Terror & Wonder at the British Library

Dare you enter the hallowed halls of the British Library this winter, you’ll find that dusty manuscripts inscribed with tales of terror and wonder have been retrieved from the dark recesses of the vaults…

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Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination charts the evolution of the genre from Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto (1764) through to the Twilight Saga, but its not all about the books. The exhibition features art, architecture, film and fashion to illustrate the many ways in which the Gothic has permeated British culture over the pat 250 years, ending with a photographic showcase of Martin Parr’s images from the Whitby Goth weekend gatherings.

Items on display range from Mary Shelley’s handwritten manuscript of Frankenstein (complete with helpful comments from Percy), through to a Victorian vampire-slaying kit (let’s hope that replicas are available in the gift shop). There’s even a letter that purports to be from Jack the Ripper himself – taunting the police, it’s written in red ink to look like blood. Weird, wonderful and chillingly macabre, the exhibition runs through until 20th January 2015, and I can’t wait to visit!

If you’re intrigued about Gothic literature you can find out about its tropes in the video below…

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