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Gothic Literature

1. Introduction

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About this Lecture


In this module, Elly argues why it's important that we recognise Gothic element in the literature we read, whether it be the traditional Gothic setting of a large, mysterious house or castle, or Gothic themes like the use of ghosts and the supernatural, or an exploration of the family or religion.


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

APA style

McCausland, E. (2018, August 15). Gothic Literature - Introduction [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

McCausland, E. "Gothic Literature – Introduction." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018,