Horace Walpole and the Gothic (The Castle of Otranto and Strawberry Hill)

Ref: C3747636

Horace Walpole, (1717-1797), 4th Earl of Orford, was a member of parliament, writer, art historian and heritage collector; best known as the author of the World's first gothic novel 'The Castle of Otranto,' (1764) and the owner and designer of the uniquely neo-Gothic Strawberry Hill House. In this session we will explore the intriguing connections between the novel and the House and Walpole's extraordinary contribution to eighteenth-century culture. Students may also like to organize their own visit to Strawberry Hill House pre or post course!

Course aim

This session focuses on the fascinating links between gothic aesthetics in Horace Walpole's novel 'The Castle of Otranto' (1764) and the design of his home Strawberry Hill House.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is open to anyone interested in the Gothic novel and Gothic architecture. Some previous experience of studying literature and art history would be helpful but not essential. A good level of spoken English is needed for participation in this session.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • explain three Gothic elements contained in Walpole's novel
  • provide a mini-biograhpy of Horace Walpole
  • summarise three distinctive features of Strawberry Hill House's design

How will I be taught?

What kind of feedback can I expect?

What else do I need to know?

It would be useful for students to have read the novel in advance of the session. Online links to free electronic versions will be provided on Canvas

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

What can I do next?

View full course information sheet

Horace Walpole and the Gothic (The Castle of Otranto and Strawberry Hill)

Is this course right for me? Request more information

This course has been cancelled.


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you enrol. Please check the details below to ensure you meet the basic eligibility critiera:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2021
  • You declare that the address you provide is correct and that you will provide evidence of this and your eligibility to live and work in the UK
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

Visa Credit payments supported by RBS WorldPay Visa Debit payments supported by RBS WorldPay Visa Electron payments supported by RBS WorldPay Mastercard payments supported by RBS WorldPay Maestro payments supported by RBS WorldPay JCB payments supported by RBS WorldPay Solo payments supported by RBS WorldPay
RBS WorldPay Payments Processing