Gothic Classics: The Castle of Otranto and the Old English Baron
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About the Author
Horace Walpole (1717-1797) was an English writer, art historian, Whig politician, and a man of letters, a group of intellectuals dedicated to solving society's problems. As the youngest son of a prime minister, Walpole was born into a noble family and became an Earl in 1791. Long before that, Walpole was an elected member of parliament, where he represented the Whig party for thirteen years. Because Walpole's house, called Strawberry Hill, had its own printing press, he was able to enjoy a prolific writing career, publishing many works of fiction and nonfiction. Walpole has been credited for creating the gothic literary genre with his novel The Castle of Otranto.