21 June 2011

New activity here soon please stay tuned - Cyber gothic Music Junkie Library. / Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Gothic Soul † Mind & Heart
Would like to invite you to our second brand new activity here which it´s calls cyber gothic Music Junkie Library. The main idea is to build all together a library with all the profiles of our most beloved bands. So please let me know which band will u like to develop their musical history.

The bands have been chosen so far by our fans are:

GOTH FAN - Emmanuel will carrying on 
The Wake
Rosetta Stone
Children On Stun

GOTH FAN - Minnie will carrying on
Sopor Aeternus
Sister of Mercy
also we would have the pleasure to know more about Minnie´s work
cause maybe u didn´t know our dear friend is a neoclassical darkwave musician, so we really looking forward to hearing from her

GOTH FAN - Nay will carrying on
The Fields of Nephilim
Pink turn Blue
Red Lorry Yellow Lorry

New activity here soon please stay tuned

Gothic Soul † Mind & Heart
Would like to invite you to a brand new activity here which it´s call cyber gothic book club. The main idea is to talk about gothic novels and all related with it. So please following us and get involve on this af fab idea. Also by suggestion of my new friend Minnie we would thinking that the best way to start is with:
The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole

Gothic architecture / Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Gothic architecture is a style of architecture that flourished during the high and late medieval period. It evolved from Romanesque architecture and was succeeded by Renaissance architecture.
Originating in 12th century France and lasting into the 16th century, Gothic architecture was known during the period as "the French Style," (Opus Francigenum), with the term Gothic first appearing during the latter part of the Renaissance. Its characteristic features include the pointed arch, the ribbed vault and the flying buttress.
Gothic architecture is most familiar as the architecture of many of the great cathedrals, abbeys and churches of Europe. It is also the architecture of many castles, palaces, town halls, guild halls, universities and to a less prominent extent, private dwellings.
It is in the great churches and cathedrals and in a number of civic buildings that the Gothic style was expressed most powerfully, its characteristics lending themselves to appeal to the emotions. A great number of ecclesiastical buildings remain from this period, of which even the smallest are often structures of architectural distinction while many of the larger churches are considered priceless works of art and are listed with UNESCO as World Heritage Sites. For this reason a study of Gothic architecture is largely a study of cathedrals and churches.
A series of Gothic revivals began in mid-18th century England, spread through 19th-century Europe and continued, largely for ecclesiastical and university structures, into the 20th century.

The term "Gothic"

"Gothic architecture" does not imply the architecture of the historical Goths. It has a much wider application. The term originated as a pejorative description. It came to be used as early as the 1530s by Giorgio Vasari to describe culture that was considered rude and barbaric.[1] At the time in which Vasari was writing, Italy had experienced a century of building in the Classical architectural vocabulary revived in theRenaissance and seen as the finite evidence of a new Golden Age of learning and refinement.
The Renaissance had then overtaken Europe, overturning a system of culture that, prior to the advent of printing, was almost entirely focused on the Church and was perceived, in retrospect, as a period of ignorance and superstition. Hence, François Rabelais, also of the 16th century, imagines an inscription over the door of his Utopian Abbey of Thélème, "Here enter no hypocrites, bigots..." slipping in a slighting reference to "Gotz" and "Ostrogotz."
In English 17th-century usage, "Goth" was an equivalent of "vandal", a savage despoiler with a Germanic heritage, and so came to be applied to the architectural styles of northern Europe from before the revival of classical types of architecture.
According to a 19th-century correspondent in the London Journal Notes and Queries:
There can be no doubt that the term 'Gothic' as applied to pointed styles of ecclesiastical architecture was used at first contemptuously, and in derision, by those who were ambitious to imitate and revive the Grecian orders of architecture, after the revival of classical literature. Authorities such as Christopher Wren lent their aid in deprecating the old mediæval style, which they termed Gothic, as synonymous with everything that was barbarous and rude.
On 21 July 1710, the Académie d'Architecture met in Paris, and among the subjects they discussed, the assembled company noted the new fashions of bowed and cusped arches on chimneypieces being employed "to finish the top of their openings. The Company disapproved of several of these new manners, which are defective and which belong for the most part to the Gothic."

Regional -At the end of the 12th century Europe was divided into a multitude of city states and kingdoms. The area encompassing modern Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Austria, eastern France and much of northern Italy, excludingVenice, was nominally part of the Holy Roman Empire, but local rulers exercised considerable autonomy. France, Portugal, Scotland, Castile, Aragon, Navarre Sicily and Cyprus were independent kingdoms, as was England, whose Plantagenet kings ruled large domains in France.[6] Norway came under the influence of England, while the other Scandinavian countries and Poland were influenced by Germany. Angevin kings brought the Gothic tradition from France to Southern Italy, while Lusignan kings introduced French Gothic architecture to Cyprus.
Throughout Europe at this time there was a rapid growth in trade and an associated growth in towns.[7][8] Germany and the Lowlands had large flourishing towns that grew in comparative peace, in trade and competition with each other, or united for mutual weal, as in the Hanseatic League. Civic building was of great importance to these towns as a sign of wealth and pride. England and France remained largely feudal and produced grand domestic architecture for their dukes, rather than grand town halls for their burghers.


A further regional influence was the availability of materials. In France, limestone was readily available in several grades, the very fine white limestone of Caen being favoured for sculptural decoration. England had coarse limestone and red sandstone as well as dark green Purbeck marble which was often used for architectural features.
In Northern Germany, Netherlands, northern Poland, Scandinavia, and the Baltic countries local building stone was unavailable but there was a strong tradition of building in brick. The resultant style, Brick Gothic, is called "Backsteingotik" in Germany and Scandinavia and is associated with the Hanseatic League.
In Italy, stone was used for fortifications, but brick was preferred for other buildings. Because of the extensive and varied deposits of marble, many buildings were faced in marble, or were left with undecorated façade so that this might be achieved at a later date.
The availability of timber also influenced the style of architecture. It is thought that the magnificent hammer-beam roofs of England were devised as a direct response to the lack of long straight seasoned timber by the end of the Medieval period, when forests had been decimated not only for the construction of vast roofs but also for ship building

