Early Goth

Horace Walpole
Castle of Otranto

It is generally regarded as the first gothic novel. In the second edition, Walpole applied the word 'Gothic' to the novel in the subtitle – A Gothic Story. Set in a haunted castle, the novel merged medievalism and terror in a style that has endured ever since. The aesthetic of the book has shaped modern-day gothic books, films, art, music, and the goth subculture. [Source: Wikipedia]

James Macpherson
The Poems of Ossian

Ossian is the narrator and purported author of a cycle of epic poems published by the Scottish poet James Macpherson, originally as Fingal (1761) and Temora (1763), and later combined under the title The Poems of Ossian. Macpherson claimed to have collected word-of-mouth material in Scottish Gaelic, said to be from ancient sources, and that the work was his translation of that material. Ossian is based on Oisín, son of Fionn mac Cumhaill (anglicised to Finn McCool), a legendary bard in Irish mythology. Contemporary critics were divided in their view of the work's authenticity, but the current consensus is that Macpherson largely composed the poems himself, drawing in part on traditional Gaelic poetry he had collected.

The work was internationally popular, translated into all the literary languages of Europe and was highly influential both in the development of the Romantic movement and the Gaelic revival. Macpherson's fame was crowned by his burial among the literary giants in Westminster Abbey. [Source: Wikipedia]

Thomas Percy
Reliques of Ancient English Poetry

A collection of ballads and popular songs collected by Bishop Thomas Percy and published in 1765.

Horace Walpole
The Mysterious Mother: A Tragedy
A tragedy in blank verse by Horace Walpole, printed at Strawberry Hill in 1768 and later published in 1791. It deals with the remorse of a mother (the countess of Narbonne) for an act of incest committed many years before. The theme shocked many of his admirers but greatly interested Byron, who described the play as ‘a tragedy of the highest order, and not a puling love‐play’. [Source: Oxford Reference]
Henry Mackenzie
The Man of Feeling

The Man of Feeling is a sentimental novel that presents a series of moral vignettes which the naïve protagonist Harley either observes, is told about, or participates in. This novel is often seen to contain elements of the Romantic novel, which became prolific in the years following its publishing. [Source: Wikipedia]

Anna Letitia Aikin (later Barbauld) and John Aikin
On the Pleasure Derived from Objects of Terror
An essay on gothic literature. Written by the Aikin siblings.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Die Leiden des jungen Werthers (The Sorrows of Young Werther)

When you meet the Sublime upon death, taking your own life doesn't sound as such a bad idea, or is it...

Clara Reeve
The Old English Baron

An early Gothic novel that was first published under this title in 1778, although it had anonymously appeared in 1777 under its original name of The Champion of Virtue, before Samuel Richardson's daughter, Mrs. Bridgen, had edited it for her.
Written in response to Walpole's Castle of OtrantoThe Old English Baron was a major influence in the development of Gothic fiction and Reeve's contribution can be demonstrated on at least two fronts. In the first, there is the reinforcement of the Gothic narrative framework, one that focuses on expanding the imaginative domain so as to include the supernatural without losing the realism that marks the novel that Walpole pioneered. Secondly, Reeve also sought to contribute to finding the appropriate formula to ensure that the fiction is believable and coherent. The result is that she spurned specific aspects of Walpole's style such as his tendency to incorporate too much humor or comic elements in such a way that it diminishes the Gothic tale's ability to induce fear. [Source: Wikipedia]

Robert Jephson
The Count of Narbonne
This 1781 tragedy was inspired by Horace Walpole's novel The Castle of Otranto. It premiered at the Covent Garden Theatre. The original cast featured John Henderson as Austin, Richard Wroughton as Raymond, William Thomas Lewis as Theodore, James Thompson as Fabian, James Fearon as Officer, Elizabeth Satchell as Adelaide and Elizabeth Younge as Hortensia.[Source: Wikipedia]
Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller
Die Räuber (The Robbers)
The first drama by German playwright Friedrich Schiller. The play was published in 1781 and premiered on 13 January 1782 in Mannheim, Germany, and was inspired by Leisewitz' earlier play Julius of Taranto. It was written towards the end of the German Sturm und Drang ("Storm and Stress") movement, and many critics, such as Peter Brooks, consider it very influential in the development of European melodrama. The play astounded its Mannheim audience and made Schiller an overnight sensation. It later became the basis for Verdi's opera of the same name, I masnadieri.[Source: Wikipedia]
Sophia Lee
The Recess, or a Tale of other Times
Set in Elizabethan times, The Recess revolves around two fictional daughters of Mary, Queen of Scots. It can also be regarded as a formative work of the original Gothic, echoing and pre-dating themes from other contemporary Gothic writers. It was so popular that a spin-off novelette appeared in 1820, Rose Douglas; or, The Court of Elizabeth. William Hazlitt might consider it "dismal" by comparison with the works of Ann Radcliffe, but its influence both on the Gothic school of the Minerva Press, and on figures like Walter Scott is nonetheless clear. From this work, Italian writer Carlo Federici wrote the play Il paggio di Leicester (Leicester's Page) and, in turn, that became the source of Elisabetta, regina d'Inghilterra, (Elizabeth, Queen of England) the 1812 opera by Gioachino Rossini, the libretto of which was written by Giovanni Schmidt.[Source: Wikipedia]
Clara Reeve
The Progress of Romance

Although Reeve's The Progress of Romance, was long overlooked by scholars, Garry Kelly has called it "not only a pioneering history and defense of "romance" from antiquity to the mid-eighteenth century but also a ground-breaking work of literary scholarship by a woman".[Source: Wikipedia]

William Thomas Beckford
Vathek (alternatively titled Vathek, an Arabian Tale or The History of the Caliph Vathek) is a Gothic novel written by William Beckford. It was composed in French beginning in 1782, and then translated into English by Reverend Samuel Henley in which form it was first published in 1786 without Beckford's name as An Arabian Tale, From an Unpublished Manuscript, claiming to be translated directly from Arabic. The first French edition, titled simply as Vathek, was published in December 1786 (postdated 1787). In the twentieth century some editions include The Episodes of Vathek (Vathek et ses épisodes), three related tales intended by Beckford to be so incorporated, but omitted from the original edition and published separately long after his death.
Vathek was written during a time when part of European culture was influenced by Orientalism. It is an Arabian tale because of the oriental setting and characters and the depiction of oriental cultures, societies, and myth. His originality lay in combining the popular Oriental elements with the Gothic stylings of Horace Walpole's The Castle of Otranto (1764), with its emphasis on the supernatural, ghosts, and spirits, as well as the terror it tries to induce in the reader.[source: Wikipedia]
April 1st, 1788
Doctor's Riot (Mahatten, New York)
The doctors' riot was an incident that occurred in April 1788 in New York City, where the illegal procurement of corpses from the graves of the recently deceased caused a mass expression of discontent from poorer New Yorkers that was directed primarily at physicians and medical students.[Source: Wikipedia]