I fell in love with Gothic literature the first time I read Edgar Allen Poe in 7th grade English class. There’s something addicting about that dark undertone that makes you glance into shadows while still not wanting to turn on the light. Poe isn’t the only writer who excels in this genre: H.P. Lovecraft writes bone-chilling horror; one of his stories spooked me so much when I was pregnant I had to set it down and still haven’t picked it up. I’ll probably do that now that my hormones are back in check.
Elements typical of a gothic novel include decaying settings or mysterious architecture, supernatural beings, curses or prophecies, romance, and intense emotions. Books can include gothic elements and still not be considered gothic literature, and many books from the late 18th and 19th centuries do just that. So even if you’re not a big fan of horror in the traditional sense, you can still find those elements sprinkled throughout the romantic era.
I’m on a bit of a kick, reading any book I can get a digital copy of, so here’s a few I’ve dove into:
- Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray
- Dracula by Bram Stoker
- Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre
- Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights
- Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein
- Robert Louis Stevenson’s Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
- Edgar Allen Poe’s Fall of the House of Usher
These gorgeous hardcover books were purchased at Barnes and Noble
Originally posted on 15 November 2019