William Kent / Monday, 20 June 2011

William Kent (c. 1685 – 12 April 1748), born in Bridlington, Yorkshire, was an eminent English architect, landscape architect and furniture designer of the early 18th century.
He was baptised (on 1 January 1686) as William Cant.
Kent's career began as a sign and coach painter who was encouraged to study art, design and architecture by his employer. A group of Yorkshire gentlemen sent Kent for a period of study in Rome, he set sail on the 22nd July 1709 from Deal, Kent, arriving at Livorno on the 15th October.[2] By the 18th November he was in Florence staying there until April 1710. Finally setting off for Rome. In 1713 he was awarded the second medal in the second class for painting in the annual competition run by the Accademia di San Luca for his painting of A Miracle of S. Andrea Avellino.[3] He also met several important figures Thomas Coke, later 1st Earl of Leicester, with whom he toured Northern Italy in the summer of 1714 (a tour that led Kent to an appreciation of the architectural style of Andrea Palladio's palaces in Vicenza). Cardinal Pietro Ottoboni in Rome, for whom he apparently painted some pictures, though no records survive. During his stay in Rome, he painted the ceiling of the church of San Giuliano dei Fiamminghi (Church of St. Julian of the Flemings) with the Apotheosis of St. Julian.[4] The most significant meeting was between Kent and Richard Boyle, 3rd Earl of Burlington. Kent left Rome for the last time in the autumn of 1719, he met Lord Burlington briefly at Genoa, Kent journeying onto Paris where Lord Burlington later joined him for the final journey back to England before the end of the year. As a painter, he displaced Sir James Thornhill in decorating the new state rooms at Kensington Palace, London; for Burlington, he decorated Chiswick House and Burlington House.

Architectural works

He is better remembered as the central architect of the revived Palladian style in England.[5] Burlington gave him the task of editing The Designs of Inigo Jones... with some additional designs in the Palladian/Jonesian taste by Burlington and Kent, which appeared in 1727. As he rose through the royal architectural establishment, the Board of Works, Kent applied this style to several public buildings in London, for which Burlington's patronage secured him the commissions: the Royal Mews at Charing Cross(1731–33, demolished in 1830), the Treasury buildings in Whitehall (1733–37), the Horse Guards building in Whitehall, (designed shortly before his death and built 1750–1759). These neo-antique buildings were inspired as much by the architecture of Raphaeland Giulio Romano as by Palladio.
In country house building, major commissions for Kent were designing the interiors of Houghton Hall (c.1725–35), recently built by Colen Campbell for Sir Robert Walpole, but at Holkham Hall the most complete embodiment of Palladian ideals is still to be found; there Kent collaborated with Thomas Coke, the other "architect earl", and had for an assistant Matthew Brettingham, whose own architecture would carry Palladian ideals into the next generation. A theatrically Baroque staircase and parade rooms in London, at 44 Berkeley Square, are also notable. Kent's domed pavilions were erected at Badminton House and at Euston Hall.
Kent could provide sympathetic Gothic designs, free of serious antiquarian tendencies, when the context called; he worked on the Gothic screens in Westminster Hall and Gloucester Cathedral.

Landscape architect
As a landscape designer, Kent was one of the originators of the English landscape garden, a style of 'natural' gardening that revolutionised the laying out of gardens and estates. His projects included Chiswick House, Stowe, Buckinghamshire, from about 1730 onwards, designs for Alexander Pope's villa garden at Twickenham, for Queen Caroline at Richmond and notably at Rousham House, Oxfordshire, where he created a sequence of Arcadian set-pieces punctuated with temples, cascades, grottoes, Palladian bridges and exedra, opening the field for the larger scale achievements of Capability Brown in the following generation. Smaller Kent works can be found at Shotover House, Oxfordshire, including a faux Gothic eyecatcher and a domed pavilion. His all-but-lost gardens at Claremont, Surrey, have recently been restored. It is often said that he was not above planting dead trees to create the mood he required.
Kent's only real downfall was said to be his lack of horticultural knowledge and technical skill (which people like Charles Bridgeman possessed - whose impact on Kent is often underestimated), but his naturalistic style of design was his major contribution to the history of landscape design. Claremont, Stowe, and Rousham are places where their joint efforts can be viewed. Stowe and Rousham are Kent's most famous works. At the latter, Kent elaborated on Bridgeman's 1720s design for the property, adding walls and arches to catch the viewer's eye. At Stowe, Kent used his Italian experience, particularly with the Palladian Bridge. At both sites Kent incorporated his naturalistic approach.

Furniture designer
His stately furniture designs complemented his interiors: he designed furnishings for Hampton Court Palace (1732), Lord Burlington's Chiswick House (1729), London, Thomas Coke's Holkham Hall, Norfolk, Robert Walpole's pile at Houghton, for Devonshire House in London, and at Rousham. The royal barge he designed for Frederick, Prince of Wales can still be seen at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.
In his own age, Kent's fame and popularity were so great that he was employed to give designs for all things, even for ladies' birthday dresses, of which he could know nothing and which he decorated with the five classical orders of architecture. These and other absurdities drew upon him the satire of William Hogarth who, in October 1725, produced a Burlesque on Kent's Altarpiece at St. Clement Danes.

Walpole tribute
According to Horace Walpole, Kent "was a painter, an architect, and the father of modern gardening. In the first character he was below mediocrity; in the second, he was a restorer of the science; in the last, an original, and the inventor of an art that realizes painting and improves nature. Mahomet imagined an elysium, Kent created many."

List of works
Domestic work
  • Wanstead House, (designed by Colen Campbell) interior decoration (1721–24)
  • Burlington House, London interior decoration (c.1727)
  • Chiswick House, London, interiors and furniture (c.1726-29)
  • Houghton Hall, interiors and furniture (c.1726-31) & stables (c.1733-5)
  • Ditchley, Oxfordshire, (designed by James Gibbs) interiors (c.1726)
  • Sherborne House, Gloucestershire, furniture designs (1728)
  • Stowe House, interiors and garden buildings (c.1730 to 1748)
  • Alexander Pope's Villa, designs for garden buildings (c.1730) demolished
  • Richmond Gardens, garden buildings 1730-35, demolished
  • Stanwick Park (ascribed), remodelled and interiors (c.1730-40)
  • Raynham Hall, interiors and furniture (c.1731)
  • Kew House, (1731-5) demolished 1802
  • Esher Place, the wings (c.1733) demolished
  • Shotover House, Obelisk, Octagonal & Gothic temples, (1733)
  • Holkham Hall, with Earl of Burlington & Earl of Leicester executed by Matthew Brettingham (1734–1765)
  • Devonshire House including furniture, (1734-5), demolished 1924-5
  • Easton Neston, designed fireplaces (1735)
  • Aske Hall (ascribed), Gothic temple, (1735)
  • Claremont Garden, garden buildings, (1738), only the domed temple on the island in the lake survives
  • Rousham House, addition of wings and landscaping of the gardens & garden buildings (1738–41)
  • Badminton House, remodelling of the north front & Worcester Lodge, (c.1740)
  • 22 Arlington Street, London, (1741–50), completed after Kent's death by Stephen Wright
  • 44 Berkeley Square, London, (1742-4)
  • 16 St. James Place, London early (1740s) demolished 1899-1900
  • Oatlands Palace, garden building (c.1745), demolished
  • Euston Hall, Suffolk (1746)
  • Wakefield Lodge, Northamptonshire (c.1748-50)

