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Allison Palisoul

Eighteenth-Century Masquerades and the People Who Hated Them

Teaching Notes


"Eighteenth-Century Masquerades and the People Who Hated Them" was first presented at the Jane Austen Summer Program of 2018, entitled "Northanger Abbey and Frankenstein: 200 Years of Horror." Allison Palisoul provides a short history of the masquerade ball and explores its connection to the Gothic novel. 

Discussion Questions 

  1. Like Gothic novels, a main appeal of masquerades was the feeling of “otherness” or “strangeness” that accompanied anything having to do with the Continent, heightened by the masks and the link to Roman Catholicism. What else do Gothic novels and masquerades have in common?

  2. Masquerades often allowed women to subvert contemporary gender norms. To what extent do you think Jane Austen would support these subversions?

"Eighteenth-Century Masquerades" handout
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