Original Research

Imperialism and the abject Gothic double: Jane Goodwin Austin’s ‘After Three Thousand Years’

Allyson Kreuiter
Literator | Vol 41, No 1 | a1697 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v41i1.1697 | © 2020 Allyson Kreuiter | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 23 April 2020 | Published: 05 October 2020

About the author(s)

Allyson Kreuiter, Department of English Studies, Faculty of Arts, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa


Jane Goodwin Austin (1831–1894) published her short story ‘After Three Thousand Years’ in 1868. Austin’s tale is one of the first narratives to deal with a malevolent female mummy and what is known as the mummy’s curse. Her story has received limited critical attention unlike a similar story published by Louisa May Alcott in 1869, ‘Lost in a Pyramid, or The Mummy’s Curse’. This lack of scholarly attention makes Austin’s short story more interesting to the researcher than that of Alcott. In my article, I will perform a close reading of ‘After Three Thousand Years’, examining how the imperialist theme is intertwined with the abject Gothic doubling of the mummy and the female protagonists, which I consider to be central to the plot of Austin’s story.


Jane Goodwin Austin; mummies; Imperialism; Gothic; female double; uncanny.


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