Why novels like The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole , or The Mysteries of Udolpho by Anne Radcliff were called Gothic is not very clear. Probably a certain type of novel was called gothic because the story was usually about people and events in the Middle Ages (the 13th to the 15thc centuries). The typical Gothic story was full of Gothic architecture – monasteries, ruined (= in rovina)churches, subterranean passages where monks walked or dark, haunted (= infestati) castles where the theme (= tema) is murder (= assassinio) and mystery. Some experts say that the Gothic novel originated in
: the German stories not only took place in a gloomy (= oscura) atmosphere, they were also horrific and violent.
One of the first to use the term Gothic for his novel was Percy Bisshe Shelly author of Zastrozzi while the most popular examples of Gothic novels are Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometeus, by P. B. Shelley’s second wife, Mary and Dracula by the Irish writer Bram Stoker.