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Ann Radcliffe From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search This article is about the

18th-century author. For the 17thcentury benefactor of Harvard, see Ann (Radcliffe) Mowlson. Ann Radcliffe

Born Died

9 July 1764 Holborn, London 7 February 1823 (ag

ed 58) Occupation Novelist Nationality English Genres Gothic novel Ann Radcliffe (9 July 1764 7 February 1823) was an English author and a pioneer of the Gothic novel. Her style is romantic in its vivid descriptions of landscapes and long travel scenes, yet the Gothic element is obvious through her use of the supernatural. It was her technique of explained Gothicism, the final revelation of inexplicable phenomena, that helped the Gothic novel achieve respectability in the 1790s.


1 2 3 4 5 6

Biography Literary life Art connection Allusions Popular Culture Selected publications o 6.1 Influence on later writers 7 References 8 Sources 9 External links

Biography Very little is known of Ann Radcliffe's life. In 1823, the year of her death, the Edinburgh Review, said: "She never appeared in public, nor mingled in private society, but kept herself apart, like the sweet bird that sings its solitary notes, shrouded and unseen."[1] Christina Rossetti attempted to write a biography about her life, but abandoned the project for lack of information. As far as is known, there are no images available of Radcliffe. According to Ruth Facer: "Physically, she was said to be 'exquisitely proportioned' quite short, complexion beautiful 'as was her whole countenance, especially her eyes, eyebrows and mouth.'"[1] Radcliffe was born as Ann Ward in Holborn, London on 9 July 1764. Her father was William Ward, a haberdasher, who later moved to Bath to manage a China shop. Her mother was Ann Oates. In 1787, she married Oxford graduate and journalist William Radcliffe, part-owner and editor of the English Chronicle. He often came home late, and to occupy her time she began to write and read her

work to him when he returned home. They had a childless, but seemingly happy marriage. Ann called him her "nearest relative and friend."[1] The money she earned from her her novels later allowed them to travel together, along with their dog, Chance. When Ann died on 7 February 1823, there were some reports that she was insane. Her husband claimed that she died of an asthma attack. Literary life Radcliffe's fiction is characterised by seemingly supernatural events that are then provided rational explanations. Throughout her work, traditional moral values are asserted, the rights of women are advocated, and reason prevails. Radcliffe published six novels in all. These are (listed alphabetically): The Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne, Gaston de Blondeville, The Italian, The Mysteries of Udolpho, The Romance of the Forest, and A Sicilian Romance. She also published a book of poetry, but her talent for prose far exceeded her poetic ability. She also authored a work based on her one excursion to the Continent, A Journey Made in the Summer of 1794, through Holland and the Western Frontier of Germany...To Which Are Added Observations of a Tour to the Lakes (1795).

Radcliffe is considered one of the founders of Gothic literature. While there were others that preceded her, Radcliffe was the one that legitimised the genre. Sir Walter Scott called her the "founder of a class or school".[1] Jane Austen parodied Radcliffe's novel The Mysteries of Udolpho in Northanger Abbey. Radcliffe did not like where Gothic

literature was headed, and her final novel, The Italian, was written in response to Matthew Gregory Lewis's The Monk. It is assumed that this frustration is what caused Radcliffe to cease writing. After Radcliffe's death, her husband released her unfinished essay "On the Supernatural in Poetry," which details the difference between the sensation of terror her works aimed to achieve and the horror Lewis sought to evoke.[2]
Ann Radcliffe had influenced many later authors, including the Marquis de Sade (17401814), Edgar Allan Poe (18091849), and Sir Walter Scott (17711832). Scott interspersed his work with poems, as did Radcliffe. In one assessment: "Scott himself said that her prose was poetry and her poetry was prose. She was, indeed, a prose poet, in both the best and the worst senses of the phrase. The romantic landscape, the background, is the best thing in all her books; the characters are two dimensional, the plots far fetched and improbable, with 'elaboration of means and futility of result.'"[3] Art connection Radcliffe's elaborate description of landscapes was influenced by the painters Claude Lorrain and Salvator Rosa. She often wrote about places she had never been. Lorrain's influence can be seen through Radcliffe's picturesque, romantic descriptions of landscapes, as seen in the first volume of The Mysteries of Udolpho. Rosa's influence can be seen through dark landscapes and elements of the Gothic. Radcliffe said of Lorrain:[1]

In a shaded corner, near the chimney, a most exquisite Claude, an evening view, perhaps over the Campagna of Rome. The sight of this picture imparted much of the luxurious repose and satisfaction, which we derive from contemplating the finest scenes of nature. Here was the poet, as well as the painter, touching the imagination, and making you see more than the picture contained. You saw the real light of the sun, you breathed the air of the country, you felt all the circumstances of a luxurious climate on the most serene and beautiful landscape; and the mind thus softened, you almost fancied you hear Italian music in the air. Allusions

In Maria Edgeworth's book Belinda (1801), Lady Delacour remarks on Clarence Hervey's letters, "Here, my love, if you like description...here is a Radcliffean tour along the picturesque coasts of Dorset and Devonshire." Victor Hugo, in Les Misrables, wrote: "...in the night there would be people who would pillage the isolated houses in the deserted quartiers of Paris (in this the imagination of the police was recognized, that Anne Radcliffe mixed with government)..."[4]

Popular Culture

Paul Fval, pre used Radcliffe as his protagonist in the novel La Ville Vampire (translated as Vampire City, 2003). In the film Becoming Jane (2007), she is portrayed by Helen McCrory in a scene where she meets Jane Austen and encourages her to embark on a writing career. there is no historical evidence of such a meeting, though Radcliffe's works had clearly influenced Austen's.

