The Castle of Otranto

Front Cover
Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1963 - Fiction - 543 pages
42 Reviews
On the day of his wedding, Conrad, heir to the house of Otranto, is killed in mysterious circumstances. Fearing the end of his dynasty, his father, Manfred, determines to marry Conrad's betrothed, Isabella, until a series of supernatural events stands in his way. . . . Set in the time of the crusades, "The Castle of Otranto" (1764) established the Gothic as a literary form in England. With its compelling blend of psychological realism and supernatural terror, guilty secrets and unlawful desires, it has influenced a literary tradition stretching from Ann Radcliffe and Bram Stoker to Daphne Du Maurier and Stephen King. This Penguin Classics edition includes a full selection of early responses to the novel, as well as a critical introduction, chronology of Walpole's life and works, suggestions for further reading, and full explanatory notes. "[Walpole] is the father of the first romance and surely worthy of a higher place than any living writer." (Lord Byron)

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - musecure - LibraryThing

The Broadview edition brings together both of Walpole's formative works of gothic literature from the late 18th century. Both are fairly quick reads. For the modern reader, Walpole's stories may seem ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Cecrow - LibraryThing

The original gothic novel, this reads preposterously if you don't know its pedigree. Gigantic components of armour appear in the story without warning (though they are warnings in themselves ... Read full review

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About the author (1963)

Horace Walpole was born in London on September 24, 1717 and educated at Eton College and Kings College, Cambridge. Upon his return from college, Walpole was elected to Parliament and served until 1768. He was the youngest son of British Prime Minister, Robert Walpole. He was known as The Earl of Orford. Walpole opened a private press that published his own works and that of his friends. He is well known for his Gothic romance novel, The Castle of Otranto. Horace Walpole died in London on March 2, 1797, after which his title became extinct since he never married or had children.

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