Radcliffe, Ann (Ward), 1764–1823, English novelist, b. London. The daughter of a successful tradesman, she married William Radcliffe, a law student who later became editor of the English Chronicle. Her best works, The Romance of the Forest (1791), The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794), and The Italian (1797), give her a prominent place in the tradition of the Gothic romance. Her excellent use of landscape to create mood and her sense of mystery and suspense had an enormous influence on later writers, particularly Walter Scott.
See studies by C. F. McIntyre (1920, repr. 1970) and E. B. Murray (1972).