View Full Version : Gothic literature

02-18-2009, 02:43 AM
It is said that Warpole created the first truly gothic novel. What conventions of his novel do you think really made it so different to what was generally being created at the time? What made the text recognised as Gothic?

just wondering...

02-18-2009, 04:49 AM
Horace Walpole's <The Castle of Otranto is considered as the first gothic novel in its suspense and terror elements... the book employs certain supernatural elements, as well as mystery and horror. A lot of the time, Gothic novels utilize descriptions of gothic architecture/buildings, and a lot of the time the characters within gothic novels are ghosts, spirits, werevolves, etc. Walpole intersects the gothic (the medieval period) with the Romantic, and produces a novel about a hereditary curse (after Otranto it becomes a common gothic feature) that keeps the reader in suspense and slight terror, and ends in a spooky sort of way


12-10-2009, 01:02 AM
The Castle of Otranto was written amidst The Enlightenment when superstitions were considered to be archaic and silly. Walpole made the medieval, or rather what he thought of the medieval, into a popular culture. One could say that this book led to numerous literary styles, such as horror, mystery, gothic and fairytales of the 19th century. Although his intentions are hard to interpret; he created an entire myth around it, saying that it's a translation of a medieval manuscript from exotic Italy.

By the way, there's a sort of a follow up version of it called The Old English Baron, by Clara Reeve. It's based entirely on The Castle of Otranto but has much less magic.