This essay analyses the BBC Masterpiece production of Death Comes to Pemberley in the context of a proliferating field of gothic, horror and paranormal adaptations of Austen, focusing on the gothic as a means of addressing issues of history, gender and power. It argues that if historical identities are about control and order, and the ordering of time is a means of identity formation, then the writing of history should therefore be considered a means of producing disciplined historical subjects. In this case, there may well be a liminal aspect to the anarchic, playful and female-centred rewriting of history that is found in Jane Austen story worlds, which, in their popular gothic manifestations, seem increasingly bent on tearing history from its roots.


Jane Austen, P.D. James, history, horror, gothic aesthetic, fan fiction

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Available for download on Saturday, October 06, 2018