The British Library has a multi-pronged strategy for promoting the exhibit Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination. It includes partnerships with the B.B.C., the theatre company Les Enfants Terribles, and Regent Holidays.
Famous writers are speaking at The British Library. Curator Greg Buzwell also showed materials related to the real person Vlad Dracula and Bram Stoker’s character Count Dracula to the stars of Dracula Untold (2014).
The British Library has partnered with B.B.C. Two and B.B.C. Four to celebrate all things Gothic this autumn with When Gothic Was Born, a new season of programs exploring the literature, architecture, music and artworks that have taken such a prominent place in British culture. The Art of Gothic: Britain’s Midnight Hour is a three-part miniseries on B.B.C. Four hosted by Andrew Graham-Dixon.
He looks back at how Victorian-era Great Britain turned to the medieval past for inspiration to create some of Great Britain’s most famous artworks and buildings. This show started to air on Monday, October 20, 2014.
In Architects of The Divine: The First Gothic Age, Dr. Janina Ramirez looks at Perpendicular Gothic, Britain’s first cultural style from Gloucester Cathedral to King’s College Chapel at the University of Cambridge. This aired for the first time on B.B.C. Four on Tuesday, October 28, 2014.
Dan Cruickshank looks back at Gothic architecture’s most influential family – Sir George Gilbert Scott (1811-1878); his son, George Gilbert Scott, Jr. (1839-1897); and his grandson, Sir Giles Gilbert Scott (1880-1960) – in Dan Cruikshank and the Family that Built Gothic Britain. This aired for the first time on B.B.C. Four on Tuesday, October 21, 2014.
B.B.C. Four delves into the archives uncovering performances from Siouxsie and the Banshees, Bauhaus, The Cure, Sisters of Mercy, The Mission and more in Goth at the BBC. This aired for the first time on Friday, October 31, 2014.
The series ended with B.B.C. Two’s broadcast of Frankenstein and the Vampyre – A Dark and Stormy Night. It aired for the first time on Sunday, November 2, 2014.
B.B.C. Radio 4 and B.B.C. Radio 3 also contributed programs. B.B.C. Radio 4 made “In Our Time: Gothic,” “Frankenstein’s Moon,” “In Our Time: Vitalism,” “Was Dracula Irish?,” and “Open Book.” B.B.C. Radio 3 made “Brian: Gothic Symphony.”
Tim Pye, Curator of English and Drama and Lead Curator of Terror and Wonder, said, “The Gothic imagination with its love of the awe-inspiring, the wondrous and the uncanny has cast long and beautiful shadows across all aspects of our lives for hundreds of years. Writers, artists, architects, fashion designers and musicians have all taken inspiration from its alluring appeal and its rich heritage. We’re thrilled that the British Library has been able to work with the BBC on this autumn’s Gothic season in order to highlight this incredibly significant aspect of our cultural history. The Library’s exhibition, Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination, features many surprising Gothic storylines and discoveries, and our collaboration with the BBC allows these, and much more, to be presented to a wide audience in fascinating and entertaining ways.”
Showing how Gothic fiction has inspired fine art, the exhibition features paintings and prints, such as Henry Fuseli’s Hamlet, Prince of Denmark and Nathaniel Grogan’s Lady Blanche Crosses the Ravine, a scene taken directly from the “Queen of Terror” Ann Radcliffe’s The Mysteries of Udolpho. The British Library stated, “These classic images precede dramatic contemporary artworks, such as Jake and Dinos Chapman’s series ‘Exquisite Corpse’, showing how the dark and gruesome still inspire today’s artists.”
Celebrating the British Goth scene, we are delighted to reveal a brand new series of photographs of the Whitby Goth Weekend by the award-winning photographer Martin Parr. Commissioned specially for this exhibition, the photographs take a candid look at the biannual event, which takes place in the town famously featured in Dracula, capturing its diversity and energy.
Earlier this year The British Library announced a project to put its literary treasures online for the world to see with a new website, Discovering Literature. Many of the Gothic literary greats featured in the exhibit – including siblings Charlotte Brontë (1816-1865), Patrick Branwell Brontë (1817-1848), Emily Brontë (1818-1848), and Anne Brontë (1820-1849); Charles Dickens (1812-1870); and Wilkie Collins (1824-1889) – can be explored amongst the Romantic and Victorian literature now available online.
Novelist, journalist, and playwright Katharine Louise (“Kate”) Mosse, O.B.E., best known for her best-selling novel Labyrinth, opened the exhibit Terror and Wonder on Thursday, October 2, 2014. She will return to the exhibit on Friday, December 12, 2014.
Kate Mosse will speak in The British Library’s Conference Centre. Her books involiving the supernatural include Labyrinth and The Winter Ghosts.
Ms. Mosse will likely focus on her new book, The Taxidermist’s Daughter. Full-price tickets for adults are £10 for adults or £7 for minors under eighteen.
A wide range of literary, film, and music events accompany the exhibit, with speakers including writers Susan Hill and Audrey Niffenegger, actor Reece Shearsmith, comedian Stewart Lee, and musician Brian May. For example, Welsh novelist Sarah Waters, Australian novelist DBC Pierre, and English novelist and film critic Kim Newman will participate in the On Gothic Literature panel discussion in The British Library’s Conference Centre on Wednesday, December 3, 2014 at 18:30 (6:30 p.m.). Full-price tickets are £10 for adults or £7 for minors under eighteen.