Selected publications

The Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne (1 volume), 1789, gothic novel. ISBN 0-19-282357-4 A Sicilian Romance (2 vols.) 1790, gothic novel. ISBN 0-19-283666-8 The Romance of the Forest (3 vols.) 1791, gothic novel. ISBN 0-19-283713-3 The Mysteries of Udolpho (4 vols.) 1794. ISBN 0-19282523-2 The Italian (3 vols.) 1797. ISBN 0-14-043754-1 Gaston de Blondeville (4 vols.) 1826, reprinted in 2006 by Valancourt Books ISBN 0-9777841-0-X

Influence on later writers

Jane Austen William Makepeace Thackeray Sir Walter Scott William Wordsworth Honor de Balzac's novel of the supernatural L'Hritire de Birague (1822) follows the tradition of and parodies Radcliffe's style.[5] Samuel Taylor Coleridge Mary Shelley Percy Bysshe Shelley John Keats Lord Byron Edgar Allan Poe's short story "The Oval Portrait" drew from Udolpho and mentions Radcliffe by name (somewhat disparagingly) in the introduction. Charlotte Bront's Jane Eyre (1847) Emily Bront's Wuthering Heights (1847) Charles Dickens's Little Dorrit (1855-7) Wilkie Collins's The Woman in White (1860) Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca (1938)

Witold Gombrowicz's Possessed, or The Secret of Myslotch: A Gothic Novel (1939) Henry James's short story The Turn of the Screw (1898) in which
the governess asks whether there was a "secret at Bly - a mystery of Udolpho..."

1 The Mysteries of Udolpho Plot introduction The Mysteries of Udolpho is a quintessential Gothic romance, replete with incidents of physical and psychological terror; remote, crumbling castles; seemingly supernatural events; a brooding, scheming villain; and a persecuted heroine. Radcliffe also added extensive descriptions of exotic landscapes in the Pyrenees and Apennines. Set in 1584 in southern France and northern Italy, the novel focuses on the plight of Emily St. Aubert, a young French woman who is orphaned after the death of her father. Emily suffers imprisonment in the castle Udolpho at the hands of Signor Montoni, an Italian brigand who has married her aunt and guardian Madame Cheron. Emily's romance with the dashing Valancourt is frustrated by Montoni and others. Emily also investigates the mysterious relationship between her father and the Marchioness de Villeroi, and its connection to the castle at Udolpho. Plot summary Emily St. Aubert is the only child of a landed rural family whose fortunes are now in decline. Emily and her father share an especially close bond, due to their shared appreciation for nature. After her mother's death from a serious illness, Emily and her father grow even closer. She accompanies him on a journey from their native Gascony, through the Pyrenees to the Mediterranean coast of Roussillon, over many mountainous landscapes. During the journey, they encounter Valancourt, a handsome man

who also feels an almost mystical kinship with the natural world. Emily and Valancourt quickly fall in love. Emily's father succumbs to a long illness. Emily, now orphaned, is forced by his wishes to live with her aunt, Madame Cheron, who shares none of Emily's interests and shows little affection to her. Her aunt marries Montoni, a dubious nobleman from Italy. He wants his friend Count Morano to become Emilys husband, and tries to force her to marry him. After discovering that Morano is nearly ruined he brings Emily and his wife to his remote castle of Udolpho. Emily fears to have lost Valancourt forever. Morano searches for Emily and tries to carry her off secretly from Udolpho. Emily refuses to join him because her heart still belongs to Valancourt. Moranos attempt to escape is discovered by Montoni, who wounds the Count and chases him away. In the following months Montoni threatens his wife with violence to force her to sign over her properties in Toulouse, which upon her death would otherwise go to Emily. Without resigning her estate Madame Cheron dies of a severe illness caused by her husbands harshness. Many frightening but coincidental events happen within the castle, but Emily is able to flee from it with the help of her secret admirer Du Pont, who was a prisoner at Udolpho, and the servants Annette and Ludovico. Returning to the estate of her aunt, Emily learns that Valancourt went to Paris and lost his wealth. In the end she takes control of the property and is reunited with Valancourt. Characters Emily St. Aubert: Much of the action takes place from her point of view. Emily has a deep appreciation for the sublimity of nature, which she shares with her father. She is unusually beautiful and gentle with a slight, graceful figure, fond of books, nature, poetry, and music. She is

described as extremely virtuous, obedient, resourceful, brave, sensitive, and self-reliant. Her childhood home is La Valle. Monsieur St. Aubert: Emily's father, who dies early in the novel while he, Emily, and Valancourt are travelling. He warns Emily on his death bed to not become a victim of her feelings but to acquire command over her emotions. His unaccountable relationship with the Marchioness de Villeroi is one of the novel's central mysteries. Valancourt: The younger brother of the Count Duvarney, Valancourt forms an attachment to Emily while traveling with her and her father through the Pyrenees. He is a dashing, enthusiastic young man with a noble character, on furlough from the army when he meets Emily. St. Aubert considers Valancourt a desirable match for Emily, though Valancourt lacks wealth. Madame Cheron (later Madame Montoni): St. Aubert's sister and Emily's aunt. Madame Cheron is a selfish, worldly, vain, wealthy widow living on her estate near Toulouse when Emily becomes her ward after St. Aubert's death. She is contemptuous and cold, even cruel, to Emily at first, and thinks solely of herself: but near her death, when Emily patiently and selflessly aids and comforts her, she softens slightly towards her. Montoni: The prototypical Gothic villain. Brooding, haughty, and scheming, he masquerades as an Italian nobleman to gain Madame Cheron's hand in marriage, then imprisons Emily and Madame Cheron in Udolpho in an attempt to acquire control over Madame Cheron's wealth and estates. He is cold and often cruel to Emily, who believes him to be a captain of banditi.

