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Gothic still provides the vocabulary of apprehensiveness. The Moonstone is a detective story with a scientific explanation, but we never forget the legend that surrounds the diamond of the title, and the curse on those who steal it — a curse that seems to come true. The final triumph of Gothic is to become, as in these examples, a vital thread within novels that otherwise take pains to convince us of what is probable and rational.

The house as Gothic element in Anglo-American fiction (18th - 20th century)

John is a specialist in 18th-century literature and is at present writing the volume of the Oxford English Literary History that will cover the period from to He also has research interests in the 19th century, and in published his book What Matters in Jane Austen? The text in this article is available under the Creative Commons License. The origins of the Gothic. Professor John Mullan examines the origins of the Gothic, explaining how the genre became one of the most popular of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, and the subsequent integration of Gothic elements into mainstream Victorian fiction.

The Mysteries of Udolpho In the s, novelists rediscovered what Walpole had imagined. The Mysteries of Udolpho The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe was one of the most popular and influential Gothic novels of the late 18th century. The Monk by Matthew Lewis This frontispiece illustration and title page summary from an edition of The Monk by Matthew Lewis first published provides a flavour of how extreme and dramatic the novel was.

Frankenstein and the double A second wave of Gothic novels in the second and third decades of the 19th century established new conventions. Mansfield's transformation from gentleman to fiend was so powerful, he was later accused of being Jack the Ripper.

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Extreme psychological states and horror Another writer who commonly exploited doubles in his Gothic tales was the American Edgar Allan Poe. The Gothic in mainstream Victorian fiction Meanwhile Gothic had become so influential that we can detect its elements in much mainstream Victorian fiction. Share this page. It certainly contributed to the witch craze that gripped the next two centuries.

By the s, a new kind of horror had come to the London stage. This was the first work of the so-called Graveyard Poets. Sometimes also called the Churchyard Poets, the group was made up of pre-Romantic poets known for their preoccupation with mortality and death. Though most critics dismissed their work, their efforts did contribute to the evolution of the Gothic novel.

Johannes Fluckinger made the report, corroborating the villagers' claims. The story quickly gained attention throughout Europe. The tale made its way into both international journals and the imaginations of the fashionable set. Even scientists and philosophers were fascinated. From this unlikely source sprung our modern obsession with vampires.

The book would have incredible impact on the emerging genre of horror. Legendary authors like Matthew Lewis and Charles Brickden Brown would also contribute to the gothic novel as a genre. Though these authors worked within the same genre , they didn't always appreciate each other's work. The Gothic novel would take another dramatic turn in June, John Polidori shared a villa at Lake Geneva.

Likely under the influence of laudanum, they decided to have a ghost story-writing contest. Polidori's work was originally attributed to Lord Byron, and the main character is indeed a caricature of him. The last actually led to the development of a new stage apparatus called the "vampire trap. He went on to produce some of the world's most outstanding macabre tales, and has also been called the father of the detective novel. Over the next decade, horror would make its way into virtually all art forms.

In , Francesco Goya painted a series of eighteen frescoes, known as the Black Paintings, in response to the French invasion of Spain.


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The symphony shocked its audiences with its shocking sounds and grotesque imagery; Berlioz had named the movements "March to the Scaffold" and "Dream of a Witch's Sabbath. It's worth noting that even in this age of reason and scientific advancement, life was still often violent and short. People of all ages were often intimately acquainted with the realities of mortality. This fact extended to children. Today all these stories have been sanitized, but gory details and lessons learned through violence were not at all unheard of at the time.

Lewis Carroll's poem "The Jabberwocky" weaves the ridiculous with the horrifying, and twentieth-century authors would play with that juxtaposition, as well as with imaginary worlds and parallel universes. The Industrial Revolution spelled major changes for horror literature in the s.

Literacy rates had improved.

Cities were more crowded than ever. And people wanted a distraction from the less than idyllic life of industrialized cities. Horror during this time became more visceral and gory. The Penny Blood or Penny Dreadful emerged as a cheap form of entertainment for mass audiences. The stage equivalent was the Penny Gaff. Edward Lloyd made quite a fortune for himself off Penny Bloods. He'd already dipped into horror with Thomas Prest's The Calendar of Horrors in the s, and he simply adapted that to a more recognizable form. At the time, people saw exposure to Penny Dreadfuls as a sure-fire path to juvenile delinquency.

Parents banned the cheap books and frequently burned them if they were found in a child's possession. That unforgiving destruction gives Penny Dreadful collectors an interesting, though not insurmountable challenge, because it made these books all the more rare. The poem was also the first notable work of horror based on a contemporary criminal; Browning had based the poem on an old court record he had found in , detailing a man's murder of his wife.

In this piece and others Le Fanu began to dismantle Gothic artifices, bringing elements of horror and the supernatural into everyday life. The traditional trappings of Gothic horror had begun to fall away. As Victorian ideals replaced Romantic ones, authors also turned their awareness back to individual morality. The crowded cities had grown more impersonal, more violent, and suddenly one could no longer count on the goodness of others. Jekyll and Mr. Poe's 'The Oval Portrait'. Michael Kratky. Gianna Waters. Elizabeth Hays. Bailey Odom. Aria Wiley.


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