Gothic fiction is a genre of literature which combines parts of both horror and romance. The genre is said to have started in England in 1764 with Horace Walpole's book The Castle of Otranto. Its second edition was subtitled A Gothic Story. The idea quickly spread to other European languages.
A famous early example of gothic fiction is Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, in the early 19th Century. The works of Edgar Allen Poe and Bram Stoker's Dracula followed later.
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Edgar Allan Poe was an important reinterpreter of Gothic fiction.
Robert Louis Stevenson's Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1886) was a classic Gothic work of the 1880s, seeing many stage adaptations.
Strawberry Hill, an English villa in the "Gothic revival" style, built by Gothic writer Horace Walpole
The picturesque and evocative ruin is a common theme in Gothic literature. This image shows the ruins of Kenilworth Castle.