Skip to Main Content

A-level English - The Gothic Novel: Gothic Art & Architecture

A guide to resources on the Gothic novel; the origins, indicators, authors and books, compiled by your librarians.

Slideshow on Gothic Art and Architecture

Gothic Architecture

East End, Salisbury Cathedral

The original Gothic style was actually developed to bring sunshine into people's lives, and especially into their churches... Click HERE to read more about English Gothic Architecture from the Smart History webpages....


The vaulting arches and spires of Gothic cathedrals reach wildly to the sky as if the builders were trying to grasp the heavens; and the cathedrals are covered with a profusion of wild carvings depicting humanity in conflict with supernatural forces—demons, angels, gargoyles, and monsters


"It was too human to be called like a dragon, too impish to be like a man, too animal to be like a fiend, and not enough like a bird to be called a griffin," writes Thomas Hardy in Far From the Madding Crowd, invoking a frightening image of a gargoyle perched high atop Weatherbury Church in Wessex, England.


 Gargoyle looking out from the Notre Dame

Watch a video on Religion in Medieval Europe

Stained Glass

Detail of stained glass windows found in the Holy Trinity Church, King Williams Town, South Africa


The architecture evokes the sense of humanity’s division between a finite, physical identity and the often terrifying and bizarre forces of the infinite. The Gothic aesthetic also embodies an ambition to transcend earthly human limitations and reach the divine

Gothic Art - Heironomus Bosch

Watch a video on Hieronymus Bosch's "Delights of hell"

Illuminated paintings

Video of Hieronymus Bosch's Works

Video on Gothic Art History

Web Resources on Gothic Art / Architecture