A Gothic Time Capsule

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My goodness. The British Library is truly a treasure trove for lovers of the Gothic. I’ve already written about their new exhibition (Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination) running from October 3 to January 20. But their treasures are not limited to those who can visit the library in person. The website of the British Library contains scans of early–if not original–editions of Gothic novels, including a 1765 edition of The Castle of Otranto, an 1831 edition of Frankenstein (with a preface written by Mary Shelley on the infamous origins of the novel), and an 1891 edition of The Picture of Dorian Gray. Here is a glimpse at some of the beautiful scans the website has to offer:

Screen shot 2014-10-09 at 11.47.23 AMOne of the earliest editions (1765) of the first Gothic novel, The Castle of Otranto… 

Screen shot 2014-10-09 at 11.47.36 AM…when Horace Walpole was still trying to convince everyone in his preface that the book was a relic he found from the library of an “ancient Catholic family” (that was as exotic as it got back then)…

Screen shot 2014-10-09 at 11.48.10 AMA beautiful illustration from the book.


Screen shot 2014-10-09 at 12.01.51 PMAn 1803 edition of another key Gothic novel: Ann Radcliffe’s The Mysteries of Udolpho

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Screen shot 2014-10-09 at 11.58.30 AMFrontispiece illustration from an 1831 edition of Frankenstein.

Screen shot 2014-10-09 at 11.59.02 AMMary Shelley’s introduction.


Screen shot 2014-10-09 at 12.08.31 PMFirst edition (1891) of The Picture of Dorian Gray

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The website also has the most amazing articles on The Gothic here:


You won’t be disappointed!


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