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$30.57
1. The Romance Of The Forest
$6.92
2. The Italian; Or the Confessional
$8.37
3. The Mysteries of Udolpho (Oxford
$8.64
4. The Mysteries of Udolpho (Penguin
$7.88
5. A Sicilian Romance: A Gothic Novel
 
6. Ann Radcliffe: The Great Enchantress
7. The Mysteries of Udolpho
8. The Mysteries of Udolpho (Girlebooks
$37.06
9. The Italian Or The Confessional
$23.22
10. The Castles Of Athlin And Dunbayne
11. Mistress of Udolpho: The Life
12. The Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne:
$12.69
13. The Romance of the Forest: Interspersed
$20.90
14. The Italian: Or the Confessional
 
15. Complete Novels of Mrs. Ann Radcliffe
$27.90
16. A journey made in the summer of
 
$31.95
17. Ann Radcliffe: The Novel of Suspense
$21.94
18. The Civilized Imagination: A Study
 
$28.95
19. Ann Radcliffe and the Gothic Romance:
$101.95
20. The Critical Response to Ann Radcliffe:

1. The Romance Of The Forest
by Ann Radcliffe
Hardcover: 320 Pages (2010-05-23)
list price: US$45.95 -- used & new: US$30.57
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1161475826
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
He approached, and perceived the Gothic remains of an abbey: it stood on a kind of rude lawn, overshadowed by high and spreading trees, which seemed coeval with the building, and diffused a romantic gloom around. The greater part of the pile appeared to be sinking into ruins, and that, which had withstood the ravages of time, shewed the remaining features of the fabric more awful in decay. The lofty battlements, thickly enwreathed with ivy, were half demolished, and become the residence of birds of prey. Huge fragments of the eastern tower, which was almost demolished, lay scattered amid the high grass, that waved slowly to the breeze. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (14)

3-0 out of 5 stars Bad Version
I am only partly through the book, but so far am loving it. However, there are numerous flaws with this digital edition. All dashes, French city names, and other symbols have been replaced with an N with a tilde. Additionally, there are multiple formatting errors, and often s's are replaced by f's, so many of the lest's are incorrectly rendered as left's. though the book is engaging, these flaws make it frustrating to read.

4-0 out of 5 stars Terrifying in a romantic sort of way...
France, 1640s.Adeline has had a difficult life.After her mother dies, her father places her in a convent, where, in misery, she begs him to release her.When he finally acquiesces, it is to imprison her inside a shabby home.Then, without logic or explanation, she is sent off with a family that is passing by.Monsieur La Motte, along with his wife and two servants, has fled Paris after he resorts to a life of crime in order to pay his many debts.He accepts to care for Adeline.They find the perfect hiding place: an abandoned abbey in a forest.They try to live a semi-normal life in the ruins -- until the Marquis de Montalt, lord of the abbey, comes along and ruins everything.The marquis' appearance, along with the findings of a skeleton, a manuscript and hidden passages within the abbey, sets off a string of bizarre events and enormous revelations that have Adeline risk not only her virtue but also her life.

First published in 1791, The Romance of the Forest began a trend of gothic novels that is still enjoyed today.Ann Radcliffe had very likely inspired authors like Emily and Charlotte Bronte, who in turn inspired Elizabeth Gaskell, Daphne du Maurier, Mary Stewart and others.The dark language and romanticism of the novel's setting of seventeenth century France enthralled me from beginning to end.The marquis is a despicable character, La Motte is not much better, and you fall in love with Theodore and feel sorry for Louis.The best part about the story is the narrative.Radcliffe describes scenery, mood and suspense with a romantic air that is difficult to resist.She even sprinkles the narrative with poems and sonnets.They do become tedious after a while though, and I admit to have skipped through some of them.I was confused through a major chunk of the novel, but, of course, everything makes perfect sense when the author ties all loose ends toward the end.The mystery is very well woven and there are some very surprising twists and turns in the story.The narrative does drag at times, especially during the middle of volume three, but it gets better toward the end, where is so riveting that you cannot wait to see how it all unfolds.All in all, The Romance of the Forest is a wonderful piece of classic gothic literature.The only Radcliffe I had read before this was The Italian, and now I cannot wait to reread that, but not before I read The Mysteries of Udolpho.Now THAT I cannot wait to get my hands on!Just call me a new Ann Radcliffe fan.

1-0 out of 5 stars bad edition for teaching
This edition of the novel, unlike the older Oxford edition, includes absolutely no information about the novel.From what printing is this edition taken, for example?No introduction, no footnotes or glosses--nothing at all to help students read this novel.

But what is far more annoying are the deliberate OMISSIONS OF TEXT!A total of five chapters are missing, described as "tedious" and summarized briefly.Also, though Ann Radcliffe selected epigraphs for each chapter before the novel's 1791 publication, none of these are included, despite being rather interesting and insightful.

All in all, this edition is ridiculously bad as a scholarly text and not much better as entertainment, since the missing chapters really DO contribute to the enjoyment of the plot and characterization!Teaching with this edition is a nightmare.

4-0 out of 5 stars for fans of gothic
The first chapters of thisgothic romance deal with the misfortunes of a Mr. La Motte and his wife. He has to run away from the city to avoid being imprisoned for debts. In their journey they meet the lovely and quintessential gothic heroine, Adeline, in very strange circumstances, that will be explained in the next chapters.
From the beginning there are beatiful landscape descriptions, and an all pervading feeling of sadness, despair, and melancholy.The characters are uncertain about their safety, and their future, so they are unhappy.
Mrs. La Motte and Adeline, feel the pangs of loneliness. Maybe this is a book about loneliness, and the way people feel about it. Like most horror and fantasy books, it is abook about loneliness.
Mrs. Radcliffe creates an atmosphere of uncertainty, nobody really knows what is going to happen, and they always wait for the worst. The greatest terror is the terror of uncertainty, when everything people consider stable and firm, start to collapse. When things fall apart.
I particullary liked when Adeline, while talking to Mr. La Motte, said that people can extract comfort from most situations. Even in a desperate moment, it is possible to find pleasure and forgetfulness, appreciating a quiet and peaceful place or relaxing in a lovely scenary, instead of always concentrating on your problems, or misfortunes.
People, do not have to suffer the cloud of sorrow to tinge every object they look upon, - said Adeline-. Was not she right? Adeline always found comfort, in the contemplation of nature. Mrs. Radcliffe insists that people may find relief to their sorrows, contemplating a sublime place, or inmersing in nature.
Mr. LaMotte and his family settled in an abandoned abbey, surrrounded by a thick wood, and a deserted countryside. A beautiful, and - at the same time - dreary place.
Typical of this genre, the abbey has many recesses, secret chambers, cells, and apparently, a ghost. It seems that somebody dissapeared in the derelict abbey, a long time ago, in strange circumstances, and his spectre haunts the place. These facts succeed in creating a gloomy, melancholy and dreary atmosphere. A manuscript is found in one of the many recesses, that may explain what really happened in the abbey, and who were responsible for the misdeeds.
There are some good sonnets interspersed in the text, like one dedicated to fancy, that may help people to forget their misfortunes, or some other dedicated to the night, and to a lilly.
More disgraces await poor Adeline, she had to find out that people are not always what they seem to be. That certain persons she considered friends are not real friends. But in spite of her dissapointments, she still keeps faith in the goodness of humanity. She does not want to become a bitter person, who does not trust anybody, just because some people deceived her. With time, Adeline will learn that people may repent, and never are completely bad.
The moods and feelings of Adeline, - fear, dispair, terror, etc.- sometimes correspond to alteration in weather.
When she is afraid, there are violents storms, gusts, etc. It is as if her feelings were related with nature, and her gloomy moods are reflected outside. It is a way to enhance the feeling the writer wanted her readers to experience.
It is a book for people fond of gothic fiction. In spite of the naive plot, and somewhat idealized characters.

