From Frankenstein’s monster to The Day of the Triffids; Ann Radcliffe’s wildly sublime literary landscapes to the environmental apocalypse of films such as The Day After Tomorrow; from eighteenth-century Gothic to its modern sci-fi descendants, we have always been preoccupied with the effects of the natural world on humankind – when nature strikes back. As Autumn draws in, join us for dark folklore, plants and plagues: Gothic tours and talks, a new garden trail, atmospheric dining, and a movie night that’ll put a spell on you.
In the House: Friday 8th October-Sunday 31st October
Two brand new three-week displays in the house will share the terrors of our collections. Gothic Landscapes in the Long Gallery explores the icy wastes and craggy mountains, the deep forests and desolate seas that provided the backdrop for Gothic literature. In the Library, we share some of the darkest visions of the collections in Gothic Apocalypse.
6-7.30pm. Take a drink with the ghosts in the Great Hall before exploring Chawton House after dark on one of our guided tours. Learn about both infamous and lesser-known women writers who terrorised a reading public and brought the Gothic to life in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
6-7.30pm. Stroll through the moonlit grounds on a guided garden tour. Discover the creatures that only emerge at night as we unearth Chawton House’s eerie family history.
Tuesday 19th October
Dr Sam George, ‘Dark Folklore: A journey into the Botanical Gothic’
7-8.30pm. Sam George is Associate Professor in Research and the Convenor of the popular Open Graves, Open Minds Project at the University of Hertfordshire. She is a writer of feature articles on literature and folklore in the national and international press. Her interviews have appeared in newspapers from The Guardian to The Independent and the Wall Street Journal. Her research interests span from women and botany to vampire studies, werewolves, dark fairies, and the gothic. She is the author of Botany, Sexuality and Women’s Writing (2007); In the Kingdom of Shadows; Optics, Dark Folklore and the Gothic in the Literature of the Long Nineteenth Century (forthcoming 2022), and the co- editor of Women and Botany (2011); Representations of Vampires and the Undead from the Enlightenment to the Present Day (2012); In the Company of Wolves: Werewolves, Wolves and Wild Children (2020). She co-edited the first issue of Gothic Studies on ‘Vampires’ with Bill Hughes in 2013 and ‘werewolves and wildness’ followed in 2019. She is currently working on an edited collection on The Legacy of John William Polidori: The Romantic Vampire and its Progeny and researching a book on fairies and the gothic for Bloomsbury. You can follow her on Twitter at @DrSamGeorge1
This pre-recorded online lecture will be followed by a live Q&A on Zoom.