This is a, by no means complete, list of authors and their novels which contain Gothic elements.
- Horace Walpole Castle of Otranto: A Gothic Story (1764)
A definite must-read, especially since it is the earliest Gothic novel published. The story with all its ghostly interventions, its mysterious ambience, its (sometimes ridiculous) catastrophes and mistaken identities is very entertaining. Walpole's friend, the famous poet Thomas Gray, was "afraid to go to bed o' nights" after reading the novel.
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- Clara Reeve The Champion of Virtue: A Gothic Story (1777)
[Reprinted as The Old English Baron: A Gothic Story]
The novel's young hero Edmund braves many horrors to obtain his rightful place in the world.
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- William Godwin Caleb Williams (1794)
Godwin, father of Mary Shelley, uses this novel to propagate some of his philosophies, as the form of control on someone by a person or government is a prominent theme of this novel.
- Ann Radcliffe The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794) and The Italian (1797)
In both books, Radcliffe develops the figure of the solitary and serious antagonist who tortures others out of guilt. The Italian is set during the Holy Inquisition, and involves a mysterious monk and two ill-fated lovers.
Jane Austen, also a Romantic author, satirised The Italian in her novel Northanger Abbey.
- Click here to buy The Mysteries of Udolpho from Amazon.com
- Click here to buy The Italian from Amazon.com
- Matthew Gregory Lewis The Monk (1797)
A novel that deals with sexual desire and abuse of power. At the time of publication, it was heavily criticised for its blasphemy and obscenity. It describes the decline of a friar who is tempted by a young girl. He eventually succumbs to murder, incest and torture.
- Mary Shelley Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus (1818)
An equally disturbing and fascinating story about the dangers of science, isolation and revenge. More about this novel can be found in the 'Frankenstein' section of this web site.