The Gothic imagination, that dark predilection for horrors and terrors, spectres and sprites, occupies a prominent place in contemporary Western culture. First given fictional expression in Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto of 1764, the Gothic mode has continued to haunt literature, fine art, music, film and fashion ever since its heyday in Britain in the 1790s. Terror and Wonder, which accompanies a major exhibition at the British Library, is a collection of essays that trace the numerous meanings and manifestations of the Gothic across time, tracking its prominent shifts and mutations from its eighteenth-century origins, through the Victorian period, and into the present day. Edited and introduced by Dale Townshend, and consisting of original contributions by Nick Groom, Angela Wright, Alexandra Warwick, Andrew Smith, Lucie Armitt and Catherine Spooner, Terror and Wonder provides a compelling and comprehensive overview of the Gothic imagination over the past 250 years.
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