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An Illustrated History

Roger Luckhurst


The story of the Gothic, from early architecture and literature to the modern horror genre, illustrated by the beautiful, the macabre and the strange

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Crumbling ruins, undead fiends, dark alleys and forests teeming with horrors seen and unseen: the tendrils of the Gothic have crept out of the architecture of churches, mosques and grand houses and into suburban malls, overcrowded cities, the deserted corners of the world and beyond, taking the shape of monsters from Beowulf to Gojira, Cthulhu or the wendigo to our own terrifying, warped reflections. Across time, form and media, this book traces the weaving path of the Gothic from the shadows of history to the very heart of popular culture today.


'Wonderful. A book as vivid, strange and rich as its topic'
China Miéville

'A compelling read'
On Magazine

'Roger Luckhurst sets forth an extensive, macabre taxonomy of the protean genre and its hallmark “pleasant shivers,” dark tendrils grasping through time and space to ensnare gloomy castles, suburban shopping malls and even the most desolate — though maybe not quite unoccupied — reaches of the cosmos … Luckhurst manages to balance granular detail … with liveliness and charm'
The New York Times

'A lavish publication of more than 350 arresting images that sparkle with colour much as the pages of text bristle with dark pull-quotes … Luckhurst’s prose is irresistible … No one will come away from this book without a reinvigorated sense of gothic forms and possibilities in the twenty-first century'
The Times Literary Supplement

'This book is a must-have … The book’s scope is impressive, extending out to a number of iconic films, the writing is beautiful and the illustrations lavish … A delightfully comprehensive resource'
Teach Secondary

'Illuminating and wide-ranging … there’s a freshness and concision to the text which is allied to a distillation of decades of research … An erudite overview, a visual pleasure'
Fortean Times

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: PLC (no jacket)

Size: 26.0 x 18.0 cm

Extent: 288 pp

Publication date: 21 October 2021

ISBN: 9780500252512

Contents List


I. Architecture & Form
The Pointed Arch • Ruins • Fragment • Labyrinth • The House

II. The Lie of the Land
The Country & The City • Village • Forest • Wilderness • Edgelands

III. The Gothic Compass
North • South • East • West • Planetary & Cosmic Horror

IV. Monsters
Scale • Splices • The Tentacle • Formless • Us

Further Reading

About the Author

Roger Luckhurst is the author of The Invention of Telepathy, 1870–1901 (2002), The Mummy’s Curse: The True History of a Dark Fantasy (2012), and Zombies: A Cultural History (2015), and has edited several classic Gothic novels by Bram Stoker, Robert Louis Stevenson and H. P. Lovecraft. He is the Geoffrey Tillotson Professor of Nineteenth Century Studies at Birkbeck College, University of London.