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The Mysteries of Udolpho
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...more
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Emily St. Aubert has done her best to prepare her mind for the outside world, but when both her parents sud ...more
This is a long book, old-fashioned in style (naturally, being published in 1794) but I enjoyed it very much, even though I had my doubts going in because I lost my taste for the Gothic genre years ago. I expected to give up on it, ...more
This was an engaging read and is considered to be one of the first gothic novels. I loved the language, I loved the characters (except for the evil M. Montoni and Madame Charone) , but I did dislike the extensive descriptions of scenery that seemed to go on forever. I'm glad that I read it, but I doubt I will ever tackle it again for a re-read.
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 ...more
I finally go around to reading it this month, after threatening to for years, and here are my thoughts on it.
If you are only going to read one Gothic novel, to see what all the fus ...more
And if all the sentences in this book were half as good as that one, we'd be looking at a five-star book here, but sadly the rest of it is just hella boring. You might be reading a lame book if you have this thought: "Oh great, it's one of the heroine's long, shitty poems; that's three fewer pages I'll have to actually read." And if you think Montoni's threat means that the torture device you br ...more
Containing all the classi ...more
I WAS WRONG.
*JUST READ THESE SPOILERS AND SAVE YOURSELF THE TROUBLE OF READING THIS TRIPE*
This book is why God created editors, and why paying ...more
Do not go to Udolpho for character development (there's none -- people are wholly good, wholly servant-funny, wholly evil, or wholly conniving) or for rapid plot developments (we spend a lot of time looking at melancholy vistas, worrying about whether banditti may linger in the forests, or seeing peasant children from a distance and finding them picturesque). However, if you created the "Gr ...more
I am exceedingly glad I did. I have read many Victorian and Edwardian short stories based on horror and ghosts, and I was simply under the impression that with a few select exceptions (The Pit and the Pendellum) the older a book is, ...more
Well, I didn't quite have the leisure of Mr. Tilney and I didn't swallow it down in two days with hardly a breath, but it was slightly entertaining and amusing, but probably not in the way the author intended. And it also wasn't exactly what I expected (although, honestly, I don't know exactly what I expect ...more
While the s ...more
The entire first quarter of this story is pretty much nothing but staring at scenery and weeping. I tried to embrace it and read it at its own languid pace but even so my eyes did occasionally glaze over. However even near the start there are those odd mysteries which keep it interesting.
Later theres a lot of superstitious scares a ...more
A Gothic Novel was never meant to be great literature. At the time of it's publication, fans of the genre were regarded the same as modern-day Anne Rice fans. ("Oh how nice, she's reading a book. At least she's not out having anonymous sex in exchange for drugs.") (Actually, you could argue that Anne Rice is a modern Gothic Novelist, but I digress.)
That being said, why aren ...more
100 pages in:
Radcliffe seems to pride herself on her effulgent descriptions of the French landscape, but I've ...more
The Mysteries of Udolpho is fun in its own right, though. It's not great literature, but it's never dull. The poor heroine is swept breathlessly from accident to tragedy to bliss back to misery without a pause, only to have everything wrapped up quite suddenly, and to perfect satisfaction at the end. This is exactly the sort of reading you can imagine a Georgian t ...more
|Goodreads Librari...: Orphan edition||3||11||Jun 03, 2017 02:52AM|
|Catching up on Cl...: The Mysteries of Udolpho -- Buddy Read||107||82||Aug 26, 2016 08:57AM|
|Around the Year i...: The Mysteries of Udolpho, by Ann Radcliffe||2||12||Feb 12, 2016 07:33PM|
|Goodreads Librari...: Can this series be removed?||3||29||Jan 19, 2016 07:59AM|
|The 1700-1939 Boo...: The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe (Volume One)||22||34||Jan 14, 2015 10:14PM|
|The 1700-1939 Boo...: The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe (Volume Two)||5||12||Oct 19, 2014 08:48PM|
Radcliffe was born Ann Ward in Holborn. At the age of 22, she married journalist William Radcliffe, owner and editor of the English Chronicle, in Bath in 1788. The couple was childless and, to amuse herself, she began to write fiction, which her husband encouraged.
She published The Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne in 1789. It set the ...more