The Castle of Otranto / Sunday, 19 June 2011

The Castle of Otranto is a 1764 novel by Horace Walpole. It is generally regarded as the first gothic novel, initiating a literary genre which would become extremely popular in the later 18th century and early 19th century. Thus, Castle, and Walpole by extension is arguably the forerunner to such authors as Charles Robert Maturin, Ann Radcliffe, Bram Stoker, Edgar Allan Poe and Daphne du Maurier.


The initial 1764 edition was titled in full The Castle of Otranto, A Story. Translated by William Marshal, Gent. From the Original Italian of Onuphrio Muralto, Canon of the Church of St. Nicholas at Otranto. This first edition purported to be a translation based on a manuscript printed at Naples in 1529 and recently rediscovered in the library of "an ancient Catholic family in the north of England". This "ancient Catholic family" is possibly the Percy family, as Walpole would have known the Duke of Northumberland and his wife Elizabeth Percy, though this is not proven. The Italian manuscript's story, it was claimed, derived from a story still older, dating back perhaps as far as the Crusades. This Italian manuscript, along with alleged author "Onuphrio Muralto", were Walpole's fictional creations, and "William Marshal" his pseudonym.
In the second and subsequent editions, Walpole acknowledges authorship of his work, writing: "The favourable manner in which this little piece has been received by the public, calls upon the author to explain the grounds on which he composed it" as "an attempt to blend the two kinds of romance, the ancient and the modern. In the former all was imagination and improbability: in the latter, nature is always intended to be, and sometimes has been, copied with success..." There was some debate at the time about the function of literature, that is, whether or not works of fiction should be representative of life, or more purely imaginative (i.e. natural vs. romantic). The first edition was well received by some reviewers who understood the novel as belonging to medieval fiction, "between 1095, the era of the first crusade, and 1243, the date of the last," as the first preface states; and some referred to Walpole as an "ingenious translator." Following Walpole's admission of authorship, however, many critics were loath to lavish much praise on the work and dismissed it as absurd, fluffy, romantic fiction.
In his 1924 edition of The Castle of Otranto Montague Summers showed that the life story of Manfred of Sicily inspired some details of the plot. The real medieval castle of Otranto was among Manfred's possessions.

Plot summary

The Castle of Otranto tells the story of Manfred, lord of the castle, and his family. The book begins on the wedding-day of his sickly son Conrad and princess Isabella. Shortly before the wedding, however, Conrad is crushed to death by a gigantic helmet that falls on him from above. This inexplicable event is particularly ominous in light of an ancient prophecy "That the castle and lordship of Otranto should pass from the present family, whenever the real owner should be grown too large to inhabit it." Manfred, terrified that Conrad's death signals the beginning of the end for his line, resolves to avert destruction by marrying Isabella himself while divorcing his current wife Hippolita, who he feels has failed to bear him a proper heir. However, as Manfred attempts to marry Isabella, she escapes to a church with the aid of a peasant named Theodore where Manfred cannot touch her. Manfred orders Theodore's death while talking to the Friar Jerome, who ensured Isabella's safety in the church. When Theodore removes his shirt to be killed, Jerome recognizes a marking below his shoulder and identifies Theodore as his own son. Jerome begs for his son's life, but Manfred says that Jerome must either give up the princess or his son's life. They are interrupted by a trumpet and the entrance of knights from another kingdom who want to deliver Isabella. This leads the knights and Manfred to race to find Isabella first. Theodore, having been locked in a tower by Manfred, is freed by Manfred's daughter Matilda. He races to the underground church and finds Isabella. He hides her in a cave and blocks it to protect her from Manfred and ends up fighting one of the mysterious knights. Theodore badly wounds the knight, who turns out to be Isabella's father, Frederic. With that, they all go up to the castle to work things out. Frederic falls in love with Matilda and he and Manfred begin to make a deal about marrying each other's daughters. Manfred, suspecting that Isabella is meeting Theodore in a tryst in the church, takes a knife into the church, where in fact, Matilda is meeting Theodore. Thinking his own daughter is Isabella, he stabs her. Theodore is then revealed to be the true prince of Otranto and Matilda dies, leaving Manfred to repent. Theodore becomes king and eventually marries Isabella because she is the only one who can understand his true sorrow.

List of Characters:

