Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Gothic: Four Hundred Years Of Excess, Horro, Evil, And Ruin” as Want to Read:
Blank 133x176
Gothic: Four Hundred Y...
 
by
Richard Davenport-Hines
Rate this book
Clear rating

Gothic: Four Hundred Years Of Excess, Horro, Evil, And Ruin

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  100 ratings  ·  13 reviews
In this book, Richard Davenport-Hines traces the history of the gothic sensibility, from the seventeenth century to the present day. The birth of gothic can be said to date to the eruption of Vesuvius in 1631, an event so powerful it created a new landscape and inspired the desolate and savage scenes depicted by the painter Salvator Rosa. With their precipices, ruined cast ...more
Paperback
Published January 1st 1999 by North Point Press (first published 1998)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Gothic, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Gothic

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 322)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Bill  Kerwin

This is an extraordinarily well-written survey of the Gothic, filled with insights about theme, amusing biographical details, and a profound emotional and intellectual appreciation of the subject. Davenport-Hines is particularly good on the origins of the movement in landscaping and architecture, showing how a habit of ostentatious display by the rich and powerful was soon transformed by Walpole, Beckford and others into a self-amused--almost camp--commentary upon its excesses.

This wide-ranging
...more
Mina Villalobos
Mar 23, 2009 Mina Villalobos rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People obsessed with Batman's meta, Goths
Shelves: non-fiction, history
This book is tightly packed with information. As I close it, I am left feeling that even the endless talk about gardens and castles and abbeys was necessary to cement an understanding of the genre, not just in fiction, music and art, but as a social and psychological state.

The analysis on art and literature are what I enjoyed the most, since it gives a political context to all reviews, shining different lights on books I had read with a different context in mind -Sade's, Dracula and Frankenstei
...more
B. Zedan
Jul 04, 2008 B. Zedan rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Folks who like history and the dark junk, also gardens
Shelves: real-book
Whew. This book is packed with stuff, I had to keep taking breaks. And though by the end it's clear that Davenport-Hines is just a touch, like, obsessed with Poppy Z. Brite and that other than a few things he hates the States, this is a pretty well rounded book. It's like a solid primer to one's self education in Gothic, because after reading it you're gonna wanna read all the books he mentions and quotes from.

Biggest problem for me? Didn't mention Cronenberg (hello, degradation of flesh and con
...more
Jennifer
Jul 25, 2009 Jennifer rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jennifer by: Mina Villalobos
I have no idea why the author starts off announcing this book will cover decay, submission, vampires, inversion and despair...and then launches into a chapter almost entirely about landscaping and architecture. Mmm, grottos and crenellations. Once he gets the gardens out of his system, the book is fascinating and wide-ranging, covering a huge amount of themes and history in interesting ways. Dracula, Frankenstein, Goya, Walpole, Faulkner, Poe, The Cure, Poppy Brite--he does a great job of findin ...more
Mike Lester
2nd go-round...always something new to absorb...

The first 100 pages or so focus extensively on Gothic and faux-Gothic architecture. If this isn't your cup of tea, I suggest skipping ahead to the chapter on Horace Walpole and the beginnings of the Gothic novel....
Maureen
I enjoyed this lots, except for the final chapter, when the writer started talking about modern stuff and it slowly dawned on me that he might just be a stinkin' ol' GOTH.
Sean Kearns
It's like a friggin textbook. The history of Gothic art and literature from 1500. Impossible to read from cover to cover. I quit.
Ozan
I hate this book. Yes, it's lots of information about gothic culture but also there is so much unnecessary subjects and infos too
peaseblossom
Not a very compelling argument as to the whys and wherefores of Gothic; more a great big laundry list of things what are Gothic.
Mark
Slapdash, poorly argued, full of errors, but worth perusing...
Melinda Belle Harrison
Excellent overview of The Gothic, which is what I love.
Maryellen
nicely researched ~ interesting & informative!
Kate
Where do goths come from, Mommy?
Owen Morgan
Owen Morgan is currently reading it
Mar 29, 2015
Minstrelka
Minstrelka marked it as to-read
Mar 28, 2015
Ash Friend
Ash Friend marked it as to-read
Mar 24, 2015
Mistle
Mistle marked it as to-read
Mar 23, 2015
Ashley
Ashley marked it as to-read
Mar 19, 2015
Charity
Charity marked it as to-read
Mar 19, 2015
april
april added it
Mar 17, 2015
Jessica
Jessica marked it as to-read
Mar 02, 2015
Winter Moon
Winter Moon marked it as to-read
Feb 28, 2015
Aries Tao
Aries Tao marked it as to-read
Feb 16, 2015
Jb3
Jb3 marked it as to-read
Feb 13, 2015
Yasmin
Yasmin marked it as to-read
Feb 09, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • What Ever Happened to Modernism?
  • Goth: Undead Subculture
  • The Anatomy of Disgust
  • The Romantic Revolution
  • The Purloined Poe: Lacan, Derrida, and Psychoanalytic Reading
  • Contes cruels
  • Death Makes a Holiday: A Cultural History of Halloween
  • Cigarettes Are Sublime
  • Idols of Perversity: Fantasies of Feminine Evil in Fin-de-Siècle Culture
  • The Bloodless Revolution: A Cultural History of Vegetarianism from 1600 to Modern Times
  • The Fall: The Evidence for a Golden Age, 6,000 Years of Insanity, and the Dawning of a New Era
  • The Clumsiest People in Europe: Or, Mrs. Mortimer's Bad-Tempered Guide to the Victorian World
  • The Decadent Reader: Fiction, Fantasy, and Perversion from Fin-de-Siècle France
  • Victorian Fairy Tales: The Revolt of the Fairies and Elves
  • 50 Literature Ideas You Really Need to Know (Hardcover)
  • 75 Years Of DC Comics. The Art of Modern Mythmaking
  • Heavy Words Lightly Thrown: The Reason Behind the Rhyme
  • Brothers & Beasts: An Anthology of Men on Fairy Tales
Voyagers of the Titanic: Passengers, Sailors, Shipbuilders, Aristocrats, and the Worlds They Came From The Pursuit of Oblivion: A Global History of Narcotics An English Affair: Sex, Class and Power in the Age of Profumo Proust at the Majestic Auden

Share This Book