Count Morano: Introduced to Emily by Montoni, who commands that she marry Morano. Emily refuses but Morano continues to pursue her in Venice and later Udolpho. When Montoni finds out that Count Morano is not as rich as he hoped, he abruptly withdraws his support from Count Morano's suit. Morano attempts to abduct Emily twice, but both attempts fail. Annette: A maid who accompanied Madame Cheron from France. Annette is inclined to exaggeration and superstition, and is talkative, but she is faithful, affectionate and honest. She is in love with Ludovico. Ludovico: One of Montoni's servants. He falls in love with Annette and provides assistance to Emily. He is more sensible than Annette, and is both brave and quickthinking. Cavigni, Verezzi, and Bertolini: Cavaliers and friends of Montoni. Cavigini is sly, careful, and flatteringly assiduous. Verezzi is a "man of some talent, of fiery imagination, and the slave of alternate passions. He was gay, voluptuous, and daring; yet had neither perseverance or true courage, and was meanly selfish in all his aims." Bertolini is brave, unsuspicious, merry, dissipated, and of extreme extravagance; his free flightiness to Emily distresses her. Orsino: An assassin described as the "chief favourite of Montoni". He is cruel, suspicious, relentlessly vengeful, and merciless. Marchioness de Villeroi: A mysterious figure whose miniature Emily discovers in a secret panel in her father's closet. She was married to the Marquis de Villeroi, but becomes estranged from him and dies thanks to the intervention of Laurentini di Udolpho. She was sister to M. St. Aubert, making her Emily's aunt.

Signora Laurentini di Udolpho (also called Sister Agnes): A nun living in the French monastery of St. Claire. She dies in the final volume of the novel, whereupon she is revealed to be Signora Laurentini, heiress of the house of Udolpho. She estranged the Marquis de Villeroi, her first love, from his wife, after which she retired to the monastery to live in guilt. She divides her fortune between Emily and the wife of M. Bonnac. The Marquis de Villeroi: Lover of Laurentini before he married the Marchioness. He leaves the Chateau-le-Blanc after her death. Francis Beauveau, Count De Villefort: Heir to the mansion at Chateau-le-Blanc in Languedoc. He inherits the chateau from his friend the Marquis de Villeroi. He has two children from a previous marriage, Blanche and Henri, and is married to the Countess De Villefort. Lady Blanche: A sweet young woman who has a deep appreciation for the sublime and writes poetry. She resides at Chateau-le-Blanc and befriends Emily, with whom she shares many interests. Henri: Blanche's brother. Dorothe: A servant at the Chateau-le-Blanc. She is superstitious, like Annette. Monsieur Du Pont: One of Emily's suitors. He steals a miniature of Emily belonging to her mother, which he later returns. He helps Emily and her companions escape from Udolpho. He is a friend of De Villefort, who supports his suit. When Emily steadfastly rejects him, he turns his attentions to Blanche, but is thwarted again when she marries St. Foix.

Monsieur Quesnel: Emily's uncle. He is cold and unfeeling towards Emily until she becomes an heiress. Madame Clairval: Valancourt's aunt and an acquaintance of Madame Cheron. She initially approves of the match between Valancourt and Emily, but finally decides that there are better prospects for both of them. Monsieur Bonnac: An officer in the French service, around fifty years old. Emily meets him at the convent. His wife inherits the castle at Udolpho. Monsieur St. Foix: Suitor of Blanche. He marries her at the end of the novel.

2.. The Italian (novel) Characters

Vincentio di Vivaldi: Son of the Marchesa and Marchese; lover of Ellena Ellena Rosalba: Niece of Signora Bianchi and Father Schedoni; Daughter of Sister Olivia; lover of Vivaldi Father Schedoni/ Ferando Count di Bruno: Confessor to the Marchesa; uncle to Ellena Marchesa di Vivaldi: Mother of Vivaldi; Conspirator with Schedoni Marchese di Vivaldi: Father of Vivaldi Paulo: Servant of Vivaldi Signora Bianchi: Aunt of Ellena Sister Olivia/ Countess di Bruno: Mother of Ellena Spalatro: Conspirator with Schedoni and the Marchesa

Nicola di Zampari: Accuser of Schedoni; Informer to Vivaldi Less Significant Characters: Bonarmo, Lady Abbess of San Stefano, Inquisitors, Father Ansaldo, Beatrice

NOTE: Critics pay much attention to Radcliffe's villains, such as Schedoni, who influenced the Byronic characters of Victorian literature.[2] Plot The plot starts in Naples, Italy in the 18th century, in the church Santa Maria del Pianto, where an Englishman is speaking with an Italian friar. The Englishman notices a man in a shadowy area of the church, who is an assassin, according to the friar. When the Englishman asks the friar to recall the story of why this assassin is protected in the church, the friar relates that he will send him a textual story to his hotel written by a student of Padua, and the two retire from the church and go their separate ways. The Englishman reads the story in his hotel room as follows: It is 1758 in the church of San Lorenzo in Naples where Vincentio di Vivaldi sees the beautiful Ellena di Rosalba with her aunt, Signora Bianchi. Vivaldi is struck with her beauty, and intends to court her, with the hopes that they will end up married. When Vivaldis mother, the Marchesa, hears about his love for Ellena, she hires her confessor, Father Schedoni, to kidnap Ellena to prevent the marriage, with a promise that she will help him obtain a higher position in his monastery. As Vivaldi continues to attend to Signora Bianchi at Villa Altieri, he is consistently approached by a monk, who seems to be an apparition, warning him to stay away from the villa and Ellena. Each time he encounters the strange monk, Vivaldi tries to

