The Castle of Otranto

The Castle of Otranto

3.2 16
by Horace Walpole
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

The Castle of Otranto is a 1764 novel by Horace Walpole. It is generally regarded as the first gothic novel, initiating a literary genre which would become extremely popular in the later 18th century and early 19th century. Thus, Walpole, by extension, is arguably the forerunner to such authors as Charles Robert Maturin, Ann Radcliffe, Bram Stoker, Edgar Allan Poe and

Overview

The Castle of Otranto is a 1764 novel by Horace Walpole. It is generally regarded as the first gothic novel, initiating a literary genre which would become extremely popular in the later 18th century and early 19th century. Thus, Walpole, by extension, is arguably the forerunner to such authors as Charles Robert Maturin, Ann Radcliffe, Bram Stoker, Edgar Allan Poe and Daphne du Maurier.

The Castle of Otranto tells the story of Manfred,lord of the castle, and his family. The book begins on the wedding-day of his sickly son Conrad and princess Isabella. Shortly before the wedding, however, Conrad is crushed to death by a gigantic helmet that falls on him from above. This inexplicable event is particularly ominous in light of an ancient prophecy "that the castle and lordship of Otranto should pass from the present family, whenever the real owner should be grown too large to inhabit it." Manfred, terrified that Conrad's death signals the beginning of the end for his line, resolves to avert destruction by marrying Isabella himself while divorcing his current wife Hippolita, whom he feels has failed to bear him a proper heir.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940015525120
Publisher:
Smashbooks
Publication date:
12/26/2013
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
347 KB

Meet the Author

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

The Castle of Otranto 3.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Catherine-E-Chapman More than 1 year ago
'Entertainingly warped morality'... I began reading this book as research for a Regency romance I was writing that contained references to Gothic novels. I realised although I thought I had the concept of a Gothic novel, the ones I've read previously ('Frankenstein' and 'Wuthering Heights') are deemed Gothic by virtue of their narrative structure, rather than the actual content. 'The Castle of Otranto' would, I thought, be a 'proper' Gothic novel. Well, initially I thought I wouldn't persevere with it as the start is just ridiculous but I began to find the story strangely compelling and the characterisation and dialogue very funny. The problem I find in reviewing this book is that I couldn't take it seriously - I think it's hard for a modern Western reader to entertain the notion that the author's intention in writing this book could ever have been serious. What I loved most about 'The Castle of Otranto' was the warped morality. The story centres around Manfred's decision to divorce his current wife and marry a younger woman. Manfred is just an egotistical brute but it's very funny when the narrator's voice intervenes -quite frequently- to assure us that Manfred isn't really that bad! Also, the total lack of speech marks or paragraphing to indicate who's speaking just adds to the comedy of reading the story as you often get lost in the dialogue. Overall, I'm awarding 3 stars because I found the book entertaining. If you're inquisitive about the Gothic novel and you're not intent upon taking 'The Castle of Otranto' too seriously, it's worth a read.
BETWEENTHEPAGES More than 1 year ago
If you want to get an idea of what titillated readers like Jane Austen then delve into this book. This tale is sure to make modern readers stop and gape at the over dramatic moments of greed, horror, and ghosts but none the less it's still an intriguing look into a different time period in our literary past. Although, if while reading it you can't help but overlay a scene out of one of Shakespeare's comedies, falsetto voices et al .... don't worry your not alone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As one of the most famous Gothic novels, I expected much more, but the flat characters and the way in which particular happenings were described belittled the story and made it seem rather silly. I would describe it as a mix between Hamlet and Beowulf. Other Gothic Romances are much more sucessful.
Anonymous 5 months ago
I have heard this story and author mentioned many timesin other fictions of the time. It is a strange story...rather Shakespearian...and oddly interesting. ~*~LEB~*~
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is typed out but filled with random characters making it very very difficult to read. A scanned original would be easier.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Scan of this to convolvted for me,
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Agreed. It is illegible. Sometimes the f=f and sometimes the f=s along with many other jumbled letters and symbols that make it impossible to read. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is illegible... if that's the right term. It's a jumble of letters and symbols.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Your would be killer is a welp."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She sits back relieved she wasnt bought. She tried to cover her crotch with two hands but forgot to cover her bo<_>obs.