Toho Co. Ltd. is a Japanese film, theater production, distribution company. It has its headquarters in Yūrakuchō, Tokyo, is one of the core companies of the Hankyu Hanshin Toho Group. Outside Japan, it is best known as the producer and distributor of many kaiju and tokusatsu films, the Chouseishin tokusatsu superhero television franchise, the films of Akira Kurosawa, the anime films of Studio Ghibli and TMS Entertainment. Other famous directors, including Yasujirō Ozu, Kenji Mizoguchi, Masaki Kobayashi, Mikio Naruse directed films for Toho. Toho's most famous creation is Godzilla, featured in 33 of the company's films. Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah and Mechagodzilla are described as Toho's Big Five because of the monsters' numerous appearances in all three eras of the franchise, as well as spin-offs. Toho has been involved in the production of numerous anime titles, its subdivisions are Toho-Towa Distribution, Toho Pictures Incorporated, Toho International Company Limited, Toho E. B. Company Limited, Toho Music Corporation & Toho Costume Company Limited.
The company is the largest shareholder of Fuji Media Holdings Inc. Toho is a member of the Motion Picture Producers Association of Japan, is one of Japan's Big Four film studios. Toho was created by the founder of Hankyu Railway, Ichizō Kobayashi, in 1932 as the Tokyo-Takarazuka Theater Company, it managed much of the kabuki in Tokyo and, among other properties, the Tokyo Takarazuka Theater and the Imperial Garden Theater in Tokyo. Toho and Shochiku competed with the influx of Hollywood films and boosted the film industry by focusing on new directors of the likes of Akira Kurosawa, Ichikawa Kon, Kinoshita Keisuke and Shindo Kaneto. After several successful film exports to the United States during the 1950s through Henry G. Saperstein, Toho took over the La Brea Theatre in Los Angeles to show its own films without the need to sell them to a distributor, it was known as the Toho Theatre from the late 1960s until the 1970s. Toho had a theater in San Francisco and opened a theater in New York City in 1963.
The Shintoho Company, which existed until 1961, was named New Toho because it broke off from the original company. Toho has contributed to the production of some American films, including Sam Raimi's 1998 film, A Simple Plan. Ike! Godman Warrior Of Love: Rainbowman Zone Fighter Ike! Greenman Warrior Of Light: Diamond Eye Flying Saucer War Bankid Megaloman Electronic Brain Police Cybercop Seven Stars Fighting God Guyferd Stickin' Around Godzilla Island Chouseishin Gransazer Genseishin Justirisers Chousei Kantai Sazer-X Kawaii! Jenny Belle and Sebastian Igano Kabamaru Touch Kimagure Orange Road Midori Days Psycho-Pass Yowamushi Pedal Haikyū!! Blood Blockade Battlefront My Hero Academia Three Leaves, Three Colors FLCL Progressive FLCL Alternative Dr. Stone Cliff HangerIn more recent years and for a period, they have produced video games. One of their first video game was the 1990 NES game titled Circus Caper, they followed with a series of games based on Godzilla and a 1992 game called Serizawa Nobuo no Birdy Try.
It published games such as Super Aleste. They worked with Bandai on Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, released in Japan in 1988 and in the United States in 1989. Toho's headquarters, the Toho Hibiya Building, are in Yūrakuchō, Tokyo; the company moved into its current headquarters in April 2005. TohoScope Tomisaburo Wakayama Tsuburaya Productions Toho Studios Daiei Film Nikkatsu Toei Company Studio Ponoc OLM, Inc. Studio Ghibli Telecom Animation Film Shochiku Shintoho Kadokawa Pictures Mushroom Clouds and Mushroom Men: The Fantastic Cinema of Ishiro Honda, Peter H. Brothers; the Toho Studios Story: A History and Complete Filmography, Stuart Galbraith IV Official website Official website Official Toho's YouTube channel. Toho Pictures official website TOHO-TOWA Company, Limited official website TOWA PICTURES Company, Ltd. official website Toho Company on IMDb Toho at Anime News Network's encyclopedia
A legendary and mythological creature traditionally called a fabulous beast and fabulous creature, is a fictitious and supernatural animal a hybrid, sometimes part human, whose existence has not or cannot be proved and, described in folklore or fiction but in historical accounts before history became a science. In the classical era, monstrous creatures such as the cyclops and the Minotaur appear in heroic tales for the protagonist to destroy. Other creatures, such as the unicorn, were claimed in accounts of natural history by various scholars of antiquity; some legendary creatures have their origin in traditional mythology and were believed to be real creatures, for example dragons and unicorns. Others were based on real encounters, originating in garbled accounts of travelers' tales, such as the Vegetable Lamb of Tartary, which grew tethered to the earth. A variety of mythical animals appear in the art and stories of the Classical era. For example, in the Odyssey, monstrous creatures include the Cyclops and Charybdis for the hero Odysseus to confront.
