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1. Readership and Historical Context
About this Lecture
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)
In this course, we explore 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.
John McRae is Special Professor of Language in Literature Studies and Teaching Associate in the School of English at Nottingham University, and holds Visiting Professorships in China, Malaysia, Spain and the USA. He is co-author of The Routledge History of Literature in English with Ron Carter, and also wrote The Language of Poetry, Literature with a Small 'l' and the first critical edition of Teleny by Oscar Wilde and others.
Cite this Lecture
McRae, J. (2018, August 15). Gothic Literature - Readership and Historical Context [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/gothic-literature-8ff4d44e-36ed-4fda-8f6e-2fd53e961f8d/readership-and-historical-context
McRae, J. "Gothic Literature – Readership and Historical Context." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018, https://www.massolit.io/courses/gothic-literature-8ff4d44e-36ed-4fda-8f6e-2fd53e961f8d/readership-and-historical-context