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The Castle of Otranto Paperback – 10 May 2010


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Product details

  • Paperback: 146 pages
  • Publisher: Bibliolis Books (10 May 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1907727167
  • ISBN-13: 978-1907727160
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 0.9 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,474,830 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

By turns lurid, sensational and amusing, this eighteenth-century gothic romance remains a tour de force. --The Guardian

Containing a Harry Potter-like array of animated portraits, supernatural adventures in vaults and cellars and astonishing, inexplicable events --The Telegraph --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Horace Walpole's tale, an immediate success when it first appeared in 1764, is a classic of its genre. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mr. B. P. Van-asten on 1 Feb. 2012
Format: Paperback
The Castle of Otranto (1764) is the first Gothic Novel and it created a wave of interest in all things Gothic. With Otranto, Horace Walpole (1717-1797), establishes a fascinating incarnation of the Gothic ghost story. Conrad, Lord Otranto, is the only son of Manfred, and on his wedding day, Conrad is found crushed to death in the castle courtyard, by a giant helmet. Manfred decides to banish his wife to a convent and marry his son's intended bride, princess Isabella, in his pursuit of a male heir.
The Castle of Otranto with its comic moments, supernatural themes and plot devices; its story lines involving mistaken identity, deception, romance and even incest became a very influential literary classic and is highly recommended - sensational!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Anne on 14 Nov. 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed Neville Jason's reading of this classic novel. I'd always meant to read the book, but never got round to it. Listening to it, on long journey in the car, was an eye-opener. One of the best CDs I have bought. My English teacher said it would enrich our understanding of Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey. All these years later, I can see that it did!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. V. E. Hunt on 14 Jan. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Although the language is old fashioned to our eyes I really enjoyed this book and was eager to know the end of the story. We had visited Houghton Hall this summer so I was interested in the Walpole family.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 6 reviews
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
"The Curse of Alfonso's Tomb" 7 Oct. 2014
By Plume45 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Eighteenth-century fiction adored blood and curses, mistaken identities and romantic mayhem, feuds and ghostly manifestations. This Gothic novel offers up a platter of suspense, and horror served with a wicked side of the supernatural. Reading more like a drama with prolonged speeches and little rest, the plot spirals through five long chapters—filled with many characters. The element which relieves some of the literary tension is the castle servants who provide much needed comic relief. Bianca, the saucy confident of two princesses, take fiendish delight in prolonging the agony of her master, Manfred Prince of Otranto when interrogated. Even the male servants seem stupid when trying to relate the latest horror they endured (off stage). The piety and obedience of the Lady of Otranto is beyond belief, but her daughter also displays tremendous sweet solicitude and immense filial forgiveness at the drama’s climax.

Three sets of fathers and offspring (not all of whom are known as such when the novel opens) gradually discover the secrets of others, while wrestling with the willful amours of their youthful son and daughters. Old men lust for virgins and the Church is treated both as a place of sanctuary in need, as well as a safe retirement from the world’s surcease. The human heart
proves unreliable in its vagaries and passions, but there is no delaying the rendezvous with Destiny--as the curse of Alfonso reigns terror down upon the usurper of Otranto. The ancient prophecy will be fulfilled--despite the best (or worst) efforts of hot- tempered Manfred. With its complex plot, verbal finesse and a healthy dose of the paranormal this novel could easily be staged—or transcribed into a tragic opera. Perfect October reading by candlelight, of course! :0)
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
I was introduced to this story by the MOOC run ... 17 July 2014
By M Clement Hall - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was introduced to this story by the MOOC run by the University of Sheffield on Literature and English Country Houses.
The story itself is of little consequence except to students who are advised it was the first of its genre of horror/gothic, and for that reason should be read. If it was considered a valid "horror" in its day, then certainly our sensitivities have toughened!
The cover is attractive, the type is clear and there is a brief but informative introductory article about the author.
From Wikipedia: The initial 1764 edition was titled in full The Castle of Otranto, A Story. Translated by William Marshal, Gent. From the Original Italian of Onuphrio Muralto, Canon of the Church of St. Nicholas at Otranto. This first edition purported to be a translation based on a manuscript printed at Naples in 1529 and recently rediscovered in the library of "an ancient Catholic family in the north of England". This "ancient Catholic family" is possibly the Percy family, as Walpole would have known the Duke of Northumberland and his wife Elizabeth Percy, though this is not proven. The Italian manuscript's story, it was claimed, derived from a story still older, dating back perhaps as far as the Crusades. This Italian manuscript, along with alleged author "Onuphrio Muralto", were Walpole's fictional creations, and "William Marshal" his pseudonym.
a great insight 25 Mar. 2015
By criticalbutfair - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was a wonderful insight into the great literary works of the day. How often have I seen this book referenced in other novels. To finally read it was a joy.
5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Cool 16 Dec. 2009
By Mee Mee - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Considering how long ago this was written, it's great. I love gothic, and this was interesting to read. It's not "deep" or complex, but as a precursor to gothic horror, it's a must for your kindle.
1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A medieval gothic novel 21 Sept. 2011
By Joan A. Adamak - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This novel was written in the l500s translated from Italian and amazingly enough it reads almost as good as your better modern gothic novels. It is free and I downloaded it out of curiosity.
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