Diarmid's Reviews > Zofloya, or The Moor

Zofloya, or The Moor by Charlotte Dacre
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's review
Jan 07, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: classic, gothic
Read in January, 2012

'Zofloya' is a slightly overlooked classic of Gothic literature, sitting somewhere between Radcliffe's 'The Mysteries of Udolpho' and Lewis's 'The Monk'. The heroine Victoria di Loredani is a young woman from a well off Italian family, a family which is destroyed by the mother's adultery. Victoria gradually falls further and further into vice, and falls ever faster after meeting the eponymous Moorish servant Zofloya, who only makes an appearance halfway through the novel. The first half of the novel is a melodrama, reminiscent of Udolpho, but with a character who is more active and more interesting than Radcliffe's heroine. The supernatural elements gradually appear after the appearance of Zofloya, and the novel starts to feel more like Lewis's classic 'The Monk', as Victoria moves deeper into sin and crime. 'Zofloya' is a surprisingly good read, especially the second half, with a central character in Victoria who is more involving than the usual Gothic heroines.
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