Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite Gothic Books

Blog - Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. If you love books and making lists, this is the meme for you! This week’s topic is:

Top Ten ALL TIME Favourite Books Of X Genre

As the leaves turn gold, the weather cools and the night’s draw in it is the perfect time for an atmospheric, gothic novel, so here are 10 of my all time favourites (ordered alphabetical by author):

~ 1 ~

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

I found it so amusing to follow the young heroine, Catherine, as her imagination runs a mock with decrepit castles, locked rooms, mysterious chests, cryptic notes and tyrannical fathers. A witty and satirical twist on the gothic novel.

~ 2 ~

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

A stark, wild and passionate tale of Catherine and Heathcliff’s destructive love – set out on the cold, isolated moors. What could be better than curling up in a blanket with this as the wind howls outside?

~ 3 ~

The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle

I wouldn’t class all of Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes tales as gothic but this novella takes us out to an isolated house on the misty moors with a legend of a diabolical hound. Gothic brilliance!

~ 4 ~

We have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

A slow and creeping tale of ‘Merricat’ and her sister Constance who live an isolated life after a family tragedy; hated and feared by their neighbours. Just describing it to you sent a little shiver up my spine!

~ 5 ~

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

While at university, I read this chilling novella, about an isolated country home with a dark past, in one sitting. Are there ghosts or is the young governess losing her sanity?! I emerged from this gripping tale to find it had gone pitch dark around me!

~ 6 ~

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

The new Mrs de Winter is swept off her feet by dashing widower, Maxim, and brought to his country estate, Manderley. Only to find reminders and memories of his dead wife, Rebecca, everywhere; she almost seems to haunt her very steps! I long to return to Manderley…

~ 7 ~

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Perhaps my favourite of them all! This is chilling, scientific horror that tells the tale of Dr Frankenstein and the creature, some would say monster, he creates. All told in some of the most beautiful language.

~ 8 ~

Wildfire at Midnight by Mary Stewart

Tourists at the idyllic Camasunary Hotel on the quiet Isle of Skye are dragged out of their restive vacation by a series of brutal murders. A much lighter option than the rest on this list, however I think the beautiful descriptions of this old, isolated community and the rugged scenery means it is still very worthy of the label of gothic.

~ 9 ~

Dracula by Bram Stoker

This book hardly needs any introduction, as it is the first and probably best known vampire novel. From Castle Dracula in Transylvania to the storm whipped, coastal town of Whitby with the Abbey perched on the cliffs…pure gothic settings!

~ 10 ~

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

The dazzling and repulsive tale of Dorian Gray, who sells his soul for eternal youth, beauty and good health – his dark secret only revealed in his portrait which he hides away in the attic

Have you read any of these? What is your favourite gothic novel? Also, link in the comments if you have also taken part in this week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic.

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35 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite Gothic Books

  1. What a great topic! I’ve read 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 9 and 10…hmm, and I don’t even consider myself a frequent reader of gothic novels! I particularly love Northanger Abbey and Rebecca (a recent reread, in fact). I’d also recommend Jane Eyre, one of my all-time favorites. And I’m very attached to The Phantom of the Opera, though I have to admit the original Leroux novel is not my favorite version.

    1. Cheryl, you may not consider yourself a frequent reader of gothic novels but you do seem to have read most of the classic ones 🙂 I have read Jane Eyre but I’m afraid it isn’t a favourite of mine, however I have also read The Phantom of the Opera and it was on my possible list for this post 😀

    1. Daisy, how lovely that Northanger Abbey is your favourite Austen – it is wonderfully different from Austen’s other novels. I think my favourite has to be Sense and Sensibility 🙂

  2. Nice one! I did a gothic list last month which also featured Northanger Abbey and Rebecca. I’m surprised you don’t have Jane Eyre on your list though. If you haven’t read it yet, it comes highly recommended!:D

    I made a list of favourite historical fiction if you’re interested in checking it out. ^_^

    Risa

    1. Thank you Risa 🙂 Great to hear you also made a gothic list and featured some of the same books – I will definitely be popping over to check it out. I have read Jane Eyre but I’m afraid it is not a favourite of mine.

      1. Wow! I’m surprised. Did you like it though? I’m just curious since this is the first time I’ve come across someone who has read Jane Eyre and not considered it a favourite…

  3. I’m not usually a fan of books that are too dark, but I loved Northanger Abbey- it probably primarily sits in the historical romance section though 😛

    1. Hello blikachuka, thank you for stopping by and commenting – it is always lovely to hear from a new face 🙂 I agree Northanger Abbey does have elements of romance and it is more satirical gothic rather than dark gothic!

  4. Gothic novels! This is a great list. Love that you’ve started with a satire—Gothic novels are great both in earnest and in jest. I think I’ve read all of these, except Mary Stewart. I say “I think” because I can’t remember if I’ve actually read The Turn of the Screw or just somehow know the plot via some sort of literary osmosis.

  5. Fabulous, fabulous list! I wouldn’t have thought of The Hound of the Baskervilles as gothic, but of course you’re right – it is! The only one I haven’t read is the Mary Stewart – I shall have to track that one down…

  6. What great choices, Jessica! I’ve read and loved most of those, apart from 3, 5 and 8 which I’m hoping to read at some point. I also enjoyed Uncle Silas by Sheridan Le Fanu and The Italian by Ann Radcliffe – and I definitely agree with Jane’s suggestion of The Woman in White. 🙂

    1. Thank you Helen – I thought you might have read many of these great novels 😀 I hope you are able to try The Hound of the Baskervilles, The Turn of the Screw and Wildfire at Midnight; as I think there is a high possibility you’ll enjoy them too. Sadly, I haven’t read Uncle Silas, The Italian or The Woman in White but I am very interested in them 🙂

  7. Northanger Abbey is my favorite Jane Austen novel. I have read Rebecca and loved it. I read Bram Stoker’s Dracula this year and was surprised at how great it was. I have always meant to read Wuthering Heights. Don’t know how I never read it. And I will be reading We Have Always Lived in the Castle by the end of the year because it is on my 1962 list. I think my favorite gothic novel is The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield, gothic in setting if not in time.

    1. Judy, it is great to hear you loved Northanger Abbey, Rebecca and Dracula too. I hope you enjoy Wuthering Heights and We Have Always Lived in the Castle when you are able to read them; I couldn’t recommend either more highly! I haven’t heard of The Thirteenth Tale – I will have to investigate it as a possible future read 🙂

        1. Lynn, I think Turn of the Screw would be a great one for your Classics Club list; plus its a short novella so you’ll whip through it in no time. As for Wildfire at Midnight that would depend what you class as a classic – Mary Stewart was writing in the 1950s. Also, she wrote a lot of books…once you start hehe! I really want to read her Merlin trilogy 😀

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