particular, as well as an increasing emphasis on grand spectacle.44 Pugin’s reputation as a student of archeologically correct Gothic structures made him in demand in theatre circles. Contemporaries noted the effect of his theatrical experience both on Pugin’s life choices and his architectural work. One Protestant critic asked if Pugin’s conversion to Catholicism was ‘an habituated fondness for STAGE effect?’45 In 1861, Richard Simpson claimed that Pugin’s mind could never ‘emancipate itself from its slavery to theatrical effect’, while in 1862 James Fergusson wrote that ‘the true bent of Pugin’s mind was towards the theatre; . . . throughout life, the theatrical was the one and only branch of his art which he perfectly understood’.46 Like Pugin, Davis was fascinated with the theatre, as we saw in chapter three. Unlike Pugin, who indulged his love of theatre solely by creating state set designs and working backstage, Davis performed as an amateur actor as a young man and hoped to one day become a professional. In his youthful diary, he kept a list of his performances, as well as illustrations of his favourite plays.47 Upon moving to New York, Davis frequented the theatre, where he often saw Forrest perform. Fonthill Castle’s theatricality is undeniable, beginning with the origins of its name, which alludes to its more famous English cousin, Fonthill Abbey, a monstrous Gothic Revival pile designed by James Wyatt for William Beckford between 1796 and 1812 (figure 22).48 The son of the Lord Mayor of London, Beckford was expected to have a political career but was plunged into scandal when his homosexual love affair with a young boy, William Courtenay, became known. Beckford spent a great deal of his life in seclusion, ostracized by polite society. At Fonthill, Beckford asked Wyatt to build a ruined convent, consisting of a chapel parlour, dormitory and part of a cloister; eventually, a great wing and an octagonal

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Figure 22: ‘Fonthill Abbey: View of the West, and North Fronts’.

tower were added to the original structures, which had been intended to be used only as a summer residence and garden folly. In 1807, Beckford decided to make Fonthill Abbey his permanent abode, a difficult proposition because its enormous size made heating nearly impossible. Despite such problems, a hectic building campaign ensued at all hours. The sight of this fantastic building under construction at night must have been astonishing. Beckford describes the scene in terms of spectacular display: It’s really stupendous, the spectacle here at night, the number of people at work, lit up by lads; the innumerable torches suspended everywhere, the immense and endless spaces, the gulph below; above the gigantic spider’s web of scaffolding – especially when, standing under the finished and numberless arches of the galleries, I listen to the reverberating voices in the stillness of the night, and see immense buckets of plaster and water ascending, as if they were drawn up from the bowels of a mine, amid shouts from the subterranean depths, oaths from Hell itself.49

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Eventually, Fonthill Abbey would present an asymmetrical tangle of towers, buttresses and pinnacles, all fitting together into a cathedralscaled whole. The plan of the vast building, despite its recognizably cruciform shape, was sprawling. The octagon tower alone rose to a height of 276 feet. The final tower had to be rebuilt twice after the first two collapsed. Executed rapidly (the contractor admitted to Beckford that he had inadequately laid the foundation), the final tower of Fonthill collapsed in 1825, after Beckford had sold the building because of financial problems.50 Fonthill Abbey was a dramatic architectural creation. Intensifying the theatrical nature of Fonthill Abbey were the goings-on at the house, where Beckford’s dwarf, who was nicknamed ‘Nanibus’, would answer the door, thereby contrasting the vast scale of the building with his diminutive size.51 In the evening, the vista along the north-south axis of the building was illuminated by candles and lamps. The large glass panes of the south oriel window reflected the light and made the hallway appear longer than it really was. Interior architectural details, such as the fan-vaulted ceiling of the gallery, were plaster painted to resemble stonework.52 These trompe l’œil tactics only heightened the artificiality of the building. Beckford himself engaged in a bit of theatrics when his friend Samuel Rogers visited: Beckford led him to a gallery which seemed ‘clos’d by a crimson drapery held by a bronze statue, but on Mr. B’s stamping and saying, “Open!” the statue flew back, and the gallery was seen extending 350 feet long’.53 In 1800, Beckford held an extravagant party for Admiral Nelson at Fonthill Abbey. At this spectacular affair, the servants dressed in medieval garb, and the dinner was also medieval. Architectural historian Megan Aldrich writes, ‘this highly theatrical scenario added to the overall medieval effect’.54 Beckford’s dramatic imagination was evident at a three-day coming-of-age/Christmas party he threw in 1781. His family’s Palladian-style Fonthill Splendens was the setting (begun in 1755; demolished by Beckford in 1807). Beckford had the well-known landscape painter and designer of theatrical effects Philip de Loutherbourg transform the house into a hedonistic and exotic wonderland. Beckford wrote that Loutherbourg had created ‘a realm of Fairy, or rather, perhaps, a Demon Temple deep beneath the earth set apart for tremendous mysteries’.55 Beckford and his guests wandered

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through unknowable spaces, revelling in the Gothic pleasure of the Piranesian maze: The glowing haze investing every object, the mystic look, the vastness, the intricacy of this vaulted labyrinth occasioned so bewildering an effect that it became impossible for anyone to define – at the moment – where he stood, where he had been, or to whither he was wandering . . . It was, in short, the realization of romance in its most extravagant intensity.56

Through the use of theatrical effects, Beckford and Loutherbourg had created the ultimate Gothic experience – a translation of the mysterious architectural spaces of Gothic fiction into the reality of a here-and-now house. In The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794), Radcliffe’s heroine Emily St. Aubert wandered through the intricacies of Udolpho Castle, frightened at the possibilities of supernatural intervention in her life; at Fonthill House, Beckford and his guests recreated Emily’s experience artificially. They were thus able to experience the Gothic vicariously. By commissioning Wyatt to design Fonthill Abbey, Beckford was creating a permanent stage-set like the one he had created for his Christmas Party at Fonthill Splendens. The party is significant for another reason: Beckford composed his Gothic novel Vathek (1786) following the night of revelry. Originally written in French and translated into English, Vathek is the bizarre and grotesque tale of the caliph Vathek whose extravagant and sensual lifestyle fails to satiate his Faustian curiosity. Beckford noted that his novel was an immediate reaction to what he called his ‘voluptuous festival’.57 Is Forrest’s Fonthill Castle anything like its English namesake? Included in Forrest’s library was a copy of John Rutter’s Delineations of Fonthill and Its Abbey (1823); on the flyleaf, Forrest wrote that Fonthill Abbey was a ‘make-believe cathedral, looking like a church turned into a drawing room, by a crazy bishop’.58 It is likely that Forrest would have known about Beckford’s personal life as well as his Gothic architectural creation: Beckford’s exploits and reclusive nature were often the subject of newspaper reports and, perhaps more significantly, gossip.59 Beckford’s Vathek was sold in Boston and Philadelphia in 1816 (during Forrest’s childhood) for the first time; although the novel is not listed among Forrest’s books, he

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did own copies of Beckford’s travelogues Recollections of an Excursion to the Monasteries of Alcabaca & Batalha, published in Philadelphia in 1835, and Italy, with sketches of Spain and Portugal, published in London in 1835.60 It has been speculated that on one of his European tours, Forrest and his wife may have visited the ruins of Fonthill Abbey, which was a tourist attraction described in guidebooks.61 Both share an octagonal central hall space; both have fan-vaulted ceilings. Beyond this, the two buildings are quite dissimilar, however. What is most interesting is not whether Fonthill Castle is based literally on the abbey, but that the two are powered by similar ideas. In his well-known book on the Gothic Revival, Kenneth Clark points out, ‘Fonthill [Abbey] always appealed primarily to the imagination, was always an Arabian Nights’ dream’ (referring to Beckford’s oriental tale, Vathek).62 Its instability led Clark to comment that Fonthill ‘can hardly be considered as more than stage scenery. As scenery it is superb.’63 That Gothic Revival architecture is theatrical and/or literary has been a source of criticism of the style; architectural historian Talbot Hamlin berated American Gothic Revival as ‘claptrap, stage-scenery construction’. 64 While Clark and Hamlin’s comments may be dismissive, that Fonthill Abbey and other Gothic Revival structures are inherently theatrical is a vitally important element in their design. Fonthill Castle is just as theatrical as Fonthill Abbey. Forrest was an actor, so it is not surprising that he included theatrical masks as part of the ornamentation of the interior of his castle. Above the central hall are large corbels carved in oak in the shape of grotesque faces. Above each doorway on the second floor balcony are smaller theatrical masks. But the dramatic nature of the castle does not end there. What is striking about Fonthill Castle as a whole is its similarity to a stage set. As one moves around the building, it appears fully three-dimensional. However, in one’s first view, approaching from the land side, the castle looks diminutive and flat. Why? The compact and centralized plan is a series of six interlocking octagons, and the mass of the building is tucked behind the visible octagons. The staircase octagon is very narrow and vertical, but together with the two adjacent octagons (the dining room and the reception room) it masks the rest of the building from view, making it appear slightly flat like a stage set design. In addition, the volume of the octagonal

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shapes is countered by the void to the south of the eastern entrance. This void creates a terrace on the exterior of the building, and this terrace, lacking the umbrage (or shadow-casting covering) so ubiquitous in Davis’s designs, creates a kind of stage-like space. Perhaps what is most dramatic about Fonthill is its setting on the Hudson River. Elevated above and visible from the steamboats and pleasure craft dotting the waterway in the nineteenth century, Fonthill Castle stood out. Looking like an illustration to one of Scott’s novels, Fonthill Castle, with its decidedly fortified character, must have seemed foreign to the American landscape (even if the Hudson was often referred to as ‘The American Rhine’). When Swedish novelist Frederika Bremer toured the Hudson with A. J. Downing in 1850, they saw a grey stone castle on the lower Hudson (probably Fonthill). One of the passengers said, ‘Do you see – a castle’. ‘Ah!’ she replied, ‘but it is a very young castle’.65 By placing such a castle in such a location, Forrest was creating an illusionistic building, a veritable mirage to those viewing it. Like the audience at a theatre contemplating the stage set designs of far-away places and distant times, viewers of Fonthill Castle marvelled at the medieval spectacle before them. The dramatic nature of Fonthill extends to the interior as well. The great hall (figure 20) is a theatrical space. The room contains a multitude of entrances and exits, since each room (with the exception of Mrs Forrest’s reception room) connects directly with the great hall, which also has not one, but three exits to the outside of the castle: the two entrances to the east and west, as well as the doorway from the great hall that connects to the stage-like terrace on the south facade of the castle. Another doorway from the drawing room leads to the terrace. Access to the terrace can also be obtained by ascending the stairs leading up to it on the outside of the castle. The potential for stagecraft is boundless at Fonthill Castle, and Forrest evidently saw it as the perfect backdrop for his own performances. In 1848, as part of the castle’s construction was nearing completion, Forrest staged a ‘roofing’ ceremony for the workers in the great hall, complete with medieval banquet table. Forrest, the lord of the manor, addressed his workers in a way that led one biographer to comment that Forrest’s ceremony ‘smacked of the manorial system’.66

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The castle’s theatricality was not lost on contemporary observers. Architect-author William Ranlett wrote in The Architect (1851): A wealthy actor is building himself a granite mansion on a conspicuous site upon the banks of the Hudson, which looks as though the design had been copied from Macbeth’s Castle, as exhibited on the stage. The travelers on the Hudson as they pass this odd-looking structure, if they have ever been frequenters of the theater, will be prepared to see it suddenly pulled apart at the sound of the prompter’s whistle, and the round towers with their embattled parapets sliding off in opposite directions behind the trees on either side.67

To Ranlett, Fonthill Castle’s anachronistic setting on the Hudson and its resemblance to stage sets of Macbeth’s castle conspired to make the structure seem impermanent, ready to be disassembled at any moment. It was clear to Ranlett that Forrest was using his medieval revival castle to create a kind of permanent stage set, a platform from which Forrest could perpetually act out his Shakespearean and Gothic fantasies. That Forrest intended to use his castle for theatrical performances may be deduced too from his later use of his house in Philadelphia. In November 1872, Forrest invited his friend Gabriel Harrison to spend Thanksgiving with him at his Philadelphia home. Harrison wrote: [Forrest] conducted the writer to the basement of his house, and exhibited a perfect little theatre, containing scenery, footlights, and room enough to seat at least two hundred people. ‘Here’, he said, ‘I have had little children perform a whole play, which I have rehearsed them in to my great pleasure.’68

At Fonthill, Forrest may have had actual Shakespearean stage set designs in mind when he created his castle. An image from Ballou’s Pictorial shows Forrest performing at the Boston Theatre in 1855 in one of his most popular roles, Macbeth (figure 23). The elaborate stage scenery displays massive round crenellated towers in a medieval Norman architectural style similar to Forrest’s own Fonthill Castle. The scale of the conglomerated buildings is vast compared to the size of the figures, reminiscent of Fonthill Abbey’s theatrical pro-

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Figure 23: ‘Macbeth, at the Boston Theatre’.

portions. Three-dimensional balconies provide space for a spectacular aggregate of extras (creating a large assemblage was also part of the pageantry and spectacle of nineteenth-century staging). At Fonthill, the balcony on the second floor (Forrest’s picture gallery) echoes the balconies used in stage sets such as this one from Macbeth. The Ballou’s writer states that after the murder of Duncan ‘the alarm is given, and all the attendants of the murdered king, together with the retainers of the assassin, crowd the balconies and battlements, expressing their horror and astonishment’. The writer remarks that this scene, ‘one of the most startling in the play’, was ‘remarkably effective’.69 Although the Ballou’s drawing was made after the castle’s completion, it demonstrates the likelihood that Forrest based his castle on stage set scenery from his own plays, as Ranlett suggests. Forrest’s stage scenery was certainly impressive: in 1853, when Davis saw Forrest as Macbeth, he wrote that it was ‘one of the worst performances’ he had ever seen, but, he interjected, ‘the scenery was quite good’.70

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The stage scenery from Forrest’s Boston performance of Macbeth displays the trend towards more elaborate and historically accurate stage sets prevalent in nineteenth-century theatre in both Great Britain and the United States. The Gothic Revival in architecture and historical accuracy in staging were inherently related phenomena.71 A newspaper article on William Macready’s production of King John in 1842 at London’s Drury Lane Theatre provides a vivid account of mid-century staging: Mr. Macready has brought before the eyes of his audience an animated picture of those Gothic times which are so splendidly illustrated by the drama. The stage is thronged with the stalwart forms of the middle ages. The clang of battle sounds behind the scenes, massive fortresses bound the horizon . . . There was much beautiful scenery in the piece. The fortified town of Angiers, the castle from which Arthur leaps, solidly constructed edifices, the various scenes of battle-fields, were all bold and strongly characteristic.72

Fortunately, the scene designs from this production survive. One design shows Act IV, Scene 3, Northampton Castle (‘the castle from which Arthur leaps’), painted by the artist William Telbin. The large central tower was three-dimensional, while the rest of the castle behind the tower was painted on flats. Charles Kean’s staging of Richard III at the Park Theatre (opening on 7 January 1846) was the first time a New York audience witnessed a Shakespearean revival in which the scenery, costumes and accessories were created solely for this particular performance (previously stock sets were used repeatedly for many different performances). A newspaper announced the next day that the production was ‘in truth the most splendid, magnificent, and gorgeous spectacle of which theatrical annals have recorded’.73 An illustration shows Kean in his role as Richard III; the complicated stage set behind him is rich in Gothic detail. Kean would become well known for his historical accuracy in Shakespearean drama at the Princess’s Theatre in London between 1850 and 1860.74 Looking at Fonthill Castle’s medieval revival architectural style in the context of nineteenth-century performances of Elizabethan drama highlights the fundamental theatricality of this architectural

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style in the mid-nineteenth century. Like Walpole, Wyatt and Beckford, Davis often replaced the medieval building material of stone with plaster, creating sham rib vaults for effect. For example, in the entrance hall at Lyndhurst, Davis painted the walls and ceiling with trompe l’œil marble decoration.75 As Janice Schimmelman has observed, Davis was ‘more concerned with the stage effects of architecture than with the principles of genuineness and durability of materials’.76 Of course, one reason why faux finishes were popular was their cost effectiveness. But, in addition, in the case of Davis’s Gothic Revival houses, the use of sham materials enhanced the dramatic effect. Fonthill Castle also displays faux finishes as in the drawing room, where the presumably wood pendants are actually plaster painted to look like wood, and in the great hall, where the walls are finished in an ashlar design to suggest masonry blocks.77 Not all contemporaries liked theatrical architecture, however. After dabbling with stage design, Pugin went on to design more than one hundred buildings, but he is perhaps best known for his architectural treatises, Contrasts (1836), in which he argued for the superiority of medieval Catholic architecture to contemporary buildings, and The True Principles of Pointed or Christian Architecture (1841), in which he outlined his functionalist theories. In Contrasts, Pugin began to articulate these theories, writing that ‘the great test of Architectural beauty is the fitness of the design to the purpose for which it is intended, and that the style of a building should so correspond with its use that the spectator may at once perceive the purpose for which it was erected’.78 Pugin expressed this functionalist opinion in terms of religious purpose, interpreting verticality as ‘the emblem of the resurrection’.79 Pugin also believed that buildings should display no unnecessary ornament; that all building details should serve a purpose; and that materials should be truthful.80 Pugin’s views on the building of contemporary castles are scathing: What can be more absurd than houses built in what is termed the castellated style? Castellated architecture originated in the wants consequent on a certain state of society: of course the necessity of great strength, and the means of defence suited to the military tactics of the day, dictated to the builders of ancient castles the most appropriate

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The Theatrical Spectacle of Medieval Revival style for their construction. Viewed as historical monuments, they are of surprising interest, but as the models for our imitation they are worse than useless. What absurdities, what anomalies, what utter contradictions do not the builders of modern castles perpetrate! How many portcullises which will not lower down, and drawbridges which will not draw up! – how many loop-holes in turrets so small that the most diminutive sweep could not ascend them! . . . But the exterior is not the least inconsistent portion of the edifice, for we find guardrooms without either weapons or guards; sally-ports, out of which nobody passes but the servants, and where a military man never did go out; donjon keeps, which are nothing but drawing-rooms, boudoirs and elegant apartments; watch-towers, where housemaids sleep and a bastion in which the butler cleans his plate: all is a mere mask, and the whole building is an ill-conceived lie.81

Unlike Pugin, Forrest and Davis were readers of romantic fiction. An inventory of Forrest’s library shows that he owned books by Ann Radcliffe, Matthew Lewis, Charles Maturin, Walter Scott, William Godwin, Washington Irving and Nathaniel Hawthorne.82 Similarly, Davis indulged in the novels of Scott and Radcliffe on a regular basis. To Forrest and Davis, the fact that only servants pass through a castle’s sally ports was beside the point. The castle, with its falsified finishes, allowed them to recreate the medieval stories found within the pages of Scott and Shakespeare, either imaginatively or, in Forrest’s case, with the help of his workmen during his roofing ceremony. This instability of the boundaries between fiction and reality is a crucial element in the design of Fonthill Castle, just as it was at Walpole’s Strawberry Hill and Beckford’s Fonthill Abbey, whose owners composed Gothic fiction. As Snadon has shown, Davis was unusual in his rejection of Pugin’s architectural mandates in the 1840s. According to architectural historian Phoebe Stanton, Pugin ‘dominated the American Gothic Revival between 1841 and 1847’, especially in ecclesiastical architecture.83 Davis read Pugin’s The True Principles by 1843, but failed to take heed of its disapproval of castellated Gothic. Snadon submits several reasons for Davis’s choice. First of all, Davis had already designed his first castellated residence, and clients were clamouring for similar country villas. Davis was also primarily a designer of domestic architecture, rather than ecclesiastical buildings. Richard

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Upjohn was the premier church architect of this period and, accordingly, he was more influenced by Pugin and the English Ecclesiological Movement, which had taken root in the United States. And, in general, Davis avoided religious conflicts.84 Understanding Pugin helps us to comprehend how some in this period viewed artificiality and castle building. Not only did Pugin disdain castellated residences, he also scorned the use of contemporary abbeys as residences, such as Beckford’s Fonthill Abbey. What bothered him most about Fonthill was its illusionistic nature. He remarked that only the kitchens were real – ‘every thing else is a deception’.85 The transepts are drawing rooms; the cloisters are furnished passages; and the towers are lantern staircases. Pugin heaped ridicule on this ‘mock convent’.86 Some prominent American theorists and architects agreed with Pugin’s assessment of adapting medieval building forms for contemporary domestic function. Calvert Vaux, the English architect who briefly partnered with A. J. Downing, commented that with the construction of castellated homes would come a return to feudalism (a concern perhaps reinforced by the newspaper account of Forrest’s roofing ceremony). In 1857, Vaux wrote ‘The day for castles . . . has never yet dawned in America; and as its arrival must necessarily be accompanied by a return of feudalism in some form or other, any wish for the advent of such a day should be at once rejected by even the most art-loving republican.’87 Davis’s friend and collaborator Downing agreed. Although Downing delighted in the ‘venerable castles, abbeys, and strongholds of the middle ages’ that European literature had popularized, and therefore condoned castle-building in ‘wild and picturesque situations’, he also criticized castle revivals, saying ‘Almost all imitation of castles must, as private dwellings, be petty in this country.’ 88 Fonthill Castle represented exactly the kind of building Pugin and Downing, except in certain cases, disdained. In True Principles, Pugin illustrated a ‘Modern Castellated Mansion’ to show people what not to do. Ironically, Forrest was aware of some of Pugin’s writings. He owned copies of three books written by either Pugin or his father A. C. Pugin. But he built Fonthill anyway. Certainly, Forrest was not alone among his fellow New Yorkers in ignoring Pugin’s warnings: while many read Pugin, castellated residences were still very popular.89

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Significant too about Fonthill Castle is its apparent influence on the foremost Gothic Revival villa architect in America, Alexander Jackson Davis. In the 1850s, Davis’s style became heavier and more like defensive medieval castle architecture. Davis’s change in style is exemplified by Ericstan, designed for John J. Herrick in Tarrytown in 1855–9 (demolished in 1944), and Wood Cliff, designed for Augustus C. Richards in Fort Washington, New York in 1855–7 (demolished in 1931). Although neither Ericstan nor Wood Cliff feature octagonal towers, they are visually enriched by an interplay of square and round towers. Both structures are heavy and fortified in appearance. The massive round tower at Ericstan is especially reminiscent of Fonthill’s squat towers. Unlike Fonthill’s plan, the plan of Ericstan replicates Davis’s earlier plans in its horizontal layout. Wood Cliff shares in Fonthill’s legacy to a greater degree. Massive in outward appearance, Wood Cliff also has a more compact plan, although the plan does not feature octagons (all but the round turret reception room are rectangular). As was the case at Fonthill, all of the rooms at Wood Cliff connect directly to the central hall space. And Wood Cliff, like Fonthill, is composed of nothing but towers.90 Although Davis had read but chose to ignore Pugin’s polemics, he was very much influenced by John Ruskin, whose book The Seven Lamps of Architecture Davis purchased on 29 July 1849. Ruskin’s ‘Lamp of Truth’, which asserted that building materials be truthful and not disguised as something they are not, had a great impact on Davis’s stone castles of the 1850s. Ruskin’s functionalism, which lacked the religious bent of Pugin’s polemics, seemed to appeal more to Davis. Also, as Snadon has shown, Davis may have appreciated the fact that, unlike Pugin, Ruskin did not deride the castellated residence as a building type. But Ruskin’s influence only partly explains the shift in Davis’s style from his elegant castellated villas of the 1830s and 1840s to the more fortified creations of the 1850s. The influence of Forrest’s Fonthill Castle seems to be crucial.91 Even so, some nineteenth-century critics still enjoyed poking fun at Fonthill. In his journal The Horticulturist, Downing ridiculed Fonthill Castle in June 1851: A proprietor on the lower part of the Hudson is building a stone castle, with all the towers clustered together, after the fashion of the

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The comparison of Fonthill to the ‘old robber-strongholds on the Rhine’ underscored the longing for European scenery expressed by many Americans in this period. In his novel, The Heidenmauer (1832), James Fenimore Cooper wrote of a preference for the natural scenery of the Hudson but admitted the Rhine held an advantage in its ‘countless ruins, and a crowd of recollections’.93 His book sparked an interest among Americans in German culture, and his comparison of the Hudson to the Rhine led to many contemporary observations in this vein. Upon visiting the United States, Bremer did not regret the lack of castles and ruins, writing, ‘We have enough ruins in the Old World.’94 But, unlike Bremer, many Americans did yearn for architectural embellishment on the Hudson, and Fonthill Castle fulfilled this need. Indeed, Fonthill Castle was compared to Rhenish castles in The Horticulturalist and in a New York Herald article on 20 September 1848. But as architectural historian John Zukowsky points out, Fonthill Castle is more English in inspiration than Rhenish.95 Fonthill’s position on a promontory overlooking the River, rather than its style, reminds the viewer of the Rhine. Forrest himself acknowledged the British origins of his house when he declared his intention was to build ‘a house in the latter Norman style, a cluster of Norman towers’.96 For viewers on the Hudson River, Fonthill satisfied an appetite to ornament the pristine landscape with Old World architecture. In Home as Found, Cooper’s fictional character Eve Effingham expressed this desire for another body of water, Otsego Lake in Cooperstown, New York, by imagining the lake in European terms: Fancy the shores of this lake lined with villas, . . . church towers raising their dark heads among these hills; each mountain crowned with a castle or a crumbling ruin, and all the other accessories of an old state or society, and what would then be the charms of such a view.97

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Eventually, the Hudson River’s architectural landscape satisfied some contemporary viewers. One steamboat traveller commented The elegant summer residences of New Yorkers, peeping out from groves nestled in warm dells, or, most usually, crowning the highest points of the hills, now extend more than half-way to Albany . . . These Gothic, Tuscan, and Norman villas, with their air of comfort and home, give an attractive, human sentiment to the scenery; and I would not exchange them for the castles of the Rhine.98

No fiction, but a masonry reality, Fonthill Castle still graces the shore of the Hudson, reminding Americans of the medieval past they never had. Fonthill Castle demonstrates the nineteenth-century idea that domestic architecture should express something about its occupants. Perhaps most importantly, Fonthill exhibits the theatricality of its owner, the eminent actor Edwin Forrest. About Forrest’s acting style, his contemporary George William Curtis wrote, We may call it the muscular school; the brawny art; the biceps aesthetics; the tragic calves; the bovine drama; rant, roar, and rigmarole; but what then? Metamora folds his mighty arms and plants his mighty legs . . . until the very ground thrills and trembles under our feet.99

Correspondingly, Fonthill Castle is as muscular and aggressive as a fortress. After Forrest’s death, a reviewer compared the man to a rugged tower standing out on the landscape: ‘The architecture may not be admired, but the building is distinctly seen and known.’100 But, as we have seen, Fonthill was not only a physical approximation of Forrest the man – the castle was also a fit home for someone who made his living through performance. A contemporary of Forrest described the make-believe nature of theatrical exhibition: It is a curious thing, the age of a player. A player has, even to himself, hardly more of a real age than a figure in a picture. Generally speaking, the actor chooses the figure he will be, juvenile or aged, and keeps it while the picture holds together . . . Some never choose to be young; they take up the grandfather at eighteen, and continue the

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As this quotation suggests, theatrical performance is about disguise and spectacle. Readers of Gothic fiction and frequenters of the theatre revelled in the vicarious experience offered by novels and drama. Why not bring this experience home and create a sham castle? At Fonthill, Forrest did just that. Influenced by the stage scenery of the Shakespearean drama he regularly performed, Forrest created a mise en scène on the edge of the Hudson River. In this make-believe world, painted plaster passed for dark wood and Forrest acted the part of the feudal lord, attaining an elevated social status in the process. Forrest possessed power over his ersatz castle. He choreographed the action of his own drama. Command over Gothic architectural spaces separates Forrest from his fictional counterparts. In Udolpho, Emily has no control over the irrational architectural spaces of Udolpho Castle where she is imprisoned. In contrast, in Curtis’s telling of Downing’s mysterious and unexpected appearance in the library of Highland Garden, Downing controls the semi-fictional space of his Tudor Gothic stage-set house. He plays the part of both actor and stagehand in manipulating the theatrical contrivances of his own home. In this way, medieval revival houses allow the owners to act out their fantasies, just as the spectator at the theatre experiences vicariously the action of the drama. With the construction of his stage set house, Fonthill Castle, Forrest was able to create his own make-believe version of the Gothic world, even while living in the United States, a new country conspicuously lacking Europe’s venerated past.

