Happy Christmas, my friends!
I love this time of year. As I write this, our Christmas tree is decorated and lit across the room from me. It’s windy and brisk outside and we are dreaming of snow (not probably in Texas, but we can dream!)
A few months ago, I was contacted by Emma Welch from Invaluable about sharing an infographic about Gothic literature that she helped create. I am honored she wants to collaborate with me! Plus, this was a perfect opportunity to share some Gothic literature background in connection with my next Classics Club novel: Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen.
I first read Northanger Abbey as an undergrad at BYU. I remember enjoying it and also being surprised by how different it seemed from Pride and Prejudice. When I was in graduate school, I had the opportunity to work as a graduate instructor under a full time professor. We taught this book as part of the 19th-20th century survey course in British Literature. I have just started the first few pages on this reread and I am loving being back in Jane Austen’s work.
For those of you who are unfamiliar, Northanger Abbey parodies the popular Gothic novel in late 18th century England. It is witty, surprising, and more complex than it seems.
Emma was kind enough to write a custom intro for me as I share her infographic. Thanks, Emma!
There’s something about cold, winter months and Gothic literature that fits so perfectly. The word “Gothic” was applied to literature in the late 18th century, when Horace Walpole published his The Castle of Otranto. Since, celebrated Gothic novelists from the likes of Mary Shelley, Ann Radcliffe, Edgar Allan Poe, and so many others have used the genre to create eerily beautiful masterpieces.
The Gothic genre is characterized by expressions of terror and gruesome narratives, but there are many other elements that truly extraordinary Gothic novels encompass. Invaluable created an informative infographic of the ten essential elements of Gothic novels, and included notable authors and works as examples. Upon choosing to read Northanger Abbey, Jane Austen’s Gothic parody, this infographic has been especially helpful in defining what truly makes her writing so captivating. Use it to guide your writing or inspire you to read one of the classics.
I included the graphic below. But the font is quite small. So if you want to zoom in to see the details, click here.
Now I want to hear what you think about Gothic lit. Have you read much? Do you think it was a worthwhile genre? Favorite elements? Would you consider writing in the gothic style? And, of course, what do you think of Northanger Abbey?
Happy Gothic literature reading!