3-0 out of 5 stars Amusement, sometimes mixed with irritation
I had very mixed feelings about this one- the story itself was sometimes very interesting, but there were also some really annoying aspects to it.

For one thing, Adeline (the heroine) is so excruciatingly perfect that sometimes I just wanted to slap her upside the head. She is stunningly beautiful, ridiculously intelligent, and on top of that, she never has anything less than an entirely virtuous motive for any action she takes (or lack thereof). Apparently Mrs. Radcliffe was not aware that pictures of perfection make most people sick and wicked, not sympathetic. On top of this, as another review pointed out, she cries at a drop of a hat. I am myself rather sensitive, but there were times that it got fairly ridiculous.
Another annoyance was that there were several hackneyed plot ideas that really shouldn't have been used- the worst being the tired device of a character suddenly being found to be of noble birth and great fortune near the end. I don't know why this is a popular plot twist, but it seems to add little to the story as a whole.

The third was the overuse of poetry and descriptions of scenery. Having read The Mysteries of Udolpho and The Italian, I thought I would be prepared for this, but there were times in The Romance of the Forest that I got so fed up that I skipped these parts to get back to the main story. I can understand a little bit here and there, but there were portions that it went on for several pages at a time.

So why have I given it a three, then? Because there were also several things that somewhat redeemed it. Peter, La Motte's servant, was a delightful character, and I thought it was very unfair of Adeline and La Motte (the latter especially) to constantly be belittling him since it wasn't his fault he was not very bright. La Luc was also an endearing character, as were Theodore and Louis. I also liked Madame La Motte because she was more of a mixed character than any of the others- she had both good and bed qualities, unusual in Radcliffe's works.

So all in all, I would say that though there were many frustrations, the novel was not with its charms as well. ... Read more


2. The Italian; Or the Confessional of the Black Penitents. a Romance. by Ann Radcliffe, in Three Volumes.
by Ann Ward Radcliffe
Paperback: 124 Pages (2010-10-14)
list price: US$6.92 -- used & new: US$6.92
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1458882128
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
This is an OCR edition without illustrations or index. It may have numerous typos or missing text. However, purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original rare book from GeneralBooksClub.com. You can also preview excerpts from the book there. Purchasers are also entitled to a free trial membership in the General Books Club where they can select from more than a million books without charge. Original Published by: printed for T. Cadell jun. and W. Davies (successors to Mr. Cadell) in 1797 in 457 pages; Subjects: Science / Life Sciences / Biochemistry; Science / Life Sciences / Biology / Molecular Biology; ... Read more

Customer Reviews (15)

1-0 out of 5 stars A Terrible Edition
I want to caution anyone from buying this edition of The Italian. The print is incredibly small - I suppose in the publisher's effort to make the book appear more attractive by limiting the number of pages. If your eyes can take the strain, go for it; mine couldn't.

1-0 out of 5 stars DO NOT BUY THIS
This book is a sad copy of The Italian by Ann Radcliffe. I purchased this book for a Gothic Lit class, and upon opening the book to read it found myself greatly confused by what I saw. This book is a compilation of scanned text from an original version of the novel, reprinted with absolutely NO editing. Because there is NO editing, this edition is full of random symbols, gaps in pages, missing information, and is separated into "Sections", which has no particular meaning in regards to the flow of the novel.Chapter headings are located within the main body of text, and very hard to find. I have purchased a different version of this novel since discovering the sad state of this one. I repeat: DO NOT BUY THIS BOOK. It is absolutely terrible, and in my opinion shouldn't even be available for purchase on Amazon.

4-0 out of 5 stars Pure unadulterated gothic suspense!
The life of young nobleman Vicentio de Vivaldi isn't the same the moment he catches a glimpse of a woman in a black veil.Ellena is beautiful, graceful and, in spite of her status as an impoverished orphan under her aunt's care, she has class and poise.But that is not enough for Vivaldi's parents.The son of a marquis cannot possibly take such a girl for his wife.When putting Ellena's reputation in question isn't enough, the marchioness takes some drastic measures to ensure a permanent separation.So she gets the help of Schedoni, a well-respected but corrupt monk, to lock Ellena up at a monastery against her will.Before and during these occurrences, a mysterious apparition in a monk's habit often warns Vivaldi.Is it a ghost?Is it friend or foe?And, more to the point, is it Schedoni?Is he playing some sort of sick game with Vivaldi?Twists and turns and big revelations abound.

Set in mid-eighteenth century Naples, this gothic story is about two star-crossed lovers who have to beat an unfair and corrupt system to be together.But this isn't just a romantic gothic tale.The Italian is also a demonstration of the political powers and corrupted religions of its time.It is social commentary, a very insightful and literary one at that.First published in 1796, The Italian is Ann Radcliffe's last and most accomplished novel.To think that she began her writing career because she was bored while her husband traveled for work-related reasons!Well, she did her research and devoted a great deal of time to developing some good stories.This novel is better than her previous two because it doesn't contain as many poems and sonnets as her previous efforts.It's more straight-to-the-point, more showing than telling, much more action-packed and suspenseful.The gothic elements are awesome.You'll love this novel if you're a fan of the genre, especially if you're a fan of classic gothic stories.Take the plunge and read Radcliffe.You won't regret it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Page Turner
I read this book while on vacation in Italy.I found myself staying awake far into the night, unable to put it down.It is very atmospheric and draws the reader into the time and place of the story.The characters are well developed (even if you don't like some of them)and the plot line never stalls.Definite read.

2-0 out of 5 stars too much prose
This book has all the makings of a very good plot and could have been very gripping if it had not been slowed down by all the prose and flowery descriptions of scenery etc.These were all beautifully written but to me slowed the story down to the point where I could not finish the book.Once again, I find it totally unrealistic to believe that a man who only sees a woman a couple times could fall so madly in love with her so as to endure all that this couple went through.I guess am too much of a realist to really enjoy novels of this type. ... Read more


3. The Mysteries of Udolpho (Oxford World's Classics)
by Ann Radcliffe
Paperback: 736 Pages (2008-11-15)
list price: US$13.95 -- used & new: US$8.37
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0199537410
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
A best-seller in its day and a potent influence on Sade, Poe, and other purveyors of eighteenth and nineteenth-century Gothic horror, The Mysteries of Udolpho remains one of the most important works in the history of European fiction. After Emily St. Aubuert is imprisoned by her evil guardian, Count Montoni, in his gloomy medieval fortress in the Appenines, terror becomes the order of the day. With its dream-like plot and hallucinatory rendering of its characters' psychological states, The Mysteries of Udolpho is a fascinating challenge to contemporary readers. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Unexpected Gothic Pleasures
I have been intrigued by this novel for years, but I only knew Udolpho by reputation until I finally read the novel recently. Many studies of Gothic fiction cite Radcliffe's novel as a classic Gothic text, one of the early examples that set the standard for the genre as we now think of it. Scholars of the Female Gothic subgenre in particular point to Udolpho as an early example, mostly due to Emily St. Aubert's perfect turn as the helpless female heroine who became a stock character in early Gothic fiction. Then, of course, I read Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey in a college seminar and imagined Udolpho to be a laugh-worthy, melodramatic, fake horror fest.I can't say there aren't any laughable moments (Emily's poems), or that there isn't melodrama (lots of fainting; the parting scene between Emily and Valancourt at the end of Volume I), or even that there isn't some fake horror (all of the "mysteries" are explained by the novel's close); however, Radcliffe's novel defied my expectations in more ways than it reaffirmed them.

