Recommended Reading

Can’t get enough of that RomGoth feeling? Here are some works that influenced various posts.

  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte– the pièce de résistance of the Romantic Gothic novel. We’ve got alcoholism, orphans, upward social mobility, obsession, marriages out of spite, wasting away, screeching madness, and, my personal favorite, digging up the worm-infested corpse of an old love. Starring Heathcliffe and Cathy, the original obsessive lovers.
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte—while not quite as intense as Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre boasts some impressive RomGothing: namely a secret, insane, alcoholic wife hidden in an attic who sets the house on fire, and Mr. Rochester disguising himself as a palm-reading gypsy in order to get Jane’s attention after he dismisses her. Rochester is essentially the same dark and brooding as Heathcliffe with just a fraction of the crazy.
  • “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Gilman Perkins—While this is technically not a Romance (it was written in 1892, which puts it outside of the Romantic period), it still has a ton of RomGoth elements: namely insanity due to poor mental health regulations and post-partum depression. Also ghosts.
  • “The Black Cat” and “Morella” and others by Edgar Allan Poe—The man perfected the Gothic Romance. While nearly all of his works have some way of inspiration, these two (dealing with vaguely creepy dead women the narrator love) stand out in particular.
  • The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle –One doesn’t usually think of Sherlock Holmes with the Gothic Romance, but Hound delivers: not only is there a “devil dog” tied with a spooky story haunting the moor, but we’ve also got a married couple posing as siblings so the husband can marry another girl.
  • The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne—While the Hewetts live in England, The Scarlet Letter deals with sins manifesting as horrific actions (a guy flays himself for having pre-marital sex, basically) and fallen women and disconcerting children. It definitely gets a shout out here.
  • “Crimson Peak” dir. Guillermo del Toro—True, this is a film, not a book, but it has everything you could want in a Gothic Romance: incest, ghosts, murder, dubious marriages and creepy siblings. Also, fun fact: this is the film that inspired me to start this Twitter!
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