Study Guide

Gothic Literature Timeline

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.