The Oxford World's Classics edition with the introduction by Terry Castle is the only edition I've read, but I recommend it particularly because of the introduction, which I found very interesting and insightful after finishing the novel. One point that Castle makes is that despite the novel's Gothic label, Udolpho is more like "a disconcerting textual hybrid." The multi-generic nature of the novel is one of the features that most surprised me; it takes quite a while for Emily to become imprisoned in Udolpho and what precedes her time there is almost anti-Gothic. Emily has perfect parents and the perfect upbringing, though she begins to suffer relatively early on when her mother dies. After this point, she and her father embark on a long trip across France, described at length by Radcliffe in what Castle terms "a bizarre quasi-travelogue." Here we get super-detailed descriptions of natural scenery and of the innate goodness of the St. Aubert clan. Yes, some of the nature described could be filed under "sublime," and such descriptions are standard in many Gothic texts. They are also standard in many Romantic texts, and while the overlap between those two genres/movements is significant, for some reason the Gothic has been viewed as the dark, popular (ew!) sibling of the (maybe) sunnier (self-satisfied?), high-art-producing Romanticism. While the St. Auberts' innocence and goodness make them prime targets for our evil Italian villains (Montoni, primarily), they do spend a lot of their time happily exploring nature, and even after several tragedies befall her and dampen her spirits (and make her faint a lot), Emily is relatively cheerful at times. In other words, the mood is not always Gothic in the novel; indeed, it's probably Gothic less often than it is something else. And then besides the travel narrative, there are also those poems that Emily composes on a whim, about sea nymphs and weary travelers. Radcliffe also incorporates excerpts from poetry into her prose, along with lines from Shakespeare plays, and she begins each chapter with epigraphs from other works. I think that in many ways, the mixing of genres in the novel ultimately makes it a more interesting and more complex text.

Udolpho is a very long novel (almost 700 pages), but, as an insanely popular best-seller in the late 18th century, Radcliffe's work was apparently quite a page-turner. Even Austen's Henry Tilney admits that after hijacking his younger sister's copy of the novel, he "could not lay down again; I remember finishing it in two days--my hair standing on end the whole time." For modern readers, there's not going to be much in Udolpho that is particularly scary, but Radcliffe does create suspense by introducing mysterious plot elements and not resolving those elements for, literally, hundreds of pages. But because all of those elements are, indeed, resolved, and any potentially supernatural phenomena are explained away, the novel isn't really about scaring the reader at all. Instead, we are invited to witness, as many other reviewers have noted, the coming-of-age of the heroine, as she struggles to overcome her passion and superstition to live a life governed by reason and logic. At the same time, however, I agree with Castle that Radcliffe aims "to reawaken in her readers a sense of the numinous - of invisible forces at work in the world." These forces are not exactly supernatural, though; instead, "Radcliffe represents the human mind itself as a kind of supernatural entity." In this sense, Udolpho is truly a Gothic classic as a result of its interest not in mysterious external forces, but in the way in which the human mind registers such forces, and how it attempts to understand and work through them. The Gothic's preoccupation with human psychology is more often-commented on in response to American Gothic works like Poe's short stories or Female Gothic classics like Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper," but I see this as a primary interest of Radcliffe's in Udolpho, as well.

I have given the novel five stars, which reflects my personal enjoyment of the work and my interest in the themes and issues it raises for a reader. It will probably be most well-loved by those interested in Gothic fiction, literature by women, and those who are enamored by lengthy, patient, meticulously-detailed narratives. As a fan of all of those things, I recommend the novel and its introduction very highly.

3-0 out of 5 stars not bad
the story is okay but the characters are too stereotypical. okay for a gothic style book from the period it was written in. I read it because i love to read and i find myself so disappointed for what passes as fiction these days.everyonce in a while i crave something old fashioned and with a good vocabulary. This hit the spot.

4-0 out of 5 stars Numerous faults mean it's not for everyone, but the right sort of reader will find something of value here. Recommended
In 1580s France, young Emily St. Aubert is orphaned and later imprisoned in a remote castle in this dreamlike, rambling gothic classic. Approach Udolpho burdened by expectation, and the book may be a disappointment. It's an influential, classic piece of gothic literature, yet two thirds of it takes place not in the dark halls of Udolpho but in the French countryside. It's both exemplified and criticized for its gothic clich├ęs of haunted castles and fainting women, yet for every ghostly mystery is a dry, factual explanation, and this insistance upon the "explained supernatural" can be both disappointing and anticlimactic. Slow pacing, clunky narrative arcs, and unrealistic explication may frustrate modern readers, but what makes the book a disappointment is that it doesn't not seem as gothic as it could be--or as popular knowledge represents it.

But approach the book with indulgence and patience, and it has moments to reward both. Fans of gothic literature will still find Udolpho an interesting view into the genre's development, particularly in the role of the sublime and the function of human imagination (in place of literal supernatural events) to create horror. And, in defiance of its other limitations, Udolpho has some exceptional moments--sympathetic and honest human interactions, perceptions into human thought, evocative atmospheric and natural descriptions. These moments vary from indulgently gothic to thoughtful or romantic, but each is a quiet delight. Udolpho may not have stood the test of time ("a lot of the book's emotional force has dissipated (xxi)," states Castle in the incisive, apt introduction to the Oxford World Classic edition), and the book is not for all readers, but it is an important and interesting historical selection of the gothic genre--and to the reader who has patience for the book's failings and interest in its strengths, there is something of value here: a number of surprisingly atmospheric, perceptive moments sprinkled within a dreamlike, rambling story of shifting tone and setting. I give it a mediocre recommendation--to the right sort of reader.

4-0 out of 5 stars Terror and Instruction
This is a very long (670 page) coming-of-age novel that foregrounds the evolving sensibility of its teenage heroine Emily. Like any good romantic heroine, Emily is fond of nature, poetry, music & the simple pleasures of country living; and like any good Gothic heroine she's inflinitely susceptible to strange noises, evocative landscapes, and sinister personalities with suspicious histories. Her father instructs her not to be too sensitive or susceptible, and to discipline her still impressionable sensibility but thankfully she's never very successful at following her father's rational instructions. Those who are Emily's equal, and who are as responsive to the transports of nature & as susceptible to and curious about strange occurences & influences as she will immediately adore this book.

Radcliffe is brilliant at describing her heroine's evolving sensibility and allowing her heroine to document her own changing mental states with poetry. This is the higher pleasure of the book: the examination of female sensibility.

