Canonical works of gothic fiction
- First Published
- Wed Jan 05 2022
- Last Published
- Sun May 21 2023
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Castle Of Otranto by Horace Walpole
Generally regarded as the first gothic novel
The Old English Baron by Clara Reeve
Set out to take Walpole's plot and adapt it to the demands of the time by balancing fantastic elements with 18th-century realism.
Vathek by William Beckford
Composed originally in French, Beckford capitalised on the eighteenth century obsession with all things Oriental, combining it with the Gothic stylings of Horace Walpole's The Castle of Otranto.
The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe
She has been called both "the Great Enchantress" and "Mother Radcliffe" due to her influence on Gothic literature and the female Gothic. She combined aspects of Walpole's Gothic romance with the traditions of the earlier Sentimental novel.
The Monk by Matthew Lewis
Prime example of the male Gothic that specialises in the aspect of horror. Its convoluted and scandalous plot has made it one of the most important Gothic novels of its time, often imitated and adapted for the stage and the screen.
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
First and most famous gothic parody. In which the naive protagonist, after reading too much Gothic fiction, conceives herself a heroine of a Radcliffian romance and imagines murder and villainy on every side, though the truth turns out to be much more prosaic.
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Written when she was 18
The Vampyre by JW Polidori
Product of the celebrated ghost-story competition involving Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mary Shelley, and John William Polidori at the Villa Diodati on the banks of Lake Geneva in the summer of 1816. This occasion was productive of both Frankenstein and The Vampyre
Melmoth the Wanderer by Charles Maturin
Late example of traditional gothic
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte