Terror and Wonder, the UK’s Largest Exhibition of Gothic Literature, Opens at the British Library

Terror and Wonder, the UK’s Largest Exhibition of Gothic Literature, Opens at the British Library

Cannot tell you how much I would like to be in England right now.

Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination opens at the British Library exploring Gothic culture’s roots in British literature and celebrating 250 years since the publication of the first Gothic novel.

Alongside the manuscripts of classic novels such as Frankenstein, Dracula and Jane Eyre, the exhibition brings the dark and macabre to life with artefacts, old and new. Highlights of the exhibition include a vampire slaying kit and 18th and 19th century Gothic fashions, as well as one of Alexander McQueen’s iconic catwalk creations. Also on display is a model of the Wallace and Gromit Were-Rabbit, showing how Gothic literature has inspired varied and colourful aspects of popular culture in exciting ways over centuries.

Celebrating how British writers have pioneered the genre, Terror and Wonder takes the first Gothic novelThe Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole, and exhibits treasures from the Library’s collections to carry the story forwards to the present day. Eminent authors over the last 250 years, including William Blake, Ann Radcliffe, Mary Shelley, Charles Dickens, the Brontës, Edgar Allan Poe, Bram Stoker, MR James, Mervyn Peake, Angela Carter and Neil Gaiman, underpin the exhibition’s exploration of how Gothic fiction has evolved and influenced film, fashion, music, art and the Goth subculture.

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