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English Literature   >   Gothic Literature

Readership and Historical Context

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Gothic Literature

In this course, Professor John McRae (University of Nottingham) explores the history of the Gothic novel, beginning with Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto, and finishing with the literature (and films) of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries that have been influenced by the Gothic, including Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca and Angela Carter’s A Bloody Chamber. Along the way, we will explore some of the most important novels in the English language, including: Frankenstein, Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde, and the Picture of Dorian Gray.

Readership and Historical Context

In this module, we think about the origins of the word ‘gothic’ itself, the original readership for the earliest gothic novels, and what is was about eighteenth-century England that gave rise to novels such as Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto (1764) and Matthew Lewis’ The Monk (1796)

Cite this Lecture

APA style

McRae, J. (2018, August 15). Gothic Literature - Readership and Historical Context [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

McRae, J. "Gothic Literature – Readership and Historical Context." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018,


Prof. John McRae

Prof. John McRae

Nottingham University