One of the most interesting phenomena in the history of literature, the Gothic novel which flourished from about 1765 to 1825 still has much to offer to the modern reader.
Supernatural thrills, adventure and suspense, colorful settings, and, in the better examples, literary quality are all present.
It also served as the model in plot, characterizations, settings, and tone for hundreds, perhaps thousands of successors.Vathek, by the eccentric British millionaire William Beckford, is generally considered to be the high point of the Oriental tale in English literature.
Certainly no one has ever written (in any European tongue) a story which better unifies the stirrings of Gothic romanticism with the color, poetry, and vivacity of the original Arabian Nights.The third novel in this collection, John Polidor's Vampyre, emerged from the same soirées of ghost-story telling in Geneva that produced Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.
Generations of readers have found thrills and horrors in Walpole's fine work, while Vathek cannot be excelled in its unusual mixture of the bizarre, cruel irony, and masterful narration.