In other tales there appear the Medusa to be defeated by Perseus, the Minotaur to be destroyed by Theseus, the Hydra to be killed by Heracles, while Aeneas battles with the harpies. These monsters thus have the basic function of emphasizing the greatness of the heroes involved; some classical era creatures, such as the centaur, chimaera and the flying horse, are found in Indian art. Sphinxes appear as winged lions in Indian art and the Piasa Bird of North America. In medieval art, both real and mythical, played important roles; these included decorative forms as in medieval jewellery, sometimes with their limbs intricately interlaced. Animal forms were used to add majesty to objects. In Christian art, animals carried symbolic meanings, where for example the lamb symbolized Christ, a dove indicated the Holy Spirit, the classical griffin represented a guardian of the dead. Medieval bestiaries included animals regardless of biological reality. One function of mythical animals in the Middle Ages was allegory.
Unicorns, for example, were described as extraordinarily swift and uncatchable by traditional methods. It was believed; the unicorn was supposed to leap into her lap and go to sleep, at which point a hunter could capture it. In terms of symbolism, the unicorn was a metaphor for Christ. Unicorns represented the idea of purity. In the King James Bible, Psalm 92:10 states, "My horn shalt thou exalt like the horn of an unicorn." This is because the translators of the King James erroneously translated the Hebrew word re'em as unicorn. Versions translate this as wild ox; the unicorn's small size signifies the humility of Christ. Another common legendary creature which served allegorical functions within the Middle Ages was the dragon. Dragons were identified with serpents, though their attributes were intensified; the dragon was supposed to have been larger than all other animals. It was believed that the dragon had no harmful poison but was able to slay anything it embraced without any need for venom. Biblical scriptures speak of the dragon in reference to the devil, they were used to denote sin in general during the Middle Ages.
Dragons were said to have dwelled in places like Ethiopia and India, based on the idea that there was always heat present in these locations. Physical detail was not the central focus of the artists depicting such animals, medieval bestiaries were not conceived as biological categorizations. Creatures like the unicorn and griffin were not categorized in a separate "mythological" section in medieval bestiaries, as the symbolic implications were of primary importance. Animals we know to have existed were still presented with a fantastical approach, it seems the religious and moral implications of animals were far more significant than matching a physical likeness in these renderings. Nona C. Flores explains, "By the tenth century, artists were bound by allegorical interpretation, abandoned naturalistic depictions." The historian Richard Kieckhefer explains, "Magic is not meant to work but to express wishes, or to encode in symbols a perception of how things do or should work." Cryptozoology Lists of legendary creatures List of legendary creatures by type Mythical creature in the New World Encyclopedia
Fantasy literature is literature set in an imaginary universe but not always without any locations, events, or people from the real world. Magic, the supernatural and magical creatures are common in many of these imaginary worlds, it is a story that adults can read. Fantasy is a subgenre of speculative fiction and is distinguished from the genres of science fiction and horror by the absence of scientific or macabre themes though these genres overlap. Most works of fantasy were written, since the 1960s, a growing segment of the fantasy genre has taken the form of films, television programs, graphic novels, video games and art. A number of fantasy novels written for children, such as Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, The Harry Potter series and The Hobbit attract an adult audience. Stories involving magic and terrible monsters have existed in spoken forms before the advent of printed literature. Classical mythology is replete with fantastical stories and characters, the best known being the works of Homer and Virgil.
