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Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination

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by Bryony Harrison (subscribe)
Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from
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terror and horror, the gothic imagination, british library
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It's that month again; the one where all the spookables come out to play. They appear in the streets, knock at your door, jump out at you from the telly - maybe you'll be safe with a good book.

Think again. Terror and Wonder has also infiltrated the British Library, and The Gothic Imagination is going to continue haunting us until the 20th January.

There's no escaping it, so if you can't beat them, join them. Discover over two hundred objects spanning two hundred and fifty years of Gothic tradition.The first Gothic novel is said to be The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole in 1764, and set in place traditional structure: a tale of romance set in a mysterious castle or mansion that brings dark foreboding. Through posters, books, films, hand-written drafts, and a vampire slaying-kit, you'll get to explore authors such as Mary Shelley and Bram Stoker, as well as film director, Stanley Kubrick, and fashion designer, Alexander McQueen. These will be contrasted against contemporary 'horrors' such as Clive Barker's Hellraiser and Twilight series.

Entry to the exhibition is £11 for adults, £9 seniors, £5 concessions, and free for under 18s. There will also be several events that you can book to go and see, such as a screening of Dracula (1958), a talk by Susan Hill, author of The Woman in Black, ghost stories, and more. You'll even be able to attend your own funeral in an interactive theatrical roleplay.
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Why? Chance to explore the historic side of horror
When: Until 20th Jan
Phone: 44 (0)1937 546060
Where: British Library
Cost: £11 adult, £9 senior, £5 concessions, free for under 18s
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