At the Limits of Perception: Liminal Space, Vision and the Interrelation of Word and Image in Walpole’s Strawberry Hill, The Castle of Otranto and The Mysterious Mother

Kirstin A. Mills


This paper explores the ways that Horace Walpole’s Gothic texts, The Castle of Otranto, The Mysterious Mother, and even the architectural Strawberry Hill, operate within a fascinating nexus of visual and narrative discourse. By analysing the intersections of the verbal and visual within these works, which combine and collide within liminal spaces that figure a threshold state between the supernatural and the subconscious, this paper explores the ways that Walpole’s texts work collectively to interrogate eighteenth-century theories of perception and imagination by positing a  slippage between word and image that undermines the human attempt to make sense of the world.


Perception; vision; imagination; space; supernatural

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Online Magazine of the Visual Narrative - ISSN 1780-678X