The lower pleasure of the book would be the GOTHIC atmospheres & characters that Radcliffe subjects her romantically-inclined heroine to. The Gothic atmospheres (castles with secret passageways, veiled portraits, remote mountain passes populated by banditti) & characters (almost all of the villains are Italian and excessively vile) are great fun. A lot of people (including Percy Shelley & Jane Austen) make fun of this kind of Gothic writing, but without it think of all the pleasures we would be missing out on.

Certainly some Gothic writing addresses serious real-world anxieties and fears (about divine abandonment; about psychic dissolution; about aristocratic power arbitrarily and maliciously exercised; about women's rights; about sexuality; about irrationality and/or susceptibility to unknown forces both within and without). However, this is not one of the more radical examples of Gothic literature. In fact, this is often considered to be a rather conservative example of Gothic literature. There is no real mention of God, instead nature is unquestionably revered. There is one instance of mental breakdown but its due to excessive guilt not any metaphysical anxiety or fear. There are plenty of corrupt aristocrats but they are more interested in acquiring property than in torturing young maidens. Womens rights and sexuality are topics that are never brought up, at least not explicitly. For every unnatural phenomenon there is a rational explanation. Hence this is a rather tame version of the Gothic.

For readers seeking more sensual & lurid versions of the Gothic, the Marquise de Sade's Justine & Matthew Lewis's The Monk might be better options.

And for those seeking more metaphysically & philosophically evocative versions of the Gothic, there is Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.

But Radcliffe definitely has her strengths. Even though the things that happen around Emily and some of the other characters often seem overly done, Emily herself is a great Gothic heroine (sensitive, imaginative, and infinitely susceptible to terrors).

3-0 out of 5 stars Goth-lit Classic
Does anyone else find it amusing that those who call themselves "goths" today have almost zero connection to the literature called "gothic"?Radcliffe's "Mysteries of Udolpho" is probably the best example of the Gothic genre as it existed from the mid 18th century (The Castle of Otranto) to the end of the 18th century (The Monk) after that "Gothic" mostly existed in theater, not in the novel.

Over the course of almost 700 pages we are treated to the story of Emily.All the gothic hallmarks are here, and in spades: Gloomy castles, exotic locations, sinister nobility and the kind of intertwined family plot points that tie everything together at the end.

Reading the Mysteries of Udolpho I often reflected on how the popular fiction of one era becomes the classic literature of another.Why did I read this book? Because it's a classic.Why is it a classic? Because it was very popular when it was released.

On the whole I would recommend skipping Mysteries of Udolpho unless you are an avid fan of 18th century literature.If you are going to read on example of the gothic genre from it's hey day, I would recommend the excellent, more spooky, less annoying "The Monk" by Matthew Lewis.

... Read more


4. The Mysteries of Udolpho (Penguin Classics)
by Ann Radcliffe
Paperback: 704 Pages (2001-10-01)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$8.64
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0140437592
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
With The Mysteries of Udolpho, Ann Radcliffe raised the Gothic romance to a new level and inspired a long line of imitators. Portraying her heroine's inner life, creating a thick atmosphere of fear, and providing a gripping plot that continues to thrill readers today, The Mysteries of Udolpho is the story of orphan Emily St. Aubert, who finds herself separated from the man she loves and confined within the medieval castle of her aunt's new husband, Montoni. Inside the castle, she must cope with an unwanted suitor, Montoni's threats, and the wild imaginings and terrors that threaten to overwhelm her.

This new edition includes an introduction that discusses the publication and early reception of the novel, the genre of Gothic romance, and Radcliffe's use of history, exotic settings, the supernatural, and poetry. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (30)

4-0 out of 5 stars Nice Book
This is the 2nd Ann Radcliffe novel I have and although it a slower read than the Italian, it is very much an Ann Radcliffe novel.

The novel starts with Emily St Aubert, a young woman orphaned and through a series of circumstances, imprisoned in a remote castle with her aunt's new husband, who is very cold and cruel.Emily is faced with an unwanted suitor, the man she loves being very far away and the castle with a supernatural mystery.

I was not as quickly pulled in, but it was very good and I can certainly see how she influenced other authors.

5-0 out of 5 stars A beautiful epic
Set amidst the glorious backdrop of Europe's natural beauty, Mysteries of Udolpho is the penultimate classic romance of terror and adventure.
The story concerns a young woman named Emily St. Aubert, who through circumstances out of her control finds herself taken far away from her pleasant home by her cruel and stupid aunt, to a dark castle deep within the mountains of Italy: its owner, a sinister and murderous fallen nobleman in charge of an army of fearsome thugs. Events soon begin to spiral further and further out of Emily's control as she and her aunt both find themselves instruments of his sinister plans.
Anyone who has ever been held captive by the monstrous people of this worldwill identify with Emily's plight: with her feelings of helplessness and despair, and her faint, dim glitterings of hope.
While some of the characterization seems extraordinarily unrealistic (the male romantic lead Valancourt acts more than a little like a stalker), this can easily be forgiven: he prose is beautiful, and the descriptions of the Italian countryside and the dark, decrepit ruins buried among it immerse the reader in the world of the story.
In short, Mysteries of Udolpho is an epic, beautiful tale that should find itself in the hands of anyone looking for a classic that will at times frighten, at times inspire, but always make the reader feel.

2-0 out of 5 stars Unusually revolting sentimentality
"I believe that memory is responsible for nearly all these three-volume novels"
-Oscar Wilde

One thing I will say for this book is that it made Oscar Wilde's plays even more entertaining for me.I now know what he was talking about when he trashes books of "unusually revolting sentimentality."And what he says is very true.I am absolutely certain that Ann Radcliffe wrote this book as a sort of extended journal for her travels.At least half of it is devoted to scenery descriptions.Now this is not a bad thing in itself.I read "classics" all the time and I understand/appreciate that books tended to be more long winded due to the limited amounts of solo activities available at the time.But this is ridiculous.

I should point out that the full title of this book is "The Mysteries of Udolpho, A Romance; interspersed with some pieces of poetry by Ann Radcliffe."SOME pieces?!?Give me a break.She throws in her poetry every chance she gets.Her prose is neither creative or inspired.Every single verse is cheesy, lacking good poetic structure and ALWAYS about nature.This quickly gets redundant and I found myself skipping over her longer ones which can last for pages.

I have seen a few of these reviewers compare this book as the predecessor to Jane Austen.I beg to differ.I have read every single one of Jane Austen's books and these authors are separated by one very crucial fact:Jane Austen is a good writer and Ann Radcliffe is not.Radcliffe's writing style is extremely difficult to follow.Commas seem to be a critical plot point with her.Any kind of sentence and/or dialogue will read something like this:

"Emily, called, as she had requested, at an early hour, awoke, little refreshed by sleep, for uneasy dreams had pursued her, and marred the kindest blessing of the unhappy, but, when she opened her casement, looked out upon the woods, bright with the morning sun, and inspired the pure air, her mind was soothed."

Yes, that is all one sentence.I am almost positive that I've heard William Shatner talk more fluidly.

Despite all my griping about this book, I think the thing that annoyed me the most was that I really just didn't care about Emily.She struck me as very spoiled and sheltered.She cries nonstop and is constantly wallowing in self pity.In reality, none of the characters (not even her "evil" uncle) really abuse her.They are strict and worldly, nothing more.In one especially nauseating scene she is driving in a carriage with her aunt and uncle, wallowing in self pity as usual, and sees some peasants playing instruments.She then thinks to herself how lovely it would be to be a peasant because then she could spend the whole day doing whatever she wanted and not be controlled by an evil aunt and uncle.Umm... what?!? Last time I checked, peasants did NOT live a charmed life.

