Contested Pasts
David Hume, Horace Walpole and the Emergence of Gothic Fiction
in Gothic Studies
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This article explores the complex, oft en antagonistic relationship between Horace Walpole‘s The Castle of Otranto (1764) and David Hume‘s The History of England (1754–62). Focusing on textuality and the interrelationship between literature and history, answers to a number of questions are sought. For example, why is Otranto so concerned with historical authenticity, what techniques does Walpole use to write the past and how do these compare with Humes methods? Walpole had read several volumes of Hume‘s history before writing his Gothic novel and this article proposes that Otranto can be read as a bold response to The History of England.

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