How It All Went Down
1717: Horace Walpole Born
He's here! He's here!
1732: Henry Mayo's On Truths Contained in Popular Superstitions published
Want to know how to dig up a vampire? This book's got you covered.
1749: Walpole starts work on Strawberry Hill
It's my house, and I can take 20 years to turn it into a Gothic castle if I want to.
1757: Edmund Burke's A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and the Beautiful published
Does this sound like a Gothic manifesto or what?
1764: Horace Walpole's Castle of Otranto published on Christmas Eve; Ann Radcliffe Born
Happy Birthday to Gothicism and its darling.
1768: Walpole's The Mysterious Mother published
Walpole's first play. How…dramatic.
1769: Napoleon Bonaparte born
And then he proceeded to conquer…everything.
1771: Encyclopedia Britannica first published
For the first time, we have a compilation all world knowledge…ish. (Sorry Google, EB was there first.)
1775: Matthew Gregory "Monk" Lewis and Jane Austen Born
Lewis: I write books about evil monks. Austen: I write books about marriage. Lewis: That sounds less fun. Austen: People seem to like them.
1776: Declaration of Independence signed in "New World"; Edward Gibbon's History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire and Adam Smith's An Enquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations published
Sounds like worlds colliding to us.
1778: Roman Catholic Relief Bill passed
"Catholics free to worship in England? I shake my fist at you!" said angry Protestants.
1789: French Revolution Begins and the Guillotine is Invented
Off with their heads!
1794: Radcliffe's The Mysteries of Udolpho published.
This little lady revolutionized the genre.
1795: Food Riots in London; Bread Riots in Paris; Napoleon Takes Command in Italy,
Yeah…everything's not so sunny at this point.
1796: Lewis's The Monk published
Shock was the name of the game for this guy.
1797: Horace Walpole Dies; Radcliffe's The Italian published; Lewis's The Castle Spectre first performed at Drury Lane Theatre
Gothicism's originator kicks the bucket, but his legacy is going strong.
1809: Edgar Allan Poe born
He may be new, but he can kick it Gothic-style with the best of 'em.
1816: The Shelleys, Lord Byron, and friends summer at the Villa Diodati on the shores of Lake Geneva
Dare: let's see who can write the best ghost story. (Spoiler alert: Frankenstein won.)
1818: Matthew Gregory "Monk" Lewis Dies, Shelley's Frankenstein and Austen's Northanger Abbey published
It's the circle of literary life…or a monster is born.
1847: Sisters Emily and Charlotte Brontë publish Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre, respectively; Bram stoker Born
Fate of the Gothic tradition? It's in good hands.