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Nightmare Abbey; Crotchet Castle

3.51  ·  Rating details ·  152 ratings  ·  14 reviews
Thomas Love Peacock is literature's perfect individualist.

He has points in common with Aristophanes, Plato, Rabelais, Voltaire, and even Aldous Huxley, but resembles none of them; we can talk of the satirical novel of ideas, but his satire is too cheery and good-natured, his novel too rambling, and his ideas too jovially destructive for the label to stick.

A romantic in his
Paperback, 283 pages
Published January 28th 1982 by Penguin Classics (first published 1830)
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3.51  · 
Rating details
 ·  152 ratings  ·  14 reviews

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Todd Stockslager
Jun 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Review title: Victorian literature was not all Dickens

"With an introduction by J. B. Priestley".

These two short novels from 19th century England date from just before the bulk of Dickens' output, from a writer who was a close friend of Percy Bysshe Shelley. Both novels might be termed drawing-room comedies, with comical characters (caricatures, actually, with names like Mr. Toobad, who sees evil extant in every thing in the world, Mr. Firedamp, an amateur meteorologist, and Lord Bossnowl, an idl
russell barnes
Dec 30, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, comedy, gothic
Oh - so this is what Romantic literature is all about! If only Dr Robert Peter Manwaring and myself had read this during our ill-fated dalliance with Byron at University, it would've been much less ill-fated. And much, much funnier.

It's got everything: mad stereotypes, owl-infested castles, secret chambers, completely made-up ridiculous words and huge dollops sarcasm, with even more sarcastic footnotes. Even better is the fact (from the notes I hasten to add - there's a reason I scraped a 2:2) P
Dec 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book consists of two novels.
Nightmare Abbey is a witty spoof of the Romantic Movement and, despite the name, is not a gothic novel. It was one Peacock's first novels.
Crotchet Castle was written years later and is a satire of political economists. At one point the author states that each character felt there was only one way to manage things--his way.
I enjoyed this book more than the first because the plot was more interesting, including a sweet love story, and the characters were more dev
Feb 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Nightmare Abbey" (1818) is superbly funny, as the gentlemen, each with his own crazy ideas, argue it out. "Crotchet Castle" (1831) is similar, but with something of a plot attached to it, and it also features two women, whose ideas are almost as odd. Both are relatively short. Good holiday reading, I'd say.
Giselle Sellier
Aug 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Eurodite, witty, and hugely enjoyable.
Nov 08, 2011 rated it liked it
Read it in school, don't remember most of this satire, but it's actually funny in parts, somewhat Woody Allen-ish, if that helps. Or to quote Allen in Love and Death: "...the part of the doctor was played with gusto and verve and the girl had a delightful cameo role. A puckish satire of contemporary mores. A droll spoof aimed more at the heart than the head.
Soldier: As for me I'm planning to spend the next three days in a brothel. Care to come with me?
Boris: No, I went to a brothel once in my
Edward Butler
Oct 12, 2007 rated it really liked it
These two satirical novellas provide a rewarding glimpse into the intellectual life and social preoccupations of England's lesser gentry in the early 19th century. The pick of the litter is certainly Nightmare Abbey, a sort of Georgian Addams Family, a comprehensive parody of overripe Romanticism and the Gothic worldview. Crotchet Castle drags on a bit and treads some of the same ground again.

Chas Bayfield
Jun 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
This what Spitting Image would have been like before TV. My how those 19th century wags would have chuckled at this - I on the other hand had to struggle through the copious annotations to get through A Level. Even so, I really liked it, a real antidote to all the Jane Austen I was being force fed at the time.
May 31, 2013 rated it did not like it
Really wanted to like this book after reading Daisy Hay's 'The Young Romantics' but just couldn't find a way in. Couldn't find the humour, appreciate the satire...perhaps reading late at night not best approach to this one, but found it one big yawn!
Feb 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
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Sep 09, 2007 rated it liked it
Dry but humorful.
Jul 24, 2007 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: anglophiles
i only bought this because i saw a pretty redhead chick carrying it around the university courtyard trying to find a secluded place to read it. secluded from my roving eyes!
Aug 09, 2007 rated it liked it
Re-reading after, probably, thirty years.

OK, re-read Nightmare Abbey only. Guess I'm not gonna read the other one again now.
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English novelist and poet. For most of his life Peacock worked for the East India Co. He was a close friend of Percy Bysshe Shelley, who greatly inspired his writing. His best verse is interspersed in his novels, which are dominated by the conversations of their characters and satirize the intellectual currents of the day. His best-known work, Nightmare Abbey (1818), satirizes romantic melancholy ...more