- Patron: Do you have the first Percy Jackson book?
- Me: (after searching) Sorry our copy is checked out. I can reserve one for you, if you'd like.
- Patron: No I need it soon. I was thinking of buying it for my nephew for his birthday. He’s 12. Is it a good book? I want to read it through to make sure there isn’t anything bad in it.
- Me: This is just my opinion, but I have read the book and I think it’s a very good adventure story for kids. I think it’s suitable for the age group because I do not recall any swearing, sexual content, or graphic violence when I read it.
- Patron: Well I just have to be sure. I don’t want to give him anything inappropriate.
- Me: I understand and it is totally your decision. What might be offensive to you may not be offensive to me. I think reading it through first is great idea.
- Patron: Okay, I think I go to the bookstore and read a bit before I buy it. Unless….do you have any of the Game of Thrones books?
- Me: ._.
This is a masterpost of Gothic literature, a genre popular in the 18th and 19th centuries in Europe (and to a lesser extent in America), which combined horror, fantasy, and Romanticism. The list is organised by genre and date. All texts are public-domain and are available online via the links provided. Happy reading, and feel free to ask if there’s anything you’d like me to add.
Novels and Novellas:
- Horace Walpole: The Castle of Otranto (1764)
- Friedrich Schiller: The Ghost-Seer (1781)
- Anne Radcliffe: The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794)
- Matthew Gregory Louis: The Monk (1796)
- Mary Shelley: Frankenstein (1818)
- Jane Austen: Northanger Abbey (parody, 1818)
- John William Polidori: The Vampyre (1819)
- Charlotte Bronte: Jane Eyre (1847)
- Emily Bronte: Wuthering Heights (1847)
- Edgar Allen Poe: The Light-House (unfinished, 1849)
- Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu: Carmilla (1872)
- Robert Louis Stevenson: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886)
- Theodor Storm: The Rider on the White Horse (1888)
- Oscar Wilde: The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891)
- Bram Stoker: Dracula (1897)
- Gaston Leroux: The Phantom of the Opera (1911)
- H.P. Lovecraft: The Shadow Over Innsmouth (1936)
- Washington Irving: “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" (1820)
- Edgar Allan Poe: “The Fall of the House of Usher" (1839), "The Man of the Crowd" (1840), "The Masque of the Red Death" (1842), "The Pit and the Pendulum" (1842-1843), "The Tell-Tale Heart" (1843) [You can find a complete index of Poe’s works here.]
- Robert W. Chambers: The King in Yellow (short story collection, 1895)
- H.P. Lovecraft: “The Moon-Bog" (1926), "The Music of Erich Zann" (1922), "Herbert West - Reanimator" (1922), "The Lurking Fear" (1923), "The Rats in the Walls" (1924), "The Dunwich Horror" (1929) [You can find a complete index of Lovecraft’s works here.]
- Samuel Taylor Coleridge: “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" (1798), "Christabel" (1800)
- John Keats: “La Belle Dame Sans Merci" (1819), "Isabella, or the Pot of Basil" (1820)
- Edgar Allen Poe: “Lenore" (1843), "The Raven" (1845), "Annabel Lee" (1849)
- Emily Bronte: “A Death-Scene" (1846), "Honour’s Martyr" (1846)
— Time Magazine Article October 28, 2013