The contribution of the Greco-Roman world to fantasy is vast and includes: The hero's journey. The philosophy of Plato has had great influence on the fantasy genre. In the Christian Platonic tradition, the reality of other worlds, an overarching structure of great metaphysical and moral importance, has lent substance to the fantasy worlds of modern works; the world of magic is connected with the Roman Greek world. With Empedocles, the elements, they are used in fantasy works as personifications of the forces of nature. Other than magic concerns include: the use of a mysterious tool endowed with special powers. India has a long tradition of fantastical characters, dating back to Vedic mythology; the Panchatantra, which some scholars believe was composed around the 3rd century BC. It is based on older oral traditions, including "animal fables that are as old as we are able to imagine". was influential in Europe and the Middle East. It used various animal fables and magical tales to illustrate the central Indian principles of political science.
Talking animals endowed with human qualities have now become a staple of modern fantasy. The Baital Pachisi, a collection of various fantasy tales set within a frame story is, according to Richard Francis Burton and Isabel Burton, the germ which culminated in the Arabian Nights, which inspired the Golden Ass of Apuleius. Boccacio's Decamerone the Pentamerone and all that class of facetious fictitious literature."The Book of One Thousand and One Nights from the Middle East has been influential in the West since it was translated from the Arabic into French in 1704 by Antoine Galland. Many imitations were written in France. Various characters from this epic have themselves become cultural icons in Western culture, such as Aladdin and Ali Baba; the Fornaldarsagas and Icelandic sagas, both of which are based on ancient oral tradition influenced the German Romantics, as well as William Morris, J. R. R. Tolkien; the Anglo-Saxon epic poem Beowulf has had deep influence on the fantasy genre. Celtic folklore and legend has been an inspiration for many fantasy works.
The Welsh tradition has been influential, owing to its connection to King Arthur and its collection in a single work, the epic Mabinogion. One influential retelling of this was the fantasy work of Evangeline Walton; the Irish Ulster Cycle and Fenian Cycle have been plentifully mined for fantasy. Its greatest influence was, indirect. Celtic folklore and mythology provided a major source for the Arthurian cycle of chivalric romance: the Matter of Britain. Although the subject matter was reworked by the authors, these romances developed marvels until they became independent of the original folklore and fictional, an important stage in the development of fantasy. Romance or chivalric romance is a type of prose and verse narrative, popular in the aristocratic circles of High Medieval and Early Modern Europe, they were fantastic stories about marvel-filled adventures of a knight-errant portrayed as having heroic qualities, who goes on a quest, yet it is "the emphasis on love and courtly manners distinguishes it from the chanson de geste and other kinds of epic, in which masculine military heroism predominates."
Popular literature drew on themes of romance, but with ironic, satiric or burlesque intent. Romances reworked legends, fairy tales, history to suit the readers' and hearers' tastes, but by c. 1600 they were out of fashion, Miguel de Cervantes famously burlesqued them in his novel Don Quixote. Still, the modern image of "medieval" is more influenced by the romance than by any other medieval genre, the word medieval evokes knights, distressed damsels and other romantic tropes. Romance literature was written in Old French, Anglo-Norman and Provençal, in Portuguese, in Castilian, in English, in Italian and German. During the early 13th century, romances
Dieselpunk is a genre similar to steampunk that combines the Tier 2 Industrial technology and aesthetics of the diesel-based technology of the interwar period through to the 1950s with retro-futuristic technology and postmodern sensibilities. Coined in 2001 by game designer Lewis Pollak to describe his role-playing game Children of the Sun, the term has since been applied to a variety of visual art, motion pictures and engineering; the name "dieselpunk" is a derivative of the 1980s science fiction genre cyberpunk, is used to represent the time period – or "era" – from the interwar period until the 1950s, when diesel-based locomotion was the main technological focus of Western culture. The "-punk" suffix attached to the name is representative of the counterculture nature of the genre with regards to its opposition to contemporary aesthetics; the term refers to the tongue-in-cheek name given to a similar cyberpunk derivative, "steampunk," which focuses on science fiction based on industrial steam power and, set within the Victorian era.
