Combining the elements of both horror and romance, Gothic fiction's origin can be traced back to English author Horace Walpole, and his 1764 novel The Castle of Otranto, subtitled "A Gothic Story". This style of writing continued in the English romantic period through the Victoria era traveling to Germany, France, Russia, and other countries up to the handful of modern day works still being published. The name Gothic refers to the (pseudo)-medieval buildings in which the stories were set, and the images were carried over to the eerie covers to sell these scary love tales. A heyday for this genre were the books produced in the 1950-1970s which almost always featured a terror-stricken woman in flowing gown running from a gloomy mansion or castle, often with a single lit window in the attic. A number of popular illustrators of the time did these covers over theirs careers including below Victor Prezio, George Gross, Lou Marchitti, Robert McGinnis, and Enric Torres Prat, and other unknown artists. I never knew of anyone who read these tomes, but perhaps in this case, you really can judge a book by its cover, and I dare say none of these gals ever became realtors.