follow him, with the help of both his friend Bonarmo and his faithful servant Paulo. Vivaldi is positive that the monk is Father Schedoni, and is determined to discover why his desired marriage to Ellena is forbidden. After being promised the hand of Ellena by Signora Bianchi before her mysterious death, Vivaldi learns that Ellena has been kidnapped, and he immediately assumes it is by the hand of the Marchesa and Schedoni. Vivaldi finds that his beloved has been sent to the convent of San Stefano, under the care of the cruel Lady Abbess, and he and his servant travel to retrieve her. In the convent, Ellena is befriended by a lovely, but melancholy nun, Sister Olivia, who helps her to escape from the convent into the care of Vivaldi. While riding towards Naples after the escape, Vivaldi presses Ellena for an immediate marriage, and she finally consents. Right before they are to take their vows, the Inquisition comes and arrests Vivaldi, Ellena and Paulo on what they believe to be false charges. Vivaldi and Paulo are taken to the Holy Office of the Inquisition to be questioned and put to trial. Ellena, however, is sent by Schedoni and the Marchesa to a lone house on the seaside, inhabited only by the villain Spalatro, to be murdered. Schedoni comes to the house to assassinate Ellena personally, but discovers that she is his daughter. Schedoni has a change of heart, and decides to take Ellena personally back to Naples and put her in a safer place. While on their journey, they once again encounter Spalatro, who is wounded in a scuffle and left behind. Schedoni and Ellena finally arrive in Naples, where Schedoni places Ellena in the convent of Santa Maria del Pianto until Vivaldi can be recovered. Schedoni converses with the Marchesa, keeping secret that he intends to marry her son and his daughter, but does communicate that Ellena comes from a rich lineage, so a marriage would not be disgraceful. Meanwhile, in the prison of the

Inquisition, the mysterious monk that had previously forewarned Vivaldi, now known to be Nicola di Zampari, appeared and narrated to him the guilty crimes committed by Father Schedoni before he became a monk, and asked him to summon Schedoni and Father Ansaldo to the prison to confirm the crimes. Both appear in front of the tribunal members, and Schedoni is accused of murdering his brother and wife. Schedoni is summoned to death, and tells Vivaldi where Ellena is being held before he is escorted to a prison confinement. Vivaldi is also escorted back to his prison cell, with the knowledge that the charges against him will be dropped, thanks to Nicola. Back at the convent, Ellena distinguish a voice all too familiar, and sees her dearly loved Sister Olivia in the convent yard. While the two speak of what has become of them since they first parted, Ellenas servant Beatrice appears to tell of the death of the wicked Marchesa. Beatrice and Olivia recognize each other, and elate Ellena with the news that Olivia is her mother. Ellena also becomes familiar with the fact that she is not Schedonis daughter, but his niece. Since they are of the same lineage, Ellena is still from a noble family, which would allow her to marry Vivaldi. The ending of the novel is a happy one; Vivaldi and Paulo get released from the prison of the Inquisition, Ellena is reunited with her mother, and Vivaldi and Ellena are joined in marriage, and all the villains have died. Places of Significance

Naples: City where Vivaldi, his parents, Ellena, Schedoni, Paulo and Signora Bianchi reside Villa Altieri: Residence of Ellena and Signora Bianchi San Stefano: Convent to Sister Olivia; prison to Ellena

Santa Maria del Pianto/ Santa Convent and Monastery referenced to Prison of the Inquisition



Imagery Ann Radcliffe uses the technique of scene imagery to evoke emotion in characters[3] and to describe landscapes and surroundings in extreme detail. The most noticeable imagery in the novel was images of art, images, and the picturesque. Actual artists mentioned were seventeenth century Italian artists with those works Mrs. Radcliffe was probably familiar[4] while the characters also turn into artists who paint portraits of other characters in their heads. Sculptures can be seen in the tribunal members of the Inquisition for their faces are unyielding and hard as stone, and even the flickering lamps cannot soften their facial expressions. Aside from imagery being described as physical art, Radcliffe includes images of personification, animals, religion, storms, and magic and enchantment. Images in the novel make it possible to see one thing in the expressions of something else.[5] All of the imagery presented in The Italian pull the novel together by way of description, which sets the scene for the reader and the characters. Reception The Italian was first announced in December 1796. At the time of the novels release, Ann Ward Radcliffe was already a well-known and well-received Gothic writer. She had gained notoriety from several of her earlier works, most noticeably The Romance of the Forest in 1791 and

The Mysteries of Udolpho in 1794. Her reputation was successful enough to allow her to be read by learned gentlemen as well as young men and women. Because the term gothic story was not commonly used in this period of time, Radcliffes contemporaries used the term romance to describe her genre. This term was classified as writing about miraculous tales through the use of poetic prose.[6] This poetic element was referred to in multiple reviews of Radcliffes The Italian and is considered to be the defining characteristic of the authors many Gothic works. This unique characteristic of her writing set the author apart from other writers of the time and earned her a reputation through the appraisal she received from many well-respected literary voices of the time. In general praise for the author, Sir Walter Scott called her the first poetess of romance fiction; while Nathan Drake wrote that she was, the Shakespeare of Romance writers. He believed that her readers valued her unrivaled ability to create to realize visually an enchanted, storied, and landscaped past.[6][7] In a time where writing novels for commercial consumption was one of the only means through which a female author could earn a respectable living, The Italian was a great financial success for Radcliffe. Because of her reputation and earlier success, the author earned 800 from the original copyright of the novel, which was considered a very large sum for a female author and was unparalleled by many of Radcliffes contemporaries.[8] The Italian prompted a wide variety of both favorable and unfavorable reviews, making the overall reception of the novel very mixed. To some critics, it was the high point of Ann Radcliffes short but productive career; to others, it represented a distinct decline in form from her earlier products.

