Wilkie Collins's The Dead Secret, arguably one of his most critically neglected novels, exercises the same concerns with ancestry, inheritance, and history as developed in Collins's later works, projected upon a Cornish landscape. In exploring the way Collins uses Cornwall (a location he had already toyed with in Basil and Rambles Beyond Railways), representations of the Cornish, and specifically Cornish seascapes, I propose that Collins is employing Cornwall as an ideal playground in which to experiment with his reworkings of Gothic tropes and motifs. Indeed, Collins's Cornwall provides a means of understanding debates surrounding regional identities and a lens through which to comprehend the Cornish quest to reclaim a notion of Celtic identity in the late nineteenth century. Collins’s use of seascapes, ruins, transgression, and deadly secrets not only reimagines Gothic tropes in a Victorian context, but also uses them to express anxieties regarding disintegration of self, society, and borders in the period.
How to Cite:
Passey, J., (2017). Gothic Landscapes and Seascapes: Dark Regions in Wilkie Collins’s The Dead Secret . Studies in Gothic Fiction . 5 ( 2 ) , pp . 21–30 . DOI: http://doi.org/10.18573/j.2016.10106