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Gothic Literature

What is Gothic Literature ?

Gothic Fiction is a genre that was popular in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. This genre provided a vehicle and language for writing about the dark, irrational elements of experience and of the mind. It explored extreme mental states characterized by guilt, panic, fear, anxiety, obsession, paranoia, and claustrophobia. There is also the inclusion of eerie medieval externals, such as old castles, monasteries, and hidden trapdoors, for their symbolism.

The genre is said to have been established by Horace Walpole's The Castle of Otranto in 1764 and Charles Maturin's Melmoth the Wanderer in 1820. Other pre-20th century authors were the English writers Ann Radcliffe, Matthew ‘Monk’ Lewis, Mary Shelley, the Irish writer Bram Stoker, and the US writer Edgar Allen Poe. The late 20th century has seen a fair amount of material that contributes to the genre. These authors include Stephen King, Anne Rice, and Susan Hill.

Description: Encyclopedia of the Romantic Era, 1760-1850

Philip's Encyclopedia

The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide