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2 March marks the anniversary of the death of novelist and historian Horace Walpole in 1797.
Walpole, born in London in 1717, the youngest son of prime minister Robert Walpole, was educated at Eton and Cambridge. He became an MP and lived at Strawberry Hill in Richmond. He became the 4th Earl of Orford following the early death of his unmarried nephew in 1791.
Walpole is nowadays remembered for his novel The Castle of Otranto, a supernatural yarn based in part on the life of Manfred of Sicily. It was soon recognised as a form of novel popular with readers and inspired many other ‘Gothic’ tales.
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