Gothic Reading

Gothic fiction originated in 1764 with the publication of Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto.  From there, this genre which combined elements of horror and romance swept through England,  continental Europe, and even reached colonial America with the works of Washington Irving amongst others.

I’ve decided this shall be the year I study Gothic Literature in depth.  Now, if I was a purely logical person, I’d probably start my reading where it all began, namely inside that Castle of Walpole’s.

But since I enjoy doing things in my own odd ways- I thought it would be more fun to go about this in an entirely different manner.  Namely, fate would decide.

4 cards were pulled from my Bohemian Gothic Tarot Deck.

1. Devil- American Gothic

2.  Lovers- German Gothic

3.  Death- French Gothic

4.  Tower- English Gothic

Eyes shut.  Shuffling.  Card picked…


So, my long journey into the depths of the Gothic shall begin in France!

Next post: all about the French Gothic Novel

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17 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I look forward to see what you unearth.

  2. Some of that stuff can be a tough slog. The language and style were so different from what we’re used to now. I started Ann Radcliffe’s “The Italian” awhile back but only made it a few pages before something else grabbed my attention. But I’m very interested in where this takes you. I don’t even know of any French gothic literature.

  3. Thank you, Ralfast. 🙂

  4. DD,

    Heh. The same thing happened to me when i tried to read a Radcliffe novel years ago.

    I remember reading one critic praising Mary Shelley for using plain English in Frankenstein, rather than copying the heady style of the Germans which was so common at the time.

    I’m very curious about the French Gothic, because I know so little about it.

  5. Are you starting with a particular novel?

  6. Hi Diane,

    Yes. I just have to pick one. 🙂

  7. Very interesting!!

  8. Thanks so much, Christy! 🙂

  9. Cool post. I’m reading Dorothy Hughes right now, “In a Lonely Place.” I’ve read Otranto twice. Really excellent. Will check out works by some of the other authors you’ve mentioned.

  10. Hey Ken!

    So nice to see you over here. 🙂

    I read “In a Lonely Place” years ago. Plus, so the film with Bogie and Gloria Graham. You might want to watch it after finishing the book.

  11. I am so curious to know the reason why the cards was label as so. Ex Devil American and so on:) Is it pertaining to history why one card is mark different from the other or is it just so?

  12. Hey Lora,

    Oh, no. When I decided to randomly choose which country’s Gothic lit I would study first- I decided to use tarot cards instead of rolling a dice or whatever. 🙂

    So I just on my own, decided Devil would be America, Death would be France, etc. There was no rhyme or reason to why I decided a card would be a particular country.

    only that whatever card I picked..that would be the country I had to study first. 😉

  13. Oh okay, I gotcha. I still had to smile thinking of the country link to the Tarot card…I had thought up my own reasons for fun. It has been a long trialing day today and reading both you and DD blogs made me laugh and feel a bit relax for the first time today. I thank you both!

  14. Awww…sorry you had a tough day. But so happy that I was able to make you laugh!

    Your blog has made me laugh and smile more times than I can say. So I thank you honestly in return. 🙂

  15. I am speechless the first time in my life don’t tell anyone…I think I hear the church bell ringing:) and thanks

  16. I hope you are going to continue this series 🙂 I was a big British Gothic fan and would love to learn more. I am spring cleaning my old blog which so far means visting everyone on my blogroll to catch up 🙂 I hope you are doing well, though I understand the need to take a break.

  17. Hi Jan!

    Thanks so very much! I do plan to continue. yes, I just needed to take a little blog break. I should be back in a week or two!

    It’s great to hear from you. 🙂

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