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Conclusion ‘Clap It Into a Romance’: Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Gothic Houses K In a certain way, however, I understand [Scott’s] romances the better for having seen his house; and his house the better, for having read his romances. They throw light on one another. Nathaniel Hawthorne on Abbotsford1

In this short quotation, Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804–64) articulates the subject of this book perfectly. Gothic Revival buildings such as Abbotsford can be best understood when juxtaposed with the romances with which they enjoy a symbiotic relationship. Horace Walpole’s two Gothic creations, his house Strawberry Hill and his book The Castle of Otranto, teach us that Gothic Revival architecture must be studied in concert with Gothic literature. The same is true of the Romantic paintings of Washington Allston and Thomas Cole: the artists’ knowledge of medieval architecture and their readings of Gothic novels and historical romances shed light on their art. This book has shown that the Romantic arts of this period need to be studied in an interdisciplinary manner in order to be fully understood. This chapter will deal briefly with the continuing influence of Gothic literature on Gothic Revival architecture in the decade after 1850.2 Despite his death two decades previously, Scott’s popularity persevered, and Americans continued their pilgrimages to Abbotsford. One such traveller was Nathaniel Hawthorne. His two ‘houses’, one fictional – the House of the Seven Gables

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from the romance of the same name – and one real – the only house he ever owned, The Wayside in Concord, Massachusetts – are the subject of this conclusion. With its Connecticut castle as a setting, Isaac Mitchell’s The Asylum, or Alonzo and Melissa demonstrates the difficulties in New World settings for Gothic novels, as we saw in chapter five. Other writers were much more successful at transplanting the Gothic: Charles Brockden Brown used distinctly American settings for his Gothic novels, including the plague-stricken city of Philadelphia in the 1790s for Arthur Mervyn (1799, 1800). Cooper used the sublimity of the American forest and the supposed barbarity of the Indians to create terrifying circumstances in his Leatherstocking tales. But Hawthorne is truer to the British Gothic novel tradition in that he sets his story in a house that is at once distinctly American and yet faithful to the precedent of the Castle of Udolpho. Indeed, Gothic elements pervade the text of Hawthorne’s The House of the Seven Gables (1851). Central to the story is the haunted house itself, which seemingly maintains its own agency (much like the Castle of Udolpho). As in many Gothic novels, portraits play a large role in the text; in this case, the house contains a magical portrait that, if moved, would cause the house to crumble. Behind the portrait is a typically Gothic secret compartment concealing ancient parchments. According to Hawthorne, the moral of the story is that ‘the wrongdoing of one generation lives into the successive ones’, a theme often encountered in Gothic fiction, beginning with Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto.3 When Hawthorne wrote that in America, ‘there is no shadow, no antiquity, no mystery, no picturesque and gloomy wrong’, he was not alone.4 Another writer, W. H. Gardiner, expressed this common sentiment in 1822: Here are no gorgeous palaces and cloud-capped towers; no monuments of Gothic pride, mouldering in solitary grandeur; no mysterious hiding places to cover deeds of darkness from the light of the broad sun; no cloistered walls, which the sound of woe cannot pierce; no ravages of desolating conquest; no traces of the slow and wasteful hand of time. You look over the face of a fair country, and it tells you no tale of the days that are gone by . . . These boundless solitudes are not the haunts of fierce banditti; you have never peopled these woods and waters

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Conclusion ‘Clap it into a Romance’ with imaginary beings; they are connected with no legendary tales of hoary antiquity; – but you cast your eye through the vista of two short centuries, and you see them as they are, and you see nothing beyond.5

In an effort to fill this vacuum, Hawthorne medievalizes America’s own colonial past by creating a fictional house which the narrator compares to ‘a gray feudal castle’ that is ‘conceived in the grotesqueness of a Gothic Fancy’. The description continues: On every side the seven gables pointed sharply towards the sky, and presented the aspect of a whole sisterhood of edifices, breathing through the spiracles of one great chimney. The many lattices, with their small, diamond-shaped panes, admitted the sunlight into hall and chamber, while nevertheless, the second story, projecting far over the base, and itself retiring beneath the third, threw a shadowy and thoughtful gloom into the lower rooms.6

Hawthorne’s colonial house has been called ‘the best substitute for a Gothic castle any American romancer ever devised’.7 Whether Hawthorne actually modelled his fictional house on the TurnerIngersoll House (c.1668) or some other house in Salem, Massachusetts (contenders include the Philip English House (1685) and the Curwin House (1642)) is still a matter of debate.8 But clearly he is describing the steeply pitched gable roofs, vertical thrust, overhangs, asymmetrical massing and diamond-shaped windows of a post-medieval New England house. Hawthorne thus links colonial American architecture to the medieval past he claimed the United States never had. Hawthorne creates an authentically medieval house that is still distinctly American. By medievalizing the American past, Hawthorne creates an American Dark Ages (the Puritan era). Not only is the architecture of Hawthorne’s house pseudo-medieval and certainly Gothic (in the literary sense), but also the plot of the story is pregnant with the past, which leads Holgrave (one of the main characters) to lament ‘Shall we never, never get rid of this past?’9 The Gothic novel’s crucial link to the past is preserved, even though the setting has shifted to the New World. With The House of the Seven Gables, Americans no longer have to import the Gothic from abroad. Hawthorne locates a truly Gothic house on American soil – signalling a turning point in American cultural history. The patriotic Edwin

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Forrest Americanized the Middle Ages with his Fonthill Castle; Hawthorne does the opposite and medievalizes American history and architecture. Either way, Fonthill Castle and the fictional House of the Seven Gables are crucial moments in the history of Gothic culture in the United States. Like his contemporaries, Hawthorne perused Gothic novels and historical romances with avidity. By the age of fifteen, he had read Radcliffe’s The Mysteries of Udolpho and all of Scott’s romances (except The Abbot). He writes: ‘I have read all Scott’s novels except that. I wish I had not, that I might have the pleasure of reading them again.’ In addition, Maturin’s Melmoth the Wanderer, Matthew Lewis’s Romantick Tales, Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto, William Godwin’s novels and Charles Brockden Brown’s novels all appear on Hawthorne’s Gothic reading list.10 Late in Hawthorne’s life, his friend and publisher Henry Ticknor presented Hawthorne’s wife Sophia with a specially bound set of Ticknor and Fields’s Household Edition of the Waverley novels. Hawthorne wrote to Ticknor: ‘I myself took very great pleasure in arranging them on the shelf.’ Ticknor and Fields also dedicated their Household Edition of Lockhart’s Life of Sir Walter Scott to Hawthorne, who replied that he did not ‘deserve so high an honor’. Hawthorne venerated Scott and made two visits to Abbotsford (after Scott’s death).11 In 1853, Hawthorne’s friend and Bowdoin classmate President Franklin Pierce appointed him a United States consul requiring Hawthorne and his family to relocate to Liverpool, England. Hawthorne and his family lived abroad until 1860. While in England, Hawthorne made the usual tourist visits to medieval architectural sites such as Westminster Abbey, Warwick Castle and Newstead Abbey. His description of Lichfield Cathedral is full of Burkean awe for the infinite, ‘multitudinous’ nature of the Gothic style: Then there are such strange, delightful recesses in the great figure of the Cathedral; it is so difficult to melt it all into one idea and comprehend it in that way; and yet it is all so consonant in its intricacy – it seems to me a Gothic Cathedral may be the greatest work man has yet achieved – a great stone poem.12

It is significant that Hawthorne compares the cathedral to a ‘great stone poem’, making connections between architecture and literature.

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Indeed, in many of his writings, he uses the two terms ‘Romantic’ and ‘Gothic’ interchangeably, as if indicating that the Romance is a Gothic form (Hawthorne insisted that his long works were not novels, but romances).13 In general, Hawthorne preferred Gothic buildings to all others, calling York Cathedral ‘the most wonderful work that ever came from the hands of man’.14 Like many Americans before him, Hawthorne visited the Scottish border country, an area made famous by his beloved Scott.15 On his first visit in 1856, Hawthorne made the obligatory stops at both Melrose Abbey and Scott’s burial place, Dryburgh Abbey. Upon seeing Abbotsford for the first time, he wrote ‘Its aspects disappointed me; but so does everything.’ He went on, ‘Indeed, it impressed me not as a real house, intended for the home of human beings – a house to die in, or to be born in – but as a plaything, something in the same category as Horace Walpole’s Strawberry Hill.’16 However, one room did catch his fancy: Scott’s study. The Abbotsford guide let Hawthorne sit in Scott’s chair, commenting that perhaps Hawthorne ‘may catch some inspiration!’ Hawthorne wrote ‘What a bitter word this would have been, if he had known me to be a romance-writer!’ He responded to the man ‘No, I never shall be inspired to write romances’, as he sat in the chair. About Scott’s study, Hawthorne wrote, ‘This study quite satisfied me, being planned on principles of common sense, and made to work in, and without any fantastic adaptation of old forms to modern uses.’17 Overall, though, Hawthorne was disappointed with Abbotsford, in part because he had built it up in his imagination as ‘that splendid fantasy of Abbotsford, which grew out of [Scott’s] brain, and became a symbol of the great romancer’s tastes, feelings, studies, prejudices, and modes of intellect’.18 Hawthorne’s visit to Abbotsford left him without awe of Scott; rather he perceived the man’s earthly imperfections. Nonetheless, he wrote, ‘I do not know that I have any pleasanter anticipation (as regards books) than that of reading all his novels over again, after we get back to the Wayside.’19 He did exactly this, upon his return, reading aloud to his family from the Household Edition of Scott’s Waverley novels. Hawthorne made a second visit to Abbotsford and Melrose Abbey in 1857. At Abbotsford, Hawthorne looked at Scott’s clothes on display there. He noted that Scott’s green coat was ‘worn at the cuff – a minute circumstance that seemed to bring Sir Walter very

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near to me’. As with Robert Gilmor III at Strawberry Hill, the thrill for these American visitors to literary shrines was their proximity to the material culture of the building’s former inhabitants. In this case, Scott’s own clothing brings Hawthorne closer to the novelist. Despite this positive feeling, Hawthorne is once again unimpressed with Abbotsford, and even critical of the fashion for visiting the homes of authors. He writes, The feeling in visiting Abbotsford is not that of awe; it is little more than going to a museum. I do abhor this mode of making pilgrimage to the shrines of departed great men; there is certainly something wrong in it, for it seldom or never produces (in me, at least) the right feeling.20

From England and Scotland, Hawthorne travelled to Italy (for seventeen months during 1858 and 1859) and eventually returned to the family home in Concord on 28 June 1860.21 Hawthorne had purchased his house in Concord several years previously, in 1852, from the Alcott family. The original structure had been built circa 1688 as a two-storey wood-frame structure. Alterations were made over the years until Bronson Alcott and his family purchased it in 1845. Alcott dubbed the house ‘Hillside’ and added two wings to the house, on the east and west, the bay window and door, and a second storey (located over the ‘old room’ and the east wing).22 Alcott also added the centre gable over the entrance way and piazzas on either side of the house in the Downing tradition. On the grounds, he created circuitous paths and rustic fences, and on the hillside behind the house, he built an arbour with eight gables. When Hawthorne bought the property from Alcott, he called Alcott’s rustic summer-house ‘a mere skeleton of slender, decaying, treetrunks, with neither walls nor a roof; nothing but a tracery of branches and twigs, which the next wintry blast will be very likely to scatter in fragments along the terrace’.23 Alcott’s alterations gave ‘Hillside’ its rambling and picturesque aspect.24 With Alcott’s additions, ‘Hillside’ was in some ways equivalent to the House of the Seven Gables: a colonial house infused with nineteenth-century Gothic elements. This transformation is exactly what Hawthorne perpetrated on the colonial house in his romance, not by literally adding gables

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Figure 24: Exterior, front and side, Looking north-east, The Wayside.

to the house, but by describing it in typically Gothic literary terms. Transforming real colonial houses into picturesque villas was not unheard-of in the nineteenth century. Another example is the Pickering House in Salem, Massachusetts. Originally built in 1651, the Pickering house had numerous alterations over the years. In 1841, the owners ‘modernized’ the house by adding high-pitched gables, roof finials and other picturesque elements.25 And, of course, Irving had metamorphosed a Dutch colonial cottage into his picturesque vision, Sunnyside, in the 1830s. Revivification of colonial buildings in the picturesque spirit accords with the blossoming colonial revival, which, as W. Barksdale Maynard argues, begins not with the Philadelphia Centennial, but during the antebellum period. According to Maynard, the ultimate inspiration for the American colonial revival was English picturesque thought.26 When Hawthorne bought the Concord property from Alcott, he renamed the old house ‘The Wayside’ (figure 24). Upon his return from abroad, Hawthorne decided to make his own alterations for his growing family. Hawthorne’s additions made an already rambling farmhouse sprawling, sometimes creating awkward interior

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spaces. For instance, the door from the ‘West Chamber’ (part of the original structure) to the new hall is extremely narrow, as it is forced between two support beams in the western wall of the original seventeenth-century house. Throughout the rooms added by Hawthorne are simple pointed pediments over doorways and windows, suggesting Gothic arches on the interiors of the house. Hawthorne’s greatest change was the construction of a three-storey tower to the rear of the house. The top storey of the new tower became Hawthorne’s private study, which he called his ‘sky parlor’. One gained access to the ‘sky parlor’ by ascending a dark, narrow staircase from the second-floor terrace bedroom, which the Hawthorne family used as a guest room. Although the tower is not Gothic in style, the space of the staircase is confining, as are the spaces of Gothic fiction; furthermore, Hawthorne Gothicized his tower by telling his friend Longfellow that he used a trap door to enter his study.27 Here Hawthorne continued to write his romances, including Septimius Felton, Dr. Grimshawe’s Secret and The Dolliver Romance, as he gazed out across the fields of Concord like Vathek in his tower. Displeased with the final result of his alterations (which went drastically over budget), Hawthorne blamed his carpenter for transforming ‘a simple and small old farm-house into the absurdest anomaly you ever saw; but I really was not so much to blame here as the village-carpenter, who took the matter into his own hands, and produced an unimaginable sort of thing instead of what I asked for’.28 Indeed, with Alcott’s and Hawthorne’s additions, the old house was transformed from a simple colonial farmhouse into an irregular behemoth, a pastiche rather than a coherent whole. The Wayside is the architectural equivalent to Hawthorne’s character Uncle Venner from The House of the Seven Gables: ‘a miscellaneous old gentleman . . . patched together, too, of different epochs, an epitome of times and fashions’.29 Hawthorne and his tower led his neighbour Bronson Alcott (who had moved with his family to Orchard House, next door to the Wayside) to cast Hawthorne in a medieval light, due in part to Hawthorne’s shyness: See how he behaves, as if he were the foreigner still, though installed in his stolen castle and its keeper, his moats wide and deep, his

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Conclusion ‘Clap it into a Romance’ drawbridges up on all sides, and he secure within from invasion . . . He . . . spends most of his time in his tower with book and pen.30

Are Hawthorne’s additions in any way indebted to Scott’s Abbotsford, as were the other houses under consideration in this book? Certainly, Hawthorne was disappointed with Abbotsford’s architecture; therefore he borrowed neither its architectural motifs nor its spirit. Perhaps the only exception was Hawthorne’s ‘sky parlor’. Hawthorne was mightily impressed with Scott’s study, his ‘sanctum sanctorum’, as Robert Gilmor III had called it. Upon his return to the United States, it is significant that Hawthorne’s main addition to his house was the tower study. Ultimately, the source for Hawthorne’s tower cannot be found in Scotland, but in Italy, the favourite setting for many Gothic novelists. In part, Hawthorne modelled his Wayside tower on the Villa Montauto on the Bellosguardo Hill outside Florence, Italy where he lived during August and September of 1858 (figure 25).31 Upon his arrival at this villa, he immediately noticed the ‘old, square tower, machicolated and battlemented, with two or three irongrated windows up and down its height, besides smaller apertures through the stone-work’. He guessed that the tower dated back to the Middle Ages. Once inside the tower, Hawthorne and his family climbed to the top, ascending ‘crazy staircases, passing through several dreary old rooms’. These rooms, he thought, looked like ‘ancient guard-rooms and prisoners’ cells’.32 Hawthorne replicated the ‘crazy staircases’ in the staircase leading to his own tower at the Wayside. In a letter describing his new situation, Hawthorne wrote: here in Florence, and in the summer-time, and in this secluded villa, I have escaped out of all my old tracks, and am really remote. I like my present residence immensely. The house stands on a hill, overlooking Florence, and is big enough to quarter a regiment . . . there are vast wildernesses of upper rooms into which we have never yet sent exploring expeditions. At one end of the house there is a moss-grown tower, haunted by owls and by the ghost of a monk who was confined there in the thirteenth century, previous to being burnt at the stake in the principal square of Florence. I hire this villa, tower and all, at twentyeight dollars a month; but I mean to take it away bodily and clap it into a romance, which I have in my head, ready to be written out.33

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Figure 25: Villa Montauto, on the Bellosguardo Hill, Florence, Italy.

Perhaps the old portions of the Villa Montauto reminded Hawthorne of the Castle of Udolpho or some other castle of romance, especially with its ‘vast wildernesses’ of unexplored rooms. Italian settings are common in Gothic novels, especially those written by Radcliffe.

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Hawthorne’s Wayside tower resembles the Villa Montauto tower only in its square form. Hawthorne’s tower lacks the machicolations, loophole windows and stone construction that Montauto displays and, instead, features large glass windows and wide bracketed gables. Admittedly, a copy of the Montauto tower would have been quite absurd, placed on the old colonial farmhouse below it. Hence, Hawthorne replicates only the spirit of Montauto, including the panoramic view that such a tower provides. As Hawthorne suggests, he does take the tower at Montauto and ‘clap it into a romance’. In this haunted Italian tower, Hawthorne begins to write his Gothic romance The Marble Faun: in the story, the tower at the Villa Montauto becomes Monte Beni.34 The Marble Faun is the story of four young people, three of whom are artists (Miriam, Hilda and Kenyon).35 The fourth is an Italian named Donatello, the count of Monte Beni. Donatello’s ancestral home in the Apennines (where Radcliffe’s Udolpho Castle is also located) becomes the locus for Donatello’s period of intense brooding after he kills a mysterious man who had hitherto stalked Miriam throughout Rome. The description of Monte Beni is very similar to Hawthorne’s first description of Montauto (indeed, Hawthorne borrows many descriptions and impressions from his Italian notebooks and inserts them into his romance).36 Monte Beni is described in the same terms as the Villa Montauto, although it is romanticized to a greater extent. Like Montauto, Monte Beni is said to be haunted by the ghost of a monk burned at the stake. But Monte Beni is Gothicized further in that half of the tower is said to be sunken below the earth, hiding ‘subterranean chambers’. When Kenyon first arrives at Monte Beni, he beholds ‘an almost interminable vista of apartments, opening one beyond the other, and reminding him of the hundred rooms in Blue Beard’s castle, or the countless halls in some palace of the Arabian Nights’.37 Hawthorne’s comparison of the Monte Beni to Blue Beard’s castle is significant, because it refers to either Charles Perrault’s ‘Blue Beard’ (1697), a story with proto-Gothic elements or George Colman the Younger’s Gothic drama Blue–Beard; or Female Curiosity (based on Perrault’s story), produced at the Theatre Royal in London in 1798.38 The unfathomable multiplicity of rooms also recalls the Hall of Eblis in Beckford’s Vathek. In addition to this similarity to Vathek is the importance of towers in the story,

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from Hilda’s dovecote high above Rome to Donatello’s tower at Monte Beni. Moreover, both Beckford and Hawthorne transform their fictional towers into reality at Fonthill Abbey and the Wayside, respectively. The story that flows from Hawthorne’s pen at the Montauto tower is suffused with Gothic horror. What better place to write a Gothic story than a haunted medieval tower in Italy? The Marble Faun employs such Gothic conventions as: catacombs (where Miriam’s tormentor first appears and is mistaken for a ghost); enigmatic family secrets that are never fully explained; a devastating murder; the theme of madness; medieval architectural spaces, such as Monte Beni; resemblances between portraits and sculptures and the characters themselves; the mysterious trappings of Catholicism; as well as frightening precipices and heights.39 Of course, the Italian setting is another typically Gothic component. In his preface, Hawthorne states that he chose Italy because it afforded ‘a sort of poetic or fairy precinct, where actualities would not be so terribly insisted upon, as they are, and must needs be, in America’.40 Hawthorne’s desire to create a ‘fairy precinct’ reminds us that in some ways, reading The Marble Faun is a form of escapism, although the story also makes profound observations about human nature and the weight of the past on individual lives. The writing of The Marble Faun represents the ultimate breakdown between fantasy and reality: a medieval Italian villa inspires both a fictional Gothic haunted tower (Monte Beni) and an actual wooden tower at the Wayside, which in turn becomes the locus for more romance writing. In 1846, the following lines appeared in the New York Mirror: It was quite pardonable in Horace Walpole and Sir Walter Scott to build gingerbread houses in imitation of robber barons and Bluebeard chieftains; they were poets and had written Gothic romances; they would fill their houses with rusty old armour, lances, drinking horns and mouldy tapestry, and they were surrounded by the memorials of the times they were idly trying to revive. But there can be nothing more grotesque, more absurd, or more affected, than for a quiet gentleman, who had his fortune in the peaceful occupation of selling calicoes, and who knows no more of the middle ages than they do of him, to erect for his family residence a gimcrack of a Gothic castle.41

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With criticisms such as this, why did Americans build Gothic Revival houses in the period between 1830 and 1850? For some, the Gothic Revival style’s relationship to spirituality was paramount. As one nineteenth-century reformer said, ‘The sublime, the glorious Gothic . . . [is] the architecture of Christianity.’42 Certainly, some church architects, including Richard Upjohn, saw the Gothic Revival as the only appropriate style for church building. For other architectural clients, it was the style’s relationship to nature and its appropriateness for suburban settings (as Downing argued in his books) that made Gothic Revival houses a picturesque escape from the industrialized city. For some, Gothic architecture embodied both nature and religion. Allston noted the Gothic style’s relationship to nature when, in his Lectures on Art, he compared the cliffs of snow at Mont Blanc to a ‘Gothic ceiling’.43 For many Americans, Gothic architecture entwined nature and religion in an architectural style appropriate to nineteenth-century America.44 In this period of increasing professionalism among architects, stylebooks (such as Downing’s) were educating clients in architectural taste.45 As we have seen, clients often participated in the design process, with the help of artists (as was the case with Cooper and Irving) or builders (as was the case with Forrest). Even when a client hired an architect or architectural firm, he might still have a hand in the design process (as was the case with Robert Gilmor III). Certainly, most of the buildings discussed in this book are not modest dwellings for the middle class. Rather the clients are selfconsciously aiming to create high-style architecture, turning to the latest British Gothic Revival buildings for inspiration. Such elite pretensions suggest yet another possible interpretation of the use of Gothic Revival architecture in this period. Indeed, Marxist historians have viewed the popularity of medievalism among the upper classes as an attempt to maintain the elites’ cultural hegemony in the face of increasing urbanization, industrialization and modernization (with the concomitant influx of immigrants, social unrest and changes in cultural and moral values).46 The above quotation from The New York Mirror suggests yet another reason, one that this book explores. By placing American Gothic Revival architecture and Romantic painting into the literary context of the British Gothic novel, I have argued for the pervasive

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influence of Romantic literature on American arts in this period. Beginning in the late eighteenth century, American artists, architects and their clients and patrons began to read Gothic novels and dramas. Scott’s later historical romances were, in many ways, a continuation of the Radcliffian school, especially in Scott’s use of Gothic architectural elements such as castles, abbeys and monasteries. These novels had a major architectural component, perhaps more so than any other genre, either before or since. Walpole had set a precedent for blurring the line between fiction and reality when he created Strawberry Hill and then used his sham castle as the setting for The Castle of Otranto. In the United States, Strawberry Hill became the model for Gothic Revival country houses and, I argue, its relationship to Gothic literature is a crucial element. The influence of Walpole’s Gothic Revival is enduring.47 As late as the mid-1870s, English banker John Earle Williams hired architect Edward Delano Lindsey to enlarge an existing country house (originally built in 1855 by John Thomas) in Irvington, New York. Williams named his house ‘Strawberry Hill’. The architecture is decidedly eclectic, combining Elizabethan, Gothic and Swiss styles into an irregular and fanciful cluster of gables and chimneypots. Martha J. Lamb, author of The Homes of America (1879), declared that one’s first impression of Strawberry Hill ‘is a mass of turrets, points, and eaves – an old Warwick cottage modernized and Americanized’. Lamb noted yet another way in which this American Strawberry Hill replicated its English predecessors (Strawberry Hill in Twickenham and the fictional Castle of Otranto). About the interior of the house, Lamb wrote, ‘Long, rambling passage-ways lead everywhere and nowhere, and are most delightfully bewildering’.48 A better description of the houses of Gothic fiction cannot be imagined. The earliest forays into Gothic Revival house building in the United States (such as Latrobe’s Sedgeley) were little more than classical forms with superficial Gothic detailing. With Glen Ellen, Town and Davis radically altered the direction of the Gothic Revival by introducing asymmetry into the design. This seminal moment in American architectural history would not have been possible without Horace Walpole and Sir Walter Scott. Glen Ellen client Robert Gilmor III visited the houses of these two authors, Strawberry Hill and Abbotsford, which then served as architectural models for

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Glen Ellen. But as significant as the architectural designs of these two structures are the novels written by the men who inhabited them. The novels of Walpole and Scott (and Radcliffe too) brought the Gothic style to life in the pages of romance and inspired readers to build their own castles. Scott’s novels made Gothic architecture recognizable to American readers. Scott’s writings were particularly important because they placed less emphasis on the supernatural terror associated with Radcliffe’s depiction of medieval architecture, thereby making Gothic houses inhabitable. Hawthorne noted the otherworldly aspect of Gothic architecture. Yet he insisted that modern people like himself could bridge the gap between the medieval and modern worlds. About Warwick Castle he wrote: A ruinous and ivy-grown bridge, that projects from the bank a little on the hither side of the castle, has the effect of making the scene appear more entirely apart from the everyday world, for it ends abruptly in the middle of the stream; so that if a cavalcade of the knights and ladies of romance should issue from the old walls, they could never tread on earthly ground, any more than we, approaching from the side of modern realism, can overleap the gulf between our domain and theirs. Yet, if we seek to disenchant ourselves, it may be readily done.

For Hawthorne, touching the actual stones of the ancient edifice spoiled the fantasy. Especially disenchanting was listening to a tour guide citing the castle’s features from a memorized script. Dolefully, Hawthorne wrote, It is better, methinks, to linger on the bridge, gazing at Caesar’s tower and Guy’s tower in the dim English sunshine . . . and still keep them as thoughts in your mind . . . They will have all the more reality for you, as stalwart relics of immemorial time, if you are reverent enough to leave them in the intangible sanctity of a poetic vision.49

While Hawthorne’s heeding was well intentioned, few of the historic figures featured in this book took such advice. They would rather literally carry a piece of history home to the United States and

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recreate the medieval, as Irving did when he brought the ivy from Melrose Abbey to Sunnyside. A major force in the popularity of the Gothic Revival style was a quest for vicarious experience, embodied in Forrest’s Fonthill Castle. Forrest took Henry Ward Beecher’s idea of the ‘dream breaking forth into a waking reality’50 to extremes by creating what amounted to a permanent stage set. Fonthill Castle is a concept as much as a real building of granite: it represents the ultimate disintegration of borders between reality and fantasy. Inspired by stage set designs, and used as a backdrop to Forrest’s theatrical performances, Fonthill Castle lives up to its namesake Fonthill Abbey in its explicit theatricality. This book has argued that from Jefferson to Hawthorne, late eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Americans saw their artistic creation through a Gothic lens. Some, like Allston, tried to suppress their ‘banditti mania’, but ‘works of the imagination’ triumphed over more commonsensical pursuits, a fact that is displayed in the paintings and architecture of the day. The impact of British romantic literature on American art and architecture was enormous. Tourism played a crucial role in this story as well; but even nineteenth-century travel was informed by the popular literature of the day. Just as Irving had brought along Byron’s poetry for his visit to Newstead Abbey, other Americans remembered Byron at must-see European tourist destinations. At one point in Hawthorne’s The Marble Faun, the young people visit the Coliseum by moonlight and notice a group of English or American tourists ‘exalting themselves with raptures that were Byron’s, not their own’.51 This observation suggests the importance of literary works in the experience of nineteenth-century travellers, a theme that this book has explicated. Ironically, The Marble Faun itself becomes a sort of guidebook for Americans travelling to Italy, including Henry James.52 In this way, Hawthorne – reader and writer of Romantic fiction, builder of Romantic towers – becomes the inspiration for the next generation of Gothic Revival enthusiasts.

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K Introduction 1

2

3

Walter Scott, The Lives of the Novelists (1821; London: J. M. Dent & Sons; New York: E. P. Dutton, 1910), p. 216. Horace Walpole, Letter to George Montagu, 5 January 1766, in Horace Walpole’s Correspondence, ed. W. S. Lewis and Ralph S. Brown, Jr., vol. X (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1941), p. 192. Some critics have argued that Gothic literature is not an escapist form of literature – a way for readers to revel in nostalgic representations of an idealized past – but rather a literature reflective of the historical and cultural forces of contemporary life. For instance, Teresa A. Goddu in Gothic America: Narrative, History and Nation (New York: Columbia University Press, 1997) and Justin D. Edwards in Gothic Passages: Racial Ambiguity and the American Gothic (Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2003) argue that American Gothic literature should be read within an historical and racial context, rather than as an escapist literature. My interpretation negotiates between these two apparently conflictive approaches. I would argue that Gothic literature does transport its reader to imaginary realms and bygone eras of castles and superstitious awe, and that people read Gothic novels to escape from the humdrum reality of real life, but, like any form of cultural production, Gothic literature cannot help but reveal historical aspects of the time in which it is written. These two interpretations do not have to be mutually exclusive. Walpole, Letter to Mary Berry, 17 October 1794, in Horace Walpole’s Correspondence, ed. W. S. Lewis and A. Dayle Wallace, vol. XII (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1944), p. 137.

American Gothic Art and Architecture 4

5

6

7

8

9

Horace Walpole, ‘Preface to the First Edition’, in The Castle of Otranto (1764; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998), p. 8 (original emphasis). Anne Williams, Art of Darkness: A Poetics of Gothic (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995), p. 50. In her recent book, The Afterlives of Walter Scott: Memory on the Move, Ann Rigney acknowledges, ‘the reception of Scott in North America deserves further study’. Ann Rigney, The Afterlives of Walter Scott: Memory on the Move (Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press, 2012), p. 154. This book addresses a gap in the scholarship on the international influence of Sir Walter Scott. Quoted in Cathy N. Davidson, ‘Isaac Mitchell’s The Asylum; or, Gothic Castles in the New Republic’, Prospects, 7 (1982), 286. Whether dairy maids and hired hands were literate enough to read Ann Radcliffe is the subject of Cathy Davidson’s chapter ‘Literacy, Education, and the Reader’, in Cathy N. Davidson, Revolution and the Word: The Rise of the Novel in America (1986; New York: Oxford University Press, 2004), pp. 121–50. For the most part, literary scholars have focused on the influence of Scott on the culture of the south in the nineteenth-century United States, following the lead of Mark Twain. In Life on the Mississippi (1883), Twain famously lamented the intermingling of southern culture with ‘the Walter Scott Middle-Age sham civilization’, a trend he referred to as ‘the Sir Walter Scott disease’. While Scott’s influence in the antebellum American South ran deep and has therefore sparked the interest of cultural historians, a fascination with Scott pervaded the northern consciousness as well. This book addresses this phenomenon. Since scholars have neglected the ‘Sir Walter Disease’ in the north, this book is an important contribution to our understanding of the large impact Scott had on nineteenth-century American culture and American art and architecture in particular. Mark Twain, ‘Life on the Mississippi’, Mississippi Writings (1883; New York: Library of America, 1982), pp. 501–2. On the ‘Sir Walter Disease’, see John Fraser, America and the Patterns of Chivalry (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982), pp. 7–12; Kim Moreland, The Medievalist Impulse in American Literature: Twain, Adams, Fitzgerald, and Hemingway (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1996), pp. 42–5; Alexander Nemerov, Acting in the Night: Macbeth and the Places of the Civil War (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2010), pp. 161–79; and Ann Rigney, The Afterlives of Walter Scott: Memory on the Move (Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press, 2012), pp. 106–26. The Hudson Valley has been a locus for the Gothic for two centuries; according to Judith Richardson, the valley has a reputation as an

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‘uncommonly haunted place’. Judith Richardson, Possessions: The History and Uses of Haunting in the Hudson Valley (Cambridge, London: Harvard University Press, 2003), p. 2. David Schuyler has argued for the ‘transcendent’ importance of the Hudson Valley in forming an American national identity. David Schuyler, Sanctified Landscape: Writers, Artists, and the Hudson River Valley, 1820–1909 (Ithaca, London: Cornell University Press, 2012), p. 3. Quoted in Richard Moody, Edwin Forrest: First Star of the American Stage (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1960), p. 249. Thomas Cole, ‘Essay on American Scenery’, in John McCoubrey (ed.), American Art 1700–1960: Sources and Documents (Englewood Cliff, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1965), pp. 108, 106. Nathaniel Hawthorne, ‘Preface’, in The Marble Faun (1860; London: J. M .Dent, 1995), p. 4. James Fenimore Cooper, in The Letters and Journals of James Fenimore Cooper, ed. James Franklin Beard, 6 vols (Cambridge: Belknap Press, 1964), vol. II, p. 170. Nathaniel Hawthorne, in Thomas Woodson and Bill Ellis (eds), The English Notebooks 1856–1860, vol. XXII (Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1997), p. 26. Talbot Hamlin, ‘The Rise of Eclecticism in New York’, Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, 11, 2 (May 1952), 3–8. Epitomizing this kind of analysis is Vincent Scully’s book The Shingle Style and the Stick Style: Architectural Theory and Design from Richardson to the Origins of Wright (1955; New Haven: Yale University Press, 1971). In this seminal book, Scully argues that Andrew Jackson Downing’s advocacy of wooden cottages, often in a Gothic Revival mode and harmonizing with their rural environment, prefigured twentieth-century architecture. Inspired by Scully, James Early’s book Romanticism and American Architecture (New York: A. S. Barnes & Co., Inc., 1965) argues that nineteenth-century Romantic functionalist theory, especially the work of A. J. Downing, influenced modern architects, and Frank Lloyd Wright in particular. Davis has been praised as the ahead-of-his-time inventor of the Davisean window, a multi-storey, narrow, vertical form of fenestration that ‘anticipated the modern vertical strip window’. Jane B. Davies, ‘Alexander J. Davis, Creative American Architect’, in Amelia Peck (ed.), Alexander Jackson Davis, American Architect, 1803–1892 (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, Rizzoli, 1992), p. 10.

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1: Gothic Monticello: Thomas Jefferson’s Garden Narratives 1

2

3 4

James A. Bear, Jr. and Lucia C. Stanton (eds), Jefferson’s Memorandum Books: Accounts, with Legal Records and Miscellany, 1767–1826, 2 vols (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1997), vol. I, pp. 245–50. On Jefferson’s garden designs for Monticello, see William Beiswanger, ‘The Temple in the Garden: Thomas Jefferson’s Vision of the Monticello Landscape’, Eighteenth-Century Life, VIII, 2 ( January 1983), 170–88; William Beiswanger, ‘Thomas Jefferson’s Designs for Garden Structures at Monticello’ (unpublished M.A. thesis, University of Virginia, 1977); Helen Scott Townsend Reed, ‘Jefferson’s Observation Tower Projects for Montalto and the University of Virginia’ (unpublished M.A. thesis, University of Virginia, 1991); Samuel Arndt Roberson, ‘Thomas Jefferson and the Eighteenth-Century Landscape Garden Movement in England’ (unpublished Ph.D. thesis, Yale University, 1974); William Howard Adams, ‘Thomas Jefferson and the Art of the Garden’, Apollo, CIV, 104 (September 1976), 190–7; Peter Martin, The Pleasure Gardens of Virginia from Jamestown to Jefferson (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1991); Peter J. Hatch, A Rich Spot of Earth: Thomas Jefferson’s Revolutionary Garden at Monticello (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2012); and Andrea Wulf, Founding Gardeners: The Revolutionary Generation, Nature, and the Shaping of the American Nation (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2011). Jefferson’s garden plans of 1771 can be found in Jefferson’s Memorandum Books; his designs for observation towers are at the Massachusetts Historical Society; his 1804 plan for pleasure grounds is reproduced in Edwin Morris Betts (ed.), Thomas Jefferson’s Garden Book 1766–1824 (Charlottesville: Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation, 1999), plates XIX and XX. Quoted in Bear and Stanton (eds), Jefferson’s Memorandum Books, p. 246. Jefferson quoted Rowe in his memorandum book but left out the line ‘Who had long since, like me by love undone’, which in Rowe’s original appears after the word ‘wretch’. He included the line in an entry in his literary commonplace book. Ibid., pp. 245–7. Burke published his treatise A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful in 1757; Jefferson to Robert Skipwith, 3 August 1771 in The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, ed. Julian P. Boyd, et al., 37 vols (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1950), vol. I, p. 79. On Jefferson’s literary aesthetic, and the sublime in particular, see Stephen D. Cox, ‘The Literary Aesthetic of Thomas Jefferson’, in J. A. Leo Lamay (ed.), Essays in Early Virginia Literature

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9 10

11 12

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Honoring Richard Beale Davis (New York: Burt Franklin & Co., 1977), pp. 235–56. Bear and Stanton (eds), Jefferson’s Memorandum Books, p. 249. Malcolm Kelsall, Jefferson and the Iconography of Romanticism: Folk, Land, Culture and the Romantic Nation (Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire, London: Macmillan Press; New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1999), p. 118. This study builds upon Kelsall’s analysis of Monticello as well as Jonathan Gross’s analysis of Jefferson’s scrapbooks, which reveal Jefferson’s genuine interest in Romantic poetry. Jonathan Michael Gross, Thomas Jefferson’s Scrapbooks: Poems of Nation, Family, and Romantic Love Collected by America’s Third President (Hanover, NH: Steerforth Press, 2006). Sarah Burns, Painting the Dark Side: Art and the Gothic Imagination in Nineteenth-Century America (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004). William H. Pierson, Jr., American Buildings and their Architects: The Colonial and Neo-Classical Styles (Garden City, NY: Anchor Press/ Doubleday, 1970), vol. 1, p. 314. Ibid., pp. 286–334. Jefferson’s Literary Commonplace Book, ed. Douglas L. Wilson (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1989), p. 187. Ibid., pp. 102–3. Jefferson never mentions the Ossian controversy in his writings; Millicent E. Sowerby (ed.), Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson, 5 vols (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1983), vol. IV, p. 466. Benjamin Henry Latrobe, in Latrobe’s View of America, 1795–1820: Selections from the Watercolors and Sketches, ed. Edward C. Carter II et al. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1985), pp. 34–7. Thomas Jefferson to Charles Macpherson, 25 February 1771, in The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, vol. I, pp. 96–7; quoted in Jefferson’s Literary Commonplace Book, p. 172. See Gilbert Chinard, ‘Jefferson and Ossian’, Modern Language Notes, 38, 4 (April 1923), 201–5 and Paul J. Degategno, ‘“The Source of Daily and Exalted Pleasure”: Jefferson Reads the Poems of Ossian’, in Howard Gaskill (ed.), Ossian Revisited (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1991), pp. 73–93. For the influence of Ossian in America, see Valentina Bold, ‘“Rude Bard of the North”: James Macpherson and the Folklore of Democracy’, Journal of American Folklore, 114, 454 (autumn 2001), 464–77. Merrill D. Peterson (ed.), Visitors to Monticello (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1989), p. 13; quoted in Rhys Isaac, ‘The First Monticello’, in Peter S. Onuf (ed.), Jeffersonian Legacies (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1993), pp. 77–8.

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17 18 19

20 21

22 23

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26 27

28 29

30

Fiona Stafford, ‘Introduction’, in James Macpherson, The Poems of Ossian and Related Works, ed. Howard Gaskill (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1996), p. xvi. Isaac, ‘The First Monticello’, p. 84. Pierson, American Buildings and their Architects, vol. 2, p. 292. Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey (1818; Toronto: Bantam Books, 1985), pp. 24–5. These almost-forgotten Gothic pot-boilers now form what is called ‘The Northanger Canon’, the core of the Sadleir-Black Gothic collection at the University of Virginia. See Frederick S. Frank, ‘Gothic Gold: The Sadleir-Black Gothic Collection’, Studies in EighteenthCentury Culture, 26 (1998), 287–312. The list of novels mentioned in Northanger Abbey shows that the title of the novel was almost as important as its contents in aligning a book with the Gothic tradition. Austen, Northanger Abbey, p. 163. Quoted in Peter Kafer, Charles Brockden Brown’s Revolution and the Birth of American Gothic (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004), p. xi. Ibid., pp. xi–xxi. Kevin J. Hayes, The Road to Monticello: The Life and Mind of Thomas Jefferson (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008), pp. 577–8. John Dixon Hunt, ‘Emblem and Expressionism in the EighteenthCentury Landscape Garden’, Eighteenth-Century Studies, 4, 3 (spring 1971), 295. James S. Ackerman, The Villa: Form and Ideology of Country Houses (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990), p. 204. Bear and Stanton (eds), Jefferson’s Memorandum Books, pp. 248–9. Beiswanger, ‘The Temple in the Garden’, 184. Henry D. Gilpin, a visitor to Monticello in 1827, writes ‘there is an eminence where Mr. Jefferson had erected a little Grecian temple & which was a favourite spot with him to read & sit in—we stood on the spot, but a violent storm some years since blew down the temple & no vestiges are left’. Peterson (ed.), Visitors to Monticello, p. 112. The temple was actually Palladian rather than Grecian. Quoted in Martin, The Pleasure Gardens of Virginia, p. 153. William Beckford, Vathek (1786; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998), p. 4. Jefferson to Maria Cosway, 12 October 1786, in Thomas Jefferson: Writings, ed. Merrill D. Peterson (New York: Literary Classics of the US, 1984), pp. 870–1; quoted in Matthew Cordova Frankel, ‘“Nature’s Nation” Revisited: Citizenship and the Sublime in Thomas Jefferson’s Notes on the State of Virginia’, American Literature, 73, 4 (December 2001), 716.

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34 35

36

37

38

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40 41

42 43

44 45 46

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Quoted in Beiswanger, ‘The Temple in the Garden’, 175. Ibid. Beiswanger, ‘Thomas Jefferson’s Designs for Garden Structures at Monticello’, 14–15. Roberson, ‘Thomas Jefferson’, 31. It has been suggested that Jefferson’s idea for battlements derives from ancient Roman fortifications, available to Jefferson through his reading of Claude Perrault’s Les Dix Livres d’architecture de Vitruve (1684); Reed, ‘Jefferson’s Observation Tower Projects’, 44. Frederick Nichols, ‘Decorated Outchamber for Monticello’, in William Howard Adams (ed.), The Eye of Thomas Jefferson (Washington: National Gallery of Art, 1976), p. 332. Buford Pickens, ‘Mr. Jefferson as Revolutionary Architect’, Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, 4, 34 (1975), 269 (original emphasis). Critics have de-emphasized the influence of radical French neoclassicism, which Pickens explores, on Jefferson’s architecture. Charles E. Brownell rejects the idea of Jefferson as an ‘architectural Francophile’, in Charles E. Brownell (ed.), The Making of Virginia Architecture (Richmond: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 1992), p. 52. For a response to Pickens, see Marian C. Donnelly, ‘Jefferson’s Observatory Design’, Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, 36, 1 (March 1977), 33–5. Fiske Kimball, Thomas Jefferson, Architect (1916; reprint with introduction by Frederick D. Nicholas, New York: DaCapo Press, 1986). On Sedgeley, see Michael W. Fazio and Patrick A. Snadon, The Domestic Architecture of Benjamin Henry Latrobe (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006), pp. 267–82. Betts (ed.), Thomas Jefferson’s Garden Book, plate XX. Beiswanger, ‘Thomas Jefferson’s Designs for Garden Structures at Monticello’, 26–7. Peterson (ed.), Visitors to Monticello, p. 51. Joseph Manca, George Washington’s Eye: Landscape, Architecture, and Design at Mount Vernon (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012). Ibid., p. 103, n. 63, p. 272. Manca, George Washington’s Eye, p. 167. Frances Laverne Carroll and Mary Meacham, The Library at Mount Vernon (Pittsburgh: Beta Phi Mu, 1977), p. 133. Quoted in Manca, George Washington’s Eye, p. 161. The full letter, dated 23 November 1797, can be found in Patricia Brady (ed.), George Washington’s Beautiful Nelly: The Letters of Eleanor Park Custis Lewis to Elizabeth Bordley Gibson, 1794–1851 (Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 1991), pp. 39–45.

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49 50

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52 53 54

55

56 57

58

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Ann Radcliffe, The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1966), p. 42. Quoted in Manca, George Washington’s Eye, pp. 217–18. Thomas Pim Cope, diary excerpt, 1802, in Jean B. Lee (ed.), Experiencing Mount Vernon: Eyewitness Accounts, 1784–1865 (Charlottesville, London: University of Virginia Press, 2006), p. 98. George Washington, ‘The Will of George Washington’, The Papers of George Washington, accessed 3 March 2014, http://gwpapers.virginia. edu/documents/george-washingtons-last-will-and-testament/. Manca, George Washington’s Eye, p. 167. ‘Mount Vernon’, Gleason’s Pictorial, V, 18 (29 October 1853), 273. Jacquelyn Oak and Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw, Artist and Visionary: William Matthew Prior Revealed (Cooperstown, NY: Fenimore Art Museum, 2012), p. 29. On Mount Auburn Cemetery, see Blanche M. G. Linden, Silent City on a Hill: Picturesque Landscapes of Memory and Boston’s Mount Auburn Cemetery (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press in association with the Library of American Landscape History, 2007). Quoted in Manca, George Washington’s Eye, p. 118. See Marc Leepson, Saving Monticello: The Levy Family’s Epic Quest to Rescue the House that Jefferson Built (New York: The Free Press, 2001). On Jefferson’s contradictory nature, see, for instance, Joseph J. Ellis, American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1997). For paradox as a characteristic of American culture, see Michael Kammen, People of Paradox: An Inquiry Concerning the Origins of American Civilization (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1972). Jeffrey A. Cohen and Charles E. Brownell, ‘The Neoclassical, the Picturesque, and the Sublime in the Architecture of Benjamin Henry Latrobe’, in The Architectural Drawings of Benjamin Henry Latrobe (New Haven, London: Yale University Press, 1994), vol. 2, part 1, pp. 3–34. Leslie A. Fiedler, Love and Death in the American Novel (New York: Criterion Books, 1960), p. 128.

2: ‘Banditti Mania’: The Gothic Haunting of Washington Allston 1

2

Washington Allston, Letter to William Dunlap, c.12 July 1833, in Washington Allston, The Correspondence of Washington Allston, ed. Nathalia Wright (Lexington, Kentucky: University Press of Kentucky, 1993), p. 333. Martin Myrone, Gothic Nightmares: Fuseli, Blake and the Romantic Imagination (London: Tate Publishing, 2006), p. 101.

