English Gothic: A Century of Horror Cinema – book


English gothic

English Gothic: A Century of Horror Cinema is a British film reference book written by Jonathan Rigby, first published in 2000 and expanded to include more recent films and TV productions and reprinted in 2006.

Press blurb:

The British horror film is almost as old as cinema itself. English Gothic traces the rise and fall of the genre from its 19th-century beginnings to the present day.

Jonathan Rigby examines 100 crucial movies, taking in the lost films of the silent era, the Karloff and Lugosi chillers of the 1930s, the lurid classics from Hammer’s house of horror, and the explicit shockers of the 1970s.

The story concludes with more recent films, such Shaun of the Dead.

Filled with film posters, stills, and behind-the-scenes shots, this entertaining study sheds new light on British cinema’s most successful, and misunderstood, export.


Foreward by filmmaker Richard Gordon

Part One – British Horror in Embryo

Part Two – First Flood (1954-1959)

Part Three – Treading Water (1960 – 1964)

Part Four – New Wave (1965 – 1969)

Part Five  – Market Saturation (1970 – 1975)

Part Six – British Horror in Retreat

Afterword by David McGillivray (House of Whipcord; House of Mortal Sin; Satan’s Slave)



“English Gothic succeeds in providing an informed and in-depth overview of horror on British screens over the last hundred years, reflecting the important, yet often overlooked part the genre has played in the country’s cinematic output.” Irish Journal of Gothic and Horror Studies

Jonathan Rigby

“Even before I had paged myself to its conclusion, English Gothic impressed me as an instant classic, a true textbook, one to stand on equal terms alongside the seminal likes of Ivan Butler’s Horror in the Cinema, Carlos Clarens’ An Illustrated History of the Horror Film, Denis Gifford’s A Pictorial History of Horror Movies, and David Pirie’s A Heritage of Horror: The English Gothic Cinema 1946-1972″ Movie Morlocks


“The lack of a name index is a disadvantage and the onus is on the reference reader to access the book by film title, however this is not a major obstacle and the volume is, without doubt one of the most indispensable guides to this genre of British movie-making.” Stride Magazine


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