November 18, 2014
British Library
Exhibition 'Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination'
William Beckford's Vathek - a later German edition with a hair-raising illustration by Gottfried Helnwein;
Two hundred rare objects trace 250 years of the Gothic tradition, exploring our enduring fascination with the mysterious, the terrifying and the macabre
Lurid Gothic romances rapidly became a craze and many early examples are on show: William Beckford's Vathek - a later German edition with a hair-raising illustration by Gottfried Helnwein;
From Mary Shelley and Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick and Alexander McQueen, via posters, books, films - and even a vampire-slaying kit - experience the dark shadow the Gothic imagination has cast across film, art, music, fashion, architecture and our daily lives.
Beginning with Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto, Gothic literature challenged the moral certainties of the 18th century. By exploring the dark romance of the medieval past with its castles and abbeys, its wild landscapes and fascination with the supernatural, Gothic writers placed imagination firmly at the heart of their work - and our culture.
Iconic works, such as handwritten drafts of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, the modern horrors of Clive Barker’s Hellraiser and the popular Twilight series, highlight how contemporary fears have been addressed by generation after generation.
Terror and Wonder presents an intriguing glimpse of a fascinating and mysterious world. Experience 250 years of Gothic’s dark shadow.

The exhibition also includes treasures from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein manuscript, work by William Blake and a Victorian vampire slaying kit
The Independent

Also on show are gothic-inspired fashion by Alexander McQueen and a series of pictures by photographer Martin Parr taken during the regular gathering of goths in Whitby, in north Yorkshire
Daily Mail

Terror and Wonder: the Gothic Imagination is UK’s largest exhibition devoted to the literature of fear, blood and darkness
The Guardian

The show's curator says amid the gore and the chills, Gothic writing has always had a streak of irony and humour
BBC Entertainment and arts

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