Walpole, Horace, 4th earl of Orford biographical name
(born Sept. 24, 1717, London, Eng.died March 2, 1797, London) English writer, connoisseur, and collector. The son of prime minister Robert Walpole, he had an undistinguished career in Parliament. In 1747 he acquired a small villa at Twickenham that he transformed into a pseudo-Gothic showplace called Strawberry Hill; it was the stimulus for the Gothic Revival in English domestic architecture. His literary output was extremely varied. He became famous for his medieval horror tale The Castle of Otranto (1765), the first Gothic novel in English. He is especially remembered for his private correspondence of more than 3,000 letters, most addressed to Horace Mann, a British diplomat. Intended for posthumous publication, they constitute a survey of the history, manners, and taste of his age.
Horace Walpole, detail of an oil painting by Sir Joshua Reynolds, 1757; in the City of Birmingham
—Courtesy of Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery
Variants of WALPOLE, HORACE, 4TH EARL OF ORFORD
Walpole, Horace, 4th earl of Orford orig. Horatio Walpole
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