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7 8

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Sarah Burns, Painting the Dark Side: Art and the Gothic Imagination in Nineteenth-Century America (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004), pp. xix, 81, 99. E. P. Richardson, Washington Allston: A Study of the Romantic Artist in America (1948; New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Company, 1967), p. 144. Diana J. Strazdes, ‘Washington Allston’s Early Career, 1796–1811’ (unpublished Ph.D. thesis, Yale University, 1982), 87–8. Indeed, with the exception of Burns whose argument deals particularly with slavery, none of the books and articles on Allston fully examines the Gothic nature of his work. See David Bjelajac, Millenial Desire and the Apocalyptic Vision of Washington Allston (Washington DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1988); David Bjelajac, Washington Allston, Secret Societies, and the Alchemy of Anglo-American Painting (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997); William H. Gerdts and Theodore E. Stebbins, Jr., ‘A Man of Genius’: The Art of Washington Allston (1779–1843) (Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, 1979); Joy Kasson, Artistic Voyagers: Europe and the American Imagination in the Works of Irving, Allston, Cole, Cooper, and Hawthorne (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1982); Bryan Jay Wolf, Romantic Re-vision: Culture and Consciousness in Nineteenth-Century American Painting and Literature (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982); Barbara Novak, American Painting of the Nineteenth Century: Realism, Idealism and the American Experience (New York: Praeger Publishers, 1969); and Allston, The Correspondence. Allston, Letter to William Dunlap, c.12 July 1833, in Allston, The Correspondence, p. 300. Ibid., p. 334. Donald Ringe, American Gothic: Imagination and Reason in NineteenthCentury Fiction (Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 1982), p. 16. Allston, Letter to William Dunlap, c.20 May 1833, in Allston, The Correspondence, p. 330. Strazdes, ‘Washington Allston’s Early Career’, 16. Strazdes suggests that it was Allston’s aristocratic manner that earned him the nickname, but Jarvis does not specify why he and Dana called Allston ‘The Count’. See ibid., p. 17 and Leonard Jarvis’s remembrances of Allston, excerpted in Jared Flagg, The Life and Letters of Washington Allston (1892; New York: B. Blom, 1969), pp. 30–1. Flagg, The Life and Letters, p. 27. Richard Henry Dana, Jr., ‘Preface’, in Washington Allston, Lectures on Art (1850; New York: Da Capo Press, 1972), p. iv. H. W. L. Dana, ‘Allston at Harvard, 1796 to 1800’, Cambridge Historical Society Publications, 29 (1948), 18.

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16 17 18

19 20

21

22

23

24

25

Diana Strazdes’s dissertation is an excellent source on Allston’s early career, from his schooldays at Harvard, up to his second residence in Europe (‘Washington Allston’s Early Career, 1796–1811’). Strazdes credits Allston’s fascination with banditti to Rosa’s popularity and Allston’s reading of the 1696 edition of Prince Arthur and Alexandre Olivier Exquemelin’s Buccaneers of America. While I do not disagree with Strazdes on this point, she does not explicitly make the connection between Allston’s reading of Gothic novels and his interest in banditti. See also Robert L. White, ‘Washington Allston: Banditti in Arcadia’, American Quarterly (fall 1961), 387–401. Strazdes, ‘Washington Allston’s Early Career, 1796–1811’, 33. Allston’s essay is reprinted in ibid., Appendix B, 234–45 (241). Allston, Letter to Charles Fraser, 25 August 1801, in Allston, The Correspondence, p. 27. Strazdes, ‘Washington Allston’s Early Career’, 106. Elizabeth Manwaring, Italian Landscape in Eighteenth Century England: A Study Chiefly of the Influence of Claude Lorrain and Salvator Rosa on English Taste, 1700–1800 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1925). Ann Radcliffe, The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989), p. 216. Quoted in William Dunlap, A History of the Rise and Progress of the Arts of Design in the United States, 3 vols (1834; New York: Benjamin Blom, 1965), vol. II, p. 301. On the use of bandit images in art, see W. Gaunt, Bandits in a Landscape: A Study of Romantic Painting from Caravaggio to Delacroix (New York: The Studio Publications, Inc., 1937). Flagg, The Life and Letters, pp. 38–9. This image also greatly affected Allston’s pupil Charles Leslie who wrote ‘This engraving from [Fuseli’s] “Hamlet and the Ghost” had scared me from the window of a print shop in Philadelphia, and I still contemplate that matchless spectre with something of the same awe which it then inspired.’ Charles Leslie, in Tom Taylor (ed.), Autobiographical Recollections (Boston: Ticknor & Fields, 1860), p. 25. Radcliffe analyses Shakespearean drama in her short piece ‘On the Supernatural in Poetry’, published posthumously in New Monthly Magazine, 16 (1826), 145–52. On Shakespeare’s influence on Radcliffe, see C. F. McIntyre, ‘Were the “Gothic Novels” Gothic?’, PMLA, xxxvi (1921), 644–67 and Rictor Norton, ‘Ann Radcliffe, “The Shakespeare of Romance Writers”’, in Christy Desmet and Anne Williams (eds), Shakespearean Gothic (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2009), pp. 37–59. Allston, The Correspondence, p. 26.

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29 30

31

32

33

34

35

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D. H. Weinglass, Prints and Engraved Illustrations By and After Henry Fuseli (Aldershot, Hants: Scolar Press, 1994), p. 142. On Fuseli’s profanity, see Flagg, The Life and Letters, p. 39. Allston wrote in 1833 ‘I am still [Fuseli’s] admirer, but in a more qualified degree’. Allston, Letter to William Dunlap, 15 October 1833, in Allston, The Correspondence, p. 339. Allston, Letter to William Dunlap, 4 November 1833, in ibid., p. 342. West’s influence on Allston is detailed in Dorinda Evans, Benjamin West and His American Students (Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1980). Allston, Letter to Charles Fraser, 25 August 1801, in Allston, The Correspondence, p. 26. West exhibited three different versions of this painting in 1784, 1796 and 1817. Helmut von Erffa and Allen Staley, The Paintings of Benjamin West (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1986), pp. 388–92. Grose Evans, Benjamin West and the Taste of His Times (Carbondale: Southern Illinois Press, 1959), p. 63. This was an exhibition of a later version of Death on a Pale Horse than the one that so impressed Allston. Allston became religious only after the death of his first wife in 1815. He was confirmed in St Paul’s Episcopal Church in Boston in 1821, but also attended the Church of the Shepard Congregational Society in Cambridge. The most complete discussion of Allston’s religion appears in Bjelajac, Millenial Desires. See also Allston, The Correspondence, appendix 6, ‘Religious Beliefs’, pp. 625–8. For Irving’s reminiscences about Allston, see Washington Irving, Miscellaneous Writings, 1803–1859, ed. Wayne R. Kime, 2 vols (Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1981), vol. II. For more on the relationship between Coleridge and Allston, see Elizabeth Johns, ‘Washington Allston and Samuel Taylor Coleridge: A Remarkable Relationship’, Archives of American Art Journal, 19, 3 (1979), 2–7; P. M. Zall, ‘The Cool World of Samuel Taylor Coleridge: Coleridge’s American Genius, Washington Allston’, The Wordsworth Circle, 14, 2 (spring 1983), 96–9, and John R. Welsh, ‘An Anglo-American Friendship: Allston and Coleridge’, Journal of American Studies, 5 (1971), 81–91. Allston also became acquainted with William Wordsworth through Coleridge; see Hugh R. Crean, ‘The Influence of William Wordsworth’s Concept of Memory on Washington Allston’s Later Works’, Arts Magazine, 57 ( June 1983), 58–63. For Coleridge and Allston on architecture, see Allston, The Correspondence, pp. 540–1. Richardson, Washington Allston, p. 115.

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41 42

43 44

45 46

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48 49 50

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Alain-René Lesage, The History of Gil Blas of Santillana, trans. Henry Van Lann, 3 vols (1715; Philadelphia: The Rittenhouse Press, n.d.), vol. 1, p. 50. Strazdes lists the books Allston owned and borrowed in college in ‘Washington Allston’s Early Career, 1796–1811’, appendix A, 228–33. Alice P. Kenney and Leslie J. Workman, ‘Ruins, Romance, and Reality: Medievalism in Anglo-American Imagination and Taste, 1750–1840’, Winterthur Portfolio, 10 (1975), 150. Allston, Letter to Jonathan Mason, 20 October 1831, in Allston, The Correspondence, p. 303. Allston, Letter to William Dunlap, c.16 August 1834, in ibid., p. 363. Ann Radcliffe, The Italian (1797; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1968), p. 232. Burns, Painting the Dark Side, p. 95. Elizabeth Palmer Peabody, Last Evening with Allston and Other Papers (Boston: D. Lothrop & Co., 1887), p. 55. Allston, The Correspondence, p. 304. ‘Washington Allston’, United States Magazine and Democratic Review, 13 (October 1843), 431–4. Quoted in Nicholas Powell, Fuseli: The Nightmare (London: Penguin Press, 1973), p. 77. Allston, The Correspondence, p. 297, n. 2. Ellen Moers, Literary Women (London: Women’s Press, 1978), pp. 90–1. Allston, Letter to Charles Fraser, 25 August 1801, in Allston, The Correspondence, p. 26. David C. Huntington, Art and the Excited Spirit: America in the Romantic Period (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Museum of Art, 1972). Gerdts and Stebbins, ‘A Man of Genius’, pp. 235–6, 238. See also Stephanie Ross, ‘Painting the Passions: Charles LeBrun’s Conférence sur L’Expression’, Journal of the History of Ideas, 45, 1 ( January–March 1984), 25–47; Jennifer Montagu, The Expression of the Passions: The Origin and Influence of Charles Le Brun’s Conférence sur l’expression générale et particulière (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1994); and Alastair Smart, ‘Dramatic Gesture and Expression in the Age of Hogarth and Reynolds’, Apollo (August 1965), 90–7. The most in-depth analysis of Allston’s theory of aesthetics can be found in Elizabeth Johns, ‘Washington Allston’s Theory of the Imagination’ (unpublished Ph.D. thesis, Emory University, 1974). On Allston’s Lectures on Art, see Regina Soria, ‘Washington Allston’s Lectures on Art: The First American Art Treatise’, Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 18 (March 1960), 329–44; George P. Winston,

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‘Washington Allston and the Objective Correlative’, Bucknell Review, 11 (1962), 95–108; Marek Wilczynski, The Phantom and the Abyss: The Gothic Fiction in America and Aesthetics of the Sublime, 1798–1856 (Frankfurt am Main; New York: Peter Lang, 1999), pp. 155–65; and Allston, The Correspondence, pp. 600–4. Washington Allston, Lectures on Art and Poems and Monaldi, ed. Nathalia Wright (Gainesville, FL: Scholars’ Facsimiles & Reprints, 1967), p. 57 (original emphasis). David Bjelajac has argued that the Burkean sublime was ‘alien to Allston’s temperament’ and that he favoured Common Sense Philosophy and the aesthetic ideas of William Ellery Channing and Coleridge. Bjelajac, Millenial Desires, p. 6. In his theoretical beliefs, Allston was indebted to previous philosophers, including Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Schelling, and contemporaries such as Joshua Reynolds and Henry Fuseli. His lectures were published posthumously, were reviewed briefly in a number of journals, but did not receive much attention until Edgar Richardson revived Allston’s work with his exhibition in 1948. Edmund Burke, A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful (1757; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990), p. 41. Adela Pinch, Strange Fits of Passion: Epistemologies of Emotion, Hume to Austen (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1996). Quoted in Dunlap, A History of the Rise and Progress, p. 313 (original emphasis). Quoted in Flagg, The Life and Letters, pp. 99–100. For a brief discussion of the connections between The Dead Man Restored . . . and Allston’s interest in the supernatural, see Wright’s discussion of the painting, Allston, The Correspondence, pp. 66–8. Allston, Letter to Washington Irving, 9 May 1817, in Allston, The Correspondence, p. 100 (original emphasis). Kasson, Artistic Voyagers, p. 57. Radcliffe, Udolpho, p. 291. Huntington, Art and the Excited Spirit, p. 3. Allston, Monaldi, p. 15. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Letter to Samuel Ward, 20 November 1841, in The Letters of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Andrew Hilen (Cambridge: Belknap Press, 1966), p. 355. Allston read at least two of Maturin’s Gothic novels, The Fatal Revenge, or The Family of Montorio, A Romance (1807) and The Milesian Chief, A Romance (1812). Allston, The Correspondence, p. 617. For more on

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69 70 71 72

73 74

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77 78

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madness in Gothic fiction, see Scott Brewster, ‘Seeing Things: Gothic and the Madness of Interpretation’, in David Punter (ed.), A Companion to the Gothic (Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 2000), pp. 281–92. Allston based his iconography on a print from Hogarth’s Scene in a Madhouse in A Rake’s Progress, to which Allston probably had access while at Harvard. Gerdts and Stebbins, ‘A Man of Genius’, p. 21. A likely literary source is Charles Churchill’s poem ‘The Ghost’. In Allston’s copy of Churchill’s Poems is his pencil sketch study for Tragic Figure in Chains. Strazdes, ‘Washington Allston’s Early Career, 1796–1811’, 51. Allston, Monaldi, p. 10. Flagg, The Life and Letters, p. 111. Dunlap, History of the Rise, p. 318. For Leslie’s denial of Allston’s insanity, see Flagg, The Life and Letters, p. 110. Leslie, Autobiographical Recollections, p. 34. Burns, Painting the Dark Side, pp. 78–9. Max Byrd, Visits to Bedlam: Madness and Literature in the Eighteenth Century (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1974), p. 137. Allston, in Richard Henry Dana, Jr. (ed.), Lectures on Art and Poems (1850; New York: Da Capo Press, 1972), pp. 280, 56 (original emphasis). ‘The Mad Lover at the Grave of his Mistress’ was written well before the death of Allston’s first wife, but it anticipates the grief he will later feel at her death. Bjelajac, Millenial Desires, p. 84. Allston, The Correspondence, p. 617. In addition, Allston owned a copy of the Gothic collection Miniature Romances from the German, translated by Thomas Tracy and published in Boston in 1841. ‘Washington Allston’, 422. Karen Halttunen, Murder Most Foul: The Killer and the American Gothic Imagination (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1998). Mark Edmundson, Nightmare on Main Street: Angels, Sadomasochism, and the Culture of Gothic (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1997), p. xii. Allston, Letter to John Stevens Cogdell, 1 July 1826, in Allston, The Correspondence, p. 228.

3: ‘Arranging the Trap Doors’: The Gothic Revival Castles of Alexander Jackson Davis 1

Quoted in Susanne Brendel-Pandich, ‘From Cottages to Castles: The Country House Designs of Alexander Jackson Davis’, in Amelia Peck

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(ed.), Alexander Jackson Davis, American Architect, 1803–1892 (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, Rizzoli, 1992), p. 79 (original emphasis). William Dunlap, A History of the Rise and Progress of the Arts of Design in the United States, 3 vols (1834; New York: Benjamin Blom, 1965), vol. III, p. 211. Benjamin Henry Latrobe, The Virginia Journals of Benjamin Henry Latrobe, 1795–1798, ed. Edward C. Carter II, 2 vols (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1977), vol. I, p. 166. Benjamin Henry Latrobe, Latrobe’s View of America, 1795–1820: Selections from the Watercolors and Sketches, ed. Edward C. Carter II et al. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1985), pp. 34–7. Jeffrey A. Cohen and Charles E. Brownell, The Architectural Drawings of Benjamin Henry Latrobe (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1994), vol. II, pp. 15–24. On Sedgeley, see Michael W. Fazio and Patrick A. Snadon, The Domestic Architecture of Benjamin Henry Latrobe (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006), pp. 267–82. Quoted in Wayne Andrews, American Gothic: Its Origins, Its Trials, Its Triumphs (New York: Random House, 1975), p. 38 (original emphasis). The villa, tower and farm buildings at Montevideo were executed in the Gothic Revival style. Scholar Alan Wallach suggests that William Beckford’s Fonthill Abbey (designed by James Wyatt in England) may have influenced Wadsworth’s choice of style. Wadsworth’s friend John Trumbull had visited Fonthill Abbey in the summer of 1798 with Benjamin West, who had been commissioned by Beckford to paint scenes from the Revelation for Beckford’s ‘Revelation Chamber’ at Fonthill Abbey. Alan Wallach, ‘Wadsworth’s Tower: An Episode in the History of American Landscape Vision’, American Art, 10 (fall 1996), 15. There are four major collections of Alexander Jackson Davis primary source materials. The collections are housed at The New York Public Library; the Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library at Columbia University; the Metropolitan Museum of Art; and the New-York Historical Society. Most useful for this project were catalogues of Davis’s library (the New York Public Library, the New-York Historical Society, and Avery), his Daybook in which he lists his daily activities (part I (1827–53) is located at the New York Public Library; part II (1854–90) is at Avery); and Davis’s Alexandria pocket diaries (I and II) located at the Metropolitan Museum. The Houghton Library at Harvard University also has a Davis scrapbook.

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11 12

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18

19 20 21

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Quoted in Robert E. Lougy, Charles Robert Maturin (Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press, 1975), p. 42. Ibid., pp. 44–5. John Donoghue, Alexander Jackson Davis, Romantic Architect 1803–1892 (New York: Arno Press, 1982), n.p. Charles Maturin, Bertram: or the Castle of St. Aldobrand (1816; Oxford, New York: Woodstock Books, 1992), pp. 3, 26. William Dunlap, trans., Abaellino by Heinrich Zschokke, in More Plays by William Dunlap (1820; Delmar, NY: Scholars’ Facsimiles & Reprints, 1995). Donoghue, Alexander Jackson Davis, n.p. Ibid. Carrie Rebora, ‘Alexander Jackson Davis and the Arts of Design’, in Amelia Peck (ed.), Alexander Jackson Davis, American Architect, 1803–1892 (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, Rizzoli, 1992), p. 27. William H. Pierson, Jr., American Buildings and Their Architects: Technology and the Picturesque, the Corporate and the Early Gothic Styles (1978; Garden City, NY: Anchor Press, 1980), vol. 2, p. 107 (original emphasis). Dunlap, A History of the Rise and Progress, vol. III, p. 210. Ibid., p. 211. Quoted in Paul Ranger, ‘Terror and Pity Reign in Every Breast’: Gothic Drama in the London Patent Theatres, 1750–1820 (London: The Society for Theatre Research, 1991), p. 16. Ann Radcliffe, The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1966), p. 227. A. J. Davis, Daybook, New York Public Library, 22 April 1848. Quoted in Fiona Robertson, Legitimate Histories: Scott, Gothic, and the Authorities of Fiction (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994), pp. 31–2. John Lauber, Sir Walter Scott (New York: Twayne Publishers, 1966), p. 17. Quoted in James D. Hart, The Popular Book: A History of America’s Literary Taste (New York: Oxford University Press, 1950), p. 74. Hart does not cite the date of this quotation. On Sir Walter Scott’s reception in the United States, see Emily B. Todd, ‘Establishing Routes for Fiction in the United States: Walter Scott’s Novels and the Early Nineteenth-Century American Publishing Industry’, Book History, 12 (2009), 100–28 and Emily B. Todd, ‘Water Scott and the NineteenthCentury American Literary Marketplace: Antebellum Richmond Readers and the Collected Editions of the Waverley Novels’, Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, 93, 4 (December 1999), 495–513. Hart, The Popular Book, p. 69.

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A. J. Davis, ‘Diary at Linwood’, Davis Letterbook, New York Public Library, p. 208. A. J. Davis, Daybook, New York Public Library, 15 October 1848. Quoted in Robertson, Legitimate Histories, p. 52. For the influence of the Gothic genre on Scott’s writings, see ibid.; Coleman O. Parsons, Witchcraft and Demonology in Scott’s Fiction (Edinburgh: Oliver & Boyd, 1964), pp. 49–57; and Robert Ignatius Letellier, Sir Walter Scott and the Gothic Novel (Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen Press, 1995). Walter Scott, The Lives of the Novelists (1821; London: J. M. Dent & Sons; New York: E. P. Dutton, 1910), p. 188. At age twelve, Scott’s favourite book was Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto. Alice Chandler, ‘Sir Walter Scott and the Medieval Revival’, Nineteenth-Century Fiction, 19, 4 (March 1965), 319. Walter Scott, The Lives of the Novelists, p. 203. Scott was well aware of the stock Gothic conventions: ‘A dark and tyrannical count; an aged crone of a housekeeper, the depositary of many a family legend; a garrulous waiting-maid; a gay and light-hearted valet; a villain or two of all work; and a heroine, fulfilled with all perfections, and subjected to all manner of hazards.’ Ibid., p. 225. Robertson, Legitimate Histories, p. 53. Quoted in Lauber, Sir Walter Scott, p. 34. In a letter to William Wordsworth, Coleridge derides Scott’s poetry: ‘I am reading Scott’s Lady of the Lake, having had it on my table week after week till it cried shame to me for not opening it. But truly as far as I can judge from the first 98 pages, my reluctance was not unprophetic. Merciful Apollo! – what an easy pace does thou jog on with thy unspurred yet unpinioned Pegasus! – The movement of the Poem . . . is between a sleeping Canter and a Marketwoman’s trot.’ Coleridge, Letter to William Wordsworth, c. October 1810, in The Collected Letters of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, ed. Earl Leslie Griggs (Oxford: Oxford at the Clarendon Press, 1959), vol. III, pp. 807–8. Walter Scott, The Bride of Lammermoor (1819; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991), pp. 83, 172. Pierson, American Buildings, p. 292. See also Iain G. Brown (ed.), Abbotsford and Sir Walter Scott: The Image and the Influence (Edinburgh: Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, 2003). Quoted in Pierson, American Buildings, p. 290. The most complete discussion of Robert Gilmor III and Glen Ellen appears in Patrick Snadon, ‘A. J. Davis and the Gothic Revival Castle in America, 1832–1865’ (unpublished Ph.D. thesis, Cornell University, 1988).

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41

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48 49

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Walople letter to Horace Mann, 27 April 1853, Horace Walpole’s Correspondence, ed. W. S. Lewis, 48 vols (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1937–83), vol. XX, p. 372. The most recent scholarship on Walpole’s Strawberry Hill includes: Matthew M. Reeve, ‘Gothic Architecture, Sexuality, and License at Horace Walpole’s Strawberry Hill’, The Art Bulletin, XCV, 3 (September 2013), 411–39; John Iddon, Strawberry Hill & Horace Walpole: Essential Guide (London: Scala, 2011); Michael Snodin (ed.), Horace Walpole’s Strawberry Hill (New Haven, London: Yale University Press, 2009); Anna Chalcraft and Judith Viscardi, Strawberry Hill: Horace Walpole’s Gothic Castle (London: Frances Lincoln Ltd, 2007). Horace Walpole, A Description of the Villa of Mr. Horace Walpole (1784; London: Gregg Press, 1964), p. iv. Walpole letter to William Cole, 9 March 1765, Correspondence, vol. I, p. 88. Walpole, Otranto, p. 8; W. S. Lewis, ‘The Genesis of Strawberry Hill’, Metropolitan Museum Studies, V, 1 ( June 1934), 88–90; quoted in W. S. Lewis, ‘Introduction’ to The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole (London: Oxford University Press, 1969), p. xi. Walpole also used a college at Cambridge, probably Trinity, as a source for his fictional Castle of Otranto. Ibid., p. xi. Travel diary of Robert Gilmor III (MS 387), Maryland Historical Society, vol. II, 24 May 1830, n.p. Quoted in Snadon, ‘A. J. Davis’, 89–90 (original emphasis). Travel diary of Robert Gilmor III, Maryland Historical Society, vol. II, 26 May 1830 and 28 May 1830, n.p. Travel diary of Robert Gilmor III, Maryland Historical Society, vol. II, 18 August 1830 and 19 August 1830, n.p. Scott was known for storytelling and verse reciting to entertain his guests. See Susan Edmonstone Ferrier, ‘Recollections of Visits to Ashistiel and Abbotsford’, Littell’s Living Age, 120 (1874), 689–92. Donoghue, Alexander Jackson Davis, chapter three, n.p. Quoted in Janice Gayle Schimmelman, ‘The Spirit of the Gothic: The Gothic Revival House in Nineteenth-Century America’ (unpublished Ph.D. thesis, University of Michigan, 1980), 155. For a discussion of the innovations at Glen Ellen, see Snadon, ‘A. J. Davis’, 109–11 and Pierson, American Buildings, p. 295. Pierson, American Buildings, p. 295. Schimmelman, ‘The Spirit of the Gothic’, 155. Snadon, ‘A. J. Davis’, 95. As a client, Gilmor played a large role in the design of Glen Ellen. Ibid., 96.

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Brendel-Pandich, ‘From Cottages to Castles’, pp. 70–1. For a formal description of Glen Ellen, see Pierson, American Buildings, pp. 292–5. According to Pierson, the massing of the structure retains neoclassical elements (the work of Town) while the ornamentation is Gothic (the work of Davis), Pierson, American Buildings, p. 295. Snadon, ‘A. J. Davis’, 101. Sadly, Glen Ellen was only permanent for the duration of Gilmor’s life but not much longer. Gilmor lived at Glen Ellen until his death in 1874 when his children inherited the villa. The city of Baltimore eventually acquired the estate. The house was demolished in the 1930s after falling into disrepair. Ibid., 112. Daniel Bluestone, ‘A. J. Davis’s Belmead: Picturesque Aesthetics in the Land of Slavery’, Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, 71, 2 ( June 2012), 146. On Belmead, see also Snadon, ‘A. J. Davis’, 194–213. Bluestone analyses the Gothic Revival in relation to slavery, as does Maurie D. McInnis in The Politics of Taste in Antebellum Charleston (Chapel Hill, London: University of North Carolina Press, 2005), pp. 195–239. McInnis’s chapter ‘Gothic Revival’ examines outbuildings rather than residences. On slavery and castle architecture, see also Alexander Nemerov, Acting in the Night: Macbeth and the Places of the Civil War (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2010), pp. 161–79. Nemerov discusses Castle Murray, also known as ‘Melrose Castle’, in relation to southern slavery. Architect Edmund Lind designed Castle Murray for Dr James Murray in 1857–8. Murray named his castle ‘in honor of Melrose Abbey in Scotland, which he claimed as an ancestral home’. Quoted in ibid., p. 163. Thomas Aldrich Bailey, ‘Among the Studios’, Our Young Folks ( July– September 1866), 393; quoted in Donoghue, Alexander Jackson Davis, chapter 3, n.p. The Washington Square building was the setting for Theodore Winthop’s Gothic novel Cecil Dreeme (1861). On Davis’s role in the design of Washington University, see Francis R. Kowsky, ‘Simplicity and Dignity: The Public and Institutional Buildings of Alexander Jackson Davis’, in Amelia Peck (ed.), Alexander Jackson Davis, American Architect, 1803–1892 (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, Rizzoli, 1992), pp. 49–50. Quoted in Schimmelman, ‘The Spirit of the Gothic’, 19.