For Halloween, The British Library partnered with the theatre company Les Enfants Terribles to present “LATE at the Library: The Sorting in the Entrance Hall.” The event lasted from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. on Friday, October 31, 2014. Tickets were £15.
In another effort to promote the exhibit, The British Library teamed up with Regent Holidays to offer a contest to win a Romanian vacation. The five night/six day vacation for two in Romania includes “Dracula – The True Story of Vlad the Impaler Romania Tour;” accommodation with breakfast; return flights, and transfers in Romania; and sightseeing with English-speaking guide.
Note that the contest is open to “anyone resident in the United Kingdom” (with the exclusion of employees of The British Library or Regent Holidays, other people directly involved in those organizations, and the immediate family members of those people). The deadline to enter is Tuesday, January 20, 2015.
Graphic artist Dave McKean came up with the Terror and Wonder exhibit emblem. A Terror and Wonder limited edition print is £30. There are only 250 copies. Exhibition posters are £3.
The British Library’s Online Shop has a number of items that may appeal to visitors who enjoy Terror and Wonder. They range from burgundy or black lipstick for £6 to a black lace fan for £12.50, from to a paperback copy of Neil Gaiman, Dave McKean’s Coraline for £6.99 to the DVD Classic Ghost Stories of M.R. James for £20 or a Dracula Toy Theatre for £20.99.
On Tuesday, September 23, 2014, Welsh actor-singer Luke Evans, Canadian actress Sarah Gadon, and Gary Shore, the stars and director of Dracula Untold (2014), had an exclusive preview of Dracula material in The British Library’s exhibit Terror and Wonder with Curator Greg Buzwell. The curatorial staff organized Terror and Wonder with the help of an academic advisor, Dr. Dale Townshend, Senior Lecturer at the University of Stirling, Mr. Buzwell explained in an interview.
In February of 2014, The British Library Publishing Division published the companion book Terror and Wonder, edited by Dr. Townshend. It features original essays written by major scholars of Gothic literature. The British Library stated the “book Terror and Wonder provides a compelling and comprehensive overview of the Gothic imagination over the past 250 years.”
There are 120 color illustrations. Both editions are 224 pages. The paperback’s I.S.B.N. is 9780712357913.
It costs £25 at The British Library with a list price of $40 in the United States. Currently, it is $33.51 on Amazon.com.
The hardcover’s I.S.B.N. is 9780712357555. It costs £35 at The British Library. Third-party sellers are currently offering it via Amazon.com for between $38.63 and $50.09.
 Vlad III (1431–1476/77), Voivode (Prince) of Wallachia belonged to the Basarab Dynasty and defended his principality against Turkish invaders who had held him hostage (to keep his father in line) as a boy. He is remembered in Romania as Vlad Dracula (“Vlad, Son of the Dragon”) because his father Vlad II was called Vlad Dracul (“Vlad the Dragon”) because he wore the emblem of the Order of the Dragon. This was an order of crusaders founded in 1408 by Sigismund of Luxemburg (1368-1437), Holy Roman Emperor (1433-1437), King of the Romans (1410-1437), King of Italy, King of Hungary (1387-1437), King of Croatia (1387-1437), and King of Bohemia (1419-1437). The knights of this order were all of imperial, royal, or princely rank. Vlad III is also remembered as Vlad Țepeș, (“Vlad the Impaler”) for his favorite means of execution for both Turks and domestic enemies. He ruled Wallachia and part of Transylvania (two of the three constituent principalities of Romania) three times: in 1488, from 1456 to 1462, and from 1475 until his death in late 1476 or early 1477.
 Evans plays a character that combines the real historic person Vlad Dracula and Bram Stoker’s character Count Dracula. The screenwriters wanted to explain how the historic man Vlad Dracula could become Count Dracula, filling in the character’s backstory. Ms. Gadon plays both Vlad Dracula’s wife Mirena and Mina Harker. [Neither of the women who were married to Vlad III had that name.] The idea that Mina Harker is a reincarnation of Dracula’s late wife was first presented in the telefilm Dracula (1973), Dan (Dark Shadows) Curtis (1927-2006) produced and directed. That telefilm was written by Richard (I Am Legend) Matheson (1926-2013) and starred Jack Palance (1919-2006) as Count Dracula. The idea was recycled in Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992), a lavish production produced and directed by Francis Ford Coppola for Columbia Pictures. James V. Hart wrote that screenplay. It starred Gary Oldman as Vlad III/Count Dracula, Winona Ryder as Mina Harker and Vlad’s (fictional) wife Elisabeta, Sir Anthony Hopkins as Dr. Abraham Van Helsing, and Keanu Reeves as Jonathan Harker. That production was notable because it was the first time all the major character from the novel appeared in one film. Universal Studios intends to use Dracula Untold as the first in a series of films to revive the Universal Monsters series of movies it started to make with Dracula (1931). If this current attempt is successful, the monsters will inhabit a shared universe like they did in the later monster films of the 1940s and ‘50s, but more tightly written, along the lines of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.