Manfred: Manfred is the lord of the Castle of Otranto. He is the father of Conrad and Matilda and the husband of Hippolita. After his son is killed by the falling helmet, he becomes obsessed with the idea of ending his marriage with Hippolita in pursuit of the much younger Isabella, who was supposed to marry his son. Manfred serves as the prime antagonist of the novel; he is the dictatorial ruler and father that drives the plot forward in a depiction of deranged cruelty visited upon his children. [1]
Hippolita: Hippolita is the wife of Manfred and the mother of Conrad and Matilda. After having lost her son, she is left with just Matilda to combat the tyrannical turn of mind that her husband displays. Manfred intends to divorce her due to her sterility and on the grounds that their marriage is in fact false because they are actually related. Faced with the threat of divorce, Hippolita is mournful yet submissive to the wills of her husband. She acts as a sort of enabler to her husband, putting aside her morals and happiness so that her husband can get what he wants.
Conrad: Conrad is the fifteen year old son of Manfred and Hippolita and the younger brother of Matilda. In the first pages of the novel, he is crushed by a giant helmet on his way to his wedding with Isabella.
Matilda: Matilda is the daughter of Hippolita and the oppressive Manfred. She falls in love with Theodore, much to her chagrin since it is a love unsanctioned by her parents. Upon the appearance of Frederic, things become even more complicated as Frederic lusts after Matilda. She serves as the forbidden woman, a facet of gothic literature [2]. Frederic and Manfred make plans to swap their daughters in marriage, crushing Matilda’s hope of being with Theodore. At the end of the novel, she is accidentally stabbed by her father.
Isabella: Isabella is the daughter of Frederic and the fiancée of Conrad (at the beginning of the novel). After the death of Conrad, she makes it clear that although she did not love Conrad, she would have far preferred being betrothed to him rather than his father, who pursues her throughout the novel. Isabella and Matilda have a brief argument concerning the fact they both have feelings for Theodore. After the death of Matilda, Theodore settles for Isabella and the two become the lord and lady of the castle.
Theodore: At the beginning of the novel, Theodore appears to be a mere minor character, whose role is purely to point out the significance of the helmet as a link to the fulfillment of the prophecy. However, he emerges as a main character after Manfred orders him to be imprisoned within the helmet for his insolence and he escapes, only to help Isabella escape from the castle through a trapdoor. He is revealed later in the novel to be lost son of Friar Jerome. Theodore proceeds to protect Isabella from the wanton lust of Manfred. He captures the hearts of both Isabella and Matilda, but settles for Isabella after Matilda’s death. He also later goes on to rule the Castle of Otranto.
Friar Jerome: He is the Friar at the monastery near the Castle of Otranto. Manfred attempts to manipulate him into both supporting his plan to divorce his wife and persuading his wife to go along with this plan. It is later discovered that he is Theodore’s father.
Frederic: Frederic is the long-lost father of Isabella who appears late into the novel. He opposes Manfred at first, until he settles on a deal to marry Matilda.
Bianca: Bianca is the servant of Matilda and serves as the comic relief of the otherwise highly melodramatic novel.
Diego and Jaquez: These two, like Bianca, are other servants within the Castle of Otranto.

Literary Elements

In the preface of the second edition, Walpole creates a heuristic for reading Castle which irrevocably changes the way readers are to view the novel until its end. He claims to blend the new and old styles of romance. The "old" romance is what we would consider pre-novel prose--a main tenet of such writings is their fantastic nature. There is magic, the supernatural abounds and they are wholly unbelieveable. The style of the "new" romance is what the novels of the 18th century, when Walpole was writing, would generally have looked like. These novels were realistic, they purported to depict events and people as they truly were.
Walpole then, by attempting to blend these two genres, creates something new--something truly "novel." He creates fantastic situations (helmets falling from the sky, walking portraits, etc.) and places supposedly real people into these situations and allows them to act in a "real" manner. In doing so, he effectively allows fiction to evolve in ways that it would otherwise have not been able to. However, readers then may question to what extent did Walpole succeeds in his attempt. Do readers view these characters' reactions as truly realistic, or do they merely seem so because of the heuristic that we are given at the outset of the novel?
An additional note, Walpole in Castle introduces many set-pieces that the Gothic novel will become famous for. These includes mysterious sounds, doors opening independently of a person, and the fleeing of a beautiful heroine from an incestuous male figure.

The Castle of Otranto and Shakespeare
The first and most obvious connection to William Shakespeare is presented by Horace Walpole himself, in the preface to the second edition of Otranto, in which he “praises Shakespeare as a truly original genius and the exemplar of imaginative liberty, as a part of a defense of Otranto’s design.” [3] Outside of the preface, Walpole uses several allusions to works by Shakespeare as further emphasis of the connection he wishes to be found between his own work and that of Shakespeare. For example, in Hamlet, “Hamlet’s encounter with the Ghost becomes for Walpole a template for terror.” [4]
Walpole presents a “more fragmented recasting” of The Ghost in Hamlet, which had served as a representation of the “now unsanctioned, but still popular, Catholic view of ghosts as speakers of truth” for Shakespeare .[5] The Catholic elements at play within both Hamlet and Otranto are both invoked to represent a further sense of wonder and mystery to the Protestant audience of both works. The Catholic element was a necessary facet of the “template of terror” that Walpole meant to invoke. The allusion to Hamlet’s experience with the Ghost is meant not only as a “template of terror” but also serves to make the reader invoke the feeling of watching the play itself and he does so on three separate occasions. First, Walpole poses Manfred’s encounter with the animated portrait of Ricardo as a connection to the Ghost’s initial appearance to Hamlet. Second, when Friar Jerome informs Theodore of the dangers to be found in Otranto and he calls for him to take out his revenge correspond to the Ghost’s demand to Hamlet to “Remember me.” Third, Frederic’s encounter with the skeletal apparition parallels the final appearance of the Ghost in Hamlet. [6].
The violent question of bloodlines and succession is one that serves as a key element in many of Shakespeare’s plays, spanning from Hamlet to Richard II (play) and Macbeth and it is one that is clearly one of the major concerns of Otranto. The link toHamlet is strengthened even more because of the matter of incest that is also at play in Otranto. “In Otranto, the castle and its labyrinths become grounds for incest that signal the dissolution of familial bonds,” [7] which is also a major point of issue inHamlet since Hamlet’s mother (Gertrude) and his uncle (Claudius) were, in a way, related before their marriage. Both Hamlet and Otranto are literary springboards for discussion on the questions of marriage, as the question of Henry VIII of Englandannulment of his marriage and later marriage to Anne Boleyn were still heated topics of controversy. Henry VIII of England had both married his brother’s wife Catherine of Aragon and later dissolved that marriage due to Catherine’s inability to produce a male heir that lived to adulthood. Similarly, ‘’Otranto’’ revolves around “a larger sexual contest to secure lineage.” [8] Henry VIII dissolved the marriage on grounds that the marriage between Catherine of Aragon and his older brother, Arthur, Prince of Wales, had been consummated. Both Hamlet and ‘’Otranto’’ show echoes of this story as major elements within the framework of each literary structure.
The final connection from Otranto to Shakespeare lies in the role that the servants play. Like Shakespeare, Walpole aims to create a “mixture of comedy and tragedy” [9] and one of the ways he does so is by using the minor, servant characters (such as Bianca) as comic relief. This is a trope that Walpole takes from Shakespeare. For example, Shakespeare’s mechanical (character) from A Midsummer Night’s Dream also serve as the key comic element.

