Gothic literature, also known as gothic fantasy or gothic horror, is an outgrowth of dark Romanticism that developed in the late-eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The first use of the term in a literary context was in 1764 in the title of Howard Walpole's novel The Castle of Otranto: A Gothic Story. Other examples of nineteenth-century literature that were considered Gothic included Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson, and Dracula by Bram Stoker.
One of the first American writers to employ Gothic elements was Washington Irving in his short story "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow." The acknowledged master of American Gothic literature, though, was Edgar Allen Poe.
Elements often present in early Gothic stories included castles, ancient houses, medieval backgrounds, aristocratic decadence, darkness, monsters, and the supernatural. To these elements, Poe added mental illness and psychological trauma.
Poe's famous short story " The Cask of...
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