We can call gothic most of the novels that have been written in the XVIII century. Usually, the adjective "gothic" is used to describe the dark locations, macabre situations and terrifing creatures.

Inspiring Image on We Heart It Bela Lugosi, Dracula, and helen chandler image

The continuous reference to painting and architecture is significant in the recreation of gothic style. Ruins and abandoned places are often used as symbols of the transience of human things and there's also the constant presence of death.

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But one of the most important things in gothic novels is the perception of the past, the grandeur of a bygone era. The charm of ruin lies in the ability to evoke idylls and heroic deeds.

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The ambience is usually described as gloomy, dark, melancholic, with misty mountains, cloudy or rainy days often used as background to the story itself.

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The castle is the privileged setting place, imposing and impenetrable with its secret passages, corridors and labyrinthine meanders.
It stands alone in a forgotten and archaic space; bearer of distant worries and emblem as the ruins of the inexorable passage of time.

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Some personal gothic novels suggestions based on my preferences:

  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  • Dracula by Bram Stoker
  • Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux
  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  • The Vampyr by Polidori
  • Strange case of Dr Jeckyll and Mr. Hide by R.L. Stevenson
  • Otranto's Castle by Horace Walpole