Most reviewers were united in believing that the monk Schedoni was the most successful character that Radcliffe had created in any of her novels. Characterized as a man governed by an amalgam of anger, hypocrisy and guilt, the monk was praised as standing apart from the traditional conventions of Gothic protagonists, and many readers approved of his strong personality.[9] Not only was he considered one of the best characters, but one of the best villains; he had "great energy, with strong passions, and inordinate pride; sometimes softened by the feelings of humanity, but preserving the firmnesss of his mind in the most trying situations".[10] However, many of these reviews found a fault in the extent of his wicked nature, and others asserted that Radcliffes careful handling of his character and attempt to implement a touch of parental affection to soften him only served to make him seem less realistic.[11] Reviews that were run in response to The Italian echo these tensions between approval and disappointment in what would be the final novel of Radcliffes Gothic career. The writer of an 1827 review in the United States Review and Literary Gazette declares his belief that The Italian is Radcliffes "greatest work," paying particular reverence to the "masterly dialogues" in several key scenes, including the interview between Marchesa and Schedoni in the church of San Nicolo as well as the discussion between Schedoni and Spalatro, in which the later refuses to murder Ellena.[12] The writer of a 1797 review in The Monthly Review praised Radcliffes visual and descriptive language in the novel, citing the partwhich displays the greatest genius, and the most force of description, is the account of the scenes which passed in the long house on the shore of the Adriatic, between Schedoni, Ellena, and Spalatro: - The horrible sublimity which characterizes the discovery made by the former that Ellena was his daughter, at the instant in which he was about to stab

her, was perhaps unparalleled.[13] This style of painting the sublime reflects the preference for allegorical or transcendent imagery over physical or realistic imagery in the Gothic literary and artistic period. Originating in the works of Edmund Burkes On the Sublime and Beautiful, which also parallels Radcliffes preference in the use of terror over horror in her novels.[14] Similarly, a later evaluation in the Edinburgh Review described the mastery of Ann Radcliffes narrative description as allowing the reader to almost see, feel and experience the events on the Mediterranean alongside the characters.[15] However, various negative reviews emerged and had issues when comparing The Italian to Radcliffes earlier and more overwhelmingly successful pieces. Several articles commented on the difficulty the author had in maintaining her reputation after her early success. The writer of The English Reviews article on The Italian in December of 1796 attempted to make a rational assessment of the disappointment that some people felt in reading the novel, saying that: It was impossible to raise curiosity and expectation to a higher pitch than she has done in her Mysteries of Udolpho; yet these mysteries she accounted for in a natural manner. Having been frightened perfectly by Radcliffe before, this critique believed that readers were likely prepared for the twists of The Italian. There was also some unfavorable criticism of the scenes dealing with the Spanish Inquisition, which are sometimes considered too unrealistic or ridiculous to be believable to the audience.[16] A review in The Critical Review from June 1798 stated that, Among those parts of the romance which we disapprove, we may reckon the examination before the court of inquisition: it is so improbable, that we should rather have attributed it to one of Mrs. Radcliffe's numerous imitators. Despite this, the review went on to say that there still remained several

scenes that would successfully seize the imagination and interest the passions of readers.[17] Following Radcliffes retirement after this novel at the young age of thirty-two, and her death a few years later, public opinion of her overall works including The Italian swung to a more positive light. Upon her death in 1823, the political and social atmosphere in England had changed again and Radcliffe regained positive assessments of her importance in the history of Gothic writers. In her obituary in the New Monthly Magazine, she was described as "the able authoress of some of the best romances that ever appeared in the English language;" in the Literary Gazette she was, "the finest writer in this kind of fiction that ever existed;" and in the Gentlemans Magazine she was noted to have produced romances that we able to be translated into every European tongue to the honor of the country.[18][19] Relation to The Monk Many critics believe that The Italian was written as a direct response to Matthew Gregory Lewis The Monk, which was released a year earlier in 1796. Lewis and Radcliffe both influenced the tradition of the Gothic novel, but did so in two very different ways. As an already established author, Radcliffe was a large influence in Lewis' writing career. Their notoriety and aesthetic contrasts led to the two often being compared - even by the authors themselves. Radcliffe strove toward poetic realism and explained the supernatural as a product of natural causes, while Lewis exulted in pastiche and irony while choosing to leave the supernatural effects unexplained.[20] Where Radcliffe would allude to the imagined horrors under the genre of terrorgothic, Lewis defined himself by disclosing the details of the gruesome scenes, earning him the title of horrorgothic novelist.[21] Radcliffe, who considered herself to be a

writer of the terror aspect of the Gothic genre, preferred to elicit feelings of sublimity and true emotional reactions with her shocking moments of writing. Unlike the characters in Lewis novel, reviewers observed that Radcliffe illustrated that guilt and depravity can be constructed upon the desire for absolute power rather than mere sexuality, and their source is ultimately human rather than demonic.[22] Though it was never stated explicitly, it is assumed that this frustration with the direction in which Gothic literature was moving from the sublime terror to a more crude approach is what caused Radcliffe to cease writing. A gender comparison can also be seen between The Italian and The Monk; if deeply read into, it is clear that Radcliffe indirectly represents the male and female desires that Lewis investigates explicitly.

The Romance of the Forest Synopsis Monsieur Pierre de la Motte and his wife, Madame Constance de la Motte, are fleeing Paris in an attempt to escape his creditors. Pierre, Madame, and their two domestic servants, Peter and Annette, are waylaid when the path theyre on becomes too dark to follow any longer. Pierre exits the carriage and continues on foot toward a light he notices some distance away from the carriage. Upon knocking on the door of a small and ancient house, Pierre is admitted into the house by a stranger. He is given a bed and promptly locked in the room. Sometime later, the door to Pierres room is unlocked and a beautiful young lady, Adeline, is being dragged behind the stranger who admitted Pierre to the house. The stranger states that

