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The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole

The Castle of Otranto (1764)

by Horace Walpole

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
2,847983,348 (3.08)1 / 423
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'. He givesus a series of catastrophes, ghostly interventions, revelations of identity, and exciting contests. Crammed with invention, entertainment, terror, and pathos, the novel was an immediate success and Walpole's own favourite among his numerous works. His friend, the poet Thomas Gray, wrote that he andhis family, having read Otranto, were now `afraid to go to bed o'nights'.The novel is here reprinted from a text of 1798, the last that Walpole himself prepared for the press.… (more)

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Showing 1-5 of 93 (next | show all)
This was pretty bad. If it had been satire, MAYBE, but really. Not good. ( )
  j_tuffi | May 30, 2020 |
A great beach read. It surely has some contrived plot devices and some cardboard characters, but it is just fun and I had to finish it. I love gothic literature and you can see the roots Walpole created that would be honed over generations of writers. ( )
  drew_asson | Mar 22, 2020 |
This book is really funny. Conrad's immediate death and the hyper fast pacing in the beginning of the book were hilarious to me, but made for a fun read. Likewise, Theodore's rise from seemingly unimportant named character to the true hero of the book was really unique and fun to read. Bless this book for the startup of the gothic novel. ( )
  RovingRovester | Mar 21, 2020 |
This book is considered the first gothic novel. I can't believe gothic literature continued if this was the first offering. ( )
  Melwilk | Mar 19, 2020 |
It's dark, it's supernatural, it's emotional, and outrageous enough to see how it spawned a trail of works and a new literary genre. It's brief, if one considers events and not the length of the sentences in the heavily worded dialogue, so it's almost best to go in blind. It starts fast, so there isn't much place for soaking in plot.

I read the first two chapters but found the flow of the narrative and sparse line breaks in my text to be a dizzying read so I switched to audio book and found it easier to follow and easier to feel and enjoy. If you prefer reading to audio, I recommended glancing at the state of the text to make sure it won't be a headache to follow. It wasn't so much difficult, I feel, as an effort of stamina so as not to lose my place from glancing away for a moment. Perhaps this actually assists with the gasping wonder with which the characters take in the events at Otranto. ( )
1 vote WeeTurtle | Mar 5, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 93 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (165 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Walpole, Horaceprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brilli, AttilioContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Del Buono, OresteTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gamer, MichaelEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Groom, NickEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jason, NevilleNarratorsecondary 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 Peter Fairclough

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... Vanae
Fingentur species, tamen ut Pes & Caput uni
Reddantur formae (Horaz)
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.

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Average: (3.08)
0.5 6
1 37
1.5 12
2 85
2.5 27
3 245
3.5 49
4 114
4.5 6
5 54

Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140437673, 0141191953

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