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Gothic: An Illustrated History

Author/EditorLuckhurst, Roger (Author)
ISBN: 9780500252512
Pub Date21/10/2021
BindingHardback
Pages288
Dimensions (mm)260(h) * 180(w)
The story of the Gothic, from early architecture and literature to the modern horror genre, illustrated by the beautiful, the macabre and the strange.
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The story of the Gothic, from early architecture and literature to the modern horror genre, illustrated by the beautiful, the macabre and the strange


Over the centuries the Gothic has been revived and rewritten to reflect the anxieties of each era. It encompasses the weird, the feared and the uncanny; haunted places and people; and monsters that act as mirrors to ourselves and society. In this lavishly illustrated volume Roger Luckhurst explores how the Gothic began in the margins of history and seeped into mainstream global culture today.

The visceral visual history begins with the Gothic as an aesthetic and architectural practice – the revival of medieval arches across northern Europe – and the emergence of Gothic fiction, filled with haunted ruins and fainting heroines, before moving onto the many ways it has morphed, travelling across the globe and redrawing its boundaries over the centuries, changing to the shape of our fears and anxieties. Luckhurst delves into the shadows of Gothic settings all around the world, from the sublime Alps to the Australian outback, the Arctic waste and the Pacific Ocean, from the dark folkloric realm of the forest to the ruined post-industrial landscapes of abandoned hospitals and asylums, then beyond the bounds of the planet to unknowable cosmic horror.

We encounter the creatures that populate the Gothic imagination and the unsettling space between the living and the dead, from Frankenstein to the zombie of Haitian folklore. Drawing on a rich array of visual material, Luckhurst traces this history across all media from architecture to anime, from Victor Hugo and E. T. A. Hoffmann to the films of Dario Argento, Hideo Nakata and Park Chan-wook and new horror classics such as Get Out, The Babadook and Raw, as the Gothic confronts race, gender and sexuality.

The story of the Gothic, from early architecture and literature to the modern horror genre, illustrated by the beautiful, the macabre and the strange


Over the centuries the Gothic has been revived and rewritten to reflect the anxieties of each era. It encompasses the weird, the feared and the uncanny; haunted places and people; and monsters that act as mirrors to ourselves and society. In this lavishly illustrated volume Roger Luckhurst explores how the Gothic began in the margins of history and seeped into mainstream global culture today.

The visceral visual history begins with the Gothic as an aesthetic and architectural practice – the revival of medieval arches across northern Europe – and the emergence of Gothic fiction, filled with haunted ruins and fainting heroines, before moving onto the many ways it has morphed, travelling across the globe and redrawing its boundaries over the centuries, changing to the shape of our fears and anxieties. Luckhurst delves into the shadows of Gothic settings all around the world, from the sublime Alps to the Australian outback, the Arctic waste and the Pacific Ocean, from the dark folkloric realm of the forest to the ruined post-industrial landscapes of abandoned hospitals and asylums, then beyond the bounds of the planet to unknowable cosmic horror.

We encounter the creatures that populate the Gothic imagination and the unsettling space between the living and the dead, from Frankenstein to the zombie of Haitian folklore. Drawing on a rich array of visual material, Luckhurst traces this history across all media from architecture to anime, from Victor Hugo and E. T. A. Hoffmann to the films of Dario Argento, Hideo Nakata and Park Chan-wook and new horror classics such as Get Out, The Babadook and Raw, as the Gothic confronts race, gender and sexuality.

Roger Luckhurst is the author of many books on the Gothic, horror and science fiction, writing on both literature and cinema; he 'mixes pop cultural connoisseurship with scholarly rigour to great effect' (Daily Telegraph). His previous books include Zombies: A Cultural History, Corridors: Passages of Modernity and The Shining (BFI Film Classics). He is Professor in Modern and Contemporary Literature at Birkbeck, University of London.

Introduction I. Architecture & Form The Pointed Arch * Ruins * Fragment * Labyrinth * The House II. The Lie of the Land The Country & The City * Village * Forest * Wilderness * Edgelands III. The Gothic Compass North * South * East * West * Planetary & Cosmic Horror IV. Monsters Scale * Splices * The Tentacle * Formless * Us Further Reading

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