‘This Horrible Stave They Howl’
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‘This Horrible Stave They Howl’ book
This chapter shows how the supernatural was a key point of intersection between the romances read and the songs performed during the literary romantic period around 1800. Not only were the same supernatural figures to be found in both art forms, but song lyrics on supernatural themes included in the fiction were set to music by composers. The success of the supernatural in European expressive culture around 1800 comes against a backdrop of decline in belief in the occult. Ann Radcliffe's The Romance of the Forest and Matthew Lewis's The Monk were very successful in their own time. Although James Hogg's work never enjoyed the success of Radcliffe or Lewis's novels, his The Three Perils of Man provides a useful index of the reception of earlier romances. Walter Scott's notion of minstrelsy was public by this time, and Hogg was able to imitate and exaggerate it, drawing the theme into his supernatural performances.