The Castle of Otranto: A Gothic Story
First published pseudonymously in 1764, The Castle of Otranto purported to be a translation of an Italian story of the time of the crusades. In it Walpole attempted, as he declared in the Preface to the second edition, 'to blend the two kinds of romance: the ancient and the modern'. He gives us a series of catastrophes, ghostly interventions, revelations of identity, and exciting contests. Crammed with invention, entertainment, terror, and pathos, the novel was an immediate success and Walpole's own favourite among his numerous works. His friend, the poet Thomas Gray, wrote that he and his family, having read Otranto, were now 'afraid to go to bed o' nights'. The novel is here reprinted from the text of 1798, the last that Walpole himself prepared for press.
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Preface to the First Edition
Sonnet to the Right Honourable Lady Mary Coke
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affection Alfonso answer appear attendants become believe Bianca blood Castle of Otranto cause chamber child church conduct continued convent court cried criticism dare daughter death demanded discovered domestics door doubt Edited eyes father fiction flight followed Frederic friar give Gothic hand hast hear heard heart heaven helmet highness Hippolita holy hope hour Introduction Isabella Italy Jerome knight lady leave less letter live London look lord madam Manfred Manfred's marquis Matilda mean mind mother nature never novel passion peasant person Preface present prince princess principal question reader received remained replied rest retired romance saint scene secret seemed servants soon soul speak story stranger sure tell tenderness terror thee Theodore thing thou art thought tion told Translated voice Walpole Walpole's wished young youth