The Castle of Otranto

Front Cover
Penguin, 2001 - Fiction - 159 pages
468 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)

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Easy to read and hilarious. - Goodreads
A bit difficult to read at times and very hectic plot. - Goodreads
The premise of the story is excellent. - Goodreads
Very complex novel because of the archaic writing. - Goodreads
The plot is totally outlandish, but it's all great fun. - Goodreads
I am sure Horace Walpole had much fun writing this one. - Goodreads

Review: The Castle of Otranto

User Review  - Guguk - Goodreads

Actually it's quite exciting reading.., I don't really like the ending, though д・) Read full review

Review: The Castle of Otranto

User Review  - Lise Petrauskas - Goodreads

Holy plot twists, batman!" Having just read Le Morte d'Arthur: King Arthur and the Legends of the Round Table reading this book felt like an episode from it exploded to add all the corny dialogue and ... Read full review

All 23 reviews »


Further Reading
A Note on the Text
The Castle of Otranto
Early Responses to The Castle of Otranto

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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).

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