We went to see the Gothic Exhibition at the British Library on the last Friday of the Christmas hols – myself and the sprogs with my US cousin and his son, who were over for a couple weeks. I love a bit of Gothery and if you do too and want to catch the exhibition, you’d best be quick as it finishes in a couple of weeks. Gothic was nicely summed up by a Victorian poster (below), which has moonlight, bats, a swooning heroine and lurking terrors.
The horror began before we’d even arrived when we rolled up to the Tube station to the experience the shock of the new fares. No longer any Zone 1&2 Travelcards and £12 for an Adult Travelcard or £6 for a Child for Zones 1-4. WTF? We wanted to go 4 stops to the library from Zone 2 to Zone 1, mooch around town on foot a bit and then come back. £12? Are they taking the piss?!!!
Oh, but you can do a single fare just by swiping your debit card for £2.35, the lady on the station said. Great! Except that once you’ve swiped it once, how are you supposed to get the children tickets, since it won’t let you swipe it again for them? So we’re back to £6 travel cards for them <rolls eyes> Another well thought-out policy at work! …We caught a cab.
Forgive my digression into a rant about London Transport failures. Back to the point of this post – the Gothic Exhibition. If you watched the Gothic documentary series on BBC4 in Autumn, you will be familiar with most of what was on offer, beginning with Horace Walpole’s original gothic novel The Castle at Otranto and working through the Victorian heydays of Dracula and Frankenstein, penny dreadfuls and 20th Century horror films, through to contemporary Gothery in film and literature. There were even a few photos of Goths at the end (though they all looked far too colourful or a bit more Steampunk to me).
It was an interesting exhibition for lovers of literature of this ilk. I had no idea that The Wicker Man was based on a book (Ritual by David Pinner) and picked up an interesting list of reading material, both for myself and the children.
Brag Alert! What impressed me most about visiting the exhibition though was that both of my children knew much of the material and DD is not only familiar with Edgar Allan Poe, but has a favourite! 😀 Quite handy then that it was this very favourite, The Tell-Tale Heart, which was the subject of the short animated film made in the 1950s being screened.
There are only a few days left to catch the exhibition, which closes on the 20th.*
*I meant to post this a couple of weeks ago, but tax return and other events overtook