In contrast to Emily and Valancourt, I found myself actually liking her "evil" stepuncle, Montoni.He was pretty much the only character with ANY kind of common sense.

To sum up, save yourself a painful +/- 700 page read.If you want a cute and light romance I suggest checking out books by Georgette Heyer.Or go to the Bronte sisters if you want something more Gothic and substantial.

1-0 out of 5 stars Impossible to read
I wish I could have read this book.The type was so tiny I couldn't read any of it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Ahead of her Time!
Ann Radcliffe was truly ahead of her time. She was rumored to be an inspiration for Jane Austen and other female novelists of the time. No one will ever measure up to Mrs Radcliffe who followed her dream against what society deemed "appropriate". ... Read more


5. A Sicilian Romance: A Gothic Novel
by Ann Radcliffe
Paperback: 144 Pages (2010-07-22)
list price: US$10.95 -- used & new: US$7.88
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1453711724
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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A Gothic novel by Ann Radcliffe, "A Sicilian Romance" was published anonymously in 1790.The plot revolves around the turbulent history of the fallen aristocrats of the house of Mazzini who lived in a castle on the northern shore of Sicily.The tale is told by a tourist who becomes intrigued by stories he hears from a monk he runs into while exploring the ruins of the old castle.The story itself is set in the late 1500s with the main characters being Julia and her sister Emilia, who are daughters of the Fifth Marquis of Mazzini, a haughty, cruel man.The girls mother had been a charming beauty of a woman that died quite suddenly.The girls are left in the care of their mother's friend and spend their entire childhood on the father's estate with no company except an occasional visit from their father.The girls grow to be talented, beautiful young women.When one of the servants dies, the father returns to the castle and decides to throw a lavish party.There Julia meets and falls in love with a young count and they decide to attempt to escape and elope.The rest of the tale revolves around the good and evil characters with clever twists and turns.This was the second book by Ann Radcliffe who was the most popular writer of her day and wasalmost universally known. (Timeless Classic Books) ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great novel
The novel is in great condition and will be a nice edition to my library.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book
I love this book, especially the kindle edition. Thanks for making it available. All Vexin Classics editions are great. I also have The Count of Monte Cristo(Complete Unabridged Version 1844) and The Merry Adventures of ROBIN HOOD (Complete edition 1883)

4-0 out of 5 stars A good start for an author who will just get better...
My favourite novel of Ann Radcliffe's is The Mysteries of Udolpho, but I think A Sicilian Romance is a promise of what Mrs. Radcliffe will be able to accomplish in her later books.For Ann Radcliffe and Gothic romance fans, this novel is a must because it plays on all of the classic themes of the genre.This is also great escapist reading to a world very much unlike our own.Radcliffe's heroines and heroes do suffer greatly and go through some extraordinary (perhaps sometimes unbelievable) events, but I find it thoroughly enjoyable to read about their adventures as I am a true romantic at heart.It's good to read about a world where when virtuous people are put through struggles at the hands of villians, the heroines and heroes are able to triumph.

4-0 out of 5 stars Mrs. Radcliffe and Monk Lewis
I've read all of Mrs. Radcliffe's novels, except for her last one.I must admit that this novel is not as good as The Mysteries of Udolpho.But I think when reading this novel it's important to keep in mind why Ann Radcliffe wrote it in the first place.

It's impossible to appreciate Ann Radcliffe's intentions in writing this book and the complexities of The Italian without having first read Matthew "Monk" Lewis' The Monk.Lewis was so inspired by The Mysteries of Udolpho that he wrote The Monk, which has characters engaging in activities that are horrifying.(Lewis became so identified with his book that he was nicknamed Monk Lewis.)Mrs. Radcliffe was very upset that Lewis was inspired by her book to write his.In response to The Monk, Mrs. Radcliffe wrote The Italian.Mrs. Radcliffe "corrected" in The Italian what she felt was wrong and horrifying about The Monk.

For anyone who finds The Italian lacking at all, I highly recommend he or she read The Monk to gain a better understanding of what Ann Radcliffe was trying to accomplish.And for anyone who has not read The Italian yet, read The Monk first- then I'm sure you will find The Italian a much more enjoyable read.

1-0 out of 5 stars Not a great gothic novel.
This is the first book I have read by Radcliffe, and only the second gothic novel I have read. It is, by all standards of style and method, a gothic novel--so I doubt there is any need to elaborate on the moods, theromanticized environmental settings, or the literary devices found in thenovel.As far as the writing itself goes, it becomes clear that the authoris a very young and relatively inexperienced writer. The two major flaws ofthe novel that bothered me the most are: 1.) There is a great deal ofredundancy in how the events unfold. For example, several times variouscharacters would find themselves lost in the woods, suddenly see a faintlight in the distance, follow the light, then find themselves in a periloussituation, only to escape by a similar means. This type of formulated plotwas prevalent throughout the entire novel. 2.) Radcliffe seldom utilizedtransitional phrases. Often, paragraphs would shift from one location orperson to another location or person with no transitional phrases such as"meanwhile", or "back at the castle", etc. The next sentence would just beabout something different.

In the simplest description, the plot wasabout a tyrannical, ambitious father who tries to marry off his daughter toregain his social standing and wealth. His daughter, whose heart belongs toanother, escapes the castle, and proceeds to experience one perilousadventure after the other.But this is not really what the novel is about. It appears to me that it is more about the difference between men andwomen.In Radcliffe's world, the majority of men are to some degreecorrupt, power-hungry, ruthless, debauched, selfish, insensitive, andtyrannical--and the effect these men have on the persons and environmentaround them is usually tragic.Even the presence of the few virtuous menin her novel seems to create in the women around them feelings of turmoiland anxiety. Even when they evoke the feelings of love, it is alwaysbitter-sweet and agonizing. When men are present all is awry; violentthunderstorms cloud the sky, and even the natural environments aretreacherous, gloomy or desolate.But not so with women! All women but onein this novel are virtuous, pious, demure, pure, innocent, submissive, andnoble, and the natural environments that surround them are serene,beautiful, inviting, and sublime-at least until a man arrives.Throughoutthe novel women are constantly victimized by men, and Radcliffe seems tosuggest that only when left to themselves can women be find peace andhappiness in this world. Of course, considering the few rights andprivileges enjoyed by women during her time (1764-1823), one can hardlyblame her.

