The Mysteries of Udolpho, Volume 1

Front Cover
Mundus Publishing, 1965 - Historical fiction - 336 pages
5 Reviews
Sir Walter Scott esteemed her "the first poetess of romantic fiction." Jane Austen borrowed prodigiously from her-and sent up the steamy overwroughtness of her writing-in Northanger Abbey. British author ANN RADCLIFFE (1764-1823) pioneered the Gothic romance as popular fiction with her 1789 debut novel, The Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne, and went on to wild success with further works of demure heroines lost in the perils of supernatural melodrama. In this 1794 thriller, perhaps the quintessential example of the genre and Radcliffe's most popular work, the young and beautiful orphan Emily St. Aubert is imprisoned at sinister Castle Udolpho, and suffers frustrated romance and the hauntings of ghosts. A vital example of early horror and later a profound influence on pulp fiction, this is essential reading for both fans of the genre and those interested in its psychological and thematic development.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

Review: The Mysteries of Udolpho

User Review  - Joshua - Goodreads

I didn't enjoy Udolpho nearly as much as The Italian. I liken reading this book to eating a mixing bowl portion of Lucky Charms, only to encounter 4-5 marshmallows total. I wouldn't recommend it ... Read full review

Review: The Mysteries of Udolpho

User Review  - Wosny - Goodreads

This has many faults, the story rambles along, with a plot both unlikely and complicated, however I enjoyed it with all its idiosyncracies. It is after all a very early novel, she didn't have a lot of previous works to learn from, and it is a good read. Read full review

Selected pages

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1965)

Ann Radcliffe was born Ann Ward in England on July 9, 1764. She was the only child of William Ward and Anne Oates Ward. In 1788 she married William Radcliffe. They had no children. Ann published The Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne in 1789. Other works include A Sicilian Romance, The Romance of the Forest, The Mysteries of Udolpho, and The Italian. She found much success with The Romance of the Forest and it established her as a Gothic novelist. Her later novels influenced other authors including Jane Austen, Sir Walter Scott, and Mary Wollstonecraft. She died on February 7, 1823 from respiratory problems.

Bibliographic information