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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Gothic Novels (in honour of Mary Shelley)

Today, August 30, 2017, marks the 220th birthday of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley who is best known for writing, Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus.  In celebration of Shelley’s gothic masterpiece, I thought I’d suggest some titles of other gothic novels. 

Gothic fiction places heavy emphasis on atmosphere, using setting and diction to build suspense and a sense of unease in the reader.  Common subject matter includes the supernatural, family curses, mystery, and madness.  The novel usually regarded as the first gothic novel is The Castle of Otranto by English author Horace Walpole, which was first published in 1764.

Here are some of my favourites, most of which are considered classics of the genre:
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe

If you want to learn more about gothic fiction, I highly recommend this British Library site:  https://www.bl.uk/romantics-and-victorians/themes/the-gothic.