This introduction presents an overview of key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book demonstrates the portrait's frequent appearances in the prose fiction of Edgeworth, Radcliffe, Hamilton, Austen and Scott. Novels are frequently described as paintings or portraits, and novelists, as portrait painters. The book demonstrates debates over the limits of verbal representation, and the necessity or otherwise of analogies with the visual, is a feature of the novel in the Romantic period. It focuses on how the miniature generates further complications in Gothic fiction of the late eighteenth century, specifically that of Ann Radcliffe. In Radcliffe's work, as in that of other Gothic writers, the portrait, frequently serves as a source of terror for the female heroine, troubling notions of identity and unsettling the distinction between representation and reality. The book argues that James Gillray's innovations in graphic satire interacted productively with those in prose fiction, especially in the turbulent aftermath of the French Revolution.