18th century gothic?

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18th century gothic?

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Apr 1, 2008, 8:46pm

I thought I'd start a new thread on 18th century gothic novels: comments, observations, favorites?

Apr 10, 2008, 12:59pm

I'm currently writing a thesis on the early Gothic novel. My favorites are definitely Horace Walpole's The Castle of Otranto, Ann Radcliffe's The Mysteries of Udolpho, and MG Lewis's The Monk.

Of course, there are what I consider the offshoots of Gothic (Bronte, Conan Doyle, Poe, etc.) but they aren't 18th century...

Jun 3, 2008, 6:10pm

I enjoyed The Castle of Otranto immensely! It kind of gives you whiplash from all the sudden action on every page. "Restraint" wasn't in Walpole's vocabulary.
I tried out Radcliffe many years ago and found it slow, so gave up. I still have Udolpho on my shelf and will have to give it another try soon. I so want to like her.
The Monk is legendary but difficult to find. I've just never come across it in a shop.

Jun 3, 2008, 6:29pm

I adore The Monk, its such a fun novel. The scene in the crypt is one of the creepiest and most shocking things I've read.
I've only read a minor Radcliffe novel, A Sicilian Romance, which was somewhat melodramatic and dull. I've also read Otranto, and Beckford's Vathek (a little later, mixing Gothic with Oriental motifs). Another early 19th c. gothic work I'm planning to read sometime soon is Charles Maturin's Melmoth the Wanderer.

Aug 1, 2008, 12:57pm

Mstrust - I found Udolpho rather slow as well but The Romance of the Forest moved at a faster pace and was, consequently, more enjoyable. You may want to try that one before tackling Udolpho again.

Apr 10, 2009, 10:19am

I enjoyed The Castle of Otranto. I have a copy of The Monk but have not had a chance to read it yet.

mstrust: The Monk is published by Oxford World Classics, if that helps any.

Apr 10, 2009, 8:16pm

Thank you to both aguntherc and SusieBookworm!

Apr 10, 2009, 9:22pm

I've been collecting the Northanger Novels for the last few years. Valancourt Press has reissued some in nice editions; I recently got Orphan of the Rhine from Dodo Press, but it's just the text - no introduction, footnotes, afterward, nothing but the text. Still, better than not having it at all.

Apr 11, 2009, 10:25am

Funny, aguntherc -- I prefer having just the text.

Having found time to start reading The Monk yesterday, I'm on page 360. :) I thought it was hilarious that Raymond ran off with the Bloody Nun instead of Agnes.