Horace Walpole / Sunday, 19 June 2011

Horatio Walpole, 4th Earl of Orford (24 September 1717 – 2 March 1797), was an English art historian, man of letters, antiquarian and politician. He is now largely remembered for Strawberry Hill, the home he built in Twickenham, south-west London where he revived the Gothic style some decades before his Victorian successors, and for his Gothic novel, The Castle of Otranto. Along with the book, his literary reputation rests on his Letters, which are of significant social and political interest. He was the son of Sir Robert Walpole, and cousin[1] of the 1st Viscount Nelson.

Early life

Walpole was born in London, the youngest son of British Prime Minister Robert Walpole. Like his father, he was educated at Eton College and King's College, Cambridge.[2] After university, Walpole went on theGrand Tour with the poet Thomas Gray, but they did not get on well.[citation needed] During his time in France, he bonded with the society hostess Madame du Deffand, but there is no evidence of a sexual relationship between the two.


Walpole returned to England in 1741, entering Parliament, becoming Member of Parliament for Callington, Cornwall. He remained an MP after the death of his father in 1745 and this would last until 1768. He was never politically ambitious, although he was involved in the John Byng case of 1757.[3]
His lasting architectural creation is Strawberry Hill, the home he built in Twickenham, south-west London, in which he revived the Gothic style many decades before his Victorian successors. This fanciful neo-Gothic concoction began a new architectural trend.[4] His father was created Earl of Orford in 1742. Horace's elder brother, the 2nd Earl of Orford (c.1701–1751), passed the title on to his son, the 3rd Earl of Orford (1730–1791). When the 3rd Earl died unmarried, Horace Walpole became the 4th Earl of Orford, and the title died with him in 1797.
In 1769, the forger Thomas Chatterton sent Rowley's History of England, allegedly by Rowley, to Walpole, who was briefly taken in. When Chatterton killed himself in 1770, Walpole was accused of having provoked the suicide.

Following his father's politics, he was a devotee of King George II and Queen Caroline, siding with them against their son, Frederick, Prince of Wales, about whom Walpole wrote spitefully in his memoirs. Walpole was a frequent visitor to Boyle Farm, Thames Ditton, to meet both the Boyle-Walsinghams and Lord Hertford.
Strawberry Hill had its own printing press which supported Horace Walpole's intensive literary activity.[6]
In 1764, not using his own press, he anonymously published his Gothic novel, The Castle of Otranto, claiming on its title page that it was a translation "from the Original Italian of Onuphirio Muralto". The second edition's preface, according to James Watt, "has often been regarded as a manifesto for the modern Gothic romance, stating that his work, now subtitled 'A Gothic Story', sought to restore the qualities of imagination and invention to contemporary fiction".[7] However, there is a playfulness in the prefaces to both editions and in the narration within the text itself. The novel opens with the son of Manfred (the Prince of Otranto) being crushed under a massive helmet that appears as a result of supernatural causes. However, that moment, along with the rest of the unfolding plot, includes a mixture of both ridiculous and sublime supernatural elements. The plot finally reveals how Manfred's family is tainted in a way that served as a model for successive Gothic plots.[8]
From 1762 on, Walpole published his Anecdotes of Painting in England, based on George Vertue's manuscript notes. His memoirs of the Georgian social and political scene, though heavily biased, are a useful primary source for historians.

Portrait of George Montagu by John Giles Eccardt after Jean-Baptiste van Loo (c. 1713-1780)
Peterborough Museum and Art Gallery
A close friend and correspondent of Horace Walpole
Walpole's numerous letters are similarly useful as a historical resource. In one, dating from 28 January 1754, he coined the word serendipity which he said was derived from a "silly fairy tale" he had read, The Three Princes of Serendip. The oft-quoted epigram, "This world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel," is from a letter of Walpole's to Anne, Countess of Ossory, on 16 August 1776. The original, fuller version appeared in a letter to Sir Horace Mann on 31 December 1769: "I have often said, and oftener think, that this world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel – a solution of why Democritus laughed and Heraclitus wept."
In Historic Doubts on the Life and Reign of King Richard III (1768), Walpole defended Richard III against the common belief that he murdered the Princes in the Tower. In this he has been followed by other writers, such as Josephine Tey and Valerie Anand. This work, according to Emile Legouis, shows that Walpole was "capable of critical initiative".[3]
Major Works
  • Some Anecdotes of Painting in England (1762)
  • The Castle of Otranto (1764)
  • The Mysterious Mother (1768)
  • Historic Doubts on the Life and Reign of Richard III (1768)
  • On Modern Gardening (1780)
  • A Description of the Villa of Mr. Horace Walpole (1784)
  • Hieroglyphic Tales (1785)
Personal life

Walpole's sexual orientation has been the subject of speculation. He never married, engaging in a succession of unconsummated flirtations with unmarriageable women, and counted among his close friends a number of women such as Anne Seymour Damer and Mary Berry named by a number of sources as lesbian.[9] Many contemporaries described him as effeminate (one political opponent called him "a hermaphrodite horse").[10]Some previous biographers such as Lewis, Fothergill, and Robert Wyndham Ketton-Cremer, however, have interpreted Walpole as asexual.[11]
Walpole died in 1797, after which his title became extinct. The massive amount of correspondence he left behind had been published in many volumes, starting in 1798. Likewise, a large collection of his works, including historical writings, was published immediately after his death.[3]

NPG 6520, Horatio ('Horace') Walpole, 4th Earl of Orford

by Sir Joshua Reynolds,painting,circa 1756-1757 © National Portrait Gallery, London

Strawberry Hill, London / Sunday, 19 June 2011

Strawberry Hill is an affluent area of the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames in Twickenham. It is a suburban development situated 10.4 miles (16.7 km) west south-west of Charing Cross. It consists of a number of residential roads centered around a small development of shops and serviced by Strawberry Hill railway station. The area's ACORN demographic type is characterized as well-off professionals, larger houses, and converted flats. St Mary's University College, Twickenham, the country's oldest Roman Catholic College is situated on Waldegrave Road. Its sports grounds are to be used as a training site for the 2012 Olympics.
Strawberry Hill is also the name of the 18th century Georgian Gothic house designed by author Horace Walpole. The house is now open to the public as a museum.

