The Art of Gothic: Britain's Midnight Hour, BBC4 -TV review

 

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The Independent Culture

The Art of Gothic: Britain's Midnight Hour (BBC4) is a three-part arts series presented by Andrew Graham-Dixon as part of the BBC's pleasingly autumnal Gothic season.

Graham-Dixon's overarching thesis is that the Gothic in literature, architecture, painting and even sex is "a secret history of Britain itself during its greatest age of change". But you don't need a thesis to enjoy his scandalous tales of the 21st-birthday party orgy that inspired William Beckford's 1786 book Vathek, or to marvel at the "gloomth" of Horace Walpole's Strawberry Hill House in Twickenham.

So I'll be watching every episode of this series and recommend you do the same. Much like the stuffy Enlightenment gentleman described by Graham-Dixon, TV viewers should be ever willing "to re-enchant their world and fill it once more with the frisson of horror".

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