3 October 2014 – 20 January 2015
We celebrate 250 years of Gothic literature with the most comprehensive show on the subject yet seen in the UK.
Tales of Mystery and Imagination by Edgar Allen Poe, illustrated by Harry Clarke (1919)
Tintern Abbey, from Four Views of Tintern Abbey by Frederick Calvert (1815)
Varney the Vampyre by James M Rymer (1845)
Elsa Lanchester and Boris Karloff in Bride of Frankenstein (1935) © Universal / The Kobal Collection
Richard Mansfield as Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1887)
Beginning with Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto, this wide-ranging exhibition explores our enduring fascination with the mysterious, the terrifying and the awe-inspiring. It also examines the long shadow the Gothic imagination has cast across film, art, music, fashion, culture and our daily lives.
Gothic literature began as a challenge to the rational certainties of the Enlightenment. By exploring the harsh 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.
Through over 200 rare exhibits including manuscripts, paintings, film clips and posters, Terror and Wonder explores all aspects of the Gothic world. Iconic works, including Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, the sinister fairy tales of Angela Carter and the modern horrors of Clive Barker highlight the ways in which contemporary fears have been addressed by successive generations of Gothic writers. Paintings, films and even a vampire-slaying kit add colour and drama to the story.
Terror and Wonder promises to be beautiful, dark, inspiring and haunting. Step into this world, if you dare.