Victorian Horror: Literature

DATED: 17.06.15

Though notorious for their ghastly habits and peculiar practices, the Victorians did, in fact, give us some of the best literature; much of which remains popular in today’s culture.

Perhaps it was their curiosity fear and obsession with death that gave birth to the likes of Frankenstein and others. Whatever the reason behind their prose brilliance, let’s take a look at some of the literature that is still renowned today, focusing on Victorian horror, in particular.

Frankenstein

Ah yes, Frankenstein. Possibly one of the most famous books to come out of the Victorian era, it is a well-loved tale that follows the story of scientist, Victor Frankenstein, and his creation.

Written by Mary Shelley, an English author, the novel was anonymously published during the year of 1818.

A true gothic horror classic, there have been many adaptations of this famous story. As well as various films based on the tale, there are also small screen examples, including TV series Penny Dreadful, which incorporates characters from a number of novels, and a few films based on the tale.

Wuthering Heights

In 1847, Emily Bronte’s novel, Wuthering Heights, was published, and today receives much admiration.

However, at the time, the woeful tale was considered deeply controversial due to its depiction of social classes and morality, which, during the Victorian era, were both under strict ideals. Despite this though, the book itself has proved successful over the years.

Dracula

A little later down the line, Bram Stoker wrote Dracula; a real gothic horror if ever there was one (aside from Frankenstein, of course!).

Interestingly, the tale is not delivered in standard word by word format, but instead through diary entries and the like, hooking the reader and perhaps making aspects a little more relatable (as far as vampires go).

These are just three examples of great Victorian literature. All three are worth a read or, if you’d prefer something a little darker, join us on our Jack the Ripper tour!

Get in touch today for more information or see our blog for more strange and peculiar facts about the Victorians.


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