The past few weeks I’ve been interested in finding out more about my reading taste and what exactly makes me want to read a book. There are so many great genres and one of my favorites is definitely Gothic fiction, and that’s what I wanted to post about today.
The first novel I ever think of when I think of Gothic fiction is Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë. The Brontë sisters are all known for works of Gothic fiction, and they’re among the most famous and well known works of all time, but for some reason, that’s the one that always comes to my mind first. Despite studying some of the book and taking a class on Victorian Literature, I’ve sadly never sat down and read it from the start. Still, I feel like it’s a perfect example of the setting, elements of horror, mystery, and the rise of romance in Gothic literature.
Gothic Fiction, in general, often features mysterious atmospheres, unexplained events or hauntings, extreme weather or conditions, and a house or castle. The setting is considered one of the characters in Gothic fiction, and part of the reason I love this genre. This is probably why they make such beautiful movie adaptations. As with any genre, there are several other elements, including the damsel in distress. On the surface, this seems anti-female, but it’s not always that way by the end of the novel. Oftentimes, the woman comes out on top, or at least living through the events, and that’s not a bad thing.
I would love to study Gothic fiction itself, or take another Victorian Literature class since that was the time when more women began to write the genre, but right now, I’ll just focus on reading more.
A few of my favorites of the genre:
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde (1890)
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson (1959)
We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson (1962)
Classic and modern Gothic novels I’d love to read:
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen (1817)
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë (1847)
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë (1847)
Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier (1935)
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield (2006)
I have to mention that Northanger Abbey is a Gothic fiction parody. And I can’t wait to read it.
Are you a Gothic fiction fan? Have you read any of these books, and what do you think of them?