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The Italian by Ann Radcliffe

The Italian (1796)

by Ann Radcliffe

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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955913,672 (3.5)1 / 111

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English (7)  Spanish (1)  French (1)  All languages (9)
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
I wanted to like this book, it wasn't bad just so boring. The imagery was excellent, loved that part, but the plot it just took so long to move along. Ended up abandoning it.

I can see how later works reflect this, but it just wasn't for me. I found my mind wandering to other novels. ( )
  LGandT | Feb 5, 2018 |
Rather a long haul, this one, and not really worth the effort.

Scenes here and there are engaging, but overall this lengthy tome is slow-paced and lacklustre. ( )
  PhilSyphe | Jun 14, 2017 |
A gothic novel complete with twists and turns and plenty of malign characters to frustrate the hero and heroine. Great Xmas read. ( )
  sianpr | Jan 1, 2016 |
I found this book fun and easier going than some of the other gothic novels I've read. This book had characters which could easily be identified and a plot that was fairly easy to follow. I did miss a few plot points, but was set straight by my tutor immediately - so no harm done. My only issue with this novel was that it was very verbose so that the story often got lost in all of the words. However, that was only a minor issue. The story moved along well, and the scenery seemed so magnificent that I wished I could have jumped into this novel to travel along with the characters (well, maybe not into the Inquisitor's prison!). ( )
  SqueakyChu | Jul 11, 2014 |
Published in 1797 this was the final novel from one of the early initiators of Gothic Romance - and many would say the genre's queen. The story begins as a Romeo and Juliet type affair: Vivaldi has fallen for Ellena, an enigmatic orphan, but his family strongly oppose the match. There is also a seemingly supernatural element as young suitor is repeatedly warned to keep his distance by the ghostly appearance of a sinister black monk. The plot moves fast, with lots of gorgeous descriptions of travel in the Alps and across Italy, and it takes in along the way many of the deliciously overwrought staples of the genre: poison, deathbed confessions, evil priests, sequestered monasteries and even the Inquisition. The main character is one Father Schedoni, the confessor of Vivaldi's mother, who, once drawn in to oppose the match using any means possible, finds his own shady past and web of deceit begins to unravel.

This is worth a read, particularly if you are interested in the early history of the Gothic novel. But, though The Italian is commonly hailed as Radcliffe's finest work, I have to say I found this a bit of a slog in places and overall much preferred her earlier book, the beautifully creepy Mysteries of Udolpho. Also, the e-book I read was one of the worst Kindle editions I've seen: absolutely riddled with typos, which - even for 77p - was a real shame. ( )
  drrox | May 10, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (36 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ann Radcliffeprimary authorall editionscalculated
Clery, E. J.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Garber, FrederickEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Groom, NickEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Miles, RobertEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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He, wrapt in clouds of mystery and silence,
Broods o'er his passions, bodies them in deeds,
And fends the forth on wings of Fate to others;
Like the invisible Will, that guides us,
Unheard, unknown, unsearchable!
First words
After the year 1764, some English travellers in Italy, during one of their excursions in the environs of Naples, happened to stop before the portico of the Santa Maria del Pianto a church belonging to a very ancient convent of the order of the Black Penitents.
Is it morality to obey where the command is criminal?
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140437541, Paperback)

From the first moment Vincentio di Vivaldi, a young nobleman, sets eyes on the veiled figure of Ellena, he is captivated by her enigmatic beauty and grace. But his haughty and manipulative mother is against the match and enlists the help of her confessor to come between them. Schedoni, previously a leading figure of the Inquisition, is a demonic, scheming monk with no qualms about the task, whether it entails abduction, torture—or even murder. The Italian secured Ann Radcliffe's position as the leading writer of Gothic romance of the age, for its atmosphere of supernatural and nightmarish horrors, combined with her evocation of sublime landscapes and chilling narrative.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:17 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Set against the backdrop of the Inquisition, this Gothic romance from British novelist Ann Radcliffe is sure to please fans of the genre. Protagonists Vincentio di Vivaldi and Ellena di Rosalba fall in love at first sight and attempt to escape the siege of religious persecution and marry. Will they succeed, or will their romance fall prey to the hysteria and senseless destruction that defines the era?… (more)

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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Valancourt Books

An edition of this book was published by Valancourt Books.

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