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Gothic Literature

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The term gothic was originally used to describe both type of Art and

Architecture. Gothic novels were given a genre of their own primarily

because of their emotional extremes and their dark themes.

Gothic Literature

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The gothic novel is a literary genre which is said to have been

created in 1764 when Horace Walpole wrote his novel ‘The Castle of

Otranto’. The main features of gothic novels included terror, mystery,

the supernatural, doom, death, curses and madness.

The term ‘gothic’ was originally used to describe both type of Art and

Architecture. Gothic novels were given a genre of their own primarily

because of their emotional extremes and their dark themes and because

it’s most natural settings were things like castles and monasteries

which were part of the typical gothic architecture. Some of the first

gothic novels included ‘The Castle of Otranto’ and ‘Byronic Hero’.

By about 1840, the gothic genre had played itself out and this was

partly due to writers who were developing the genre into the horror

fiction that it later morphed into. The gothic genre did, however,

have a long lasting effect and it led to a Victorian craze for ghost

stories and it also had an influence on Charles Dickens who read

gothic novels when he was younger and he later put the gothic

melodrama and gloomy atmosphere into his own books.

By the 1880’s, the gothic novel was revived and many authors of the

time such as Robert Louis Stevenson, Arthur Machen and Oscar Wilde all

wrote gothic works. Also, it was about this time that the most famous
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