When the mind has once begun to yield to the weakness of superstition, trifles impress it with the force of conviction.

Ann Radcliffe

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Ann Radcliffe (born Ward, 9 July 1764 – 7 February 1823). Radcliffe was born Ann Ward in Holborn, London. She was an English author and pioneer of the Gothic novel. Radcliffe's technique of explaining the apparently supernatural elements in her novels has been credited with enabling Gothic fiction to achieve respectability in the 1790s. Ann Radcliffe was the most popular writer of her day and almost universally admired. Contemporary critics called her the mighty enchantress and the Shakespeare of romance-writers. Her popularity continued through the nineteenth century; for Keats, she was Mother Radcliffe, and for Scott, the first poetess of romantic fiction.

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