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The Dark Allure of Gothic Literature

This week I participated in an engrossing #LitChat discussion of Gothic Romance and an hour just wasn’t enough time to explore all the questions that came up so I thought we’d continue the chat on #ScribeChat, the chat for writers that I host every Thursday for The ScribeChat Review.

Now, lads, before you throw up your arms and run away screaming thinking this is only for the girls, I’ve got to tell you that Gothic Romance isn’t what it sounds like.The ‘romance’ refers to the genre’s genesis as a throwback to the medieval romantic movement, but with a dark twist, and only took off in the late 18th and 19th centuries in England as a genre that combines elements of both horror and romance (as in legends and courtliness).

In this 18th and 19th century re-emergence, Gothic romances were mysteries, moving away from the fantastic and magical realms of the medieval romances and into the realm of the eerie. Often involving the supernatural and heavily tinged with horror, they were frequently set against dark backgrounds of medieval ruins and haunted castles.