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4: Old Dwellings Transmogrified: The Homes of James Fenimore Cooper and Washington Irving 1

2

3

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5

6

7

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9 10 11 12 13 14

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James Fenimore Cooper, Notions of the Americans: Picked up by a Travelling Bachelor (1828; Albany: State University of New York Press, 1991), p. 355. Quoted in Mary E. Phillips, James Fenimore Cooper (New York: John Lane Co., 1913), p. 262. See W. Barksdale Maynard, ‘“Best, Lowliest Style!” The Early NineteenthCentury Rediscovery of American Colonial Architecture’, Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, 59, 3 (September 2000), 338–57. Quoted in Hugh Grant Rowell, ‘The Interior Architecture’, American Collector, XVI (October 1947), 16. Theodore Tilton, Sanctum Sanctorum, or Proof-sheets from an Editor’s Table (New York: Sheldon & Company, 1870), p. 7. Cooper denied that Templeton was Cooperstown, that his father was Judge Temple of The Pioneers, that he himself was Edward Effingham and that Otsego Hall was the hall described in his novels, but the similarities are too striking to be ignored. See The Letters and Journals of James Fenimore Cooper, ed. James Franklin Beard, 6 vols (Cambridge: Belknap Press, 1960), vol. IV, pp. 72–87. On the Cooper family and domestic architecture, see Duncan Faherty, Remodeling the Nation: The Architecture of American Identity, 1776–1858 (Hanover, London: University Press of New England, 1997), pp. 122–61. On the Greek Revival, see Talbot Hamlin, Greek Revival Architecture in America (1944; New York: Dover Publications, 1964) and W. Barksdale Maynard, Architecture in the United States, 1800–1850 (New Haven, London: Yale University Press, 2002). James Fenimore Cooper, Home as Found (1838; New York: Capricorn Books, 1961), p. 13. Ibid., p. 15. Ibid., p. 113. Ibid., p. 128. Ibid., p. 149. Quoted in Phillips, James Fenimore Cooper, p. 262. Alan Taylor, William Cooper’s Town: Power and Persuasion on the Frontier of the Early American Republic (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1996), p. 261. On Otsego Hall, see Charles Tichy, ‘Otsego Hall and its Setting, 1786–1940’ (unpublished M.A. thesis, Cooperstown Graduate Program, 1973); Katherine B. Susman, ‘Gothic Revival Domestic Architecture

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in Cooperstown, New York, 1834–1868: The Evolution of a Style’ (unpublished M.A. thesis, Cooperstown Graduate Program, 1971); William H. Pierson, Jr., American Buildings and their Architects: Technology and the Picturesque, the Corporate and the Early Gothic Styles (1978; Garden City, NY: Anchor Books, 1980), vol. 2, pp. 290–1; Janice Gayle Schimmelman, ‘The Spirit of the Gothic: The Gothic Revival House in Nineteenth-Century America’ (unpublished Ph.D. thesis, University of Michigan, 1980), 132–4; and Patrick Snadon, ‘A. J. Davis and the Gothic Revival Castle in America, 1832–1865’ (unpublished Ph.D. thesis, Cornell University, 1988), 291–3. Cooper himself described his renovations in ‘The Chronicles of Cooperstown’: ‘The Hall having passed into the hands of J. Fenimore Cooper, Esquire, that gentleman, shortly after his return from Europe, or in 1834, had it extensively repaired, and a good deal altered. The roof had rotted, and it was replaced by a new one on the old inclination, but the walls of the building were raised four feet. On these were placed battlements and heavy cornices in brick, that add altogether eight feet to the elevation of the building. The distance between the rows of the windows was increased three feet, by filling in the lower ends of the upper windows, and by placing new stools, the necessary height having been obtained above. Much ornamental brick work has been added, and the effect has been altogether advantageous. All the floors of the second storey have also been raised, giving to the principal rooms a better height than they formerly possessed, while those above have been improved the same way, by the addition to the general height of the building. Appropriate entrances have been made on both fronts, that are better suited to the style of architecture and to the climate than the ancient stoops, and two low towers have been added to the east end, which contribute greatly to the comfort of the house, as a residence. The improvements and alterations are still proceeding slowly, and this dwelling, which for ten or twelve years was nearly deserted, promises to be one of the best country houses in the state again. The grounds have also been enlarged and altered, the present possessor aiming at what is called an English garden. During the life of Judge Cooper, these grounds contained about three acres, but they are now enlarged to five.’ James Fenimore Cooper, ‘The Chronicles of Cooperstown to 1838’, in A History of Cooperstown (Cooperstown: New York State Historical Association, 1976), pp. 36–7. On the Cooper-Morse friendship, see James T. Callow, Kindred Spirits: Knickerbocker Writers and American Artists, 1807–1855 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina, 1967), pp. 53–7.

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19 20

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24

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27 28

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Cooper, The Letters and Journals, vol. III, p. 57. Snadon, ‘A. J. Davis and the Gothic Revival Castle’, 291. As for interior renovations, Cooper used only native oak. The interior does not appear to have been Gothicized in the same way as the exterior. See Tichy ‘Otsego Hall and its Setting’. Cooper, The Letters and Journals, vol. III, p. 371. Ibid., vol. III, p. 155. See Tichy, ‘Otsego Hall and its Setting’, pp. 56–61, for a description of Cooper’s grounds. Quoted in Hugh C. MacDougall, ‘“A True Churchly Feeling”: James Fenimore Cooper and the Remodelling of Christ Church, Cooperstown’, 2. Unpublished manuscript available from the James Fenimore Cooper Society of Cooperstown, New York. See ibid. Cooper copied the screen at St John’s Episcopal Church (known as ‘the Stone Church’) in Johnstown, New York, which was in turn based upon the screen at Newstead Abbey. MacDougall, ‘“A True Churchly Feeling”’, 3. Cooper wrote that the screen at St John’s was ‘much the noblest and imposing ornament I have ever seen in an American church, though it is not very large’. He also noted that the Johnstown screen was of pine, ‘while ours will be of real oak’. Cooper, The Letters and Journals, vol. IV, p. 19. Cooper, The Letters and Journals, vol. IV, p. 32. Quoted in Diantha Dow Schull, Landmarks of Otsego County (Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1980), p. 75. Although altered since Cooper’s time, Christ Church still stands in Cooperstown near the site of Otsego Hall and adjacent to the graveyard where Cooper is buried. James Fenimore Cooper, Gleanings in Europe, France (1837; Albany: State University of New York Press, 1982), p. 35. Ibid., pp. 35–7. ‘Architecture in the United States’, The American Journal of Science and Arts, 18 ( July 1830), 222. Quoted in Schimmelman, ‘The Spirit of the Gothic’, 37. Cooper, The Letters and Journals, vol. I, p. 149. Cooper, Gleanings in Europe, England (1837; Albany: State University of New York Press, 1982), pp. 169–70. Cooper, Notions, pp. 350. Donald A. Ringe, ‘The Last of the Mohicans as a Gothic Novel’, in George A. Test (ed.), James Fenimore Cooper, His Country and His Art (no. 6): Papers from the 1986 Conference at State University of New York (Oneonta: State University of New York College, 1987), p. 42.

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Cooper, Notions, p. 348. Donald A. Ringe has written extensively on Cooper and the Gothic. In addition to his article on The Last of the Mohicans, see Donald A. Ringe, American Gothic: Imagination and Reason in Nineteenth-Century Fiction (Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 1982), pp. 106–8; Donald A. Ringe, ‘The Bravo: Social Criticism in the Gothic Mode’, James Fenimore Cooper: His Country and His Art, 8 (1991), 124–34; and Donald A. Ringe, ‘Cooper’s Lionel Lincoln: The Problem of Genre’, American Transcendental Quarterly, 24 (fall 1974), 24–30. Ringe, ‘The Last of the Mohicans as a Gothic Novel’, pp. 41–53. On Cooper’s landscape imagery, see Blake Nevius, Cooper’s Landscapes: An Essay on the Picturesque Vision (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1976). Nevius discusses Cooper’s debt to Rosa on pp. 41–5. Lewis Leary, Introduction to Home As Found by James Fenimore Cooper (New York: Capricorn Books, 1961), p. viii. Cooper, Gleanings in Europe, France, pp. 148–57. Cooper and Scott were on agreeable terms; after Scott’s death, Lockhart’s Memoirs of the Life of Sir Walter Scott transcribed Scott’s diary mistakenly. According to the memoirs, Scott wrote that Cooper lacked manners, when the diary actually said ‘manner’, i.e. affectation. Cooper published a letter in the Knickerbocker defending himself against these allegations. James Fenimore Cooper, ‘To the Editors of the Knickerbocker’, The Knickerbocker: or, New-York Monthly Magazine, 11 (1838), 380–6. For Cooper’s indebtedness to Scott, see George Dekker, James Fenimore Cooper: The American Scott (New York: Barnes & Noble, 1967) and Juliet Shields, ‘Savage and Scott-ish Masculinity in The Last of the Mohicans and The Prairie: James Fenimore Cooper and the Diasporic Origins of American Identity’, Nineteenth-Century Literature, 64, 2 (September 2009), 137–62. Cooper, The Letters and Journals, vol. II, p. 310. Of his nickname, Cooper wrote ‘If there is a term that gives me more disgust than any other, it is to be called . . . the ‘American Walter Scott”’. Ibid., vol. II, p. 83. Cooper, Gleanings in Europe, France, pp. 250–51. As Katherine Susman notes, despite its Gothic outward effects, Otsego Hall lacked the ‘feeling of texture, light and shade and whimsey that give Gothic Revival architecture much of its personality’. Susman, ‘Gothic Revival Domestic Architecture in Cooperstown’, 19. Cooper, Gleanings in Europe, France, p. 36. He is similarly impressed with the exterior of Rouen Cathedral, finding the interior ‘rather plain’ after viewing the profusion of detail on the exterior. Ibid., p. 57.

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52 53 54 55

A number of scholars have stated erroneously that Cooper visited Abbotsford, which subsequently influenced Cooper’s Otsego Hall. See Calder Loth and Julius Trousdale Sadler, Jr., The Only Proper Style: Gothic Architecture in America (Boston: New York Graphic Society, 1975), p. 43; Pierson, American Buildings, vol. 2, pp. 290–1; and Hilary Iris Lowe, Mark Twain’s Homes & Literary Tourism (Columbia, London: University of Missouri Press, 2012), p. 107. Although Cooper met Scott several times, he never visited Scott at his home. See Hugh C. MacDougall, ‘Where Was James?: A James Fenimore Cooper Chronology from 1789 to 1851’, James Fenimore Cooper Society Miscellaneous Papers, no. 3, Cooperstown, NY, 1993. Francis Parkman, in Mason Wade (ed.), The Journals of Francis Parkman (New York, London: Harper & Brothers, 1947; Kraus Reprint Co., New York, 1969), p. 227. Emily Jane Cohen, ‘Museums of the Mind: The Gothic and the Art of Memory’, ELH, 62, 4 (1995), 887. Irving’s essays on Abbotsford and Newstead Abbey are based on his actual visits, about which he writes in his journals and letters. William Owen has argued that ‘Abbotsford’ is an ‘imaginative reconstruction’ of Irving’s visit, rather than a factual account. Owen argues that the actual narrator is Irving’s literary persona Geoffrey Crayon. However, for the purposes of this chapter, I will refer to Irving as the writer of the two essays since it is impossible to separate what Irving actually experienced and what he fictionalized for the purposes of his essays. William Owen, ‘Reevaluating Scott: Washington Irving’s “Abbotsford”’, in Stanley Brodwin (ed.), The Old and New World Romanticism of Washington Irving (New York: Greenwood Press, 1986), pp. 69–78. Washington Irving, ‘Abbotsford’, in Dahlia Kirby Terrel (ed.), The Crayon Miscellany (Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1979), p. 153. Washington Irving, ‘The Author’s Account of Himself ’, in The SketchBook of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. (1819–20; New York: Penguin Books, 1981), p. 14. Irving, ‘Abbotsford’, p. 129. Quoted in Megan Aldrich, Gothic Revival (London: Phaidon Press, 1994), p. 141. Henry Ward Beecher, Star Papers; or Experiences of Art and Nature (New York: J. C. Derby, 1855), pp. 14–15. Irving, ‘Abbotsford’, pp. 129–30. Ibid., pp. 125, 143. Ibid., p. 125. Ibid., p. 143.

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Notes 56 57

58

59

60 61 62 63 64

65 66

67 68

69 70

Faherty, Remodeling the Nation, p. 96. Ann Rigney, The Afterlives of Walter Scott: Memory on the Move (New York, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012), p. 142. For an analysis of Irving’s two essays, see Stephan Bann, The Clothing of Clio: A Study of the Representation of History in Nineteenth-Century Britain and France (Cambridge, New York: Cambridge University Press, 1984), pp. 93–111. Washington Irving, ‘Newstead Abbey’, in Dahlia Kirby (ed.), The Crayon Miscellany (Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1979), p. 188. Ibid., pp. 196–7. Ibid., p. 175. Ibid., p. 187. Irving, ‘The Author’s Account of Himself’, in The Sketch-Book, p. 13. Washington Irving, in Journals and Notebooks (1803–1876), ed. Nathalia Wright (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1969), vol. 1, 8 August 1804, pp. 55–6. Ibid., vol. 1, 9 October 1804, p. 489. Washington Irving, in Journals and Notebooks (1807–1822), ed. Walter A. Rechart and Lillian Sclissel (Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1981), vol. II, 3 August 1816, p. 76. Irving, ‘Westminster Abbey’, in The Sketch-Book, pp. 169–73. Washington Irving, in Letters (1802–1823), ed. Ralph M. Aderman, Herbert L. Kleinfield and Jenifer S. Banks (Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1978), vol. I, 26 August 1817, p. 490. Ibid., vol. I, 27 July 1815, pp. 406–8. Ringe, American Gothic, pp. 80–101. There is a significant amount of scholarship on Irving and the Gothic, including: Oral Sumner Coad, ‘The Gothic Element in American Literature before 1835’, Journal of English and Germanic Philology, 24 (1925), 72–93; John Clendenning, ‘Irving and the Gothic Tradition’, Bucknell Review, 12, 2 (May 1964), 90–8; William L. Hedges, Washington Irving: An American Study, 1802–1832 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1965), pp. 195–212; Donald A. Ringe, ‘Irving’s Use of the Gothic Mode’, Studies in the Literary Imagination, 7, 1 (1974), 51–65; and G. R. Thompson, ‘Washington Irving and the American Ghost Story’, in John W. Crowley, Charles Crow and Howard Kerr (eds), The Haunted Dusk: American Supernatural Fiction, 1820–1920 (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1983), pp. 11–36. For a discussion of Irving, haunting and the Hudson Valley region, see chapter two of Judith Richardson, Possessions: The History and Uses of Haunting in the Hudson Valley (Cambridge, London: Harvard University Press, 2003).

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72

73 74 75

A quotation from ‘Newstead Abbey’ illustrates Irving’s view of the supernatural. While visiting Newstead Abbey, an old servant tells Irving that the abbey is haunted; he believes the servant is deceived. He says ‘Noises are propagated about a huge irregular edifice of the kind in a very deceptive manner; footsteps are prolonged and reverberated by the vaulted cloisters and echoing halls; the cracking and slamming of distant gates, the rushing of the blast through the groves and among the ruined arches of the chapel, have all a strangely delusive effect at night.’ Irving, ‘Newstead Abbey’, p. 193. Irving uses the supernatural in his own fiction in the same way; he employs Radcliffe’s ‘explained supernatural’ in which supernatural happenings are rationally explained; in Irving, the supernatural reveals the psyche of the characters who believe in ghosts, etc. Washington Irving, in Judith Giblin Haig (ed.), Tales of a Traveller by Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. (Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1987), p. 189. Ibid., p. 32. Ibid., p. 35. The most comprehensive works to date on Quidor are Christopher Kent Wilson, ‘The Life and Work of John Quidor’ (unpublished Ph.D. thesis, Yale University, 1982) and David M. Sokol, ‘John Quidor: His Life and Work’ (unpublished Ph.D. thesis, New York University, 1971). See also Christopher Kent Wilson, ‘Engraved Sources for Quidor’s Early Work’, The American Art Journal, 8 (November 1976), 17–25; David M. Sokol, ‘John Quidor, Literary Painter’, The American Art Journal, 2, 1 (spring 1970), 60–73; Bryan Jay Wolf, Romantic Revision: Culture and Consciousness in Nineteenth-Century American Painting and Literature (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982), chapter 4, pp. 107–76; Bartholomew F. Bland, ‘Imagining Dutch New York: John Quidor and the Romantic Tradition’, in Roger Panetta (ed.), Dutch New York: The Roots of Hudson Valley Culture (Yonkers: Hudson River Museum and Fordham University Press, 2009), pp. 223–56; and exhibition catalogues David M. Sokol, John Quidor: Painter of American Legend (Wichita: Wichita Art Museum, 1973); John I. H. Baur, John Quidor (Utica: New York State Council on the Arts, 1965); and John I. H. Baur, Three Nineteenth-Century American Painters, John Quidor, Eastman Johnson, Theodore Robinson (New York: Arno Press, 1969). These last two catalogues are reprinted from Baur’s 1942 exhibition catalogue from the Brooklyn Museum. In Painting the Dark Side, Sarah Burns addresses the question of race in Quidor’s paintings which she describes as ‘powerful visual metaphors for what we might call fear of the dark in white antebellum culture’. Sarah Burns, Painting

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76 77 78

79

80

the Dark Side: Art and the Gothic Imagination in Nineteenth-Century America (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004), p. 101. Irving, Tales of a Traveller, p. 259. Wolf, Romantic Re-vision, p. 122. Quidor also painted an earlier version of the same subject in 1828. In the earlier version, someone other than Quidor added the horseman; since removed from the original painting, the horseman can be seen in a reproduction in Bauer, John Quidor, p. 23. See Rebecca Bedell, ‘John Quidor and the Demonic Imagination: Ichabod Crane Flying from the Headless Horseman (c. 1828)’, The Yale Journal of Criticism, 11, 1 (1998), 117, n. 12. Sokol, ‘John Quidor, Literary Painter’, 63. Quidor’s two paintings derived from Cooper’s novel The Pioneers. Leatherstocking’s Rescue (1832) and Leatherstocking Meets the Law (1832) also share in the Gothic tradition, especially the former. See Chad Mandeles, ‘A New Look at John Quidor’s Leatherstocking Paintings’, The American Art Journal, 12, 3 (summer 1980), 65–70. On Sunnyside, see David R. Anderson, ‘A Quaint, Picturesque Little Pile: Architecture and the Past in Washington Irving’, in Stanley Brodwin (ed.), The Old and New World Romanticism of Washington Irving (New York: Greenwood Press, 1986), pp. 139–49; Joseph T. Butler, ‘Washington Irving and His Home, Sunnyside’, in Andrew B. Myers (ed.), Washington Irving, A Tribute (Tarrytown, NY: Sleepy Hollow Restorations, 1972), pp. 69–75; Joseph T. Butler, Washington Irving’s Sunnyside (Tarrytown, NY: Sleepy Hollow Restorations, 1974); Harold Dean Cater, ‘Washington Irving and Sunnyside’, New York History, XXXVIII, 2 (April 1957), 123–66; Kathleen Eagen Johnson, Washington Irving’s Sunnyside (Tarrytown, NY: Historic Hudson Valley Press, 1995); Andrew B. Myers, ‘Sunnyside: From Saltbox to Snuggery to Shrine’, in Andrew B. Myers (ed.), The Knickerbocker Tradition: Washington Irving’s New York (Tarrytown, NY: Sleepy Hollow Restorations, 1974), pp. 89–115; Clay Lancaster, ‘The Architecture of Sunnyside’, American Collector, XVI (October 1947), 13–15; Rowell, ‘The Interior Architecture’, 16–18; and Robert M. Toole, ‘An American Cottage Ornée: Washington Irving’s Sunnyside, 1835–1859’, Journal of Garden History, 12, 1 (1992), 52–72. See also W. Barksdale Maynard, Architecture in the United States 1800–1850 (New Haven, London: Yale University Press, 2002), pp. 88–92; Thomas G. Connors, ‘The Romantic Landscape: Washington Irving, Sleepy Hollow, and the Rural Cemetery Movement’, in Nancy Isenberg and Andrew Burstein (eds), Mortal Remains: Death in Early America (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2003),

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81

82

83

84 85

86 87 88 89 90

91 92 93

94 95 96

pp. 187–245; Snadon, ‘A. J. Davis and the Gothic Revival Castle’, 293–301; Schimmelman, ‘The Spirit of the Gothic’, 134–8; Adam Sweeting, Reading Houses and Building Books: Andrew Jackson Downing and the Architecture of Popular Antebellum Literature, 1835–1855 (Hanover, NH: University Press of New England, 1996), pp. 134–9; and Faherty, Remodeling the Nation, pp. 100–9. This architectural feature, also called corbie steps, can be found not only in Flanders and Holland, but also in north Germany and East Anglia, as well as in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Scottish architecture. Numerous commentators have mentioned this idiosyncrasy of Sunnyside, including Wayne Franklin, ‘Cooper and New York’s Dutch Heritage’, James Fenimore Cooper Society Miscellaneous Papers, 5 (1994), 18–24. Quoted in Schimmelman, ‘The Spirit of the Gothic’, 137. For an analysis of the later influence of Dutch art and architecture on American culture (1880–1920), see Annette Stott, Holland Mania: The Unknown Dutch Period in American Art and Culture (Woodstock, NY: The Overlook Press, 1998). See also Joyce D. Goodfriend (ed.), Revisiting New Netherland: Perspectives on Early Dutch America (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2005) and Joyce D. Goodfriend, Benjamin Schmidt and Annette Stott, Going Dutch: The Dutch Presence in America, 1609–2009 (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2008). Quoted in Sweeting, Reading Houses and Building Books, p. 137. David Anderson mentions the similarities between Sunnyside and John Bull’s house in Anderson, ‘A Quaint, Picturesque Little Pile’, p. 141, as does Sweeting, Reading Houses and Building Books, p. 138. Irving, ‘John Bull’, in The Sketch-Book, p. 304. Irving, ‘John Bull’, in The Sketch-Book, p. 305. Butler, Washington Irving’s Sunnyside, pp. 42–3. Quoted in Anderson, ‘A Quaint, Picturesque Little Pile’, p. 145. Johnson, Washington Irving’s Sunnyside, p. 11. Andrew Jackson Downing, ‘On the Drapery of Cottages and Gardens’, in Rural Essays (New York: George P. Putnam and Company, 1853), p. 94. Sweeting, Reading Houses and Building Books, p. 135. Johnson, Washington Irving’s Sunnyside, p. 8. Washington Irving, in Robert Rosenberg (ed.), Wolfert’s Roost (Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1979), p. 3. Ibid., p. 6. Ibid., p. 11. Irving, Tales of a Traveller, p. 4.

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98

99

100

101 102 103

104 105

Quoted in W. S. Lewis, ‘The Genesis of Strawberry Hill’, Metropolitan Museum Studies, V, 1 (August 1934), 60. Irving, Letters, vol. II, 8 July 1835, p. 835; Irving uses the word ‘little’ to describe Sunnyside in the following letters: Letters, vol. III, 13 January 1843, p. 473; Letters, vol. III, 21 June 1843, p. 544; and Letters, vol. IV, 8 November 1846, p. 104. Twentieth-century scholars followed suit; Cater calls Sunnyside a ‘polished miniature’. Cater, ‘Washington Irving and Sunnyside’, 148. Snadon, ‘A. J. Davis and the Gothic Revival Castle’, 296, 301. Irving and Gilmor knew each other from their travels in England, and Walpole’s Strawberry Hill and Scott’s Abbotsford influenced both men in the designs of their respective houses. Ibid., 298. Miller’s New York As It Is, or Stranger’s Guide to the Cities of New York, Brooklyn and Adjacent Places . . . (New York: J. Miller, 1866), p. 125. Butler, Washington Irving’s Sunnyside, p. 53. Cooper, The Letters and Journals, vol. II, p. 170. Such is the case with Gothic Revival collegiate architecture in the United States. See chapter VI, ‘The Monastic Quadrangle and Collegiate Ideals’, in Paul Venable Turner, Campus: An American Planning Tradition (New York: The Architectural History Foundation, 1984). Faherty, Remodeling the Nation, p. 100. Susman, ‘Gothic Revival Domestic Architecture in Cooperstown’, 23.