Author Scott Westerfeld addresses the question of where to draw the line between steampunk and dieselpunk, arguing that his novel Leviathan qualifies as steampunk despite the fact that the technology it depicts includes diesel engines. I like the word "dieselpunk" if you are doing something like'Weird World War II'. I think, but to me, World War I is the dividing point where modernity goes from being optimistic to being pessimistic. Because when you put the words "machine" and "gun" together, they both change. At that point, war is no longer about a sense of adventure and chivalry and a way of testing your nation's level of manhood. So playing around with that border between optimistic steampunk and a much more pessimistic dieselpunk, more about Nazis, was kind of interesting to me because early in the war we were kind of on the steampunk side of that. Jennifer McStotts, another author, considers the two genres to be close cousins, she defines steampunk as concerned with the Victorian era, the shift in technology and energy generation that came with industrialisation.
The genre is concerned with steam power and sustainable energy, while she defines dieselpunk as the genre combining the aesthetic and genre influences of the period of both world wars. Academic Gary K. Wolfe defines the genres by their era of setting, he defines steampunk as the genre set in the Victorian era and dieselpunk as the genre set in the interwar period. Dieselpunk draws its inspiration from two related sources: the diesel era and a characteristic referred to by dieselpunks as "decodence." According to the web site The Gatehouse, decodence, "embraces the styles and technologies of the era. The interbellum era is central to one school of dieselpunk labeled "Ottensian." In addition to the interbellum period, World War II plays a major role in dieselpunk in the school of the genre referred to as "Piecraftian." The exact ending of the diesel era is in some dispute in the dieselpunk community. Depending on the source it ends either at the conclusion of World War II or continues until the early part of the 1950s with the advent of such cultural icons as the Golden Age of Television and the replacement of Big Band and Swing music with Rock and Roll in popularity.
Although the term "dieselpunk" was not coined until 2001, a large body of art significant to the development of the genre was produced before that. Artwork created in the dieselpunk style are influenced by elements of the art movements most prevalent in Western culture during the diesel era such as: Arts – Abstract Expressionism, Art Deco, Raygun Gothic, Cubism, Dada, De Stijl, International Style, Surrealism Music – Blues, ragtime, Big Band, retro swing, bluegrass Literature – Symbolism, Stream of consciousness, Pulp, Hardboiled Detective, NoirAccording to Tome Wilson, owner of Dieselpunks website, the term was retroactively applied to an existing trend in literature. An alternative term was "low-brow pop surrealism". Writers of this trend blended traditional tropes and genres, such as Pulp Adventure, Film noir, Weird Horror, with a contemporary aesthetic. In his words: "They were creating a future fueled by the spirit of the Jazz Age." In their works, the reader could see Sam Spade in the era of smartphones and John Dillinger use a hovercar as his getaway vehicle.
They were writing cyberpunk stories about the era of The Great Gatsby. In discussing punk genres, Ted Stoltz defines dieselpunk as the quasifuture from the Art Deco era, he argues that cyberpunk, clockpunk and ribopunk are all defined by their connection to their respective technological element. He found this does not apply to other related genres such as elfpunk and splatterpunk where technology plays a minor role. Alternative history and World War II feature prominently in dieselpunk literature. Examples of other dieselpunk novels are Tales of the First Occult War by Kevin Cooney, Fiends of the Eastern Front by David Bishop, Hard Magic: Book 1 of the Grimnoir Chronicles by New York Times bestselling novelist Larry Correia. A feature, first identified by t
Tolkien fandom is an international, informal community of fans of the works of J. R. R. Tolkien of the Middle-earth legendarium which includes The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion; the concept of Tolkien fandom as a specific type of fan subculture sprang up in the United States in the 1960s, in the context of the hippie movement, to the dismay of the author, who talked of "my deplorable cultus". A Tolkienist is someone who studies the work of J. R. R. Tolkien: this involves the study of the Elvish languages and "Tolkienology". A Ringer is a fan of The Lord of the Rings in general, of Peter Jackson's live-action film trilogy in particular. Other terms for Tolkien fans include Tolkiendil. Tolkien's The Hobbit, a children's book, was first published in 1937, it proved popular. However, The Lord of the Rings, first published in 1954 through 1955, would give rise to the fandom as a cultural phenomenon from the early to mid-1960s. Serious admirers and fans of Tolkien came into existence within science fiction fandom soon after the publication of The Fellowship of the Ring.