if you wish to save your life, swear that you will convey this girl where I may never see her more; or rather consent to take her with you. [4] Upon agreement to take Adeline with him, Pierre and Adeline are conveyed to the carriage by the ruffian stranger with Madame still inside. The family, with the addition of Adeline, proceeds into the darkened interior of a forest, hoping to elude discovery and heeding the warnings of the stranger to not come back on the land they just left. Eventually, they find refuge in a ruined abbey after their wagon wheel breaks. Initially, everyone in the group except Peter is afraid of what lies in waiting behind the abbey walls; however, closer inspection by Peter shows the only inhabitants are mice, owls, bats, and the like. Still afraid of being pursued by creditors, the family and Adeline stay close to the abbey. Peter is sent into the town of Auboine for supplies to fix their broken wagon wheel. After returning to the family, Peter confides to Pierre that while he was in town he got in a fight and was unable to procure the necessary supplies for fixing the wheel, but he did purchase some food to tide them over. The family and the servants settle into the rooms of the abbey, making each one more inhabitable the longer they stay. After some time passes, while in town, Peter comes across a gentleman who inquires about the La Motte family. Thinking the people inquiring about the La Motte family are creditors, the family, Adeline, and the servants all go into hiding through the trap door Pierre has found in one of the bedrooms. They spend the night in the dark and terrifying rooms, where unbeknownst to everyone else, Pierre discovers a skeleton in a chest. The next day, everyone agrees to send Adeline out to check if anyone is at the abbey since she is the only one who would be unrecognizable to creditors. Upon greeting one of her woodland animal friends, a young male stranger

approaches her. Soon Adeline discovers that this stranger is actually Pierre and Madames son, Louis. They left Paris without giving notice to his regiment, and he had come searching for his parents. Soon after, Madame confides to Louis her jealous fears that Adeline seeks to have an affair with her husband. Louis is supposed to find out the truth of where Pierre has been spending his days, but is unable to do so after losing sight of his father in the dense forest. Madame stays hostile to Adeline, believing the worst of her in relation to her supposed affair with Pierre. At the same time, Louis has fallen in love with Adeline and pines for her saying I should esteem myself most happy, if I could be of service to you. [4] Meanwhile, "Louis, by numberless little attentions, testified his growing affection for Adeline, who continued to treat them as passing civilities. It happened, one stormy night, as they were preparing for rest, that they were alarmed by a trampling of horses near the abbey." [5] The riders introduce themselves as the Marquis de Montalt, who is the owner of the abbey, and his attendants, one of which is named Theodore. Pierre becomes more distressed after the appearance of the Marquis. Louis notes this distress, but must soon leave to return to his regiment. During this time, Theodore attempts to warn Adeline that he fears she has been deceived and danger is upon her. Before he can formally speak with Adeline, he is sent to return to his regiment as well. Pierre and the Marquis, at this same time, have been speaking in private to one another. After Theodores departure, Adeline fears her father will return for her when overhearing a conversation between Pierre and the Marquis. She relates her fears to Pierre, and he allows her to believe that is what the conversations subject consisted of. Throughout this time period, as well, Adeline also finds

a manuscript written by someone who had been held captive inside the abbey during 1642. The writer of the manuscript relates his dire circumstances and impending death at the hands of an unknown perpetrator. Adeline notes when reading the manuscript that it "is in a barely legible and fragmented condition. It suggests much more than it can say. [1] Adeline ultimately informs Pierre of the manuscript once she reaches particularly terrifying point while reading it. Adeline is then warned of danger again, but this time Peter is the person who warns her. He attempts several times to tell her the issue at hand, until finally he is able to relate his findings. Adeline finds out the reality of the conversations between the Marquis and Pierre: The Marquis wants to make Adeline his wife and was discussing the matter with Pierre. However, Adeline discovers through Peter that the Marquis actually already has a wife and she would have really had a fake marriage and became the Marquis mistress. At no point, however, is Adeline inclined to become either the Marquis wife or mistress. Peter and Adeline concoct a plan to help her escape the abbey and a potentially reputation ruining situation. Unfortunately, when making her escape, Adeline is tricked, and instead she is taken to the Marquis residence. Adeline soon attempts to escape the Marquis by climbing out the window where she runs into Theodore, who is there to rescue her. The two leave in a carriage and the Marquis quickly follows once he realizes what has happened. Adeline and Theodore stop at an inn where the Marquis finds them. Theodore, who initially is ailing but eventually recovers, wounds the Marquis. Now instead of him being in trouble for just deserting his regiment, he also must face the consequences for wounding a superior officer. Prior to all of this commotion, Adeline realizes she is in

love with Theodore while he is sick. Theodore is imprisoned, and Adeline is returned to Pierre de la Motte at the abbey. The Marquis informs Pierre that he wants to kill Adeline, not marry her, now. Pierre finds that he is "entangled in the web which his own crimes had woven. Being in the power of the Marquis, he knew he must either consent to the commission of a deed, from the enormity of which, depraved as he was, he shrunk in horror; or sacrifice fortune, freedom, probably life itself, to the refusal." [5] Pierre finds he is unable to allow Adeline to be killed, thus he sends Adeline with Peter on horseback to Peters sisters house in Leloncourt. When Peter and Adeline finally reach Leloncourt, Adeline is taken ill and is nursed to health first by Peters sister and later by Clara la Luc. Here, "Adeline, who had long been struggling with fatigue and indisposition, now yielded to their pressure ... But, notwithstanding her fatigue, she could not sleep, and her mind, in spite of all her efforts, returned to the scenes that were passed, or presented gloomy and imperfect visions of the future." [6] After her illness, Adeline is essentially adopted by Arnaud la Luc, Claras father, and spends the remainder of her time with the family. Clara also has a brother, but he currently is not present. Yet, soon Monsieur la Lucs health is failing (he is take with consumption), and the family must relocate to a different climate for a time. Eventually, Louis de la Motte finds Adeline and brings her news of Theodore. He informs her that he is imprisoned and his death is imminent because of the assault he made on his general officer. Here, Monsieur la Luc finds out that the Theodore in reference is actually his son that he has not seen for many years. Meanwhile, Monsieur and Madame de la Motte are facing their own troubles. Pierre de la Motte is placed on trial for a robbery he previously committed against the Marquis

