In his introduction to a reprint of Charles Eastlake’s 1872 book on Gothic architecture, Mordaunt Crook writes:

A suitably Gothic extended metaphor in itself, Crook’s comment also points to some of the problems inherent in periodising a form that escapes anything but the loosest of definitions. It also raises the question of whether Gothic is, or ever has been, dead. In one sense it might be said to have had a relatively short life: from about 1764 to the high-water mark of production of Gothic literature in 1800. In that year it accounted for some 38 per cent of novels published, and occupied what Robert Miles calls ‘a plateau of market dominance’ from 1794 to 1807, declining thereafter (Miles 2002: 42). Yet clearly Gothic did not die; indeed, in the popular imagination the Victorian is in many ways the Gothic period, with its elaborate cult of death and mourning, its fascination with ghosts, spiritualism and the occult, and not least because of the powerful fictional figures of the late century.