Overall, I found the book a bit too tedious to really beenjoyable.Reviews site her novel The Mysteries of Udolfo as be her best,though I have not read this one.I would only recommend this book if youare serious about reading all the gothic novels you can get your hands on. ... Read more


6. Ann Radcliffe: The Great Enchantress
by Robert Miles
 Paperback: 208 Pages (1995-09)
list price: US$27.95
Isbn: 0719038294
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To her contemporaries, Ann Radcliffe was "The Great Enchantress". Her wild and stormy Gothic romances made her one of the most popular and successful writers of the late-18th century. This is an introduction to her life and work, written especially for first- and second-year undergraduate students of literature and culture. Radcliffe was lampooned by many for the excesses of her writing - the craggy mountains, gloomy forests, ghosts, orphans, fainting heroines, fantastic resolutions - and yet her influence was felt across England and throughout Europe. The 1790s was a time of great social and political upheaval and Miles argues that Radcliffe should be read not as a conservative writer, but one who creatively renders visible the power structures of her time, place, gender and class. This work is intended for all students of the period and for anyone interested in the Gothic genre and women's writing. ... Read more


7. The Mysteries of Udolpho
by Ann Ward Radcliffe
Kindle Edition: Pages (2009-10-04)
list price: US$1.99
Asin: B002RKRS06
Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars
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This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

1-0 out of 5 stars Buy from Quality Classics instead
I agree with the first reviewer and wish I had read the review before starting the book. Many sentences are left hanging. When I downloaded a Quality Classics edition for 99 cents I discovered that all poetry is left out of this free book. The poetry is not just fluff. It is crucial to the book so do not waste your time with this free edition.

1-0 out of 5 stars free kindle edition
I haven't read the book yet, but this free kindle edition does not include all of the text. It leaves out all of the poetry which seems to be important to the plot. I suggest buying a different version for the kindle. ... Read more


8. The Mysteries of Udolpho (Girlebooks Classics)
by Ann Radcliffe
Kindle Edition: Pages (2008-07-21)
list price: US$1.99
Asin: B001D0G082
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Set in 1584 in southern France and northern Italy, The Mysteries of Udolpho tells the story of Emily St. Aubert, a young French woman who is orphaned after the death of her father. The novel is a quintessential Gothic romance, replete with incidents of terror, castles, seemingly supernatural events, a brooding, scheming villain, and a persecuted heroine. Jane Austen featured The Mysteries of Udolpho and other similar Gothic novels that were popular at the time in her own work, Northanger Abbey. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars What is Broadway waiting for?
First published in 1794 in four volumes, The Mysteries of Udolpho is a Gothic Romance set in the 16th century. The novel is unique in this genre in that its many mysterious and supernatural events are eventually given a rational explanation. While most famous today for being referenced in Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey, The Mysteries of Udolpho was wildly popular on its own account upon initial publication and in subsequent decades.

Central to the plot is our beloved heroine, Emily St. Aubert. She is a young French woman who bears a striking resemblance to the heroine of Fanny Burney's Cecilia. She is an orphan, naive, innately good, yet preyed upon and at the mercy of many shady characters, many who are her own relatives. Like Cecilia's favorite suitor Mortimer Delville, Emily's true love, Valencourt, has the same emotional (some would say whiny) character and true heart. And like Cecilia, Emily's story is long.

The novel begins in France as we travel up and down and back up the Apennines too many times to count. It is almost a relief when Emily departs for sea level, traveling to Venice under the "protection" of her vain and superficial aunt and her aunt's new husband, Montoni. Emily is frustratingly at the whim of Montoni, who is intent on marrying her off to the first rich Count he encounters. From Venice we enter the mountains again, and this time they are crawling with banditti. Now things get interesting at the Castle of Udolpho

I will stop the summary here as I cannot do even the smallest justice to Radcliffe's beautiful words. But suffice to say this long novel contains enough excitement for three novels of such length. The subject matter is also somewhat shocking, even for modern readers. It deals with death, murder, poison, secret passageways, crumbling turrets, obsessed lovers and shady bandits. It is amazing that Radcliffe can write a story with such gory and fantastic elements and yet in the end explain it away with almost Victorian propriety.

Despite the dark and gloomy context, Radcliffe's prose is quite beautiful. There is also much poetry-Emily many times will burst into song while particularly entranced by a scene in nature. Music and poetry make up a large portion of the text and come in at the most critical points of the plot. It makes one wonder why this novel has never been made into a musical. What is Broadway waiting for? Forget The Phantom of the Opera, The Mysteries of Udolpho would be a smash hit!

5-0 out of 5 stars Sublime enchantment....
I absolutely fell in love with this book. The prose and use of the english language is breathtaking. It's a long novel (but those are my favourite kind) but it kept me up into the wee hours to see what would happen next.

I have read it many many times, I can just choose a paragraph at radom and fall into her lyrical writing.

The ultimate gothic. READ IT! ... Read more


9. The Italian Or The Confessional Of The Black Penitents A Romance
by Ann Radcliffe
Hardcover: 440 Pages (2010-05-23)
list price: US$51.95 -- used & new: US$37.06
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1161467270
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
This scarce antiquarian book is a selection from Kessinger Publishing's Legacy Reprint Series. Due to its age, it may contain imperfections such as marks, notations, marginalia and flawed pages. Because we believe this work is culturally important, we have made it available as part of our commitment to protecting, preserving, and promoting the world's literature. Kessinger Publishing is the place to find hundreds of thousands of rare and hard-to-find books with something of interest for everyone! ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars This Italian, by Ann Radcliffe
This book isa very intelligent and well written book.

5-0 out of 5 stars So Many Turns of Events!
The Italian was Radcliffe's last novel. It is about a nobleman who falls in love with a woman whose identity is unknown to herself and the reader throughout her sufferings. She is oppressed by many people in whose hands she falls as she is snatched away from the nobleman Vivaldi to prevent their marriage. Like all of Radcliffe's heroines, her character is marked by an amazing fortitude despite the horrifying things to which she is frequently subjected. Vivaldi faces the powers of the Inquisition and Radcliffe gives the reader some idea of their dealings with offenders and their ways of making prisoners "confess." There are many turns of events which are delightful until another perilous event disappoints and grieves the reader. This is certainly what most reviewers call a page-turner. The sentiments are by no means modern. For a reader who is looking for modern unrestrained "romance," none of Radcliffe's novels is a good choice. Her stories are for true romantics.

2-0 out of 5 stars A Difficult Read
I found "The Italian" to be less satisfying, more lurid, more obscure, and harder going than "Romance of the Forest."The plot moves slowly and the punctuation of this edition was a definite impediment for me.The decadent qualities, atmosphere of depravity, and character style were intentional, I realize, but I found this book to be mired in its genre, cardboard in character development, and unrewarding.I enjoyed the similar "Uncle Silas" far more.

4-0 out of 5 stars Gothic Romance at its Best
Let it first be said that Lewis's "The Monk" is heavily influenced by Radcliffe.Reading "The Monk" first would throw the reader off the track.This novel is an excellent selection from thegenre of Gothic novel, and is indeed a masterpiece.The Gothic novel had agreat impact on Romanticism, and on the literature of the absurd.Overall,an enjoyable read!

