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The Northanger "horrid" novels

Gothic Literature

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Aug 16, 2007, 5:30am Top

Having read Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen earlier in the year, I thought it might be fun to tackle the "horrod" novels listed throughout the book (Catherine Morland is obsessed with reading Gothic novels). The books mentioned run as follows:

1. The Necromancer: or, The Tale of the Black Forest (1794) by 'Ludwig Flammenberg' (pseudonym for Carl Friedrich Kahlert; translated by Peter Teuthold)
2. Horrid Mysteries (1796) by the Marquis de Grosse (translated by P. Will)
3. Castle of Wolfenbach (1793) by Eliza Parsons
4. The Mysterious Warning, a German Tale (1796) by Eliza Parsons
5. Clermont, a Tale (1798) by Regina Maria Roche
6. Orphan of the Rhine (1798) by Eleanor Sleath
7. The Midnight Bell (1798) by Francis Lathom
8. The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794) by Ann Radcliffe
9. The Italian 1797) by Ann Radcliffe

Has anyone here read any of them? What did you think of them and which would you recommend to start with?

Aug 19, 2007, 2:57pm Top

I haven't read any of these, but I suspect the Radcliffe might be the best to start with.

Incidentally, the Folio Press (=the Folio Society) reprinted the novels as a set, The Northanger set of Jane Austen horrid novels, in the '60s. Unfortunately it tends to be expensive used.

Aug 20, 2007, 10:45am Top

I just started reading Udolpho, and am considering rereading Northanger after that. Should be an interesting project.

Edited: Dec 28, 2016, 11:32pm Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

Mar 4, 2008, 3:02pm Top

i've read The Midnight Bell, i was thinking there would be more supernatural happenings but the whole novel seems to be all of these connected events related to the mysterious event that happens in the beginning. i'm reading Horrid Mysteries now (the university library has most of these books), it is quite strange, dealing with the Illuminati.

Mar 5, 2008, 11:28am Top

I really love Radcliffe's novels, although the poetry can get annoying at times. You think the good guys are 2 dimensional until you really look at them and they are actually acting in ways totally contrary to accepted social customs.
I would like to read more contemporary gothic and watch some hammer horror films as well. Any suggestions?

If everyone wants to start with Udolpho, should we set up a reading thread or something?

Apr 10, 2008, 12:53pm Top

After Udolpho, I suggest you try The Monk by MG (Matthew Gregory) Lewis. The "important early Gothic novels" (says the canon) are Horace Walpole's Otranto, Radcliffe's Udolpho, and Lewis's The Monk. Each takes an interesting new step with the genre. Walpole supposedly started the Gothic novel. Radcliffe added the twist of the explanitory denouement, and Lewis, well, he made it more horrific.

Of course, there are a lot of other great Gothic novels from the period, but these are the canonical 3. I like them...

Jul 15, 2008, 10:38am Top

I have a copy of the Second Printing from February 1965 Edition of the Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc., with Horace Walpole The Castle Of Otranto; Ann Radcliffe The Mysteries Of Udalpho (Abridged) and Jane Austen Northanger Abbey with an Introduction by Andrew Wright. Unfortunately for me though, I'll have to wait until I can finish reading some of the other books I am currently in the middle of right now before I even start to read it.


Edited: Jul 15, 2008, 10:48am Top

I also have a copy of Ann Radcliffe's The Italian sitting at home on one of the shelves in my bedroom waiting to be read. It will have to wait it's turn for a little while longer along with all the other books I have owned for years and always intended to get around to reading them some day but never have found the time to do so. The thing I have found about LT since I first joined in September '07 is that with all the book lovers here I have found they are making me take the time to read all of these books I always intended to so I can keep up with all of the conversations about them as well as exploring other Authors that are new to me with all of their great suggestions. I am envious of LTer's who can read 100, 150 or even around 200 or more books in a single year.



Jul 17, 2008, 12:18pm Top

Ann Radcliffe's The italian is one of my favourite books, and I think my most-loved Radcliffe novel.

Group: Gothic Literature

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