5: Gothic Castles in the Landscape: Thomas Cole, Sir Walter Scott and the Hudson River School of Painting 1

‘The Scott Centennial’, Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, XXXII, 831 (2 September 1871), 413, 421, 423, 425. The Central Park statue is a bronze copy of the one designed by John Steell in Edinburgh at the Scott monument. In the twentieth century, Scott’s popularity declined, although in academia there has been a resurgence of interest recently. But as literary scholar Michael Alexander writes, ‘Although Scott currently enjoys an academic rally, the present writer, in thirtythree years in Scottish universities, met a number of university teachers of English literature who, if they had tried a novel by Scott, had failed to finish it.’ Michael Alexander, Medievalism: The Middle Ages in Modern England (New Haven, London: Yale University Press, 2007), p. 31. See also Stuart Kelly, Scott-land: The Man Who Invented a Nation (Edinburgh: Polygon, 2010) and Ann Rigney, The Afterlives of Walter

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2

3

4

5

6

7

Scott: Memory on the Move (Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press, 2012). Thomas Cole is often cited as the ‘founder’ of the so-called Hudson River School, a group of landscape painters active between c.1825 and c.1875 in the United States. Quoted in Mary Alice Mackay, ‘Sketch Club Drawings for Byron’s “Darkness” and Scott’s “Lay of the Last Minstrel”’, Master Drawings, 35, 2 (summer 1997), 142. On The Sketch Club, see also James T. Callow, Kindred Spirits: Knickerbocker Writers and American Artists, 1807–1855 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1967), pp. 12–29. Scott’s poems occupied the members for two additional meetings after 27 March. Theodore E. Stebbins, Jr., American Master Drawings and Watercolors: A History of Works on Paper from Colonial Times to the Present (New York, Hagerstown, San Francisco, London: Harper & Row Publishers, 1976), p. 116. On castles, see Ellwood C. Parry III, ‘Gothic Elegies for an American Audience: Thomas Cole’s Repackaging of Imported Ideas’, American Art Journal, 8 (November 1976), 26–46 and Naomi Reed Kline (ed.), Castles: An Enduring Fantasy (New Rochelle, NY: Aristide D. Caratzas, 1985), especially two essays: Leslie J. Workman, ‘To Castle Dangerous: The Influence of Scott’, pp. 45–50 and Ellwood C. Parry III, ‘Towers Above the Trees in Romantic Landscape Paintings’, pp. 61–70. See also Thomas K. Murphy, A Land Without Castles: The Changing Image of America in Europe, 1780–1830 (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2001). Recently, new scholarship has appeared on nineteenth-century American painters’ experiences in Italy, which often inspired paintings of Italian castles. See Linda S. Ferber, The Hudson River School: Nature and the American Vision (New York: The New-York Historical Society, 2009), pp. 166–97 and William L. Vance, Mary K. McGuigan and John F. McGuigan, Jr., in Paul D’Ambrosio (ed.), America’s Rome: Artists in the Eternal City, 1800–1900 (Cooperstown, NY: Fenimore Art Museum, 2009). John Ruskin, Praeterita: Outlines of Scenes and Thoughts Perhaps Worthy of Memory in My Past Life (1885–1889) (London: Rupert Hart-Davis, 1949), p. 8. The Philadelphia city directory in 1820 lists Doughty as ‘Landscape Painter’. Frank H. Goodyear, Thomas Doughty 1793–1856, an American Pioneer in Landscape Painting (Philadelphia: Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 1973), p. 13. About Doughty’s painting, the authors of an exhibition catalogue on the Gothic Revival write: ‘Few scenes

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8

9 10

11

12 13 14

could be more removed from eastern Massachusetts’. Katherine S. Howe and David B. Warren, The Gothic Revival Style in America, 1830–1870 (Houston: Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1976), p. 81. See also John Wilmerding, American Masterpieces from the National Gallery of Art (New York: Hudson Hills Press, 1980), pp. 84–5. Daniel Jackson, Jr., Alonzo and Melissa, or the Unfeeling Father (New York: Leavitt and Allen, 1853), p. 64. Isaac Mitchell (c.1759–1812) published The Asylum, or Alonzo and Melissa in instalments in the Poughkeepsie Political Barometer (5 June–30 October 1804). Daniel Jackson, Jr. then plagiarized the story and published it in a condensed and revised form in 1811 as Alonzo and Melissa which became a bestseller. Mitchell also published the story in book form in 1811 as The Asylum. The edition used here is Jackson, Jr., Alonzo and Melissa, or the Unfeeling Father. Although the Mitchell text is considered standard, the plagiarized version by Jackson emphasizes the Gothic portion of Mitchell’s original story and was the popular version throughout the nineteenth century. See Cathy N. Davidson, ‘Isaac Mitchell’s The Asylum; or, Gothic Castles in the New Republic’, Prospects, 7 (1982), 281–99 for a complete review of the complex publication history of this novel. See also Leonard Tennenhouse, The Importance of Feeling English: American Literature and the British Diaspora, 1750–1850 (Princeton, Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2007), chapter 5, ‘The Gothic in Diaspora’, pp. 94–117; Joseph Fichtelberg, ‘The Sentimental Economy of Isaac Mitchell’s The Asylum’, Early American Literature, 32, 1 (1997), 1–19; and Christian Knirsch, ‘Transcultural Gothic: Isaac Mitchell’s Alonzo and Melissa as an Early Example of Popular Culture’, in Monika Elbert and Bridget M. Marshall (eds), Transnational Gothic: Literary and Social Exchanges in the Long Nineteenth Century (Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate Publishing, 2013), pp. 35–47. Jackson, Alonzo and Melissa, pp. 78–9. Alexander Cowie, The Rise of the American Novel (New York: American Book Company, 1951), p. 104; Cowie complains of the ‘papier-mâché scenery’, p. 107. Quoted in Louis Legrand Noble, The Life and Works of Thomas Cole (1853; Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1964), p. 145. Parry, ‘Gothic Elegies’, 36. Quoted in Noble, The Life and Works, p. 96. Thomas Cole, The Collected Essays and Prose Sketches, ed. Marshall Tymn (St. Paul: John Colet Press, 1980), p. 100; see Charles L. Sanford, ‘The Concept of the Sublime in the Works of Thomas Cole and

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15 16 17 18

19 20 21 22 23 24

25

26

27 28

29

William Cullen Bryant’, American Literature, 28, 4 ( January 1957), 434–48. Quoted in Noble, The Life and Works, p. 77. Ibid., p. 90. Ibid., p. 225. Thomas Cole, ‘Letter to the Publick on the Subject of Architecture’, quoted in Parry, The Art of Thomas Cole, p. 206. On Cole’s Kenilworth sketch, see Parry, The Art of Thomas Cole, p. 263 and pp. 277–9 and Nancy Siegel, ‘An Oil Sketch by Thomas Cole of the Ruins of Kenilworth Castle’, The Burlington Magazine, 144, 1194 (September 2002), 557–9. On Cole’s paintings of ruinous castles and connections to American Gothic literature, see Sarah Burns, Painting the Dark Side: Art and the Gothic Imagination in Nineteenth-Century America (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004), chapter 1, ‘Gloom and Doom’, pp. 1–43. Quoted in Parry, ‘Gothic Elegies’, 30. Ibid., 26. Ibid., 37–9. Quoted in Noble, The Life and Works, p. 145. Quoted in Parry, The Art of Thomas Cole, p. 197. Yet another patron (Thomas Hall Faile) urged Cole to paint a ‘Subject something of Chivalry Days’. Parry, The Art of Thomas Cole, p. 200. William Cullen Bryant, ‘Thanatopsis’, in The Complete Poems of William Cullen Bryant, ed. H. C. Edwards (New York: Frederick A. Stokes Company, 1894), p. 22; David B. Lawall, Asher Brown Durand: His Art and Art Theory in Relation to His Times (New York, London: Garland Publishing, 1977), p. 532. Although George Inness was not a follower of Cole, he did paint two images with medieval themes, Peace and War and March of the Crusaders. See Nicolai Cikovsky, Jr., George Inness (New York: Harry N. Abrams, Publishers, 1993), pp. 12–13. Henry T. Tuckerman, Book of the Artists (1867; New York: James F. Carr, 1966), p. 533. See Elizabeth Feld and Stuart P. Feld, In Pointed Style: The Gothic Revival in America, 1800–1860 (New York: Hirschl & Adler Galleries, 2006), pp. 126–7 and pp. 134–5. ‘The Fine Arts’, New York Herald, 7 February 1852, 3. Maria Cropsey, Letter to Sarah Cooley, Edinburgh, 21 July 1847, p. 3. Transcriptions from Mead Collection Letters are available at the Newington-Cropsey Foundation in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY. Black’s Picturesque Tourist of Scotland (Edinburgh: Adam and Charles Black, 1856), p. 498.

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32

33 34

35

36

37 38 39

40

41

42

43

Maria Cropsey, Letter to Sarah Cooley, Edinburgh, 21 July 1847, p. 3, Newington-Cropsey Foundation. Howe and Warren, The Gothic Revival Style, p. 85. Cropsey was not only a painter; he was also an architect who employed the Gothic Revival style. On Cropsey, see William S. Talbot, Jasper F. Cropsey, 1823–1900 (New York, London: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1977), Ella M. Foshay, Barbara Finney and Mishoe Brennecke, Jasper Cropsey, Artist and Architect (New York: New York Historical Society, 1987), and Kenneth W. Maddox and Anthony M. Speiser, Jasper Francis Cropsey: Catalogue Raisonné, 1842–1863 (Hastings-on-Hudson, NY: Newington Cropsey Foundation, 2013), vol. 1. Quoted in ‘Appendix’, in Franklin Kelly, The Spirit of War and The Spirit of Peace (Washington: National Gallery of Art, 1994), p. 18. Ibid., p. 19. Ibid., p. 18. See also Gail E. Husch, Something Coming: Apocalyptic Expectation and Mid-Nineteenth-Century American Painting (Hanover, NH: University Press of New England, 2000), chapter 6, ‘1851: Jasper Cropsey and The Spirit of Peace’, pp. 153–79. Angela Miller, The Empire of the Eye: Landscape Representation and American Cultural Politics, 1825–1875 (Ithaca, London: Cornell University Press, 1993), pp. 122–6. Alan Wallach, ‘Thomas Cole and the Aristocracy’, Arts Magazine, 56 (November 1981), 100; see also William H. Truettner and Alan Wallach (eds), Thomas Cole: Landscape into History (New Haven, London: Yale University Press and Washington DC: National Museum of American Art, 1993). Quoted in Noble, The Life and Works, p. 225. Alexander, Medievalism, p. 97. Marc Girouard, The Return to Camelot: Chivalry and the English Gentleman (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1981), p. 44. For an analysis of turn-of-the-century medievalism in the United States, see T. J. Jackson Lears’s seminal book No Place of Grace: Antimodernism and the Transformation of American Culture, 1880–1920 (New York: Pantheon Books, 1981). Quoted in Talbot, Jasper F. Cropsey, p. 144. For many years, The Olden Times–Morning was also unlocated; when it resurfaced, the NewingtonCropsey Foundation acquired the painting. On the Hart brothers, see Mark Sullivan, James M. and William Hart: American Landscape Painters (Philadelphia: John F. Warren, 1983). William Hart, ‘Autobiography’ (unpublished manuscript), Albany Institute of History and Art. Sir Walter Scott, Ivanhoe: A Romance (1820; New York: The Modern Library, 1997), p. 477 (chapter 41).

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45

46

47

48

49

50 51 52 53

Black’s Picturesque Tourist of Scotland, p. 510. The elevated view also gave the spectator both vision and power; the popular panoramic view served similar ends. Alan Wallach has written extensively about what he has called the ‘panoptic sublime’. For example, see Alan Wallach, ‘Making a Picture of the View from Mount Holyoke’, in David C. Miller (ed.), American Iconology: New Approaches to Nineteenth-Century Art and Literature (New Haven, London: Yale University Press, 1993), pp. 80–91; Alan Wallach, ‘Wadsworth’s Tower: An Episode in the History of American Landscape Vision’, American Art, 10, 3 (autumn 1996), 8–27; and Alan Wallach, ‘Some Further Thoughts on the Panoramic Mode in Hudson River School Landscape Painting’, in Phillip Earenfight and Nancy Siegel (eds), Within the Landscape: Essays on Nineteenth-Century American Art and Culture (Carlisle, PA: The Trout Gallery, Dickinson College, 2005), pp. 99–128. For more on Turner and Scott, see Gerald Finley, Landscapes of Memory: Turner as Illustrator to Scott (Berkeley, Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1980). Ralph Waldo Emerson, ‘Art’, in Stephen E. Whicher, Robert E. Spiller and Wallace E. Williams (eds), The Early Lectures of Ralph Waldo Emerson, 3 vols (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, Belknap Press, 1964), vol. 2, p. 52. Allison Lockwood, Passionate Pilgrims: The American Traveler in Great Britain, 1800–1914 (New York: Cornwall Books; Rutherford, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1981), p. 78. See also Ian Ousby, The Englishman’s England: Taste, Travel and the Rise of Tourism (London: Pimlico, 2002). Sir Walter Scott, Kenilworth (1821; London: Penguin Books, 1999), 254 (chapter 25). For a description of Scott’s knowledge of the castle, see J. H. Alexander, ‘Historical Note’, Kenilworth, A Romance by Walter Scott (London: Penguin Books, 1999), p. 397. Sanford R. Gifford notes the accuracy of Scott’s descriptions in his travel letters, which are in the Archives of American Art (AAA) and available online at http://www.aaa.si.edu/collectionsonline/giffsanf/. Sanford R. Gifford, ‘European Letters’, p. 57. Henry T. Tuckerman, A Month in England (New York: Redfield, 1853), pp. 199–200. William H. Rideing, ‘Amy Robsart, Kenilworth, and Warwick’, Scribner’s Magazine, 8, 6 (December 1890), 714. Gifford, ‘European Letters’, pp. 55, 57. Ibid., p. 61. Ibid. Ibid., p. 58.

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57

58

59

On literary tourism in the Trossachs, see Nicola J. Watson, The Literary Tourist: Readers and Places in Romantic & Victorian Britain (Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006), pp. 150–63 and Ian Brown (ed.), Literary Tourism, the Trossachs, and Walter Scott (Glasgow: Scottish Literature International, 2012). Lockwood, Passionate Pilgrims, p. 70; Gifford, ‘European Letters’, pp. 82–3. Henry Ward Beecher, Star Papers: Experiences of Art and Nature (New York: J. C. Derby, 1855), p. 19. A. J. Downing, ‘Letters from England’, The Horticulturist ( July 1850), reprinted in George William Curtis (ed.), Rural Essays (1853; New York, Da Capo Press, 1974), p. 476. Alice P. Kenney and Leslie J. Workman, ‘Ruins, Romance, and Reality: Medievalism in Anglo-American Imagination and Taste, 1750–1840’, Winterthur Portfolio, 10 (1975), 144. Thomas Cole, ‘Essay on American Scenery’, in John W. McCoubrey (ed.), American Art 1700–1960: Sources and Documents (1835; Englewood Cliff, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1965), p. 108.

6: The Theatrical Spectacle of Medieval Revival: Edwin Forrest’s Fonthill Castle 1

2

3

4

5

6 7

George William Curtis, ‘Memoir’, Rural Essays by A. J. Downing (1853; New York: Da Capo Press, 1974), pp. xxxix. Adam Sweeting, Reading Houses and Building Books: Andrew Jackson Downing and the Architecture of Popular Antebellum Literature, 1835–1855 (Hanover, NH: University Press of New England, 1996), p. 179; David Schuyler, Apostle of Taste: Andrew Jackson Downing, 1815–1852 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996), p. 87. On middleclass parlour theatricals, see chapter 6 of Karen Halttunen, Confidence Men and Painted Women: A Study of Middle-Class Culture in America, 1830–1870 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1982). Chris Brooks, The Gothic Revival (London: Phaidon Press Limited, 1999), p. 86. James Early, Romanticism and American Architecture (New York: A. S. Barnes & Co., Inc., 1965), p. 27. Richard Moody, Edwin Forrest: First Star of the American Stage (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1960), p. vii. Ibid., p. 57. Quoted in Edwin Haviland Miller, Salem Is My Dwelling Place: A Life of Nathaniel Hawthorne (Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 1991),

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9

10

11

12

13

14 15 16

17

18

19

p. 131. On Forrest’s masculinity, see Karl M. Kippola, Acts of Manhood: The Performance of Masculinity on the American Stage, 1828–1865 (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), pp. 53–116. Landmarks Preservation Commission, ‘Proposal for Landmark Designation, Cottage & Stable, College of Mount St. Vincent’, New York, NY, Designation List 145, LP-1085, 28 July 1981 and Landmarks Preservation Commission, ‘Proposal for Landmark Designation, Fonthill, College of Mount St. Vincent’, New York, NY, No. 3, LP-0133, 15 March 1966. ‘Up the Hudson – Scenery – Mr. Forrest’s Castle’, New York Herald, 20 September 1848. Patrick Snadon, ‘A. J. Davis and the Gothic Revival Castle in America, 1832–1865’ (unpublished Ph.D. thesis, Cornell University, 1988), 29. Harold Dean Cater, ‘Washington Irving and Sunnyside’, New York History, XXXVIII, 2 (April 1957), 157. Ibid., 156. See also Kathleen Eagen Johnson, Washington Irving’s Sunnyside (Tarrytown, NY: Historic Hudson Valley Press, 1995) and Kathleen Eagen Johnson, Irving Illustrated: Graphic Design and Literary Art in the Collection of Historic Hudson Valley (Tarrytown, NY: Historic Hudson Valley, 1999). P. T. Barnum, Struggles and Triumphs; or, Forty Years’ Recollections (Buffalo: The Courier Company, 1875), p. 262. Quoted in Moody, Edwin Forrest, p. 249. Ibid., p. 194. Ballou’s Pictorial Drawing-Room Companion, VIII, 24 (16 June 1855), 380. On Fonthill Castle’s architect, see Donald M. Reynolds, Jane Nobes Brennan and Sister Mary David Barry, Fonthill Castle: Paradigm of Hudson-River Gothic (Riverdale, NY: College of Mount Saint Vincenton-Hudson, 1976); Snadon, ‘A. J. Davis’; ‘Proposal for Landmarks Designation’; John Zukowsky, ‘Fonthill Castle and Its Architect’, The Westchester Historian, 54, 3 (summer 1978), 51–4; John Zukowsky, ‘Castles on the Hudson’, Winterthur Portfolio, 14, 1 (1979), 73–92; and John Zukowksy and Robbe Pierce Stimson, Hudson River Villas (New York: Rizzoli, 1985). Reynolds, Brennan and Barry argue that Davis was the architect of Fonthill Castle, while Snadon and Zukowsky strenuously dispute this assertion. ‘Celebration at Font-Hill’, The Evening Post, XLVI (13 November 1848), 2. Davis to Forrest, 7 September 1847, A. J. Davis Daybook, A. J. Davis papers, New York Public Library, as quoted in Snadon, ‘A. J. Davis’, 326–7. On architectural books owned by Forrest, see Joseph

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20 21 22 23

24

25

26

27

28 29

30 31

32

33 34 35

Sabin, Catalogue of the Library of Edwin Forrest (Philadelphia: Collins, 1863). Snadon, ‘A. J. Davis’, 328. On the Waddell Villa, see ibid., 139–42, 141, 329. Quoted in ibid., 327 (original emphasis). Davis, Daybook, 16 September 1843; 1 September 1847; 1 May 1849, New York Public Library. Davis also saw Forrest perform on 13 April 1852. Sally Leilani Jones, ‘Nationalism Takes the Stage: Edwin Forrest and the American Theater’, Canadian Review of Studies in Nationalism, XXII, 1–2 (1995), 83. Quoted in Jones, ‘Nationalism’, 90. On nationalism in American drama, see chapter seven, ‘In Search of a National Drama’, in David Grimsted, Melodrama Unveiled: American Theater and Culture, 1800–1850 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1968), pp. 137–70. See also Jeffrey D. Mason and J. Ellen Gainor (eds), Performing America: Cultural Nationalism in American Theater (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1999). Quoted in Jill Lepore, The Name of War: King Philip’s War and the Origins of American Identity (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1998), p. 199. Edwin Forrest, ‘Oration Delivered at the Democratic Republican Celebration of the Sixty-Second Anniversary of the Independence of the United States, in the City of New York, Fourth July, 1838’ (New York: J. W. Bell, 1838), p. 5. Moody, Edwin Forrest, pp. 108–9. Henry Wikoff, The Reminiscences of an Idler (New York: Fords, Howard & Hulbert, 1880), p. 196. Wikoff was Forrest’s travel companion in Europe. Lepore, The Name of War, p. 199. On Forrest and Jackson, see Bruce A. McConachie, ‘The Theatre of Edwin Forrest and Jacksonian Hero Worship’, in Judith L. Fisher and Stephen Watt (eds), When They Weren’t Doing Shakespeare: Essays on Nineteenth-Century British and American Theatre (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1989), pp. 3–18. See Lawrence W. Levine, Highbrow/Lowbrow: The Emergence of Cultural Hierarchy in America (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1988) and Richard Moody, The Astor Place Riot (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1958). Quoted in Moody, Edwin Forrest, p. 249. See ibid., p. 3. ‘Font Hill, Residence of Edwin Forrest, Esq.’, Gleason’s Pictorial, 4, 18 (30 April 1853), 281.

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37

38

39

40

41 42

43

44

45 46 47

48

A. W. Colgate, ‘The Development of American Architecture’, The Continental Monthly, 5 (April 1864), 470, as quoted in Janice Gayle Schimmelman, ‘The Spirit of the Gothic: The Gothic Revival House in Nineteenth-Century America’ (unpublished Ph.D. thesis, University of Michigan, 1980), 242. W. Barksdale Maynard, Architecture in the United States 1800–1850 (New Haven, London: Yale University Press, 2002), pp. 77–9. A. J. Downing, The Architecture of Country Houses (1850; New York: Da Capo Press, 1968), p. 262. Henry Ward Beecher, Star Papers; or, Experiences of Art and Nature (New York: J. C. Derby, 1855), p. 285. Quoted in Susanne Brendel-Pandich, ‘From Cottages to Castles: The Country House Designs of Alexander Jackson Davis’, in Amelia Peck (ed.), Alexander Jackson Davis, American Architect, 1803–1892 (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, Rizzoli, 1992), p. 79. Downing, Architecture, p. 262 (original emphasis). Lionel Lambourne, ‘Pugin and the Theatre’, in Paul Atterbury and Clive Wainwright (eds), Pugin: A Gothic Passion (New Haven, London: Yale University Press, 1994), p. 37. Benjamin Ferrey, Recollections of A. N. Welby Pugin, and his Father Augustus Pugin (1861; New York: Benjamin Blom, Inc., 1972), pp. 60–1. See Nancy J. Doran Hazelton, Historical Consciousness in NineteenthCentury Shakespearean Staging (Ann Arbor: UMI Research Press, 1987). Quoted in Lambourne, ‘Pugin and the Theatre’, p. 41. Ibid. On Davis’s interest in the theatre, see chapter three of this book and John Donoghue, Alexander Jackson Davis, Romantic Architect 1803–1892 (New York: Arno Press, 1982), n.p. On Fonthill Abbey, see Robert J. Gemmett, Beckford’s Fonthill: The Rise of a Romantic Icon (Norwich: Michael Russell Publishing, 2003); Megan Aldrich, ‘William Beckford’s Abbey at Fonthill: From the Picturesque to the Sublime’, in Derek E. Ostergard and Philip HewatJaboor (eds), William Beckford, 1760–1844: An Eye for the Magnificent (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001), pp. 117–35; Terence Davis, The Gothick Taste (Rutherford, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1975); James Lees-Milne, William Beckford (Tisbury, Wiltshire: Compton Russell, Ltd., 1976); John Wilton-Ely, ‘The Genesis and Evolution of Fonthill Abbey’, Architectural History, 23 (1980), 40–51; and Clive Wainwright, The Romantic Interior: The British Collector at Home, 1750–1850 (New Haven, London: Paul Mellon Centre for

198

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49 50

51 52 53 54 55

56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64

65 66

67

68

69

70

Studies in British Art and Yale University Press, 1989), pp. 109–46. On James Wyatt, see Anthony Dale, James Wyatt (Oxford: B. Blackwell, 1956); Christopher R. Turnor, James Wyatt (London: Art and Technics, 1950); James Macaulay, The Gothic Revival, 1745–1845 (Glasgow, London: Blackie, 1975), pp. 132–48; and John Martin Robinson, James Wyatt (1746–1813): Architect to George III (New Haven, London: Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art and Yale University Press, 2012). Quoted in Terence Davis, The Gothick Taste, p. 106. Kenneth Clark, The Gothic Revival: An Essay in the History of Taste (1928; London: John Murray, 1995), pp. 86–91. Davis, The Gothick Taste, p. 103. Ibid., p. 61. Quoted in Gemmett, William Beckford, p. 127. Aldrich, ‘William Beckford’s Abbey’, pp. 123–4. Quoted in Roger Lonsdale, Introduction to Vathek by William Beckford (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998), p. xi. Ibid., p. xii. Ibid. Sabin, Catalogue, p. 65. Gemmett, William Beckford, p. 127. Sabin, Catalogue, p. 105. Reynolds, Brennan and Barry, Fonthill Castle, p. 15. Clark, The Gothic Revival, p. 86. Ibid., p. 89. Talbot Hamlin, Greek Revival Architecture in America (New York: Oxford University Press, 1944), p. 332. Downing, The Architecture of Country Houses, p. 262. ‘Celebration at Font-Hill’, 2; Montrose J. Moses, The Fabulous Forrest: The Record of an American Actor (Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1929), p. 274. William H. Ranlett, The Architect (1851; New York: Da Capo Press, 1976), p. 40. Ranlett disapproved of those who would base their houses on stage sets, landscape paintings and picture books because such a scenario excludes the professional architect. Gabriel Harrison, Edwin Forrest: The Actor and the Man, Critical and Reminiscent (Brooklyn, NY: Press of Brooklyn Eagle Book Printing Dept., 1889), p. 139. ‘Macbeth at the Boston Theatre’, Ballou’s Pictorial, IX, 25 (22 December 1855), 396; Zukowsky, ‘Fonthill Castle and Its Architect’, 53. Quoted in Donoghue, chapter seven, n. 38, n.p.

