The Castle of Otranto

Front Cover
Penguin, 2001 - Fiction - 159 pages
397 Reviews
On the day of his wedding, Conrad, heir to the house of Otranto, is killed in mysterious circumstances. Fearing the end of his dynasty, his father, Manfred, determines to marry Conrad's betrothed, Isabella, until a series of supernatural events stands in his way. . . .

Set in the time of the crusades, The Castle of Otranto (1764) established the Gothic as a literary form in England. With its compelling blend of psychological realism and supernatural terror, guilty secrets and unlawful desires, it has influenced a literary tradition stretching from Ann Radcliffe and Bram Stoker to Daphne Du Maurier and Stephen King.

This Penguin Classics edition includes a full selection of early responses to the novel, as well as a critical introduction, chronology of Walpole's life and works, suggestions for further reading, and full explanatory notes.

"[Walpole] is the father of the first romance and surely worthy of a higher place than any living writer." (Lord Byron)
  

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
31
4 stars
98
3 stars
156
2 stars
74
1 star
38

Easy to read and hilarious. - Goodreads
A bit difficult to read at times and very hectic plot. - Goodreads
God the writing style. - Goodreads
The plot rambled and rambled. - Goodreads
The premise of the story is excellent. - Goodreads
Very complex novel because of the archaic writing. - Goodreads

Review: The Castle of Otranto

User Review  - MJ Johnson - Goodreads

This was a hugely successful piece of Gothic literature when it was written in the 18th century. I enjoyed reading it, though probably more from the point of view of someone who is interested in ... Read full review

Review: The Castle of Otranto

User Review  - Cynthia Meidinger - Goodreads

I didn't finish this to the end, and only gave it one star Read full review

Contents

Chronology
vii
Introduction
xiii
Further Reading
xxxvi
A Note on the Text
xlii
The Castle of Otranto
1
Notes
103
Early Responses to The Castle of Otranto
117
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (2001)

Horace Walpole (1717-97), 4th Earl of Orford, was the son of the Whig Prime Minister, Robert Walpole. In 1747 he moved to Strawberry Hill in Twickenham, which he transformed into his "little Gothic castle". He was at the centre of literary and political society and an arbiter of taste. He is remembered for his witty letters to a wide circle of friends.Michael Gamer is Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of 'Romanticism and the Gothic' (CUP, 2000).

Bibliographic information