Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination


Illustration from Tales of Mystery and Imagination, Edgar Allan Poe, illustrated by Harry Clarke, 1923. Photography (c) British Library Board Pinterest


Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination opens to visitors at the British Library. Billed as the largest and most comprehensive show of gothic literature, this show marks the 250 years since the genre rose to pupularity in Britain.

It is thought that the genre launched with Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto, an influential work that not only shaped literature, but also film, fashion, music and art. The exhibition looks at how certain significant figures in literature managed to break conventions with their 18th century gothic masterpieces. This led the way for the likes of Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker and Mervyn Peake to enjoy huge success with their immortal creations.

Highlights of the exhibition include a newly discovered letter written by the queen of gothic, Ann Radcliffe, one of only three known manuscripts written in her hand. Packed with literary treasures, this extensive exhibition is absolute heaven for fans of hellish terrors.

Venue Details & Map

British Library

96 Euston Road
+44 (0)20 7412 7332
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