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Gothic AntiquityHistory, Romance, and the Architectural Imagination, 1760-1840$
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Dale Townshend

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198845669

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198845669.001.0001

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Horace Walpole’s Enchanted Castles

Horace Walpole’s Enchanted Castles

Chapter:
(p.89) 2 Horace Walpole’s Enchanted Castles
Source:
Gothic Antiquity
Author(s):

Dale Townshend

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198845669.003.0002

Extending the discussion of Walpole’s architectural imagination in Chapter 1, this chapter pays sustained attention to the assumption that the eponymous castle in his The Castle of Otranto (1764) is based on, or inspired by, the author’s architectural work at Strawberry Hill. Having outlined the history of the Otranto/Strawberry Hill relationship, the chapter subjects these presumed correspondences between text and house to careful scrutiny, eventually arguing that if the two are related at all, it is primarily through the language of romance that is common to both. Both the Castle at Otranto and Strawberry Hill in Twickenham, the argument shows, are versions of the ‘enchanted castles’ that Walpole discovered deep in the annals of ‘Gothic story’. The chapter ends with an account of the extent to which Walpole arrogated to himself the ability to call up so many ‘enchanted castles’ in a number of contemporary literary and architectural experiments.

Keywords:   Horace Walpole, romance, enchantment, Ludovico Ariosto, Torquato Tasso, Gothic story, Strawberry Hill, Gothic Revival, Shakespeare, The Tempest

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