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The Castle of Otranto (1764)

de Horace Walpole

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MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaConverses / Mencions
3,2301113,321 (3.1)1 / 455
First published pseudonymously in 1764, The Castle of Otranto purported to be a translation of an Italian story of the time of the crusades. In it Walpole attempted, as he declared in the Preface to the Second Edition, "to blend the two kinds of romance: the ancient and the modern." Crammedwith invention, entertainment, terror, and pathos, the novel was an immediate success and Walpole's own favorite among his numerous works. The novel is reprinted here from a text of 1798, the last that Walpole himself prepared for the press.… (més)
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Es mostren 1-5 de 110 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Characters in Victorian horror novels are always feeling jumpy having read this before bed, so I finally did as well to see what the fuss was about. There are almost no thrills or chills at all in the entire story; it’s a social melodrama that sounds like the absurd and convoluted plot of a Victorian opera, only without music. The moment any character enters a spooky scene alone, several others rush in to argue or sword fight or beseech each other to do things. The author rambles on at length in the preface(s!) like a drunk professor talking at anyone within earshot about obscure historical Voltaire facts you can tell were his pet talking point/ outrage. Horace seems like he may have been a tiresome fellow. ( )
  Longcluse | Jun 21, 2022 |
Dark Souls II ( )
  schumacherrr | Feb 21, 2022 |
This is considered to be the first gothic novel and was published in the early 18th century. Although overly melodramatic, it is nevertheless an entertaining read. ( )
  M_Clark | Jan 23, 2022 |
First Gothic novel!

An excellent case study in masculinity done right--Theodore--and masculinity done wrong--Manfred.

Sort of cheesy/hammy, and funny (intentionally or otherwise) in some places, particularly with a few dunderheaded servants.

Great reader and production! ( )
  djlinick | Jan 15, 2022 |
And so, after having enjoyed several interesting articles about it (most recently this review by writer and critic Ted Gioa) and after referring to it extensively in a blog post of my own (without ever having actually read it), I finally finished Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto.

Considered in isolation, this slight novel is, frankly, underwhelming, especially to modern readers. A faux-medieval tale of chivalric derring-do and supernatural goings-on in a dark Italian castle, its convoluted plot is at best unconvincing and at worst bordering on the unintelligible. The characters are disappointingly two-dimensional, the dialogue overly melodramatic. The otherworldly elements are so unsubtle as to come across as grotesque (the novel starts with Conrad, the heir of a noble family, crushed under a giant plumed helmet which has appeared out of thin air) and the novel’s intentionally humorous streak dashes any chance of us feeling any spine-tingling fear just as surely as the “fearful casque” mangles Conrad’s body.

Yet, this 1764 novel deserves respect as (probably) the first Gothic novel, the unlikely instigator of a genre which would give rise to such undoubted masterpieces as, amongst countless others, [b:Frankenstein|18490|Frankenstein|Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1381512375s/18490.jpg|4836639] and [b:The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde|51496|The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde|Robert Louis Stevenson|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1318116526s/51496.jpg|3164921]. The Gothic is a genre that still lives on modern horror and weird fiction and its influences spread well beyond the confines of literature.

Seen in this light, The Castle of Otranto starts to reveal merits which might not be immediately obvious. The obsession with the supernatural, the OTT dramatic language, the neo-medievalisms were striking and innovative at the time when the novel was written. What might now seem “facile cliches” (crumbling castles, subterrenean passages, chivalric ideals) would only become “Gothic tropes” after other authors jumped on the Walpole bandwagon. The uncomfortable mix of horror and humour was a peculiarly English trait with roots in Chaucer and Shakespeare. And, underneath the novel’s self-indulgent trappings, there was also an element of radical social critique – the heads of the family come across as abusive, scheming and manipulative; the female characters are not as submissive as (18th century) society might have wanted them to be (Isabella is promised in marriage to the weak Conrad but openly admires other more beautiful knights; Princess Matilda, also pressed into marriage, resists these suggestions and first entertains thoughts of taking the veil then falls in love with a travelling peasant).

Walpole’s novel might, in our day and age, be entertaining for all the wrong reasons, but one cannot deny its incredibly far-reaching cultural impact.

https://endsoftheword.blogspot.com/2018/10/feat-gothique-review-of-first-gothic.... ( )
  JosephCamilleri | Jan 1, 2022 |
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» Afegeix-hi altres autors (236 possibles)

Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Walpole, Horaceautor primaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Brilli, AttilioCol·laboradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Del Buono, OresteTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Gamer, MichaelEditorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Groom, NickEditorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Jason, NevilleNarradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Keeping, CharlesIl·lustradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Mudrick, MarvinIntroduccióautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Praz, MarioPròlegautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Scott, Sir WalterIntroduccióautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Varma, Devendra P.Introduccióautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Zanolli, ChiaraTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat

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Manfred, prince of Otranto, had one son and one daughter: the latter, a most beautiful virgin, aged eighteen, was called Matilda.
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First published pseudonymously in 1764, The Castle of Otranto purported to be a translation of an Italian story of the time of the crusades. In it Walpole attempted, as he declared in the Preface to the Second Edition, "to blend the two kinds of romance: the ancient and the modern." Crammedwith invention, entertainment, terror, and pathos, the novel was an immediate success and Walpole's own favorite among his numerous works. The novel is reprinted here from a text of 1798, the last that Walpole himself prepared for the press.

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Mitjana: (3.1)
0.5 6
1 41
1.5 12
2 94
2.5 31
3 277
3.5 52
4 136
4.5 6
5 61

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