Strawberry Hill House

A list of important dates in Horace Walpole’s life surrounding Strawberry Hill[1]
  • 1739 – Sets off, with Thomas Gray on the Grand tour. Visits France and Italy. Meets John Chute in Florence
  • 1745 – Father dies, leaving Horace his fortune and a house on Arlington Street
  • 1747 - Finds and leases Strawberry Hill
  • 1749 – Purchases Strawberry Hill
  • 1750 – Forms the “Committee on Taste” with John Chute and Richard Bentley to start planning the Gothic development of Strawberry Hill
  • 1757 – Sets up Strawberry Hill Press
  • 1765- The Castle of Otranto is published
  • 1774 – Prints A Description of the Villa of Mr. Horace Walpole
  • 1784 – Prints A Description of the Villa of Mr. Horace Walpole again with new additions and illustrations

Purchase and Planning
The nineteenth-century development is named after "Strawberry Hill", the fancifully "Gothic" villa of Horace Walpole, an existing building which he purchased in 1748 and rebuilt in stages to his own specifications, giving it a Gothic style and expanding the little property from 5 acres (20,000 m2) to forty-six over the years. As Rosemary Hill notes, "Strawberry Hill was the first house without any existing medieval fabric to be [re]built from scratch in the Gothic style and the first to be based on actual historic examples, rather than an extrapolation of the Gothic vocabulary first developed by William Kent. As such it has a claim to be the starting point of the Gothic Revival."[2]
Walpole took a lease on the house from a Mrs. Chenevix in May 1747, purchasing the whole property soon after. It began as a small 17th century house “little more than a cottage”, with only five acres of land. The original owner, a coachman, named the house “Chopped Straw Hall.” This was intolerable to Walpole, “his residence ought, he thought, to posses some distinctive appellation; of a very different character…” Finding an old lease that described his land as “Strawberry Hill Shot,” Walpole adopted this new name for his soon to be “elegant villa[3][4]
Walpole and two friends, including the connoisseur and amateur architect, John Chute (1701–1776), and draftsman and designer, Richard Bentley (1708–1782), called themselves a “Committee of Taste” or “Strawberry Committee” [5]which would modify the architecture of the building. Bentley left the group abruptly after an argument in 1761. Chute had an “eclectic but rather dry style” and was in charge of designing most of the exterior of the house and some of the interior. To Walpole, he was an “oracle of taste.” Walpole often disagreed with Bentley on some of his wayward schemes, but admired his talent for illustration. [3]
William Robinson of the Royal Office of Works contributed professional experience in overseeing construction. They looked at many examples of architecture in England and in other countries, adapting such works as the chapel at Westminster Abbey built by Henry VII for inspiration for the fan vaulting of the gallery, without any pretense at scholarship. Chimney-pieces were improvised from engravings of tombs at Westminster and Canterbury and Gothic stone fretwork blind details were reproduced by painted wallpapers, while in the Round Tower added in 1771, the chimney-piece was based on the tomb of Edward the Confessor "improved by Mr. Adam".

He incorporated many of the exterior details of cathedrals into the interior of the house. Externally there seemed to be two predominant styles ‘mixed’; a style based on castles with turrets and battlements, and a style based on Gothic cathedrals with arched windows and stained glass.
The building evolved similarly to how a medieval cathedral often evolved over time, with no fixed plan from the beginning. Indeed, Michael Snodin argues, “the most striking external feature of Strawberry Hill was its irregular plan and broken picturesque silhouette.” [3] Walpole added new features over a thirty-year period, as he saw fit.
The first stage to make, in Walpole's words, a ‘little Gothic castle’ began in 1749 and was complete by 1753, a second stage began in 1760, and there were other modifications such as work on the great north bedchamber in 1772, and the "Beauclerk Tower" of the third phase of alterations, completed to designs of a professional architect, James Essex, in 1776. The total cost came to about £20,720. [3]

 Hunters Lodge, a house in the Strawberry Hill Gothic style in North London, built circa 1800
Walpole's 'little Gothic castle' has significance as one of the most influential individual buildings of such Rococo "Gothick" architecture which prefixed the later developments of the nineteenth century Gothic revival, and for increasing the use of Gothic designs for houses. This style has variously been described as Georgian Gothic, Strawberry Hill Gothic, Georgian Rococo, or Gothick

