The Gothic Novel
It is not very clear why novels like Sastrozzi were called Gothic. It seems, however, that a certain type of novel was called “Gothic2 because the story usually concerns people and events in the middle Ages (the 13th to 15th centuries) . the typical gothic novel was full of gothic architecture – monasteries , ruined churches, and subterranean passages where mad monks walk or dark haunted castles where the theme anis murder and mystery. Some experts say that the gothic novel originated in Germany. These German stories did not only take place in a Gothic atmosphere, but they were horrific and violent. The story of Frankenstein (written by Shelley’s second wife) and Dracula (by Bram Stoker) are two of the most famous Gothic Novel
It is strange to think that the character of Frankenstein’s monster (Frankenstein is the name of the scientist who gave him life) was invented by an 18 year old girl. The girl was Mary Godwin 7later to become Mary Shelley) after marrying the poet Percy B. Shelley . the daughter of the radical philosopher and gothic novelist William Goodwin,. In July 1816, Mary P. Shelley and John Polidori went to stay with their friend Lord George G. Byron at his villa on the shore of the Lake of Geneva. One evening as the weather was bad and prevented them from going out, Byron suggested that they should all write a ghost story. The idea for Frankenstein came to Mary in a dream that nigh. Although Frankenstein, or the modern Prometheus, was laughed at by contemporary critics who thought it was just another Gothic novel, it is now considered to be a literary classic. It is thought to have influenced The Hunchback of Notredame (1831) , Wuthering Height (1847), Moby Dick (1851) and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886). The genious of mary Shelley was that she created a character who inspired a repulsion and sympathy at the same time. This is way the character of the monster had endured in the popular imagination.