"Gothic" offers a lucid and accessible introduction to the Gothic genre, tracing the darkly terrific shapes and developments of a transgressive literary practice which has thrived for over two centuries. Fred Botting explores a number of key texts, their origins and writers, and discusses them in the context of their cultural and historical location, their critical reception and their influence.
Botting's concise introduction examines a remarkably wide and diverse range of authors and critics, varying from such artists as Mary Shelley and Bram Stoker to Angela Carter and David Lynch. "Gothic" focuses on the various styles and forms of the genre and analyzes the cultural significance of its prevalent figures--the ghosts, monsters, vampires, doubles and horrors that are its definitive features. Botting traces its history from its origins in the 18th century through its modernist and postmodernist representations, highlighting the ways Gothic figures have continued to shadow the progress of modernity, always displaying the underside of human values. He offers a broad overview of the themes, images and effects that not only define the genre, but also endure and re-appear endlessly in both "high" and "popular" literature and culture.