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Gothic Bristol: City of darkness and light

Mulvey-Roberts, Marie




Because of its links with Romanticism, Bristol has been referred to as a ‘Romantic City’, yet it could just as easily be identified with the Gothic. Over the centuries, Bristol has been the matrix for a significant number of Gothic innovations, inspirational settings and associations with writers from late eighteenth-century Gothic fiction through to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818), Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1897) and beyond. Bristol’s dark legacy of the slave trade makes it a city of darkness as well as light, a binary opposition that is particularly conducive to the Gothic as a mode of cultural and even civic expression. This chapter will look at the dark side of Bristol through literature and also consider the relationship between Gothic architecture and writers connected with the city.


Mulvey-Roberts, M. (2015). Gothic Bristol: City of darkness and light. In M. Mulvey-Roberts (Ed.), Literary Bristol: Writers and the City (29-58). Bristol: Redcliffe Press

Publication Date Jan 1, 2015
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Pages 29-58
Book Title Literary Bristol: Writers and the City
ISBN 9781908326737
Keywords Gothic, Bristol, darkness, vampire, Frankenstein, Southey, slavery
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