3-0 out of 5 stars The "Queen of the Gothic Novel"
This is one of Radcliffe's two best novels, the other being "TheMysteries of Udolpho". A little excursion into literary history willclear up the confusion of the reviewer who feels that Radcliffe copiedLewis' "The Monk". If any copying was done, it was the other wayaround.At the time Lewis began writing, Radcliffe was the top Gothicnovelist, and one of the most popular authors of any genre.Lewis,himself, stated that he was inspired to write "The Monk" afterreading "Udolpho".(In fact, Radcliffe's mastery of the gothicinfluenced such poets as Byron and Keats, who called her "motherRadcliffe" for her legacy, and many other writers of her day and farbeyond.) Among her major influences were Shakespeare, Milton, and Walpole,who basically founded the gothic novel.But Radcliffe took it to a new andhigher level than Walpole, and Lewis took off from Radcliffe's newelevation, and went in another, though not necessarily higher, direction. Having read both "The Italian" and "The Monk" (mycopies rest amiably next to one another on the shelf), I would say they areBOTH very much worth reading (as is "Udolpho").Reading"Udolpho" first, and then "The Monk", will demonstratehow much Lewis drew his inspiration from the master.Reading "TheItalian" will show that master at once at the peak and, unfortunately,the close of her literary career. ... Read more


10. The Castles Of Athlin And Dunbayne
by Ann Radcliffe
Hardcover: 90 Pages (2010-05-23)
list price: US$33.95 -- used & new: US$23.22
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 116145912X
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Anxious to inform the Baroness of his approaching deliverance, to assure her of his best services, to bid adieu to Laura, and to seize the last opportunity he might ever possess of disclosing to her his admiration and his love, the Earl revisited the apartments of the Baroness. She felt a lively pleasure on the prospect of his escape; and Laura, in the joy which animated her on hearing this intelligence, forgot the sorrows of her own situation; forgot that of which her heart soon reminded her--that Osbert was leaving the place of her confinement, and that she should probably see him no more. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

4-0 out of 5 stars The Signs to Come
"The Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne" was Ann Radcliffe's first novel and has long been out of print.It is set in the Middle Ages and follows the intertwining paths of two noble families in constant battle with each other.This early work certainly set the stage for Radcliffe's later work - especially her Gothic masterpiece, "The Romance of the Forest."

Set in the highlands of Scotland, the novel begins with a battle between the chieftains of the two warring families.On one side of the fray is Alleyn, a poor young man who falls hopelessly in love with Mary, the daughter of the Athlin family, knowing that they could never be together because of his lowborn position.On the other side is the evil Baron of Dunbayne, whose family is responsible for the murder of the Lord of Athlin (the main cause of the dispute between the families).Soldiers from Dunbayne capture in turn both Mary and her brother Osbert, and each must fight to save their lives as well as those of the ones they have fallen in love with.Of course, with a Gothic novel, nothing could be straightforward and Radcliffe filled her novel with numerous schemes, several kidnappings, near death experiences, nefarious plots and a long-lost heir returned to glory - a tall order to fill in 113 pages.

"The Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne", while a short and rather fast-paced read, is also rather confusing.Radcliffe switched from character to character with little distinction between their actions or thoughts.The initial problems between the families can be difficult to sort out since she used names instead of titles.One fight follows another with no time to recover from the last.The story follows a rather predictable outcome, but is filled with the typical Gothic archetypes that roots Radcliffe's romance.Surely this publishing of her early work is a treasure for literature lovers, but it is far from Radcliffe's best work.Still, it is interesting to see how her work progressed from this early attempt to her later novels.

4-0 out of 5 stars Early Romance
This book is one of the earliest examples of the romantic novel. The plot was original for its time, though certainly nothing new today.It is completely predictable.Nevertheless, it is interesting as a study of English literature and the development of the novel. This was Radcliffe's first novel, and became the model for many of her later works, as well as the works of many other novel writers.
This book is very plot-driven. The characters are flat, and dialogue or character thought is almost completely non existant.The action in the story leads the text. It also contains the typical hero/heroine relationship; the men, in accordance to the time this book was written, do all the fighting and rescuing, while the women sit at home, unable to do anything but worry and faint.

3-0 out of 5 stars DARK CASTLES AND DISTRESSED DAMSELS!
The Earl of Athlin was betrayed and killed by his envious neighbor Malcolm, the Baron of Dunbayne, 12 years ago. Fearing to endanger her people and the lives of her young children, the Earl's wife, Matilda, has kept out of the way of Malcolm, staying near to her castle and holding back the anger of her subjects. After 12 years, the Earl's son, Osbert, is now 19 years old, and can no longer be held back by his mother. In a surprise attack just as cowardly as that of Malcolm upon his father, he attempts to storm Dunbayne Castle without warning or a declaration of war. Unfortunately, for this overconfident and pompous youth, Malcolm saw it coming, and captures the dumb would-be Earl. Malcolm also has a healthy lust for Osbert's sister, Mary, and demands that she marry him in exchange for her brother's life. Most of the book is concerned with the effort to free Osbert from the Baron's clutches. These attempts are mainly made by the peasant Alleyn, whose bravery and martial skills more than make up for his social standing, well, at least in my eyes.

This short novel has all the devices of the Gothic novel, including dark and gloomy castles, depressed characters, and adventure. But one of the things that stood out to me was the class system which wreaks of injustice. Osbert, the supposed hero of the tale, is always looking down on his best friend, Alleyn, even though his life has been saved by him. He's supposed to be this paragon of virtue and yet he does not think he is good enough for his sister. Everyone has the same blood and this is a good reason that the American and French Revolutions took place. To remind us that we are all created equal. The characters all seemed kind of bumbling and if it wasn't for the fact that they find secret doors of escape in every room they're imprisoned in, or the fact that every guard they encounter kneels before their moral superiority, they wouldn't have got very far. They make the gang in Scooby Doo look deep! You can also see some of the solutions to the mysteries of the novel long before Radcliffe reveals them. It was entertaining though, and she was successful in creating mood and atmosphere, but don't look for anything but a comic book plot here.

3-0 out of 5 stars A Good Taste of Radcliffe
Interested in a gothic novel but not quite ready to plunge headfirst into "The Mysteries of Udolpho"? Ann Radcliffe's short novel "The Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne", provides the perfect first taste of agothic novel.I first read Radcliffe after reading Austen's"Northanger Abby", which contains refrences to"Udolpho".I instantly became facinated by her work and havesubsequently read most of her novels.Reading Radcliffe is definately anexperience worth trying, and I reccomend "The Castles of Athlin andDunbayne" as an excellent place to start.

One must not judgethe gothic novel with the same standards as any work with more literarymerit.The plots are trite, the devices are overused, the language isoverblown, and the characters are decididly one dimensional.However, thisis what is so great about Radcliffe. All of her work is throughlyentertaining, highly amusing to a modern reader, and a source of excellentnew vocabulary.

"The Castles Of Athlin and Dunbayne"is no exception.It only differs from Radcliffe's other work in twoaspects: it is short (slightly over 100 pages), and it is set in Britian,not mainland Europe. Although it is her first novel and does not achievethe same greatness as later works, such as "Udolpho", it is stillworth reading. The story centers around Mary, a Scottish nobelwoman, andher love affair with the low-born, but ever honorable Allyn.It containsan astounding number of chases across dark moors, mysterious noises,escapes from dungones, and passionate exchanges of lover's vows for itssmall size.What makes the novel so amusing and enjoyable is Radcliffe'sserious, fervent tone as she earnestly describes the contrived and tritesituations in the novel.

