Horatio Walpole, 4th Earl of Orford was born on 24th September 1717. Walpole was the son of the First British Prime Minister to be recognised as such; Sir Robert Walpole.
Nowadays he is almost always called Horace rather than his given Horatio. During his life he displayed his talents across many areas: as a writer, art historian, man of letters, antiquarian and Whig politician.
In the modern age his reputation rests on two great pillars. The voluminous correspondence of his life together with their social and political insights and his gothic novel, 'The Castle of Otranto'. Whilst the correspondence runs to dozens of volumes his great novel, published in 1764, is generally regarded as the first gothic novel. With the novel's second edition, Walpole introduced a subtitle - 'A Gothic Story'. The novel was an amalgam of medievalism and terror in a style that has endured down through the centuries but reaching its zenith in the late 18th and early 19th century.