The Castle of Otranto (1764)

Horace Walpole (1717 - 1797)

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Creator/Designer of Strawberry Hill

Illustrations from Walpole's 1784 book about his home:

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Initiates a revivial of interest in Gothic Architecture

Link to Strawberry Hill website (the house has just been renovated)

Link to "The Rooms" at Strawberry Hill

"Gloomth" was a word Walpole used in his letters to refer to the pleasure he took in the gloominess of the castle.

Walpole published The Castle of Otranto on the printing press at Strawberry Hill on Christmas Eve, 1764 (note the tradition of Christmas ghost stories!); since then, it has never been out of print.

The British Library has a nice online reproduction of their lovely edition of the book with watercolors.

This map will give you a general orientation of where Otranto is in Italy.

Would you like to see a graphic novel version of Otranto? Of course you would. Check out JoJo Seames's version of the Castle of Otranto.

Here is an early illustration (precise date unknown) of a scene from Otranto by Susanna Duncombe (1725 - 1812).