Tolkien was soon being discussed in various science fiction fanzines and apazines, both as continuing threads of comment and as single pieces such as "No Monroe In Lothlorien!" in Eric Bentcliffe’s Triode. Tolkien-inspired costumes were worn at Worldcons as early as 1958; some enthusiastic Los Angeles fans had been discussing creating a Tolkien-specific society as early as 1959. An organized Tolkien fandom organization called "The Fellowship of the Ring" came together at a 49-minute meeting during Pittcon, the 18th World Science Fiction Convention in Pittsburgh on September 4, 1960; those people who provided accepted research papers to the group’s fanzine, I Palantir, would become "members." Non-members could purchase the magazine, of which Ted Johnstone was elected editor and Bruce Pelz publisher. Ken Cheslin, British agent of The Fellowship, wrote, "I would say that the Tolkien society wasn’t an offshoot… it consisted of fans who regarded JRR as, I think, a little something extra, a little area of interest in addition to the fandom, not an alternative or a replacement, etc."
England’s first Tolkien fanzine was Nazgul’s Bane, produced by Cheslin. It was a "newszine" for those British members of The Fellowship; as Worldcon art shows started, The Fellowship Ring provided prizes for Tolkien-inspired artwork. Since most of the contributors to fanzines at the time came out of science fiction fandom, speculative articles and articles of fiction took off in the direction of science fact; the drowning of Beleriand, the creation of the orcs, the evolution of the elves, the chemical composition of hithlain rope, or the make-up of the morgul-blade was all open to some scientific explanation. Attempts to add a flavor of lofty writing style in many pieces resulted in stilted phrasing. Major articles on Tolkien’s literary sources appeared through multiple issues of Xero. Lin Carter used this as a basis for his 1969 book, Tolkien: A Look Behind The Lord of the Rings; the Lord of the Rings had its detractors in fandom, including both those who found the books unreadable or the character development inferior to the worldbuilding, those who argued that Tolkien fans were taking things too far, with attempts to complete glossaries of Middle-earth underway.
A major defender and advocate of Tolkien in this era was Marion Zimmer Bradley, with such articles as her 1962 “Men and Hero Worship” in Astra’s Tower. She wrote two Tolkien pastiches and one crossover story with Aragorn entering her own created world of Darkover, she published what would be a single issue of Andúril. During this time, science fiction fandom produced many fanzines with little or no Tolkien content but Tolkien-inspired names: Ancalagon, Lefnui, Perian, Shadowfax, Silmé, undoubtedly others. Others had more meaningful Tolkien content. Ed Meskys’ apazine Niekas turned into a full-fledged fanzine during this era, with heavy Tolkien content as well as discussion of Gilbert & Sullivan, science fiction conventions and other topics. Pete Mansfield’s Sword & Sorcery fanzine, Eldritch Dream Quest, included many Tolkien items. Science fiction fandom produced many high quality examples of Tolkien writing in their fanzines during these years. Foster attributes the surge of Tolkien fandom in the United States of the mid-1960s to a combination of the hippie subculture and anti-war movement pursuing "mellow freedom like that of the Shire" and "America's cultural Anglophilia" of the time, fuelled by a bootleg paperback version of The Lord of the Rings published by Ace Books followed up by an authorised edition by Ballantine Books.
The "hippie" following latched onto the book, giving its own spin to the work's interpretation, such as the Dark Lord Sauron representing the United States military draft during the Vietnam War, to the chagrin of the author who talked of a "deplorable cultus" and stated that ""Many young Americans are involved in the stories in a way that I'm not" but who admitted that... the nose of a modest idol cannot remain untickled by the sweet smell of incense! Fan attention became so intense that Tolkien had to take his phone number out of the public directory and moved to Bournemouth on the south coast of England; this embracing of the work by American 1960s counter-culture made it an easy target for mockery, resulted in The Lord of the Rings acquiring a reputation of a dubious work of popular culture rather than "real literature", postponing the emer
Contemporary fantasy known as modern fantasy or indigenous fantasy, is a subgenre of fantasy, set in the present day or, more the time period of the maker. It is most popular for its subgenre, urban fantasy. Supernatural fiction can be said to be part of contemporary fantasy - since it has fantasy elements and is set in a contemporary setting. In practice, supernatural fiction is a well-established genre in its own right, with its own distinctive conventions; these terms are used to describe stories set in the putative real world in contemporary times, in which magic and magical creatures exist but are not seen or understood as such, either living in the interstices of our world or leaking over from alternate worlds. It thus has much in common with, sometimes overlaps with secret history. Novels in which modern characters travel into alternative worlds, all the magical action takes place there, are not considered contemporary fantasy. Thus, C. S. Lewis's The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, where all fantasy events take place in the land of Narnia, reached via a magic wardrobe, would not count as contemporary fantasy.
