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The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole
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The Castle of Otranto (1764)

by Horace Walpole

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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2,690893,285 (3.09)2 / 403
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We are all reptiles, miserable, sinful creatures. It is piety alone that can distinguish us from the dust whence we sprung, and whither we must return.

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 laughable twist in the Bard or even Nabokov: the car which killed Charlotte Haze dented our credulity, didn't it? I say onward with the GIANT HELMET! What lurks beneath is but prophesy and paternity. Walpole's book offers little in terms of fear. The pacing and revelation are no more haunting than a production of Hamlet. The notion of it being a "found" medieval text gives it sufficient distance to unnerve our sense of legacy. ( )
  jonfaith | Feb 22, 2019 |
Taken in the context of when it was written, and the fact that it was new to the genre, I can advise that it’s wortwhile reading it. I found it entertaining overall even if it was so,ewhat difficult because of the way dialogue is embeshed within paragraphs- one has to pay continuous attention to follow who is saying what.
However, I could not but find many of the passages hilarious, partly because of the extreme situations kn which the characters are placed. ( )
  xieouyang | Jan 16, 2019 |
The evil prince Manfred plots to marry his deceased son's fiancé but is thwarted. This is the ancestor of all gothic novels. Poor prose, but it does move at a steady pace for the 18th Century. Best read for a course requirement. I have no idea of which edition I read in 1971, but the information relates to the current Oxford paperback edition. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Nov 22, 2018 |
Considered a gothic masterpiece, I found this to be a clever little novel of a crumbling monarchy in it's final days. You can certainly see how it influenced later works of both fantasy and more conventional literature. A number of convoluted machinations, some patent villainy, lots of life-changing revelations, and just a few hints of the supernatural. I honestly could have done with a little less of the domestic implosion of the household and a little more of the fantastical elements, but it is what it is. My one major complaint is the dialogue is not formatted in the modern style of quotation marks and individually indented paragraphs, separated only by commas, periods and dashes, somewhat inconsistently too, making it somewhat tricky to read, though I managed well enough once I found the conversational rhythm in each passage. ( )
  michaeladams1979 | Oct 11, 2018 |
Collana Tascabile 1000 lire
  seattlebiblioteca | Jun 7, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 84 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (167 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Walpole, Horaceprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brilli, AttilioContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Del Buono, OresteTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Groom, NickEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Keeping, CharlesIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mudrick, MarvinIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Praz, MarioForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Scott, Sir WalterIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Varma, Devendra P.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zanolli, ChiaraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Is contained in

Seven Masterpieces of Gothic Horror: The Castle of Otranto; The Old English Baron; Mistrust; The White Old Maid; The Heir of Mondolfo; The Fall of the House of Usher; Carmilla by Robert Donald Spector

Four Gothic Novels: The Castle of Otranto; Vathek; The Monk; Frankenstein by Horace Walpole

Three Gothic Novels: The Castle of Otranto; Vathek; The Vampyre; and a Fragment of a Novel by Horace Walpole

Northanger Abbey/Castle of Otranto/Mysteries of Udolpho by Andrew Wright

Tres piezas góticas by Unknown

Three Gothic Novels: The Castle of Otranto; Vathek; Frankenstein by Horace Walpole

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Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
... Vanae
Fingentur species, tamen ut Pes & Caput uni
Reddantur formae (Horaz)
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Lady Mary Coke
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Manfred, prince of Otranto, had one son and one daughter: the latter, a most beautiful virgin, aged eighteen, was called Matilda.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Haiku summary
The first Gothic tale,
Yes, overly-dramatic,
But also wondrous.
(hillaryrose7)

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0192834401, Paperback)

First published pseudonymously in 1764, The Castle of Otranto purported to be a translation of an Italian story of the time of the crusades. In it Walpole attempted, as he declared in the Preface to the Second Edition, "to blend the two kinds of romance: the ancient and the modern." Crammed with invention, entertainment, terror, and pathos, the novel was an immediate success and Walpole's own favorite among his numerous works. The novel is reprinted here from a text of 1798, the last that Walpole himself prepared for the press.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:21 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

CLASSIC FICTION. A haunted castle and a ruined bloodline. Manfred, wicked lord of Otranto Castle, is horrified when his son is crushed to death on his wedding day. But rather than witness the end of his line, as foretold in a curse, he resolves to send his own wife to a convent and marry the intended bride himself. However, Manfred's lustful greed will be disturbed by the terrifying omens that now haunt his castle: bleeding statues, skeletal ghouls and a giant sword, as well as the arrival of the rightful prince of Otranto. Horace Walpole (1717-97).… (more)

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140437673, 0141191953

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