The Gothic Tradition module (EN42029)

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Module code


  • Level 4
  • Semester 2
  • 40 places
  • English - School of Humanities
  • Coursework 100%
  • A pre-1900 module


This module surveys Gothic fiction (novels, novellas and short stories) produced before 1900 in England, Scotland, Ireland and other countries. Beginning in the 1760s, we’ll cover a range of influential practitioners in the Romantic and Victorian periods, ending in the late 1890s. We’ll examine the persistence of major figures in the mode, such as the vampire and the mummy, trace the trope of the supernatural in storytelling, distinguish between horror and terror, and consider related genres, from SF to speculative fiction. Studying the Gothic tradition encourages us to address perennial human concerns anew, whether it’s life and death, love and hate, faith and doubt, or the functions and figurations of our bodies and souls.


Dr Daniel Cook


The module will be taught by one weekly one-hour lecture and one weekly two-hour seminar over 11 weeks.


  • Essay 1 50%
  • Essay 2 50%

Indicative Content (please consult with Dr Daniel Cook before purchasing)

  • Horace Walpole, The Castle of Otranto (1764)
  • Clara Reeve, The Old English Baron (1778)
  • Matthew Lewis, The Monk (1796)
  • Ann Radcliffe, The Italian (1797)
  • Charlotte Dacre, Zofloya (1806)
  • John Polidori, The Vampyre (1819)
  • Anon., The Black Vampyre (1819)
  • James Hogg, The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner (1824)
  • Jane Webb, The Mummy! (1827)
  • Florence Marryat, The Blood of the Vampire (1897)
  • Bram Stoker, Dracula (1897)
  • Selected short stories by Robert Louis Stevenson, Charlotte Riddell, and Margaret Oliphant


This module is available on following courses: