The Castle of Otranto: A Gothic Story and The Mysterious Mother / Edition 1

The Castle of Otranto: A Gothic Story and The Mysterious Mother / Edition 1

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Broadview Press
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The Castle of Otranto: A Gothic Story and The Mysterious Mother / Edition 1

This Broadview edition pairs the first Gothic novel with the first Gothic drama, both by Horace Walpole.

Published on Christmas Eve, 1764, on Walpole’s private press at Strawberry Hill, his Gothicized country house, The Castle of Otranto became an instant and immediate classic of the Gothic genre as well as the prototype for Gothic fiction for the next two hundred years. Walpole’s brooding and intense drama, The Mysterious Mother, focuses on the protagonist’s angst over an act of incest with his mother, and includes the appearance of Father Benedict, Gothic literature’s first evil monk.

Appendices in this edition include selections from Walpole’s letters, contemporary responses, and writings illustrating the aesthetic and intellectual climate of the period. Also included is Sir Walter Scott’s introduction to the 1811 edition of The Castle of Otranto.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781551113043
Publisher: Broadview Press
Publication date: 01/02/2003
Series: Broadview Literary Texts Series
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 357
Sales rank: 274,430
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.68(d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Horace Walpole: A Brief Chronology
Publication History of The Castle of Otranto and The Mysterious Mother
Using the Edition

The Castle of Otranto; A Gothic Story

  • Preface to the First Edition
    Preface to the Second Edition
    Sonnet to the Right Honourable Lady Mary Coke

The Mysterious Mother; A Tragedy

  • Preface to the 1781 Edition
    Advertisement from the Publishers

Appendix A: Walpole’s Correspondence and Strawberry Hill

  1. The Castle of Otranto in Walpole’s Letters
  2. The Mysterious Mother in Walpole’s Letters
  3. The Little Gothic Villa at Strawberry Hill

Appendix B: Responses and Reactions

  1. Three Early Reviews of The Castle of Otranto
  2. Notices of The Mysterious Mother
  3. Two Poems: Ann Yearsley’s “To the Honourable H———E W———E, on Reading THE CASTLE OF OtRANTO
    December, 1784” and John Courtenay’s “Letter the Seventh, Naples, April 16, 1793”
  4. Comments on The Castle of Otranto and The Mysterious Mother by Early Readers

Appendix C: Aesthetic and Intellectual Backgrounds

  1. The Graveyard Poets: Alexander Pope, Thomas Parnell, John Dyer, David Mallet, Edward Young, Robert Blair, Mark Akenside, William Collins, Thomas Warton the Younger, Thomas Gray
  2. From James Hervey’s Meditations Among the Tombs
  3. From Bishop Richard Hurd’s Letters on Chivalry and Romance
  4. From Edmund Burke’s A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful

Appendix D: Sir Walter Scott’s Introduction to the 1811 Edition of The Castle of Otranto


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The Castle of Otranto: A Gothic Story and The Mysterious Mother 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
WTVCrimeDawg More than 1 year ago
This edition of The Castle of Ontranto was a required text for my Gothic Fictions course. The text is interesting from a literary analysis perspective. It's the first gothic novel, so it's worthy of study in that context, especially considering the fascination in modern popular culture with gothic books and movies. This edition is very well written and a great study guide if you're interested in the origins of the gothic genre. It's also interesting to see the experimental style, since this was one of the first novels. As a result, the dialogue is difficult to follow at times, because Walpole doesn't use quotation marks and doesn't separate each speaker with a new paragraph. I had to take a second look at some passages to make sure I knew which character was speaking. As far as the critiques and analysis, I'm not going to bore you, so read the "extras" in the book or some literary criticisms, if you're so inclined. This edition also includes The Mysterious Mother, but we didn't have to read that for class. Perhaps I'll take that on after the semester, when my workload isn't so heavy. However, this is a must-have if you're interested in studying the origins of the gothic genre. I would also recommend reading Edmund Burke's A Philosophical Inquiry.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Originally announced for publication in October 2002 by the Broadview Press, the publication date was moved up to January 2003. The edition should then be available at B&N as well as other booksellers. Fred Frank