Adult · Books · Classics · Favorites · Fiction

On Gothic Literature

Despite the fact that I haven’t been reading much of it lately, I adore gothic literature. I developed a taste for gothic suspense and gothic romance novels back in high school when I was introduced to Charlotte Bronte and Daphne Du Maurier. For those unfamiliar with gothic fiction, it is a sub-genre of literature that typically combines elements of horror, suspense, death and romance. It originated in eighteenth century England and influenced similar literary styles throughout other parts of Europe and America. Gothic novels commonly feature dark settings, such as mysterious castles, dungeons, mansions, and graveyards. Sometimes they incorporate aspects of the supernatural, like ghosts, but this is not always necessary.

One of my favorite aspects of gothic literature (aside from the creepy settings) is the psychological mind fuck that usually accompanies it. Authors of this type of literature know how to combine what are often viewed as “negative” human emotions (such as terror, dread, and doubt) and combine it with romanticism to create one pleasurably disturbing experience for the reader. (I am now sitting here wondering what this says about ย me as a human being. It’s probably best not to open that can of worms…)

There are so many amazing classic and modern gothic novels out there. If you are new to this genre, you may want to introduce yourself by starting with a few of these:

  • Dracula by Bram Stoker
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  • The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe
  • Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier
  • The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
  • The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon


Do you like gothic literature? What are some of your favorite gothic novels?ย 


9 thoughts on “On Gothic Literature

  1. I do love it but for some reason haven’t read a lot of it? I’m super glad to have new recs to try, though ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Wuthering Heights is one of my favorite books of all time, and I’ve read quite a bit of Poe so far, including The Fall of the House of Usher, which I really liked but was really creeped out about hahaha
    Great list, Kiersten! Next one on my TBR is definitely Rebecca ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have a recommendation for a piece of Gothic lit you may have never heard of. It’s what I call an Unclassic, meaning it’s still in print but more obscure. It’s called The Phantom Ship, and it’s by Frederick Marryat. It was published in the 1800s, and it’s one of the greatest pieces of Gothic literature I have ever read. It’s a great Flying Dutchman story, and it’s full of madness, the supernatural, and so forth. In fact, you know how many pieces of Gothic lit would have short ghost stories within the main story? Well, this book has one of the most disturbing little ghost stories within it that I’ve ever read. I highly recommend it.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s