Interior and Collection
Walpole’s eccentric and unique style on the inside rooms of Strawberry Hill complimented the Gothic exterior. The house is described by Walpole as “the scene that inspired, the author of The Castle of Otranto.” Though Michael Snodin observes: “it is an interesting comment on 18th-century sensibility that the melancholy interiors of The Castle of Otranto were suggested by the light, elegant, even whimsical rooms at Strawberry Hill.” [3]
The interiors of Walpole’s “little play-thing house” were intended to be “settings of Gothic ‘gloomth’ for Walpole’s collection.” His collection of curious, singular, antiquarian objects was well publicized; Walpole himself published two editions of A Description of the Villa of Mr. Horace Walpole at Strawberry Hill to make the “world aware of the extent of his collection.” [3]
Speaking on Walpole’s collection, Clive Wainwright states that Walpole’s collection “constituted an essential part of the interiors of his house.” The character of the rooms at Strawberry Hill was “created and dictated” by Walpole’s taste for antiquarianism. Though even without the collection present, the house “retains a fairy-tale quality.” [3]
Horace Walpole’s Strawberry Hill Collection of several thousand items can still be viewed today. The Lewis Walpole Library of Yale University now has a database which “encompasses the entire range of art and artifacts from Walpole's collections, including all items whose location is currently known and those as yet untraced but known through a variety of historical records.” [6]
Walpole was as meticulous in designing and developing his gardens as he was improving his house, though “his ignorance of horticulture at first embarrassed him a little.” [4]Improvements on the grounds were started even before work on the house. In an essay titled “On Modern Gardening,” Walpole expresses his own ideas as reflected in his Strawberry Hill grounds. Walpole’s taste in landscape and gardening moved away from the traditional, formal layout of “parterre, terraces, marble urns, statued fountains and ‘canals measured by the line’.” The French or Italian taste seemed, to Walpole, alien to the English climate “resulting in symmetrical and unnatural gardens.” Trees and shrubs were planted in “natural groupings” on the lawn. Walpole preferred to see all nature as a garden. He did not however appreciate the extravagant “romantic grotto and that favorite eighteenth-century conceit, the hermitage.” [7]
From “On Modern Gardening:” “The fairest scenes, that depend on themselves alone, weary when often seen. The Doric portico, the Palladian bridge, the Gothic ruin, the Chinese pagoda, that surprise the stranger, soon lose their charms to their surfeited master. But the ornament whose merit soonest fades, is the hermitage, or scene adapted to contemplation. It is almost comic to set aside a quarter of one’s garden to be melancholy in.” [8] Here, Walpole’s separation of style between his house and grounds can be seen. A friend, Horace Mann, assumed that Walpole’s garden would be similarly Gothic. Walpole responded “Gothic is merely architecture, and as one has a satisfaction in imprinting the gloomth of abbeys and cathedrals on one’s house, so one’s garden, on the contrary, is to be nothing but riant, and the gaiety of nature.” [9]
Walpole saw the modern English garden as a point of perfection: “We have given the true model of gardening to the world; let other countries mimic or corrupt our taste; but let it reign here on its verdant throne, original by its elegant simplicity, and proud of no other art than that of softening nature’s harshness and copying her graceful touch.” He was a follower of William Kent, one of the originators of the English landscape garden. [10] [11]
[edit]Shell Bench
One particular attraction of Walpole’s gardens was a garden seat carved to resemble a large Rococo style sea shell. “This shell was one of Mr. Walpole’s favorite inventions – for Strawberry Hill was crammed with inventions and contrivances. It was a seat in the form of a huge bivalve of a species not easily recognized, which generally elicited a vast amount of wonder and admiration from his visitors.” This bench, a rustic cottage, and a chapel in the woods were not follies like a ruin or hermitage, but including these items in his otherwise natural gardens shows Walpole’s charmingly eccentric taste. [12]
Though only drawings of the original bench survive, “the garden is as far as possible being restored to its original appearance. Walpole's extraordinary Shell Bench has been recreated” according to the Strawberry Hill website. [13]
Even in Walpole’s lifetime, Strawberry Hill drew many visitors to admire the architecture, grounds, and Walpole’s carefully cultivated collection. According to Elliot Warburton, “Strawberry Hill in its new form soon became the marvel of the neighborhood – a little later became the town talk – in a short time a theme of frequent comment even in distant parts of the country.” “The highest personages of the realm” including the royal family came to visit Strawberry hill, as well as more common sightseers. These visitors became an incessant addition to Strawberry Hill, and as delighted as Walpole was to share his vision, they became a bit of a nuisance to him. While Walpole gave tours to the more important visitors, he shrank from less dignified attention and “retreated to his cottage in the flower garden” while his housekeeper gave tours to the public. [14]
In a letter to Horace Mann in 1763, Walpole complained: “I have but a minute’s time in answering your letter, my house is full of people, and has been so from the instant I breakfasted, and more are coming; in short, I keep an inn; the sign ‘The Gothic Castle’…my whole time is passed in giving tickets for seeing it, and hiding myself when it is seen. Take my advice, never build a charming house for yourself between London and Hampton-court: everybody will live in it but you.” Warburton notes that while Walpole may have been annoyed from time to time, he also came to see his estate contributing to the public’s enjoyment when he had doubts about his endeavor. “He arrives at the conclusion that all he has done is for the benefit of others rather than for himself.” [15][16]
[edit]Recent News
In 2004, Strawberry Hill featured in the BBC/Endemol TV series Restoration, presented by Griff Rhys Jones, Ptolemy Dean and Marianne Suhr, produced and directed by Paul Coueslant.
The collection Horace Walpole's Strawberry Hill was featured at the Victoria & Albert Museum from March to July of 2010 to prepare for the reopening of Strawberry Hill that October. Curator of the exhibition Michael Snodin sees Walpole as an influential figure in both collection and architecture: “he created a form of thematised historical display which prefigured modern ¬museums. And Strawberry Hill was the most influential building of the early Gothic revival.” [17]
After a £9 million, two-year long restoration, Strawberry Hill House re-opened to the public on Saturday 2 October 2010. Included in the price of an £8.00 ticket is an abridged version of Walpole’s own Description of Strawberry Hill, the original guidebook to the house.” [18]

First Gothic romances / Friday, 17 June 2011

This literary genre found its most natural settings in the very tall buildings of the Gothic style — often spelled "Gothick", to highlight their "medievalness" - castles, mansions, and monasteries, often remote, crumbling, and ruined. It was a fascination with this architecture and its related art, poetry (such as graveyard poets), and even landscape gardening that inspired the first wave of Gothic novelists. For example,Horace Walpole, whose The Castle of Otranto (1764) is often regarded as the first true Gothic romance, was obsessed with medieval Gothic architecture, and built his own house, Strawberry Hill, in that form, sparking a fashion for Gothic revival (Punter, 2004; 177).
His declared aim was to combine elements of the medieval romance, which he deemed too fanciful, and the modern novel, which he considered to be too confined to strict realism (Punter, 2004; 178). The basic plot created many other Gothic staples, including a threatening mystery and an ancestral curse, as well as countless trappings such as hidden passages and oft-fainting heroines. The first edition was published disguised as an actual medieval romance from Italy discovered and republished by a fictitious translator. When Walpole admitted to his authorship in the second edition, its originally favourable reception by literary reviewers changed into rejection. The romance, usually held in contempt by the educated as a tawdry and debased kind of writing, had only recently been made respectable by the works of Richardson and Fielding (Fuchs, 2004; 106). A romance with superstitious elements, and moreover void of didactical intention, was considered a setback and not acceptable as a modern production. Walpole's forgery, together with the blend of history and fiction that was contravening the principles of the Enlightenment, brought about the Gothic novel's association with fake documentation.
Clara Reeve, best known for her work The Old English Baron (1778), set out to take Walpole's plot and adapt it to the demands of the time by balancing fantastic elements with 18th century realism. The question now arose whether supernatural events that were not as evidently absurd as Walpole's would not lead the simpler minds to believe them possible. It was Ann Radcliffe's technique of the explained supernatural, in which every seemingly supernatural intrusion is eventually traced back to natural causes, and the impeccable conduct of her heroines that finally met with the approval of the reviewers. Radcliffe made the Gothic novel socially acceptable, ironically followed by an abrupt degradation of its renown. Her success attracted many imitators, mostly of low quality, which soon led to a general perception of the genre as inferior, formulaic, and stereotypical. Among other elements, Ann Radcliffe introduced the brooding figure of the Gothic villain, which developed into the Byronic hero. Radcliffe's novels, above all The Mysteries of Udolpho(1794), were best-sellers, although along with all novels they were looked down upon by well-educated people as sensationalist women's entertainment (despite some men's enjoyment of them).

