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Horace Walpole
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    (September 24, 1717-March 2, 1797)
    Born in London, United Kingdom
    Birth name was Horatio Walpole
    Son of Prime Minister Robert Walpole
    Author and politician
    Member of Parliament for Callington (1741-54), Castle Rising (1754-57) and Kings Lynn (1757-68)
    4th Earl of Orford (1791-97)
    Wrote 'The Castle of Otranto,' generally considered the first gothic novel (1764)
    He feuded with poet Thomas Gray during their joint 'grand tour' of Europe.
    He used his connections to advance the career of his cousin (and rumored lover) Henry Conway.
    A political opponent called him a 'hermaphrodite horse.'
    He originally presented 'The Castle of Otranto' as a 12th-century Italian work that he had translated.
    His home, Strawberry Hill, inspired the Gothic revival in architecture.
    He predicted the American and French Revolutions long before either started.
    Many critics who had praised 'The Castle of Otranto' as an important medieval work dismissed it as absurd romantic fiction after Walpole admitted his authorship.
    He coined the word serendipity and the epigram, 'This world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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