Arts, Venue

My introduction to the Gothic

I’m a big fan of the Gothic; literature, art, movies, architecture, you name it. The creatives who cultivated this interest from a relatively young age were filmmaker Tim Burton, and by extension, Helena Bonham Carter, and author Marcus Sedgwick. Many people are familiar with the work of the former two, but, in my opinion, the works of Sedgwick go woefully unappreciated.

He’s primarily a children’s and young adult author who I distinctly remember being introduced to in my Year Nine English class, with his 2007 novel ‘My Swordhand is Singing’. It’s the first book that I read during secondary school that I couldn’t get enough of, and I remember giving it the excited dedication that’s possible when you’re in Year Nine and have no other responsibilities. It’s an unconventional vampire story, and is reminiscent of Burton’s nuance, showing that things can be eerie and bizarre without being outright scary. As a bit of a wimp when it comes to horror, I loved it.

Sedgwick is one of those authors I wish more people knew about. As with many children’s writers, his work holds a lot of value for adult readers, and by exploring Sedgwick’s works outside of my English class, I came across one of my favourite novels, ‘White Crow’. The Gothic is a genre that I’m really passionate about and I wish was given more attention in traditional media, without just being sold as something weird. If it’s something you’re not too familiar with, Sedgwick is a great place to start! 


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Ellie Robson

July 2021
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