The Castle of Otranto
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)
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A Note on the Text
The Castle of Otranto
Early Responses to The Castle of Otranto
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Alfonso ancient Anna Letitia Barbauld appeared attendants Bianca Castle of Otranto century chamber character chivalry church Clara Reeve Conrad convent Correspondence cried Manfred critical dare daughter death domestics door dost drama dramatist eighteenth-century endeavoured English father Frederic French friar Further Reading gallery genius ghost Gothic fiction Gothic novel heard heart heaven helmet Hippolita holy Horace Walpole Isabella Italian Jaquez Jerome knight lady Isabella letter literary London lord madam Manfred's marquis Matilda mean mind modern nature never novel ofOtranto Old English Baron passion peasant Poems political Preface prince princess printed published readers replied Robert Walpole romance saint Nicholas scene second edition secret Shakespeare soul speak story stranger Strawberry Hill supernatural tell tenderness terror thee Theodore Thomas Babington Macaulay thou art thought tragedy translation trap-door Vicenza Voltaire Walpole's William William Hazlitt words write to Penguin young youth