Horace Walpole is primarily known for his novel The Castle of Otranto, widely considered the first and the most influential Gothic novel.
Walpole was born in London on September 24th, 1717. He attended Eton and Cambridge (but left without taking a degree at the latter) and fell in love with the writings of Shakespeare. He went on the Grand Tour of Italy and France with his close friend, the poet Thomas Gray. The two caroused and quarreled and were estranged for many years thereafter.