I am quite a fan of Radcliffe and admireher greatly for the prescedent she set in the history of fiction. "TheCastles of Athlin and Dunbayne" is an entertaing read and a wonderfulexample of the gothic novel. ... Read more


11. Mistress of Udolpho: The Life of Ann Radcliffe
by Rictor Norton
Hardcover: 307 Pages (1999-06)
list price: US$75.00
Isbn: 0718502019
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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This is the biography of the Gothic novelist, Ann Radcliffe (1764-1823), author of "The Mysteries of Udolpho", the world's first "best seller". The text clarifies Radcliffe's emergence from a Dissenting Unitarian, rather than a conventional Anglican, background. This places Radcliffe within the circle of other women writers nurtured in radical Dissenting backgrounds (such as Wollstonecraft, Hays, Inchbauld and Barbauld). Radcliffe's childhood and family background are documented and the rumours of her madness and reclusiveness investigated leading to an evaluation of the resons for her probable mental breakdown. The text constitutes a "cultural history" of a writing woman, demonstrating her place within radical culture, literary tradition and aesthetic discourse, and examining her role in the rise of the professional woman writer. Her novels are analyzed mainly in the context of her biography and sources ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars If you are a Radcliffe lover....
Or even just love the early Gothic genre then this book is a MUST READ!

So little was ever known or written about Radcliffe but Norton does a spectacular job of digging and unearthing some fascinating and wonderful facts, tidbits and surmises. Since not a lot was known on Radcliffe he follows a lot of conclusions on her upbringing, life, marriage and writing toa very crystal clear logical conclusion.

He writes extensively on her novels and the influences that she read and saw (plays etc.)that formed her glowing genius with the pen. Different theories of the sublime, terror, horror....the picturesqe that she obviously had read and applied.

This is one of those very specific biographies. It's read because you are one of the many enchanted followers of her magic pen. If you adore Radcliffe and thrill at her turn of phrase and the deeply nostaglic past she dredges up in her pages than this biography by Norton is absolutely indispenible to you. You will come away with something having learned a great deal on her, her times, her influences, the long reaching influence of her novels, as well as some tidbits of not so important but nevertheless engaging facts. ... Read more


12. The Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne: Ann Radcliffe's Tale of Two Warring Highland Clans (Timeless Classic Books)
by Ann Radcliffe
Kindle Edition: Pages (2010-08-29)
list price: US$2.99
Asin: B0041D894G
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The Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne, a tale of two warring Highland clans, was Radcliffe's first novel. Sir Walter Scott wrote of it, "We can now trace some germs of that taste and talent for the wild, romantic and mysterious, which the authoress afterwards employed with such effect."

One of the qualities that Mrs. Radcliffe possessed that made her so popular around the world was her ability to create poetic descriptions of the scenery in countries that she had never visited.Keats tweaked Radcliffian attitudes when he wrote to a friend, "I'll tip you a Damosel Radcliffe. I'll cavern you and grotto you and waterfall you and immense-rock you and solitude you." Byron quipped in a letter, "I am going out this evening in my Cloak and Gondola-here are two nice Mrs. Radcliffe words for you." ... Read more


13. The Romance of the Forest: Interspersed with some Pieces of Poetry
by Ann Radcliffe
Paperback: 230 Pages (2010-03-17)
list price: US$14.90 -- used & new: US$12.69
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1451550618
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This gothic novel was Radcliffe's first major popular success. It combines mystery and suspense with an examination of the tension between hedonism and morality. ... Read more


14. The Italian: Or the Confessional of the Black Penitents. a Romance. by Ann Radcliffe, ... in Three Volumes. ...
by Ann Ward Radcliffe
Paperback: 460 Pages (2010-03-31)
list price: US$36.75 -- used & new: US$20.90
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1148138595
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Product Description
This is an EXACT reproduction of a book published before 1923. This IS NOT an OCR'd book with strange characters, introduced typographical errors, and jumbled words.This book may have occasional imperfections such as missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. that were either part of the original artifact, or were introduced by the scanning process. We believe this work is culturally important, and despite the imperfections, have elected to bring it back into print as part of our continuing commitment to the preservation of printed works worldwide. We appreciate your understanding of the imperfections in the preservation process, and hope you enjoy this valuable book. ... Read more


15. Complete Novels of Mrs. Ann Radcliffe ( Six Volume Set)
by Ann Radcliffe
 Hardcover: Pages (1987-01-01)

Asin: B002HNS56E
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16. A journey made in the summer of 1794, through Holland and the western frontier of Germany, with a return down the Rhine; to which are added, observations ... of Lancashire, Westmoreland, and Cumberland
by Ann Ward Radcliffe
Paperback: 494 Pages (2010-08-30)
list price: US$38.75 -- used & new: US$27.90
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Asin: 1178006689
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Editorial Review

Product Description
This is an EXACT reproduction of a book published before 1923. This IS NOT an OCR'd book with strange characters, introduced typographical errors, and jumbled words.This book may have occasional imperfections such as missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. that were either part of the original artifact, or were introduced by the scanning process. We believe this work is culturally important, and despite the imperfections, have elected to bring it back into print as part of our continuing commitment to the preservation of printed works worldwide. We appreciate your understanding of the imperfections in the preservation process, and hope you enjoy this valuable book. ... Read more


17. Ann Radcliffe: The Novel of Suspense and Terror (Gothic Studies and Dissertations Series)
by John A. Stolr
 Hardcover: 242 Pages (1980-06)
list price: US$31.95 -- used & new: US$31.95
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Asin: 0405126700
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18. The Civilized Imagination: A Study of Ann Radcliffe, Jane Austen and Sir Walter Scott (Volume 0)
by Daniel Cottom
Paperback: 240 Pages (2009-05-07)
list price: US$26.99 -- used & new: US$21.94
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Asin: 0521110971
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Editorial Review

Product Description
The Civilized Imagination is a study of literature in a period of cultural change. As part of the transition from the eighteenth to the nineteenth century a great transformation occurred in the relations among aesthetic theory, literature, and society. This study analyses such changes as they appear in the works of Ann Radcliffe, Jane Austen and Sir Walter Scott, three apparently distinct novelists whom the author locates within a unified cultural movement. Although the works of these writers are extremely different in many respects, in Professor Cottom's view they are all preoccupied with the changing relation between aristocratic and middle-class values. In Ann Radcliffe's works middle-class values are beginning to emerge within a governing aristocratic context; in Jane Austen's novels these newer values are precariously balanced against the old; in Sir Walter Scott's books they have become victorious, at least superficially. Professor Cottorn examines the way these writers deal with such topics as taste, landscape, communications, morality and women, in order to show how certain aesthetic problems result from social change. ... Read more


19. Ann Radcliffe and the Gothic Romance: A Psychoanalytic Approach (Gothic Studies and Dissertations Series)
by Leona F. Sherman
 Hardcover: 221 Pages (1980-08)
list price: US$28.95 -- used & new: US$28.95
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Asin: 0405126794
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20. The Critical Response to Ann Radcliffe: (Critical Responses in Arts and Letters)
Hardcover: 320 Pages (1993-12-30)
list price: US$101.95 -- used & new: US$101.95
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Asin: 0313280312
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Ann Radcliffe was one of the most influential women writers of the 18th century. Best known as the author of The Italian and The Mysteries of Udolpho, she contributed to the rise of the English novel and the development of the female gothic. This book brings together, for the first time, almost one hundred documents on her work, including contemporary reviews, letters, diary entries, the most important critical assessments, and several new pieces. The volume begins with an extensive introductory essay on Radcliffe's work and the critical reception of it. The chapters that follow consist of chronologically arranged critical analyses of particular works by Radcliffe. Several chapters then present general critical responses to her writings. The book concludes with a bibliography of selected additional readings. ... Read more


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