"The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid. I have read all Mrs. Radcliffe's works, and most of them with great pleasure. The Mysteries of Udolpho, when I had once begun it, I could not lay down again; I remember finishing it in two days – my hair standing on end the whole time." [said Henry]
"I am very glad to hear it indeed, and now I shall never be ashamed of liking Udolpho myself. " [replied Catherine]
— Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey (written 1798)
Radcliffe also provided an aesthetic for the genre in an influential article "On the Supernatural in Poetry" in The New Monthly Magazine 7, 1826, pp 145–52, examining the distinction and correlation between horror and terror in Gothic fiction (Wright 2007: 35-56).

Archetypes in the Gothic Novel / Friday, 17 June 2011

Similarities exist between different books of every genre, but perhaps that similarity is most closely connected in Gothic Fiction. Each character in almost every book of the genre can be classified into one archetype or another. As David De Vore states, “The Gothic hero becomes a sort of archetype as we find that there is a pattern to their characterization. There is always the protagonist, usually isolated either voluntarily or involuntarily. Then there is the villain, who is the epitome of evil, either by his (usually a man) own fall from grace, or by some implicit malevolence. The Wanderer, found in many Gothic tales, is the epitome of isolation as he wanders the earth in perpetual exile, usually a form of divine punishment.”[1] Below are classified different stock characters of the Gothic Novel along with examples from popular fiction in the genre.
  • Virginal Maiden – young, beautiful, pure, innocent, kind, virtuous. Shows these virtues by fainting and crying whenever her delicate sensibilities are challenged, usually starts out with a mysterious past and it is later revealed that she is the daughter of an aristocratic or noble family.
    • Matilda in The Castle of Otranto – She is determined to give up Theodore, the love of her life, for her cousin’s sake. Matilda always puts others first before herself, and always believes the best in others.
    • Adeline in The Romance of the Forest - “Her wicked Marquis, having secretly immured Number One (his first wife), has now a new and beautiful wife, whose character, alas! Does not bear inspection.”[2] As this review states, the virginal maiden character is above inspection because her personality is flawless. Hers is a virtuous character whose piety and unflinching optimism causes all to fall in love with her.
  • Older, Foolish Woman
    • Hippolita in The Castle Of Otranto - Hippolita is depicted as the obedient wife of her tyrant husband who “would not only acquiesce with patience to divorce, but would obey, if it was his pleasure, in endeavouring to persuade Isabelle to give him her hand”.[3] This shows how weak women are portrayed as they are completely submissive, and in Hippolita’s case, even support polygamy at the expense of her own marriage.[4]
    • Madame LaMotte in The Romance of the Forest – naively assumes that her husband is having an affair with Adeline. Instead of addressing the situation directly, she foolishly lets her ignorance turn into pettiness and mistreatment of Adeline.
  • Hero
    • Theodore in The Castle of Otranto – he is witty, and successfully challenges the tyrant, saves the virginal maid without expectations
    • Theodore in The Romance of the Forest – saves Matilda multiple times, is virtuous, courageous and brave, self-sacrificial
  • Tyrant
    • Manfred in The Castle of Otranto – unjustly accuses Theodore of murdering Conrad. Tries to put his blame onto others. Lies about his motives for attempting to divorce his wife and marry his late son’s fiancé.
    • The Marquis in The Romance of the Forest – attempts to get with Adeline even though he is already married, attempts to rape Adeline, blackmails Monsieur LaMotte.
    • Vathek – Reviewers do not know what to do when a seemingly good character is made evil. It does not often happen in Gothic novels and therefore this reviewer has problems buying it. Furthermore, this reviewer seems to be so accustomed to the idea of only one evil villain that they state there should be a greater difference between the punishments both receive at the end of the novel. “As to Nouronihar, I fear that it may be objected that she becomes too suddenly wicked. Some small discrimination of punishment however between her and Vathek may be somewhat aggravated, the end will be perhaps best answered in that way.”[5]
  • The Stupid Servant – acts as comic relief by asking seemingly stupid questions, transitions between scenes, brings news, messenger, moves plot forward
    • Peter in The Romance of the Forest – whenever he brings information to people, he never gets to the point but prattles on and on about insignificant things. “The reader…eagerly follows the flight of LaMotte, also of Peter, his coachman, an attached, comic, and familiar domestic.”[6]
    • Bianca in The Castle of Otranto – a gossip, helps characters get valuable news, provides comic relief
  • Clowns – break the tension and act as comic relief
    • Diego and Jaquez in The Castle of Otranto – they appear to talk about random things, and argue foolishly with each other in order to lighten the air of the novel.
  • Banditti ‑ Ruffians
    • They appear in several Gothic Novels including The Romance of the Forest in which they kidnap Adeline from her father.
  • Clergy – always weak, usually evil
    • Father Jerome in The Castle of Otranto – Jerome, though not evil, is certainly weak as he gives up his son when he is born and leaves his lover.
    • Ambrosio in The Monk – Evil and weak, this character stoops to the lowest levels of corruption including rape and incest.
    • Mother Superior in The Romance of the Forest – Adeline fled from this convent because the sisters weren’t allowed to see sunlight. Highly oppressive environment.
  • The Setting
    • One could argue that the setting of the Gothic Novel is a character in itself. The plot is usually set in a castle, an abbey, a monastery, or some other, usually religious edifice, and it is acknowledged that this building has secrets of its own. It is this gloomy and frightening scenery, which sets the scene for what the audience should expect. Without a dark and imposing backdrop, the Gothic Novel would not exist. The importance of setting is noted in a London review of the Castle of Otranto, “He describes the country towards Otranto as desolate and bare, extensive downs covered with thyme, with occasionally the dwarf holly, the rosa marina, and lavender, stretch around like wild moorlands…Mr. Williams describes the celebrated Castle of Otranto as “an imposing object of considerable size…has a dignified and chivalric air. A fitter scene for his romance he probably could not have chosen.” Similarly, De Vore states, “The setting is greatly influential in Gothic novels. It not only evokes the atmosphere of horror and dread, but also portrays the deterioration of its world. The decaying, ruined scenery implies that at one time there was a thriving world. At one time the abbey, castle, or landscape was something treasured and appreciated. Now, all that lasts is the decaying shell of a once thriving dwelling.”[1] Thus, without the decrepit backdrop to initiate the events, the Gothic Novel would not exist.