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Exhibitions at British Library and British Museum explore horror in art and literature

(TRAVPR.COM) UK - July 14th, 2014 - Fans of horror, the occult and things that go bump in the night have a couple of great exhibitions to look forward to this winter, when London embraces its dark side. Both the British Library, with Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination (3 October 2014 - 27 January 2015) and the British Museum, with Witches And Wicked Bodies (September 2014 – January 2015), will be exploring the spookier parts of their collections, with exhibitions that draw on art and literature’s rich tradition of horror and ghoulishness. The two venues are located within a short walk of each other in Bloomsbury, an area of London famed for its great shops, pubs and many historic streets. To learn more about Bloomsbury – and to find the latest rates on cheap hotels in London – see, London’s best website for tourists hoping to explore the city.

The British Museum’s exhibition is planned on a small scale but with rich material. Witches And Wicked Bodies will look specifically at the changing depictions of witches and witchcraft in art from the Renaissance to the end of the 19th century. In this time, artists such as Dürer and Goya were drawn to the rich imagery and mythology that had built up around witches from classical times, with artists depicting them as anything from hideous hags to bewitching seductresses. This is not just about myth and magic: a constant theme running through the art on display is the way in which the male gaze has responded to the threat represented by powerful or mysterious women.

At the British Library, where some of London’s most absorbing and intellectually stimulating exhibitions are held, Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination promises to take a comprehensive look at Gothic literature from Horace Walpole to Angela Carter, including artefacts, manuscripts, letters and books involving the likes of Mervyn Peake, Bram Stoker, Mary Shelley and Ann Radcliffe. The exhibition will explore the enduring influence the genre has had, not just on literature, but also on film, fashion, music and art, and there will be a programme of related talks and London events. For more information, see

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