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The Castle of Otranto is a 1764 novel by HoraceWalpole. It is generally held to be the first gothic novel,initiating a literary genre which would become extremelypopular in the later 18th century and early 19thcentury. Thus, Castle, and Walpole by extension isarguably the forerunner to such authors as AnnRadcliffe, Bram Stoker, Daphne du Maurier, andStephen King.