Unspeakable Horror. Gothic Romance & The Castle of Otranto. After Defoe: Richardson and the Rise of Realism. Defoe’s texts—combined with other early genres such as amorous fiction—culminate in 1739 with what is often considered the first fully-realized novel: Samuel Richardson’s Pamela .
Gothic Romance & The Castle of Otranto
Walpole began building on the property in 1749, and continued making additions and alterations for 30 years: "Strawberry Hill was the first house without any existing medieval fabric to be [re]built from scratch in the Gothic style and the first to be based on actual historic examples, rather than an extrapolation of the Gothic vocabulary…As such it has a claim to be the starting point of the Gothic Revival.“ –Rosemary Hill
The Monthly Review (January 1765): “Those who can digest the absurdities of Gothic fiction, and bear with the machinery of ghosts and goblins, may hope, at least, for considerable entertainment from the performance before us: for it is written with no common pen; the language is accurate and elegant; the characters are highly finished; and the disquisitions into human manners, passions, and pursuits, indicate the keenest penetration, and the most perfect knowledge of mankind.
The Monthly Review (May 1765): “While we considered it as [a translation from an ancient writer], we could readily excuse its preposterous phenomena, and consider them as sacrifices to a gross and unenlightened age.—But when, as in this edition, the Castle of Otranto is declared to be a modern performance, that indulgence we afforded to the foibles of a supposed antiquity, we can by no means extend to the singularity of a false taste in a cultivated period of learning. It is, indeed, more than strange, that an Author, of a refined a polished genius, should be an advocate for re-establishing the barbarous superstitions of Gothic devilism!”