Contemporary fantasy is distinguished from horror fiction – which often has contemporary settings and fantastic elements – by the overall tone, emphasizing joy or wonder rather than fear or dread. In his preface to That Hideous Strength, one of the earlier works falling within this subgenre, C. S. Lewis explained why, when writing a tale about "magicians, pantomime animals and planetary angels", he chose to start it with a detailed depiction of narrow-minded academic politics at a provincial English university and the schemes of crooked real estate developers: "I am following the traditional fairy-tale. We do not always notice its method, because the cottages, castles and petty kings with which a fairy tale opens have become for us as remote as the witches and ogres to which it proceeds, but they were not remote at all to the men who first made and enjoyed the tales". The same is true for many of the works in the genre, which begin with a normal scene of modern daily life to disclose supernatural and magical beings and events hidden behind the scenes.
Contemporary fantasies concern places dear to their authors, are full of local color and atmosphere, attempt to lend a sense of magic to those places when the subgenre overlaps with mythic fiction. When the story takes place in a city, the work is called urban fantasy; the contemporary fantasy and low fantasy genres can overlap as both are defined as being set in the real world. There are differences, however. Low fantasies are set in the real world but not in the modern age, in which case they would not be contemporary fantasy. Contemporary fantasies are set in the real world but may include distinct fantasy settings within it, such as the Harry Potter series, in which case they would be high rather than low fantasy. Erich Kästner The 35th of May, or Conrad's Ride to the South Seas Robert Louis Stevenson: The Bottle Imp Jack Williamson: Darker Than You Think William T. Cox, Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods Denis Wheatley's Gregory Sallust series, pitting the protagonist against supernatural forces on the background of WWII and Nazi Germany.
Stella Benson: Living Alone Edith Nesbit: The Magic City, Psammead series, House of Arden series, The Enchanted Castle, The Magic World and other works Edward Eager: The Magic Series P. L. Travers: Mary Poppins Mikhail Bulgakov: The Master and Margarita Rudyard Kipling, Puck of Pook's Hill C. S. Lewis: That Hideous Strength Hendrik Willem van Loon: Van Loon's Lives Selma Lagerlöf: The Wonderful Adventures of Nils H. G. Wells: The Wonderful Visit, The Sea Lady and The Man Who Could Work Miracles Charles Williams: An early innovator of theology-oriented contemporary fantasy. Freda Warrington's Aetherial Tales series Benedict Jacka's Alex Verus series Eoin Colfer's Artemis Fowl series Ryohgo Narita's Baccano! and Durarara!! Tite Kubo's Bleach Mary Norton's The Borrowers Joss Whedon's Buffyverse Kazuma Kamachi's A Certain Magical Index Virtually the entire oeuvre of Charles de Lint Dangerous Angels and other works by Francesca Lia Block Constance M. Burge's Charmed Dark Cities Underground by Lisa Goldstein Susan Cooper's The Dark Is Rising Sequence Tom Deitz's The David Sullivan series Hazel Butler's Deathly Insanity series.
Jenna Black's The Devil Inside, set in the United States with demons. The Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher Raymond E. Feist's Faerie Tale Type-Moon's The Garden of Sinners and Fate series which takes place in a world where magic has all but vanished as technology has overtaken it and all the gods and magical creatures have either disappeared or left. Peter S. Beagle's A Private Place and other works by him. Richelle Mead's Georgina Kincaid series Midori Snyder's Hannah's Garden J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series - set in the United Kingdom during the 1990s, with flashbacks to the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1970s, 1980s, flash-forwards to the 2010s. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is set during the 2020s, with flashbacks to the 1980s, 1990s, 2010s. Alternately, J. K. Rowling's Fantastic Beasts series of screenplays, takes place in a number of global locati
Gothic fiction, known by the subgenre of Gothic horror, is a genre or mode of literature and film that combines fiction and horror, at times romance. Its origin is attributed to English author Horace Walpole, with his 1764 novel The Castle of Otranto, subtitled "A Gothic Story"; the effect of Gothic fiction feeds on a pleasing sort of terror, an extension of Romantic literary pleasures that were new at the time of Walpole's novel. It originated in England in the second half of the 18th century where, following Walpole, it was further developed by Clara Reeve, Ann Radcliffe, William Thomas Beckford and Matthew Lewis; the genre had much success in the 19th century, as witnessed in prose by Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and the works of Edgar Allan Poe as well as Charles Dickens with his novella, A Christmas Carol, in poetry in the work of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Lord Byron. Another well known novel in this genre, dating from the late Victorian era, is Bram Stoker's Dracula; the name Gothic, which referred to the Goths, came to mean "German", refers to the medieval Gothic architecture, in which many of these stories take place.
