The Castle of Otranto is 250!

Posted by Hattie Wilson, Marketing Executive

The initial publication of The Castle of Otranto was in 1764, making the novel 250 this year. The Castle is considered to be one of the first Gothic novels and is a supernatural tale of melodramatic mystery and romance. Walpole’s novel inspired countless subsequent writers, including Ann Radcliffe, Bram Stoker, Edgar Allan Poe and Daphne Du Maurier.

Even Walpole’s Twickenham Neo-Gothic pile, Strawberry Hill, prompted a new fashion for Gothic architecture. The building itself is said to have influenced the novel, as Walpole envisaged a gigantic armoured fist on the staircase. Mary Shelley is said to have been galvanized to write her own Gothic narrative Frankenstein; or the Modern Prometheus, after reading Walpole, further corroborating the importance of Walpole in the history of Gothicism.

Gothic Ashgate:

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