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Preview — The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole
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The Castle of Otranto
One of the first, great Gothic novels, and one of the most influential books in literary history, this thrilling tale abounds in adventure, suspense, and supernatural occurrences. In a realm where a villain reigns, mysterious events aid in fulfilling a prophecy that spells doom for the ruler and justice for the rightful heir.
Now, in fairness, it ...more
This granddaddy of all Gothics is still worth a read. It has its flaws, but Walpole's style is crisp and economical, and the book itself is mercifully brief.
Manfred possesses all the important features of the classic gothic hero that Mrs. Radcliffe and others would later use to great advantage, and the initial scenes--particularly the surrealistic tableau of Manfred's heir flattened by a gigantic helmet and the exciting sequence of Isabella's flight through the castle's subterranean darkness--a ...more
(NB do not assume that said death will be unrelated to the reading of this book.... boredom kills, people.)
This book is very Shakespearian in style and therefore metaphorically and allegorically weighty despite being such a short, light paperback book. I was suckered into reading this because it was a short read. You know how it is, on a whim sometime ago (Christmas 2009), you manfully pledge to r ...more
Prince Gets Squashed by Giant Airborne Helmet! Full News on Page Six!
Lord of Otranto Says - "Sorry, the Castle Ain't Mine!"
FULL Interview with Covergirl Isabella - "He was Never the One for Me!"
Love Advice from Star-Struck Pair! Theodore and Matilda Tell All - How YOU Can Find True Love in Just Ten Seconds!
Jerome and Hippolita's 'Faithful's Corner': Why Entering a Monastery's the Only Way to Go!
The Commoner's Chronicle: Bianca and her Fellows Tell Why THEY'RE the Ones Who S ...more
_The Castle of Otranto_ is preposterous, both in content and struct ...more
Shovel loads of gothicness with a daft plot and formulaic characters; this is regarded as the first gothic novel. Walpole tries to create a new genre quite consciously by combining the new romance style of eighteenth century novels and the older tradition of fantastical tales. Walpole also introduces a number of gothic tropes for the first time; strange and eerie goings on, things that go bump in the night, rapacious and predatory men, beautiful and endangered heroines and a ...more
It seems rather tiresome today, but that might be because of all that it has inspired, and so many authors who, working in its image, have surpassed it.
“It was suggested by a dream from which he said he waked one morning, and of which 'all I could recover was, that I had thought myself in an ancient castle (a very natural dream for a head like mine, filled with Gothic story), and that on the uppermost banister of a great staircase I saw a gigantic hand in armour. In the evening I sat down and began to write, without knowing in the least what I intended to say or relate.'”
Note: This ...more
The Goodreads reviews of this pioneer work are a caravan of groans; how sophisticated we've since become with our forensics and our shape-shfting (very-meta) protagonists. I may shudder and say, whoa, and allow the blush to fade from our consternation. Otranto is ridiculous, sure, but it is damn charming. Anyone ever encountered a contrivance or l ...more
It also is set in a cursed or haunted castle in a foreign land with people who talk in an outdated manner (other criteria of the Guardian newspaper for classic Gothic horror stories). In fact, many of what we now consider stereotypes of Gothic horror had their origins in this book!
A quick and satisfacto ...more
I liked one sentence from The Castle of Otranto. In the middle of the tyrant Manfred's long-ass soliloquy to an enormous retinue of knights and other attendants a rival nobleman has sent to pay a visit, we get this: "The knights gazed on each other, wondering where this would end."
I read this one for a Challenge / Buddy Read of the "Northanger Horrible" novels... (It was the SHORTEST of the 10 books, so may have to pick another!!)
Did not expect to enjoy it as much as I did! Written in 1764, the language is in itself fun, but can be challenging at points (and laugh out loud ...more
But taken in historical context, the novel seems to respond to formative events in Walpole’s ...more
This was just for fun. I was hoping for something quick and melodramatic. After reading a paragraph, I knew it would fit the bill. The quick part became a lil sludgy sometimes. The language was sometimes less than clear. It could be the high diction, or simple word choice; or it could be the ebook edition I read was in need of another round of proofing.
As many a reviewer has stated, this is it, the grandd ...more
Otranto (the book) came from that foggy time when novels, while trying to present them ...more
I've seen a lot of 4 and 5 star reviews of this book. Why I don't understand. This is considered one of the best Gothic fiction novels, but all it did was bore me.
Then piss me off. 'It is not ours to make election for ourselves; heaven, our fathers, and our husbands, must decide for us.' I just wanted to grab Hippolita and shake her while screaming GET.A.GRIP. Im so glad women aren't l ...more
From a literature perspective, it's pretty much avera ...more
I was given this book to read with the preface, "I was not a fan, but I have a feeling you'd like this." And all of a sudden I was in an old world made new... to me.
The Castle of Otranto has a history as interesting and strange as the tale w/in it's pages. Know as the first Gothic Novel (Gothic fiction is a genre of literature that combines horror, romance and mystery offset by elements of fantasy), the book was purported to be a translation based on a manuscript printed near Na ...more
As it happens The Castle of Otranto is actually the first novel that (in its second edition) was published as "Gothic Novel" and wo ...more
Many writers have tried unsuccessfully to copy or satirise The Castle of Otranto. What Horace Walpole did that these second-liners missed is provide a decent story written in pla ...more
men. I sometimes reflect on this, though, I own, too seldom. I always want ...more
La historia comienza cuando se está preparando la boda entre ...more
I'd like to say something good about this book... But I can't come up with anything. The dialog is horrible, and melodramatic. The story itself is entirely ...more
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