The Gothic Literary Aesthetic I (from Gothic MOOC)

Posted by Peter Lindfield on July 05, 2016 in Peter Lindfield tagged with , , , ,

Hello, and welcome to the archive of our videos from the second week of our AHRC-funded MOOC,  The Gothic Revival, 1700-1850: Interdisciplinary Perspectives. In the first session we started to make inroads into the manifold meanings of the term ‘Gothic’ in the eighteenth century, including the term’s associations with the ancient Gothic tribe, its perceived associations with British history, the architecture of the middle ages, literature, fashion and modern sub-culture, and more. In this session we are going to be paying sustained attention to a short text that is often held to be the first Gothic fiction ever written: Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto of 1764.

By way of preparation for these videos, we advise you to read The Castle of Otranto, an online copy which, in its third edition of 1766, can be found on the Internet Archive ( here <>. It’s a short novella, so should not take you more than an hour or so to read. As you read, pay particular edition to the two Prefaces of the text, the first from the first edition of 1764, and the second from the second edition of 1765. An audio version of Walpole’s novel may be accessed here <>. Once you have read the novel and both Prefaces, watch the following video.


The Gothic Literary Asethetic I – Part 1


The Gothic Literary Asethetic I – Part 2


The Gothic Literary Asethetic I – Part 3

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