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Beyond the Book: Background information when reading The Thirteenth Tale

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The Thirteenth Tale

by Diane Setterfield

The Thirteenth Tale
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  • First Published:
    Sep 2006, 416 pages
    Paperback:
    Oct 2007, 432 pages

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Beyond the Book

What is a gothic novel? Definitions of a gothic novel abound but most sources agree that it is one in which supernatural horrors and an atmosphere of terror are pervasive, and where the action usually takes place in a dark, mysterious building, typically a castle built in the Gothic architectural style*.

Horace Walpole's The Castle of Otranto (1764) is considered the first gothic novel, but it was Ann Radcliffe who popularized the form with novels such as The Mysteries of Udolpho. During the 19th century there was a Gothic revival in the world of architecture; and the world of literature saw a, perhaps, connected resurgence of Gothic literature, ranging from the "penny dreadfuls" to the works of Edgar ...

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