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2. The Origins of Gothic Literature: The Castle of Otranto
About this Lecture
In this module, Elly discusses Horace Walpole's 'The Castle of Otranto', widely regarded as the first Gothic novel. Originally published in 1764, the novel introduces several themes that would later become hallmarks of the Gothic genre: the setting in a castle or mansion, the use of the supernatural, and a highly dysfunctional family.
For many, the genre of gothic horror is epitomised by the novels Frankenstein and Dracula. In this course, we explore the origins of the genre through lesser-known, but no less influential works, the Castle of Otranto (1764) and The Monk (1796): the former is generally regarded as the first gothic novel, and the latter (which was described by Samuel Taylor Coleridge as “the offspring of no common genius”) one of the most important gothic novels of its time - decades before Frankenstein, and over a century before Dracula.
Elly is a second-year DPhil student at the University of York. While her thesis is on the reception of Arthurian legend in children's literature, she is au fait with all Victorian literature. In her spare time, she writes a food blog called 'Nutmegs, seven'
Cite this Lecture
McCausland, E. (2018, August 15). Gothic Literature - The Origins of Gothic Literature: The Castle of Otranto [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://massolit.io/courses/gothic-literature/the-origins-of-gothic-literature-the-castle-of-otranto
McCausland, E. "Gothic Literature – The Origins of Gothic Literature: The Castle of Otranto." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018, https://massolit.io/courses/gothic-literature/the-origins-of-gothic-literature-the-castle-of-otranto