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72 73 74

75

76 77 78

79 80

81 82 83

84 85 86 87 88

89

Hazelton, Historical Consciousness, p. 4. On nineteenth-century stage set design, see also George C. D. Odell, Annals of the New York Stage, 15 vols (New York: Columbia University Press, 1927) and Charles H. Shattuck, Shakespeare on the American Stage: From the Hallams to Edwin Booth (Washington DC: Folger Shakespeare Library, 1976). Quoted in Hazelton, Historical Consciousness, p. 60. Quoted in Odell, Annals of the New York Stage, vol. V, p. 174. Shattuck, Shakespeare on the American Stage, pp. 106–8; Odell, vol. V, pp. 173–7. Amelia Peck, Lyndhurst: A Guide to the House and the Landscape (Tarrytown, NY: Lyndhurst, 1998), p. 19. Schimmelman, ‘Spirit of the Gothic’, 160. Reynolds, Brennan and Barry, Fonthill Castle, p. 18. A. W. N. Pugin, Contrasts: or, A Parallel between the Noble Edifices of the Middle Ages, and Similar Buildings of the Present Day, 2nd edn (London: Charles Dolman, 1841), p. 1. Ibid., p. 3. A. W. N. Pugin, The True Principles of Pointed or Christian Architecture (1841; London: Academy Editions; New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1973), p. 1. Ibid., pp. 67–8. See Sabin, Catalogue. Phoebe Stanton, The Gothic Revival and American Church Architecture: An Episode in Taste 1840–1856 (Baltimore, London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1968), p. 247. Snadon, ‘A. J. Davis’, 22. Pugin, True Principles, pp. 68–9. Ibid. Quoted in Sweeting, Reading Houses, p. 218. Quoted in James F. O’Gorman, ‘Castle Building in America, or What Scott Hath Wrought’, in Naomi Reed Kline (ed.), Castles: An Enduring Fantasy (New Rochelle, NY: Aristide D. Caratzas, 1985), p. 82. In the latter quotation, Downing is probably referring to Fonthill Castle. Downing, The Architecture of Country Houses, pp. 261–2. Listed among Forrest’s books are A. C. Pugin’s Gothic Ornaments and Examples of Gothic Architecture (which the younger Pugin published after his father’s death) and A. W. N. Pugin’s Glossary of Ecclesiastical Ornament & Costume, Sabin, Catalogue, pp. 63–4. Although the books owned by Forrest did not expound functionalist theory, their existence in his library does underscore that Forrest was aware of Pugin, and perhaps familiar with Pugin’s functionalism through other sources.

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Notes 90 91 92

93

94

95 96 97

98 99 100 101

Snadon, ‘A. J. Davis’, 249–87. Ibid., 251 and 266. Andrew Jackson Downing, ‘A Few Words on our Progress in Building’, The Horticulturalist, No. (1 June 1851), 251. James Fenimore Cooper, The Heidenmauer; or, the Benedictines: A Legend of the Rhine (1832; New York: Hurd and Houghton, 1868), p. ix. Fredrika Bremer, The Homes of the New World: Impressions of America (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1853), p. 34. Zukowsky, ‘Castles on the Hudson’, 87. Quoted in Reynolds, Brennan and Barry, Fonthill Castle, p. 12. James Fenimore Cooper, Home as Found (1838; New York: Capricorn Books, 1961), p. 136. Quoted in Maynard, Architecture, pp. 131–2. Quoted in Shattuck, Shakespeare on the American Stage, p. 86. Quoted in Moody, Edwin Forrest, p. 405. Thomas James Serle, The Players; or, The Stage of Life (London: H. Colburn, 1847), as quoted in Alan S. Downer, ‘Players and Painted Stage: Nineteenth Century Acting’, PMLA, 61 (1946), 523.

Conclusion: ‘Clap It Into a Romance’: Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Gothic Houses 1

2

3

4

5

6 7

Nathaniel Hawthorne, in Thomas Woodson and Bill Ellis (eds), The English Notebooks 1856–1860 (Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1997), vol. XXII, p. 26. At mid-century, John Ruskin’s books had a great impact on the progress of Gothic Revival building, signalling a major shift in the Gothic Revival from northern European architectural models to those of Venetian Gothic. Ruskin’s critical writings were widely read in the United States. Nathaniel Hawthorne, ‘Preface’, to The House of the Seven Gables (1851; Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1965), p. 2. Nathaniel Hawthorne, ‘Preface’ in The Marble Faun (1860; London: J. M. Dent, 1995), p. 4. W. H. Gardiner, The North American Review, XV ( July 1822), 251; quoted in G. Harrison Orians, ‘The Romance Ferment after Waverley’, American Literature, 3, 4 ( January 1932), 412. Hawthorne, The House of the Seven Gables, pp. 11–12. Neal Frank Doubleday, ‘Hawthorne’s Use of Three Gothic Patterns’, College English, 7 ( January 1946), 253.

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9 10

11

12

13

14 15

See John L. Idol, ‘The House of the Seven Gables’, Essex Institute of Historical Collections, 127, 1 (1991), 31–49 and Patricia Ann Carlson, Hawthorne’s Functional Settings: A Study of Artistic Method (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1977), pp. 163–4. Hawthorne, The House of Seven Gables, p. 182. Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Letters, 1813–1843, ed. Thomas Woodson et al. (Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1985), vol. XV, pp. 114, 132. For a list of books Hawthorne borrowed from the Salem Athanaeum between 1828 and 1850, see Marion Louise Kesselring, Hawthorne’s Reading: 1828–1850: A Transcription and Identification of Titles Recorded in the Charge-books of the Salem Athenaeum (New York: New York Public Library, 1949). Edwin Haviland Miller, Salem is My Dwelling Place: A Life of Nathaniel Hawthorne (Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 1991), p. 56; Margaret M. Lothrop, The Wayside: Home of Authors (New York: American Book Company, 1940), pp. 61–2. Hawthorne, The English Notebooks, 1853–1856, vol. XXI, p. 223; quoted in Maurice Charney, ‘Hawthorne and the Gothic Style’, New England Quarterly, 34 (March 1961), 37–8. Charney notes that Hawthorne had probably read Ruskin’s chapter ‘The Nature of Gothic’ in The Stones of Venice (1851–3), and that Ruskin’s writings influenced the way he described the Gothic buildings he saw while in England, Charney, ‘Hawthorne and the Gothic Style’, 38–9. See also Dennis Berthold, ‘Hawthorne, Ruskin, and The Gothic Revival: Transcendent Gothic in The Marble Faun’, ESQ: A Journal of the American Renaissance, 74 (1974), 15–32. Charney, ‘Hawthorne and the Gothic Style’, 47; on Hawthorne and the term ‘romance’, see the preface to The House of the Seven Gables. Quoted in Charney, ‘Hawthorne and the Gothic Style’, 38. For more on Hawthorne’s relationship to Scott and Abbotsford, see Catherine A. Jones, ‘Hawthorne’s Scotland: Memory and Imagination’, Symbiosis: A Journal of Anglo-American Literary Relations, 4, 2 (October 2000), 133–51 and Erin Hazard, ‘The Author’s House: Abbotsford and the Wayside’, in Nicola J. Watson (ed.), Literary Tourism and Nineteenth-Century Culture (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), pp. 63–72. On Scott’s Abbotsford as a literary pilgrimage destination, see Nicola J. Watson, The Literary Tourist: Readers and Places in Romantic & Victorian Britain (Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006), pp. 93–106 and Erin Hazard, ‘“A Realized DayDream”: Excursions to Nineteenth-Century Authors’ Homes’, NineteenthCentury Studies, 20 (2006), 13–33.

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19 20

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Hawthorne criticized the Gothic Revival in a similar vein in Our Old Home: ‘The architecture of these edifices [medieval buildings in Chester, England] . . . is often imitated by modern buildings, and with sufficiently picturesque effect. The objection is, that such houses, like all imitations of by-gone styles, have an air of affectation; they do not seem to be built in earnest; they are no better than playthings, or overgrown baby-houses, in which nobody should be expected to encounter the serious realities of either birth or death. Besides, originating nothing, we leave no fashions for another age to copy, when we ourselves shall have grown antique.’ Hawthorne, in William Charvat, Roy Harvey Pearce, Claude M. Simpson and Matthew J. Bruccoli (eds), Our Old Home (1863; Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1970), p. 68. Hawthorne, The English Notebooks, vol. XXII, pp. 22–4. Nathaniel Hawthorne, Mosses from an Old Manse (Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1974), p. 369. Hawthorne, The English Notebooks, vol. XXII, p. 27. Ibid., pp. 330–1. Perhaps Hawthorne foresaw with dismay that sites associated with himself would one day be open to the public, as is the case today. On Hawthorne in Italy, see Nathalia Wright’s chapter ‘The Language of Art: Hawthorne’, in her book American Novelists in Italy: The Discoverers: Allston to James (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1965), pp. 138–67; Van Wyck Brooks, The Dream of Arcadia: American Writers and Artists in Italy, 1760–1915 (New York: E. P. Dutton & Co., Inc., 1958), pp. 135–44; and William Vance, America’s Rome, 2 vols (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1989). Jane Sciacca and Robert Derry, The Wayside: Its History, the Authors, in Photographs and Prose (Ft. Washington, PA: Eastern National, 2000), p. 14. Nathaniel Hawthorne, ‘The Wayside: Introductory’, in A Wonder Book and Tanglewood Tales (1853; Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1972), p. 176. Hawthorne described Alcott’s changes: ‘Before Mr. Alcott took it in hand, it was a mean-looking affair, with two peaked gables; no suggestiveness about it, and no venerableness, although, from the style of its construction, it seems to have survived beyond its first century. He added a porch in front, and a central peak, and a piazza at each end, and painted it of a rusty olive hue, and invested the whole with a modest picturesqueness – all which improvements, together with its situation at the foot of a wooded hill, make it a place one notices, and remembers for a few moments after passing it. Mr. Alcott expended

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25

26

27

28

29 30 31

32

33 34

a good deal of taste, and some money (to no great purpose) in forming the hill side, behind the house, into terraces, and building arbors and summer-houses out of rough stems and branches of trees, on a system of his own. These must have been very pretty in their day, and are so still, although much decayed, and shattered more and more by every breeze that blows’. Hawthorne, Letter to G. W. Curtis, 14 July 1852, in The Letters, 1843–1853, ed. Thomas Woodson et al. (Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1985), vol. XVI, p. 567. On the Pickering House, see Bryant F. Tolles, Jr., Architecture in Salem, An Illustrated Guide (Salem: Essex Institute with the cooperation of Historic Salem, 1983), pp. 222–3; Abbott Lowell Cummings, ‘Summary Abstracts of the Structural History of a Significant Sampling of First Period Houses at Massachusetts Bay’, in Architecture in Colonial Massachusetts (Boston: The Colonial Society of Massachusetts, 1979), pp. 178–9; and The Pickering House, 1651 (Salem: Pickering Foundation, 1972). W. Barksdale Maynard, ‘“Best, Lowliest Style!’: The Early NineteenthCentury Rediscovery of American Colonial Architecture’, Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, 59, 3 (September 2000), 338–57. Randall Stewart, Nathaniel Hawthorne: A Biography (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1948), p. 215. Hawthorne, Letter to Donald Grant Mitchell, 16 January 1864, The Letters, vol. XVIII, p. 631. Hawthorne, The House of Seven Gables, p. 62. Quoted in Hawthorne, The Letters, vol. XVIII, p. 364. See Fabrizio Barbolani di Montauto, ‘Hawthorne and the Montautos’, The Nathaniel Hawthorne Review, 23, 1 (spring 1997), 15–25. Montauto states that he sold his family’s villa in 1983. It was then converted into apartments. Nathaniel Hawthorne, The French and Italian Notebooks, ed. Thomas Woodson (Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1980), pp. 380–1. Henry James’s description of Montauto is worth quoting: James called it ‘a picturesque old villa . . . a curious structure with a crenelated tower, which, after having in the course of its career suffered many vicissitudes and played many parts, now finds its most vivid identity in being pointed out to strangers as the sometimes residence of the celebrated American romancer’. Quoted in Francis King, A Literary Companion to Florence (1991; London: Penguin Books, 2001), p. 221. Hawthorne, 3 September 1858, The Letters, vol. XVIII, pp. 150–1. Sophia Hawthorne wrote to her sister Elizabeth on 27 February 1860 that ‘Monte Beni is our beloved Montauto’. Ibid., p. 224. About his

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37 38

39

own tower at the Wayside, Hawthorne said that it was ‘not quite so high as the tower of Monte Beni’. Quoted in Arlin Turner, Nathaniel Hawthorne: A Biography (New York, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1980), p. 358. The Marble Faun provides a vehicle for Hawthorne to express his views on Italian art. Not far from his mind is Washington Allston, who had lived in Rome and was greatly influenced by Italian art. In chapter fifteen of The Marble Faun, Hawthorne describes a ‘poet-painter’ who is perhaps modelled on Allston. And in Hawthorne’s short story ‘The Artist of the Beautiful’, the watchmaker/artist’s story is also in part based on Allston’s failure to complete Belshazzar’s Feast. Washington Allston, The Correspondence of Washington Allston, ed. Nathalia Wright (Lexington, Kentucky: University Press of Kentucky, 1993), p. 556; Doreen Hunter, ‘America’s First Romantics: Richard Henry Dana, Sr. and Washington Allston’, New England Quarterly (March 1972), 5. Hawthorne’s wife Sophia knew Allston who encouraged her in her own painting; Sophia’s sister Elizabeth Peabody also knew Allston well. Wright, The Correspondence, pp. 556–7. On Hawthorne’s views on art, see Rita K. Gollin and John L. Idol, Jr., Prophetic Pictures: Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Knowledge and Uses of the Visual Arts (New York: Greenwood Press, 1991). See Hawthorne, The French and Italian Notebooks, for cross-references with The Marble Faun, pp. 993–1008. Hawthorne, The Marble Faun, pp. 232, 219. On Bluebeard, see Anne Williams, Art of Darkness: A Poetics of Gothic (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995), pp. 38–48. On Hawthorne’s use of tower imagery in The Marble Faun, see Gene A. Barnett, ‘Hawthorne’s Italian Towers’, Studies in Romanticism, 3 (summer 1964), 252–6. On Gothic elements in Hawthorne’s works, see Doubleday, ‘Hawthorne’s Use of Three Gothic Patterns’, 250–62; Jane Lundblad, Nathaniel Hawthorne and the Tradition of Gothic Romance (New York: Haskell House, 1964); Ronald T. Curran, ‘“Yankee Gothic”: Hawthorne’s “Castle of Pyncheon”’, Studies in the Novel, 8 (spring 1976), 69–79; Donald Ringe’s chapter on Hawthorne in American Gothic: Imagination and Reason in Nineteenth-Century Fiction (Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 1982), pp. 152–76; and Allan Lloyd-Smith, ‘Hawthorne’s Gothic Tales’, in Albert J. von Frank (ed.), Critical Essays on Hawthorne’s Short Stories (Boston: G. K. Hall & Co., 1991), pp. 232–43. On Scott’s influence on Hawthorne, see Neal Frank Doubleday, Hawthorne’s Early Tales: A Critical Study (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1972), pp. 42–9; Will Stephenson and Mimosa Stephenson, ‘Scott’s Influence

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40 41

42

43

44

45

46

47

on Hawthorne’, Studies in Scottish Literature, 28 (1993), 123–32; and Jones, ‘Hawthorne’s Scotland: Memory and Imagination’, 133–51. Hawthorne, ‘Preface’, The Marble Faun, p. 3. New York Mirror, 17 October 1846; quoted in Talbot Hamlin, Greek Revival Architecture in America (1944; New York: Dover Publications, 1964), p. 325; Alice Kenney and Leslie Workman, ‘Ruins, Romance, and Reality: Medievalism in Anglo-American Imagination and Taste, 1750–1840’, Winterthur Portfolio, 10 (1975), 156–8. Quoted in Clifford Clark, Jr., ‘Domestic Architecture as an Index to Social History: The Romantic Revival and the Cult of Domesticity, 1840–1870’, in Robert Blair St. George (ed.), Material Life in America, 1600–1860 (Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1988), p. 539. Washington Allston, Lectures on Art (1850; New York: Da Capo Press, 1972), p. 58. On the relationship between Gothic Revival and nature, see Janice Gayle Schimmelman’s second chapter, ‘The American Antiquity and the Ancestral Home’, in ‘The Spirit of the Gothic: The Gothic Revival House in Nineteenth-Century America’ (unpublished Ph.D. thesis, University of Michigan, 1980), 47–82 and Arthur O. Lovejoy’s ‘The First Gothic Revival and the Return to Nature’, in Essays in the History of Ideas (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1948), pp. 136–65. See Dell Upton, ‘Pattern Books and Professionalism: Aspects of the Transformation of Domestic Architecture in America, 1800–1860’, Winterthur Portfolio, 19, 2–3 (1984), 107–50. For instance, see T. J. Jackson Lears, No Place of Grace: Antimodernism and the Transformation of American Culture, 1880–1920 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1981). Although Lears’s book deals with a later period and ardent Gothic Revival proponents such as Ralph Adams Cram, it is possible to apply his argument to earlier Gothic enthusiasts. For example, see Alan Wallach, ‘Wadsworth’s Tower: An Episode in the History of American Landscape Vision’, American Art, 10 (fall 1996), 8–27. Forrest’s Fonthill Castle is not the only American progeny of Beckford’s Fonthill Abbey. Between 1907 and 1912, Henry Chapman Mercer (a scholar, amateur architect and ceramist) designed his own home – a rambling, pseudo-medieval concoction – and named it, appropriately, Fonthill. Located in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, Fonthill is now owned by the Bucks County Historical Society and is open to the public, along with the Moravian Tile Works and the Mercer Museum. All three buildings were designed by Mercer and received National Historic Landmark status in 1985. Like many of the historical figures discussed

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49 50

51 52

in this book, Mercer pieced together his Fonthill from his own imagination, his travels and engravings with which he was familiar. He wrote in his notebooks that ‘The plan of the whole house was an interweaving of my own fancies blending with memories of my travels and suggestions from several engravings.’ Quoted in Thomas Hine, ‘Mercer’s Dreams Receive National Landmark Status’, The Philadelphia Enquirer (31 May 1985), 1C, 7C. See also Donald Dale Jackson, ‘Henry Mercer Makes More Sense as Time Goes On’, Smithsonian, 19, 7 (October 1988), 111–20 and Thomas G. Poos, Fonthill, the Home of Henry Chapman Mercer, an American Architectural Treasure, 2nd edn (Feasterville, PA: Manor House Publishing Co., Inc., 2000). Martha J. Lamb, The Homes of America (New York: Appleton, 1879), pp. 154–6. See also John Zukowksy and Robbe Pierce Stimson, Hudson River Villas (New York: Rizzoli, 1985), p. 75. The house is privately owned, according to Zukowksy and Stimson. Hawthorne, Our Old Home, pp. 67–8. Henry Ward Beecher, Star Papers: Experiences of Art and Nature (New York: J. C. Derby, 1855), p. 19. Hawthorne, The Marble Faun, p. 155. Malcolm Bradbury, Introduction to The Marble Faun, by Nathaniel Hawthorne (London: Everyman, J. M. Dent: 1965), p. xliv.

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234

Index

K Abaellino (Zschokke) 54–6 The Abbot (Scott) 148 Abbotsford (Atkinson) 4, 7, 62–3, 65–7, 70, 77–9, 89–93, 95, 101–3, 107–8, 111, 145, 148–50, 153, 158, 184 n. 43, 189 n. 99 ‘Abbotsford’ (Irving) 77–80, 184 n. 46 Acker, Wolfert 85 Adams, Abigail 12, 26 Adams, John 11, 12, 19 ‘The Adventure of the Black Fisherman’ (Irving) 84 ‘The Adventure of the German Student’ (Irving) 83–4 The Adventures of Gil Blas (Lesage) 38–9 Albany, New York 55, 71, 91, 106, 107, 124, 143 Albany Institute of History and Art 107 Alcott, Bronson 150–2, 203–4 n. 24 Alexandria, Virginia 22, 53, 56, 57

The Algerine Captive: or, The Life and Adventures of Doctor Updike Underhill, (Taylor) 2–3 Allston, Washington 3–4, 29–50, 60, 67, 145, 157, 160, 205 n. 35 Alonzo and Melissa (Jackson) 97–9, 146, 191 n. 8 Alps 34 The Antiquary (Scott) 76 The Architect (Ranlett) 135 Aristotle 173 n. 56 Armsby, Dr. 107 Arthur Mervyn (Brown) 146 ‘The Artist of the Beautiful’ (Hawthorne) 205 n. 35 Ashestiel Autobiography (Scott) 60 Astor Place Opera House 125 Astor Place Riot 6, 124, 125–6 The Asylum, or Alonzo and Melissa (Mitchell) 97–99, 146, 191 n. 8 Atkinson, William, 62–3, 66

Index Austen, Jane, 15 ‘The Author’s Account of Himself ’ (Irving) 81 Autumn – on the Hudson River (Cropsey) 102 Bailey, Thomas Aldrich 67 Ball, Hugh Swinton 40 Ballantyne, John 59, 60 Baltimore, Maryland 52, 53, 56, 63, 65, 66, 92, 104, 179 n. 56 Baltimore Cathedral (Latrobe) 52 Banditti 3, 30, 32, 33, 34–6, 38, 46, 50, 58, 83, 98, 146, 160, 170 n. 15 Bank of Pennsylvania (Latrobe) 53 Bank of Philadelphia (Latrobe) 52 Barnum P. T., 120 Beattie, William 108 Beckford, William 5, 18–9, 116, 129–33, 138, 139, 140, 155–6, 175 n. 8, 206 n. 47 ‘Bed Scene in Othello’ (Davis) 56 Beecher, Henry Ward 79, 112, 127, 160 Bellosguardo Hill, Florence, Italy 153–4 Belmead (Davis) 67 Belshazzar’s Feast (Allston) 30, 31, 44–5, 49, 205 n. 35 Belvoir 22–3, 26 Bemerside Hill 108 Ben Venue, Scotland 111 Bentley, Richard 63 Bertram (Maturin) 54–5, 56, 57 ‘The Bewilderment’ (Cole) 99 Black’s Picturesque Tourist of Scotland 103, 108 Blake, William 30 ‘Blue Beard’ (Perrault) 155

Blue-Beard; or Female Curiosity (Colman) 155 Book of Architecture (Gibbs) 19 Book of Revelation 37, 175 n. 8 Boston Theatre 135–7 Bower, Johnny 78–9 Boydell’s Shakespeare Library 36, 51 The Bravo (Cooper) 75 Bremer, Frederika 134, 142 The Bride of Lammermoor (Scott) 59, 61–2, 65, 112 Bridgeport, Connecticut 120 Brighton, England 120 Bronte, Charlotte 47 Brown, Capability 22 Brown, Charles Brockden 15, 75, 146, 148 ‘Brutus in the Rostrum’ (Davis) 56 Bryant, William Cullen 102 The Buccaneers of America (Prince Arthur and Exquemelin) 170 n. 15 Bulfinch, Charles 53 Burke, Edmund 10, 23, 43–4, 46, 74, 82, 148, 173 n. 56 Byron, Lord 4, 29, 54, 59, 62, 80, 96, 160 Byron, Sir John 80 Caledonia Club 95 Callander, Scotland 111 Cambridgeport, Massachusetts 37 Casilear, John 109 Castle Garden Theatre 56 Castle Murray (Edmund Lind) 179 n. 57 The Castle of Otranto (Walpole) 1–2, 15, 42, 50, 52, 58, 59, 61, 63–4, 115, 145, 146,

236

Index 148, 158, 177 n. 32, 178 n. 43 The Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne (Radcliffe) 33 Cecil Dreeme (Winthrop) 179 n. 58 Central Park, New York City 96, 189 n. 1 Channing, William Ellery 173 n. 56 Charleston, South Carolina 36, 55 Charleston Library 36 Chastellux, Marquis de 13 Chaworth, Mary Ann 80 Chiswick Gardens, England 19 Colman, George the Younger 155 Christ Church, Cooperstown 73, 93 Christ Church (Latrobe) 52 ‘The Chronicles of Cooperstown’ (Cooper) 181 n. 15 Church of the Shepard Congregational Society, Cambridge, Massachusetts 171 n. 33 Churchill, Charles 174 n. 68 Chute, John 63 Civil War (American) 41, 92, 104 ‘The Cloud King’ (Lewis) 29 Cocke, Philip St. George 67 Cole, Thomas 5, 6, 95–6, 99–102, 105, 106, 107, 110, 112, 145, 190 n. 2 Coleridge, Samuel Taylor 37–8, 49, 61, 173 n. 56, 177 n. 35 Colgate, A. W. 127 College of Mount Saint Vincent 118 Colonial Dutch architecture 5, 70, 85, 86–87, 90, 91, 92, 151

Columbia College (Renwick) 53 Common Sense Philosophy 83, 173 n. 56 The Complaint; or Night-Thoughts on Life, Death, and Immortality (Young) 12 Compromise of 1850 104 Concord, Massachusetts 7, 146, 150, 151, 152 Contrasts (Pugin) 138 Cooper, James Fenimore 4, 6, 67, 69, 70–7, 93–4, 142, 146, 157, 181 n. 15, 184 n. 43, 187 n. 79 Cooper, William 71, 180 n. 6 Cooperstown, New York 4, 69, 71, 73, 142, 180 n. 6 Cope, Thomas Pim 24 Correggio 35 Cottage Residences (Downing) 118 Count Roderick’s Castle: or, Gothic Times, a Tale (anonymous) 33 Courtenay, William 129 Cram, Ralph Adams 206 n. 46 Crammond, William 21, 52 The Crayon Miscellany (Irving) 80 Cromwell, Oliver 82, 109, 110 Cropsey, Jasper 5, 101, 102–6, 110, 193 n. 31 Cropsey, Maria 102–3 Curtis, George William 115, 143, 144 Curwin House 147 Dana, Edmund Trowbridge 29 Dana, Richard Henry 33, 46 The Dagger (Grosse) 33 Dakin, James 67, 101 ‘Darkness’ (Byron), see ‘A Dream’ (Byron)

237

Index Davis, Alexander Jackson 4, 7, 28, 51–60, 65–68, 69, 72, 76, 87, 92, 101, 104–5, 115, 118–19, 121–4, 127, 128, 129, 134, 136, 138, 139–41, 158, 163 n. 15 Davis, Gill 91 Davis, Samuel 53 Days of Elizabeth (Hawking Party in the Time of Queen Elizabeth) (Cropsey) 102, 105 The Dead Man Restored to Life by Touching the Bones of the Prophet Elisha (Allston) 44 Death on a Pale Horse (West) 37 Declaration of Independence 124 Delamater Residence (Davis) 104 Delineations of Fonthill and Its Abbey (Rutter) 132 Democratic Republican Celebration, New York City 124 The Departure (Cole) 100–1 Description of Strawberry Hill (Walpole) 63 Die Schone Landbaukunst (Meinert) 21 Diedrich Knickerbocker’s A History of New York (Irving) 77 Dr. Grimshawe’s Secret (Hawthorne) 152 The Dolliver Romance (Hawthorne) 152 Don Carlos (Schiller) 35 Donna Mencia in the Robber’s Cavern (Allston) 38–9, 47, 49 Doughty, Thomas 97 Douglas 56 Downing, Andrew Jackson 90, 92, 112, 115, 118, 127–8,

134, 140, 141, 144, 150, 157, 163 n. 15 Doylestown, Pennsylvania 206 n. 47 ‘A Dream’ (Byron) 96 Drury Lane Theatre 54, 137 Dryburgh Abbey 77, 95, 108, 149 Dudley, Early of Leicester 109 Duncanson, Robert Scott 111 Dunlap, William 36, 49, 54, 57 Durand, Asher B. 102, 109 Dutch influence (architecture), see Colonial Dutch architecture Dutch Reformed Church (Newburgh) 28 Edgar Huntly (Brown) 75 Edinburgh Castle 108 Edinburgh, Scotland 77, 82, 108, 125 ‘Elegy on Newstead Abbey’ (Byron) 80 Ellen’s Isle, Loch Katrine (Duncanson) 111 Elizabeth I 102, 105, 109 Emerson, Ralph Waldo 108 English Ecclesiological Movement 140 English Opera House 128 Ericstan (Davis) 104, 119, 141 ‘Essay on American Scenery’ (Cole) 6, 112–13 ‘An Essay on Landscape’ (Latrobe) 52 Exquemelin, Alexandre Olivier 170 n. 15 Faed, Thomas 93 The Faerie Queene (Spenser) 39 The Fair Penitent (Rowe) 9 Fairfax, William 23

238

Index Fanciful Landscape (Doughty) 97 Fatal Revenge (Maturin) 60 Federal Street Church (Bulfinch) 53 Federal style (architecture) 4, 69, 71 Felton, C. C. 43 Fisher, James C. 21 The Five Nights of St. Albans (Mudford) 50 Flagg, George 42 The Flight of Florimell (Allston) 30, 39–40 Florence, Italy 7, 153–4 Fonthill (Mercer) 206–7 n. 47 Fonthill Abbey (Wyatt) 5, 18, 129, 132, 138, 175 n. 8 Fonthill Castle 5–6, 116–23, 126–9, 132–44, 148, 160, 206 n. 47 Fonthill Splendens 131–2 Forrest, Catherine 121, 124, 126, 133 Forrest, Edwin 5–6, 116–29, 132–7, 139–44, 148, 157, 160, 200 n. 89, 206 n. 47 Fort Washington, New York 141 Four Books of Architecture (Palladio) 11 Frankenstein (Shelley) 29, 42, 60 Fraser, Charles 35, 42 Functionalism 128, 141, 200 n. 89 Fuseli, Henry 13, 30, 36–7, 42, 84, 170 n. 23, 173 n. 56 Gardiner, W. H. 146 Georgian architectural style 10, 20 German literature 29, 33, 42, 54, 83 ‘The Ghost’ (Churchill) 174 n. 68 ‘Grand Tour’ (Great Britain) 106

Gibbs, James 19 Gifford, Sanford Robinson 5, 110–11 Gillray, James 29 Gilmor, Robert 63 Gilmor, Robert III 4, 63, 64–7, 92, 150, 153, 157, 158, 179 n. 56, 189 n. 99 Gilpin, Henry D. 166 n. 27 Gleanings in Europe (Cooper) 76 Glen Ellen (Town and Davis) 4, 65–7, 72, 92, 104, 118, 158–9 Godefroy, Maxmilian 53 Godwin, William 139, 148 Goldsmith, Oliver 59 Goodrich, Samuel 60 Goodridge, Henry Edmund 18 Gowanus, New York 121 Graveyard poetry 3, 12, 16, 27 Gray, Thomas 42 Greek Revival style 28, 52, 69, 71, 73 Greenough, John 50 Grieves Family 128 Grosse, Carl Friedrich 33 Gunpowder River 65, 66 Guy Mannering (Scott) 59, 76 Haddon Hall, England 81 Hagley Gardens, England 19 Hamlet (Shakespeare) 36, 56, 125, 170 n. 23 Hamlet and the Ghost (Fuseli) 36, 170 n. 23 Handbook of Legendary and Mythological Art, A (Waters) 40 Harding, Chester 41 Harrison, Gabriel 135 Hart, James 106

239

Index Hart, William 5, 106–9 Hartford, Connecticut 53 Harvard College 29, 32, 33, 40, 63, 174 n. 68 Harvey, George 4, 70, 85–6, 88, 92, 93 Hastings-on-Hudson, New York 103 Hawthorne, Nathaniel 6–7, 116–17, 139, 145–56, 159–60, 203 n. 16, 203–4 n. 24, 205 n. 34 Hawthorne, Sophia Peabody 116–17, 148, 204 n. 34, 205 n. 35 The Heart of Midlothian (Scott) 59 The Heidenmauer (Cooper) 75, 142 Henry II 80 Henry VIII 80 The Hermitage 127 Herrick John 104, 141 Highland Garden (Downing) 115, 144 Hillhouse, James A. 92, 95–6 Hillside, see The Wayside History of the Rise and Progress of the Arts of Design in the United States (Dunlap) 57 Hogarth, William 43, 174 n. 68 Holmes, Oliver Wendell 38 Home as Found (Cooper) 70–1, 142, 180 n. 6 The Homes of America (Lamb) 158 Homeward Bound (Cooper) 70 Hood, Robin 80–1 Horace 16 Hôtel de Salm (Rousseau) 11 Houdon, Jean-Antoine 24

The House of the Seven Gables (Hawthorne) 6, 145–6, 147–8, 150, 152 Hudson Valley region 3, 70, 86, 87, 112, 162–3 n. 9 Hull, Amos 122 Hull Villa (Davis) 122 Ichabod Crane Pursued by the Headless Horseman (Quidor) 85, 187 n. 78 The Idle Man 46 Inness, George 192 n. 25 Iranistan 120 Irving, Washington 4–5, 37, 45, 67, 70, 77–94, 101, 120, 139, 151, 157, 160, 184 n. 46, 186 n. 71 Irvington, New York 93 The Italian (Radcliffe) 33, 40–1, 81 ‘The Italian Banditti’ (Irving) 83 Italy, with Sketches of Spain and Portugal (Beckford) 133 Ivanhoe (Scott) 16, 59, 76, 106, 108 Jackson, Andrew 125, 127 James, Henry 160, 204 n. 32 James, Mr. and Mrs. 60 Jane Eyre (Bronte) 47 Jarvis, Leonard 33 Jefferson, Thomas 3, 9–22, 26–8, 52, 160 Joan of Arc (Southey) 47 ‘John Bull’ (Irving) 87, 88 Kant, Immanuel 173 n. 56 Kean, Charles 137 Kean, Edmund 54 Kemble, Gouverneur 88

240

Index Kenilworth (Scott) 5, 78–9, 100, 101, 109, 110, 128 Kenilworth Castle 78–9, 82, 100, 101, 109, 111 Kenilworth Castle (Gifford) 110–11 Kensett, John Frederick 109 King John (Shakespeare) 5, 137 King Lear (Shakespeare) 56, 116, 123 Kirkstall Abbey 52 Knight, Richard Payne 43 La Rochefoucualt-Liancourt, Duc de 17 The Lady of the Lake (Scott) 59, 60, 111, 177 n. 35 Lairesse, Gérard de 43 Lamb, Martha J. 158 Landscape Illustrations of the Waverley Novels: with Descriptions of the Views 101 Landscape with Banditti (Allston) 34 Landscape with Bridge (Rosa) 35 Landscape–Historical Illustrations of Scotland and the Waverley Novels from Drawings by JMW Turner 101 Landscape – Scene from ‘Thanatopsis’ (Durand) 102 Landsown Tower 18 The Last of the Mohicans (Cooper) 75 Latrobe, Benjamin Henry 12–13, 21, 28, 52–3, 66, 158 Lavater, Johann Kaspar 43 The Lay of the Last Minstrel (Scott) 59, 65, 78, 96, 103, 112 Le Brun, Charles 43, 46 Lectures on Art (Allston) 43, 157 Leeds, Yorkshire 52

‘The Legend of Sleepy Hollow’ (Irving) 37, 83, 85, 120 Les Dix Livres d’architecture de Vitruve (Perrault) 167 n. 35 Lindsey, Edward Delano 158 Lesage, Alain-René 38 Lewis, Eleanor Park Custis 23–4 Lewis, Matthew 15, 29, 37, 39, 47, 60, 139, 148 Lichfield Cathedral 148 ‘Lines on Leaving Newstead Abbey’ (Byron) 80 Lionel Lincoln (Cooper) 75 Loch Katrine, Scotland 111 Lockhart, John Gibson 148, 183 n. 37 London, England 37, 54, 74, 124, 129, 137, 155 Long Island Sound 98 Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth 33, 43, 47, 152 Longfellow National Historic Site 33 Lorrain, Claude 35 Loutherbourg, Philip de 131–2 Lovers’ Vows 56 Lyndhurst (Davis) 67, 92, 119, 138 Macbeth (Shakespeare) 5, 116, 125–6, 135–7 Macpherson, Charles 13 Macpherson, James 12–14 Macready, William 6, 124, 125–6, 137 ‘The Mad Lover at the Grave of his Mistress’ 49 Madness 4, 47–50, 54, 156, 205 n. 35 Maison Carrée 10–11 Malbone, Edward 33

241

Index The Marble Faun (Hawthorne) 6, 7, 155–6, 160 Marmion (Scott) 59, 61, 82 Medievalism 105, 157 Meinert, Friedrich 21–2 Melmoth the Wanderer (Maturin) 54, 148 Melrose Abbey 62, 66, 77–9, 90, 102–3, 108, 149, 160, 179 n. 57 Melrose Castle, see Castle Murray Memoirs of the Life of Sir Walter Scott (Lockhart) 148, 183 n. 37 Mercer, Henry Chapman 206–7 n. 47 Metamora: or, the Last of the Wampanoags (Stone) 124, 143 Metropolitan Museum of Art 54 Mexican–American War 104 Michelangelo 35 The Milesian Chief (Maturin) 173 Milton, John 36 Minerva Press 33 Miniature Romances from the German (Tracy) 174 n. 76 Mitchell, Isaac 97–9, 146, 191 n. 8 Modernism 7 Monaldi (Allston) 4, 30, 46–9 The Money Diggers (Quidor) 84–5 The Monk (Lewis) 15, 37, 39, 47 Montalto tower 14, 17–19 Montevideo (Wadsworth) 53, 66, 175 n. 8 Monticello (Jefferson) 3, 9–22, 26–8 Morse, Samuel F. B. 72, 95, 96 Mount Auburn Cemetery 26 Mount Vernon 3, 10, 22–7 Mount Vernon and Washington’s Tomb By Day (Prior) 25–6

Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association 25–6 ‘Mr. Kemble as Roma’ (Davis) 56 Mudford, William 50 Murray, James 179 n. 57 The Mysteries of Udolpho (Radcliffe) 15, 23–4, 33–5, 40, 45, 52, 58–9, 81, 87, 132, 144, 146, 148, 154, 155 National Academy of Design 95 Nationalism (American) 6, 16, 97, 116, 124–7 Nelson, Admiral 131 Neoclassicism 3, 4, 10–12, 14, 15, 22, 25, 26, 27–8, 44, 52–3, 69, 76, 93, 167 n. 37, 179 n. 54 New Brunswick, New Jersey 56 New Haven, Connecticut 92 New Jersey 53, 56, 120 New Tomb, Mount Vernon 25–6 New York Sketch Club 95–6, 112 New York state 2–3, 53, 70, 73 New York University (University of the City of New York, Town, Dakin, Davis) 67–8, 101 New York, New York 53, 56, 67, 87, 90, 95–6, 101, 110, 112, 117, 124, 125, 129, 137 Newburgh, New York 28, 122 Newport, Rhode Island 32, 33 Newington–Cropsey Foundation 103 Newstead Abbey 4, 73, 80–1, 91, 100, 148, 160 ‘Newstead Abbey’ (Irving) 80–1, 91 The Nightmare (Fuseli) 36, 84

242

Index North Carolina 56, 179 n. 57 Northanger Abbey (Austen) 15 ‘Northanger Canon’ 166 n. 19 Notions of the Americans (Cooper) 75 Novelist’s Library (Ballantyne) 59, 60–1 Old Tomb, Mount Vernon 24–5 The Olden Times – Evening (Cropsey) 106 The Olden Times – Morning (Cropsey) 102, 105–6, 193 n. 40 Ossian 3, 12–14, 16, 23, 27, 165 n. 12 Othello (Shakespeare) 56, 116 Otsego Hall (Cooper) 4–5, 67, 69–73, 75, 76, 93–4, 180 n. 6, 183 n. 40, 184 n. 43, 180–1 n. 15 ‘The Painter’s Adventure’ (Irving) 83 Palladio, Andrea 11, 14 Panoramic views 17–19, 108, 111, 194 n. 44 Paradise Lost (Milton) 36 Paris, France 12, 32, 76–7, 84, 101 Park Theatre 56 Parkman, Francis 77 Parlour theatricals 115–16 Past (Cole) 100, 102 Paulding, Philip R. 92 Paulding, William 92 Peabody, Elizabeth Palmer 41–2 Perrault, Charles 155 Philadelphia Centennial 151 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 21, 33, 52, 55, 56, 116, 126, 132,

133, 135, 146, 151, 170 n. 23, 190 n. 7 Philo-Dramatic Society 56 A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas on the Sublime and Beautiful (Burke) 10, 23, 43–4, 46, 74, 82, 148, 173 n. 56 Pickering House 151 Pierce, Franklin 148 Pilkington’s A Dictionary of Painters 37 The Pilot (Cooper) 75 The Pioneers (Cooper) 76, 180 n. 6, 187 n. 79 Plato 173 n. 56 Poetical Works of Sir Walter Scott 108 Pope, Alexander, ‘Eloisa to Abelard’ 2 Precaution (Cooper) 76 Present (Cole) 100, 102 Prince Arthur 170 n. 15 Princess’s Theatre 137 Prior, William Matthew 25–6 ‘Procrastination is the Theif [sic] of Time’ (Allston) 35 Puckler-Muskau, Prince 78–9 Pugin, A. C. 200 n. 89 Pugin, A. W. N. 128–9, 138–41 Putnam, G. P. 88 Quidor, John 84–5, 187 n. 78 Radcliffe, Ann 1, 3, 6, 15, 23–4, 29–30, 33–6, 39–42, 44, 45, 46, 47, 51–3, 58–61, 66, 67, 81, 82–3, 97, 132, 139, 148, 154, 155, 159, 162 n. 7, 186 n. 71 A Rake’s Progress (Hogarth) 174

243

Index Ranlett, William 135 Raphael 35 Ravenswood, the Kent Villa (Davis) 121 Reading the Legend (Spencer) 111–12 Recollections of an Excursion to the Monasteries of Alcabaca & Batalha (Beckford) 133 Redgauntlet (Scott) 59 Reeve, Clara 60 Renwick, James 53 Renwick, James Jr. 53 The Return (Cole) 100–1, 106 Revolution (American) 85, 88, 97, 98 Reynolds, Sir Joshua 43, 173 n. 56 Richards, Augustus C. 141 Richards, William Trost 112 Riverdale, New York 117 Rhine River 6, 35, 134, 142–3 Rhinebeck, New York 104 Rhone River 100 Richard III (Shakespeare) 5, 137 ‘Rip Van Winkle’ (Irving) 37, 120 Rob Roy (Scott) 59, 110 Robbers (Rosa) 35 Robbers Fighting with Each Other for the Spoils of a Murdered Traveler (Allston) 34–5 Rocky Coast with Banditti (Allston) 34–5 Rogers, Samuel 131 The Romance of the Forest (Radcliffe) 1, 33, 59 Romantic Landscape (Allston) 34 Romantick Tales (Lewis) 148 Rome, Italy 35, 37, 155, 156 Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare) 56

Rosa, Salvator 30, 35, 75, 83, 170 n. 15 Rotterdam, the Netherlands 91 Rouen Cathedral 182 n. 42 Round Tower on the Rhine (Doughty) 97 Rousseau, Pierre 11 Rowe, Nicholas 9 Royal Academy 36, 37 Royal Pavilion 120 The Ruins of Fast Castle, Berwickshire, Scotland: The Wolf’s Crag of the Bride of Lammermoor (Richards) 112 Rural Residences (Davis) 122 Ruskin, John 96–7, 141, 201 n. 2, 202 n. 12 Rutter, John 130, 132 Sadleir-Black Gothic collection 166 n. 19 St Andrew’s Society 95 St Mary’s Seminary (Godefroy) 53 St Paul’s, Alexandria, Virginia 53 St Paul’s Episcopal Church, Boston 171 n. 33 Saul and the Witch of Endor (Allston) 32, 41 Scene from Mrs. Radcliffe’s Mysteries of Udolpho (Allston) 40 Schelling, Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph 173 n. 56 Scotland 4, 60, 61, 63, 70, 77, 82, 90, 102–3, 106–7, 108–9, 110, 111, 112, 150, 153, 179 n. 57 Scotland Illustrated (Beattie) 108 Scott, Charles 77–8 Scott, Sir Walter 1, 3, 4–5, 6, 7, 8, 16, 23, 51, 54, 59–63, 65–8, 70, 74, 76–9, 82, 89–93,

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Index 95–7, 99–103, 105–12, 128, 134, 139, 145, 148–50, 153, 156, 158–9, 162 n. 6, 178 n. 47, 183 n. 37, 184 n. 43, 189 n. 99, 189 n. 1, 190 n. 3 Scott Centennial, New York City 95, 189 n. 1 Schiller, Friedrich 35 Schussele, Christian 93 ‘Seated Figure of Bearded Man in White, Looking at Wraiths of Man and Woman Walking Over the Sea’ (Latrobe) 12–13 Sedgeley (Latrobe) 21, 28, 52–3, 66, 158 Septimius Felton (Hawthorne) 152 The Seven Lamps of Architecture (Ruskin) 141 Seventy-Ninth Regiment 95 Shakespeare, William 5, 30, 36, 51, 56, 60, 109, 129, 135, 137, 139, 144, 170 n. 24 Sham materials 76–7, 131 Shelley, Mary 29, 42, 60 Shelley, Percy 29 Sherwood Forest 60, 80–1 Sicilian Romance, A (Radcliffe) 33 Sin Intervening Between Satan and Death (Fuseli) 36, 42 Sir Walter Scott and His Literary Friends at Abbotsford (Faed) 93 Sisters of Charity 117–18 The Sketch-Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. (Irving) 77, 78, 81, 87 Slavery 27, 31, 32, 41, 104, 169 n. 5, 179, n 57 Smith, Thomas 121 South Carolina 32, 34, 36, 40 Southey, Robert 47

Spain 86, 133 Spalatro’s Vision of the Bloody Hand (Allston) 30–1, 32, 40–42 Spencer, Lilly Martin 111–12 Spenser, Edmund 39–40 The Spirit of Peace (Cropsey) 103–4 The Spirit of War (Cropsey) 103–4 Springbrook 126 The Spy (Cooper) 75, 76 Stadt-House, Albany, New York 90 Stage set designs 5, 57, 129, 132, 133–7, 144, 160, 199 n. 67 Steell, John 189 n. 1 Stirling Castle 111 Stone, John Augustus 124 ‘The Storming of Count Rodericks’s Castle’ (Allston) 33 ‘The Story of the Bandit Chieftain’ (Irving) 83 ‘The Story of the Young Robber,’ (Irving) 83 Stowe gardens, England 16, 19 Stratford-on-Avon, England 109 Strawberry Hill (Lindsey) 158 Strawberry Hill (Walpole) 1–2, 4, 5, 57, 63–5, 66–7, 74–5, 91–2, 116, 139, 145, 149, 150, 158–9 Stuyvesant, Peter 85 Stuyvesant, Peter G. 102 The Sublime 10, 23, 26, 28, 43, 49–50, 74, 82, 99, 173 n. 56, 194 n. 44 Sunnyside (Irving and Harvey) 4–5, 67, 70, 79, 86–94, 120, 151, 160, 189 n. 98 ‘A Swiss Scene’ (Doughty) 97

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Index Tales of a Traveller (Irving) 83–4 Tales of Wonder! (Gillray) 29 Tarrytown, New York 67, 70, 85, 92, 141 Taylor, Bayard 111 Taylor, Royall 2–3 Telbin, William 137 Temple of the Sibyl 104 Thames River 63, 109 ‘Thanatopsis’ (Bryant) 102 Theatre Royal 155 Thomas, John 158 Ticknor, Henry 148 Tivoli, Italy 104 Town, Ithiel 4, 65, 67, 92, 104 Tracy, Thomas 174 n. 76 Tragic Figure in Chains (Allston) 47–9, 174 n. 68 A Treatise on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening Adapted to North America (Downing) 92, 118 Trinity College, Cambridge 178 n. 43 Trossachs, Scotland 111 True Principles of Pointed or Christian Architecture (Pugin) 138–40 Trumbull, John 175 n. 8 Tuckerman, Henry T. 102, 109–10 Turner, J. M. W. 108 Turner-Ingersoll House 147 Twickenham, England 1, 63, 74, 158 ‘The Two Painters’ (Lewis) 29 Una in a Wood (Allston) 39 United States Capitol (Latrobe) 53 United States Navy 74 University of Virginia 166 n. 19 Upjohn, Richard 7, 157

Van Rensselaer, William P. 100 Van Tassel Cottage 85 Vanderlyn, John 35 Vathek (Beckford) 5, 18, 132–3, 152, 155 Vaux, Calvert 140 Venice Preserved 56 The Vicar of Wakefield (Goldsmith) 59 The Villa (College of Mount Saint Vincent) 117–18 Villa Borghese 38 Villa Montauto 7, 153–6 Virginia 10, 11 Virginia State Capitol ( Jefferson) 11, 14, 22, 52, 53, 54, 67 Volterra, Italy 99 Waddell Villa (Davis) 121–2 Wadsworth, Daniel 53, 66 Waldegrave, Earl of 64 Waldegrave, Lady 64 Walpole, Horace 1–2, 4, 5, 15, 42, 50, 51–2, 58–9, 60–1, 63–5, 66, 67, 74–5, 91–2, 115, 116, 138, 139, 145, 146, 148, 149, 156, 158–9, 177 n. 32, 189 n. 99 Walpole, Sir Robert 15 Walter, Arthur Maynard 29 Warwick Castle 82, 97, 100, 101, 105, 109, 112, 148, 159 Warwick Castle, England (Cropsey) 101 Washington, Bushrod 26 Washington, District of Columbia 52 Washington, George 3, 10, 22–6 Washington, John Augustine 26

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Index Washington, Lawrence 22 Washington Irving and His Literary Friends at Sunnyside 93 Washington Square, New York 67, 101, 179 n. 58 Waterhouse, Dr. 33 Waters, Clara Erskine Clement 40 Waverley (Scott) 16, 59, 60, 62, 67, 101, 148, 149 The Wayside 7, 146, 149, 151–3, 155, 156, 205 n. 34 West, Benjamin 37, 42, 175 n. 8 West Point Foundry, Cold Spring, New York 88 Westminster Abbey 74, 76, 81, 99, 148 ‘Westminster Abbey’ (Irving) 81–2 Wieland, or The Transformation; An American Tale (Brown) 15, 75

Wildman, Colonel 80 Williams, John Earle 158 Willis, Nathaniel Parker 87 Wilmington, Delaware 56 Windsor Castle about the Thames (Hart) 109 Winthrop, Theodore 179 n. 58 ‘Wolfert Webber, or Golden Dreams’ (Irving) 84 ‘Wolfert’s Roost’ (Irving) 84 Wood Cliff (Davis) 141 Wordsworth, William 171 n. 35, 177 n. 35 Wright, Frank Lloyd 163 n. 15 Wyatt, James 5, 18, 129, 175 n. 8 York Cathedral 149 Young, Edward 12 Zschokke, Heinrich 54–6

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