This extreme form of Romanticism was popular throughout Europe among English- and German-language writers and artists. The English Gothic novel led to new novel types such as the German Schauerroman and the French Roman Noir; the novel regarded as the first Gothic novel is The Castle of Otranto by English author Horace Walpole, first published in 1764. Walpole's declared aim was to combine elements of the medieval romance, which he deemed too fanciful, the modern novel, which he considered to be too confined to strict realism; the basic plot created many other staple Gothic generic traits, including threatening mysteries and ancestral curses, as well as countless trappings such as hidden passages and oft-fainting heroines. Walpole published the first edition disguised as a medieval romance from Italy discovered and republished by a fictitious translator; when Walpole admitted to his authorship in the second edition, its favourable reception by literary reviewers changed into rejection. The reviewers' rejection reflected a larger cultural bias: the romance was held in contempt by the educated as a tawdry and debased kind of writing.
A romance with superstitious elements, moreover void of didactical intention, was considered a setback and not acceptable. Walpole's forgery, together with the blend of history and fiction, contravened the principles of the Enlightenment and associated the Gothic novel with fake documentation. Clara Reeve, best known for her work The Old English Baron, set out to take Walpole's plot and adapt it to the demands of the time by balancing fantastic elements with 18th-century realism. In her preface, Reeve wrote: "This Story is the literary offspring of The Castle of Otranto, written upon the same plan, with a design to unite the most attractive and interesting circumstances of the ancient Romance and modern Novel." The question now arose whether supernatural events that were not as evidently absurd as Walpole's would not lead the simpler minds to believe them possible. Reeve's contribution in the development of the Gothic fiction, can be demonstrated on at least two fronts. In the first, there is the reinforcement of the Gothic narrative framework, one that focuses on expanding the imaginative domain so as to include the supernatural without losing the realism that marks the novel that Walpole pioneered.
Secondly, Reeve sought to contribute to finding the appropriate formula to ensure that the fiction is believable and coherent. The result is that she spurned specific aspects to Walpole's style such as his tendency to incorporate too much humor or comic elements in such a way that it diminishes the Gothic tale's ability to induce fear. In 1777, Reeve enumerated Walpole's excesses in this respect: a sword so large as to require an hundred men to lift it. Although the succession of Gothic writers did not heed Reeve's focus on emotional realism, she was able to posit a framework that keeps Gothic fiction within the realm of the probable; this aspect remains a challenge for authors in this genre after the publication of The Old English Baron. Outside of its providential context, the supernatural would suffer the risk of veering towards the absurd. Ann Radcliffe developed the technique of the explained supernatural in which every supernatural intrusion is traced back to natural causes. Radcliffe has been called both “the Great Enchantress” and “Mother Radcliffe” due to her influence on both Gothic literature and the female Gothic.
Radcliffe’s use of visual elements and their effects constitutes an innovative strategy for reading the world through “linguistic visual patterns” and developing an “ethical gaze”, allowing for readers to visualize the events through words, understand the situations, feel the terror which the characters themselves are experiencing. Her success attracted many imitators. Among other elements, Ann Radcliffe introduced the brooding figure of the Gothic villain, a literary device that would come to be defined as the Byronic hero. Radcliffe's novels, above all The Mysteries of Udolpho, were best-sellers. However, along with most novels at the time, they were looked down upon by many well-educated people as sensationalist nonsense. Radcliffe inspired the emerging idea of