Gothic

Count Vampyre from Styria – or what Bram Stoker did not write

Count Vampyre from Styria – or what Bram Stoker did not write

On May 18, 1897, Bram Stoker published his seminal book ‘Dracula‘ in London and established one of the most influential genres in fantastic literature by introducing the Transylvanian blood sucker. Nowadays most people don’t know that identifying Dracula with the historical Vlad Tepes — called Vlad the impaler — was completely made up by Stoker himself. Oh, obviously Vlad Tepes was anything else but a nice guy, as you might look up…
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John Ruskin – Victorian Social Thinker and Art Lover

John Ruskin – Victorian Social Thinker and Art Lover

On February 8, 1819, prominent social thinker and philanthropist John James Ruskin was born. He is considered the leading English art critic of the Victorian era, also an art patron, draughtsman and watercolourist. He was hugely influential in the latter half of the 19th century up to the First World War and today, his ideas and concerns are widely recognised as having anticipated interest in environmentalism, sustainability and craft. Ruskin grew up…
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Horace Walpole and the Rise of the Gothic Novel

Horace Walpole and the Rise of the Gothic Novel

On September 24, 1717, English art historian, man of letters, antiquarian, connoisseur, and collector as well as Whig politician Horatio Walpole, 4th Earl of Orford was born. Walpole built Strawberry Hill House in Twickenham, south-west London, reviving the Gothic style some decades before his Victorian successors. Moreover, he was famous in his day for his medieval horror tale The Castle of Otranto, which initiated the vogue for Gothic romances. He is remembered…
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Quoth the Raven “Nevermore”

Quoth the Raven “Nevermore”

‘The Raven (Corvus Corax)’ – from ‘The Natural History of Selborne’, published in London, 1879 On January 29, 1845, Edgar Allan Poe’s famous narrative poem ‘The Raven‘ was first published in the New York Evening Mirror. It has become one of the best known English poems of all time. The Raven makes use of a number of folk and classical references and is often noted for its musicality, stylized language, and supernatural…
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The Cologne Cathedral – More than 600 Years of Construction

The Cologne Cathedral – More than 600 Years of Construction

Cologne CathedralImage: Thomas Wolf, www.foto-tw.de On August 14, 1880, after more than 600 years the construction of the Cologne Cathedral, the most famous landmark in Cologne, Germany, is completed. The World Heritage Site is Germany’s most visited landmark, attracting an average of 20,000 people a day. The cathedral is the largest Gothic church in Northern Europe and has the second-tallest spires and largest facade of any church in the world. The Cathedral…
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Ann Raddcliffe – Pioneer of the Gothic Novel

Ann Raddcliffe – Pioneer of the Gothic Novel

Ann Radcliffe (1764-1823) On July 9, 1764, English author and pioneer of Gothic novel Ann Radcliffe was born. You might have never heard of Ann Radcliffe, if you are not familiar with English literature, but her prose strongly influenced a literature style called ‘Gothic novel’, where the supernatural comes into play and all of today’s vampire, horror, and fantastic literature has originated from. Take, as e.g., her most famous novel Udolpho written…
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The Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe

The Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Alan Poe’s ‘The Tell Tale Heart’, photo: @Lysander07 On October 7th, 1849, the great American author and poet, Edgar Allan Poe, best known for his stories of the mysterious and macabre, died under mysterious circumstances. With his short stories and poems, Edgar Allan Poe succeeded to capture the imagination and interest of readers around the world until the present day. With his creative and imaginative he even started completely new literary genres,…
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