before he knew who the Marquis was. The Marquis would not have pressed any charges had Pierre assisted the murder of Adeline. Presently, however, Monsieur and Madame de la Motte are in Paris. Pierre is imprisoned and Madame is with him. Unaware of this, Adeline, Clara, and Monsieur la Luc travel to Paris to be with Theodore prior to his execution. While Pierre is on trial, witnesses come forward, and it is discovered that the Marquis is not who he claims to be; he had previously murdered a relation to Adeline and stole the persons identity. Because of these recent developments, Theodore is released from his imprisonment while the Marquis poisons himself, but not before he confesses all his wrongdoings. "It appeared that convinced he had nothing to hope from his trial, he had taken this method of avoiding an ignominious death. In the last hours of his life, while tortured with the remembrance of his crime, he resolved to make all the atonement that remained for him, and having swallowed the potion, he immediately sent for a confessor to take a full confession of his guilt, and two notaries, and thus established Adeline beyond dispute in the rights of her birth, also bequeathing her a considerable legacy." [6] Characters

Adeline Pierre de la Motte Madame de la Motte Louis de la Motte Peter Annette Theodore de Peyrou Phillipe, Marquis de Montalt Arnaud la Luc Madame la Luc

Clara la Luc Jacques Martigny Du Bosse Louis de St. Pierre

Background In 1765 Horace Walpole published The Castle of Otranto, widely regarded by modern literary historians to be the first occasion of Gothic fiction.[7] A decade later, Clara Reeve wrote The Old English Baron, the first "Gothic" novel to be penned by a woman, and in 1783 Sophia Lee produced The Recess, a story set in the time of Queen Elizabeth I.[8] These works prefigured much of the material and themes that Radcliffe would synthesise in her novels, most particularly ideas of the supernatural, terror, romance, and history.[9] Reception It was praised by the poet Coleridge who wrote 'the attention is uninterruptedly fixed, until the veil is designedly withdrawn" [1]. The first volume was published anonymously in its first edition. Although The Critical Review saw it as her finest work, it is not generally regarded in the same league as The Italian and The Mysteries of Udolpho; however the Romance of the Forest was hugely popular in its day and remains in print after over two hundred years. It is the subject of much critical discussion, particularly in its treatment of femininity and its role and influence in the gothic tradition Radcliffe did so much to invent. [2].

A Sicilian Romance A Sicilian Romance is a gothic novel by Ann Radcliffe. It was her second published work, and was first published anonymously in 1790.[1] The plot concerns the turbulent history of the fallen aristocrats of the house of Mazzini, on the northern shore of Sicily, as related by a tourist who becomes intrigued by the stories of a monk he meets in the ruins of their doomed castle. The Mazzini sisters, Emilia and Julia are 'beautiful' young ladies with many talents. Julia quickly falls in love with Hippolitus but to her dismay her father decides that she should marry the Duke de Luovo. After much thought Julia decides to elope with Hippolitus. However, the Marquis- Julia's father- seemingly kills Hippolitus whose body is taken to Italy by his servants. The Marquis tells Julia that she must marry the duke and after much difficulty she escapes. The Marquis and the Duke spend much of the novel trying to find Julia and force her to marry the duke. Julia has to flee from her various hiding places as she gets close to being caught and eventually ends up at the seemingly haunted dungeons at the Mazzini castle only to find that her mother- who she thought was dead- locked in there after being forced by the Marquis. The Marquis's new wife commits suicide after the Marquis finds that she has committed adultery and kills the Marquis by poison before killing herself. Before he dies the Marquis confesses to Ferdinand, his son, that his mother is locked up in the basement of the castle. Ferdinand then releases his mother and Julia and they are all joyfully reunited. The introduction to the Oxford World's Classics edition notes that in this novel "Ann Radcliffe began to forge the unique mixture of the psychology of terror and poetic description that would make her the great exemplar of the Gothic

novel, and the idol of the Romantics". The novel explores the "cavernous landscapes and labyrinthine passages of Sicily's castles and convents to reveal the shameful secrets of its all-powerful aristocracy" [1].

A Sicilian Romance by Ann Radcliff Northanger Abbey is supposed to be a parody of the Gothic Romances that were popular in Jane Austen's day, and I can say that A Sicilian Romance does lend itself to parody. I picked up my copy of Ann Radcliffe's second novel a few years ago at a second hand book shop, mostly because Ann Radcliffe's books are discussed so often in Northanger Abbey. I will say that I found the book amusing and frequently hysterical in its plot contrivances that required a full suspension of disbelief and was left wondering if that might be the reason why Henry Tilney likes them. I would recommend reading them if you want some light reading and enjoy melodramatic journeys A Basic Summary: No this doesn't include everything that happens, but it does include spoilers regarding how everything is wrapped up in the end. The story itself is told by a traveller to Sicily who is entranced by the ruin of a castle that once belonged to "the noble house of Mazzini" be makes friends with a friar and is permitted to read the manuscript containing the castle's history, from which he wrote the story itself. The story itself is set in the late 1500s and its main character is Julia, who along with her elder sister Emilia, is the daughter of the fifth marquis of Mazzini, a haughty, stern

and, cruel man and his first wife a charming a beautiful woman who died suddenly. Following her death, the marquis remarried and headed off for the city of Naples along with his son Ferdinand and his new wife, a beautiful but vain, proud and deceitful. The daughters were left in the care of a relative of their mother's whose life story could have been expanded into its very own horrid novel (as Jane Austen called them). The two girls are raised never leaving the grounds of their father's estate and never having any outside company except for infrequent visits by their father, but they grow to be incredibly beautiful, and talented, and intelligent, and graceful, and kind, and sensible, and etc. The long passages describing their many perfections were one of the things that set me giggling. Then their father returns following the death of a trusted servant and decides to put on a huge house party at the castle. Julia falls in love with the young count her stepmother wants to have an affair with. The stepmother is already upset because Emilia and Julia are so much prettier than she is, and are such beautiful dancers, and so popular and etc. and is not made happier when her would-be boy-toy takes a liking to Julia. The count and Julia attempt to elope, the count dies in the process, Julia is locked up and informed she will marry a duke and then escapes. Much excitement ensues before the good end happily and the bad unhappily. You will need to read it for yourself in order to find out exactly what exiting events occur and how precisely they resolve themselves. The image in this post is of the cover of the Oxford Univerisity Press's 1993 World Classics edition of the novel

The Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne Plot summary The novel tells the story of two clans, those belonging to the Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne. It begins by relating that Malcolm, the Baron of Dunbayne, murdered the Earl of Athlin. The Earls son, Osbert, is driven by a passionate desire to avenge his fathers murder. Despite the entreaties of his mother, Matilda, to conquer his passion and abandon his quest of revenge, Osbert launches an attack on Malcolm with the help of Alleyn, a noble and virtuous peasant. Alleyn is in love with Osberts sister, Mary, a virtuous and delicate lady whom he desires to impress. The attack on Malcolms castle fails, and both Alleyn and Osbert are taken captive as prisoners of war. Alleyn, however, manages to escape. Malcolms passion for destroying Osbert is supplanted by a passion to possess the beautiful Mary, and he sends men to kidnap her. Alleyn, on his way back to Athlin, intervenes, and after much fainting on the part of Mary, manages to rescue her. Mary, after recovering from the excessive fainting fits, falls in love with Alleyn, despite their class differences. Upon confiding in her mother however, she is urged to forget her love. Malcolm, angry at Alleyns escape and the thwarted attempt to kidnap Mary, demands a ransom for the release of Osbert: he will release the Earl only if he is allowed to marry Mary. Both Alleyn and Matilda are distressed by such news. Osbert, meanwhile, has found comfort in the fellow prisoners of the Baroness Louisa, Malcolms sister-in-law by way of his elder (and now deceased) brother, the former Baron, and her daughter Laura. Laura and Osbert fall in love. After many complications, Osbert is able to escape the restraints of Malcolm, whom he eventually challenges. Malcolm is then

killed in the ensuing battle. Before he dies, Malcolm confesses to Louisa that her son, whom she had thought dead, was really alive. Malcolm had hidden him away with a peasant family in order to procure the title for himself. Laura and Osbert prepare to wed, but Mary and Alleyn are both unhappy. It is then miraculously discovered the Alleyn is in fact Philip, Louisas long-lost son. He is recognized by his mother by a strawberry mark on his skin. This makes Alleyn the rightful Baron of Dunbayne. The novel ends with the double wedding of Laura and Osbert, and Mary and Alleyn. Main characters

The Former Earl of Athlin: Murdered before the start of the novel by Malcolm, bequeathing his title to his son, Osbert. Matilda: The Countess of Athlin; mother of Mary and Osbert. Matilda devotes her time to the education of her children, especially Mary. She is overcome with grief when Osbert is captured by Malcolm and is unable to decide whether to acquiesce to Malcolms ransom request (i.e., Mary) or let her son die. Her character is marked by perfect propriety; she attempts to dissuade Mary against loving Alleyn, as he is of a lower class. Osbert, Earl of Athlin: Osbert is the son of Matilda and the murdered Earl, and the brother of Mary. He is torn between filial duty to his father (avenging his death), and filial duty to his mother, who entreats him to stay his passions and abandon his desire for revenge. Mary: The delicate, young sister of Osbert. She is clearly educated after the proper fashion of the high-

born sentiments. Her fragility is often stressed throughout the novel: numerous times she succumbs to fainting fits and bouts of tears. Despite the stressed importance of propriety, she falls in love with the low-born Alleynbut she does not go so far as act upon this passion. She suffers the torments of loving a man to whom she cannot possibly give herself. This torment is only solved with the miraculous discovery of Alleyns true identity.

Alleyn: A highlander, both manly and virtuous despite his low birth. He falls in love with the gentle and delicate Mary, and devotes himself to earning her favor. He does so by fighting alongside Osbert, and rescuing both him and Mary from Malcolms cruel ministrations. While he earns the favor and the love of Mary, there is still the problem of his low-birth. It is discovered, however, that he was indeed Philip, the long-lost son of the former Baron of Dunbayne. Therefore this conflict is solved. He assumes the title of Baron and is able wed with Mary. Malcolm, Baron of Dunbayne: The novels villain who murdered the former Earl and who is set upon destroying Osbert and possessing the delicate Mary. Malcolm was the younger brother of the former Baron, who died and left behind a widow, son, and daughter. In order to secure the title for himself, upon the Barons death, Malcolm claimed that his nephew, Philip (AKA Alleyn) had died, when in actuality he had been tossed aside to be raised by a peasant family. He disposed the widow Baroness of her lands, and holds her and her daughter prisoner. He is eventually defeated and slain by Osbert, leaving Alleyn to resume his rightful role as Baron.

Louisa, the Baroness: The widow of the former Baron of Dunbayne; mother to Laura and Philip (AKA Alleyn). Orientating from Switzerland, she is dispossessed of both her husbands lands as well as her own by Malcolm. She concerns herself with the education of her daughter, much like Matilda. Laura: The daughter of Louisa and the niece of Malcolm, likewise held captive within the castle walls of Dunbayne. When Osbert is also held captive by Malcolm, he hears Laura playing the lute. He is captivated by the sweet melodious tune and it keeps him from committing suicide. Osbert finds comfort in her beauty and feminine charms and succumbs to love. They eventually marry after the defeat of Malcolm.


Gaston de Blondeville From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search Gaston de Blondeville is an 1826 Gothic novel by noted English author Ann Radcliffe. Plot summary Set in the 13th century court of England's King Henry III the novel centers around the wedding of the title character. The wedding is interrupted by a merchant who claims to have been wronged by Gaston, in that Gaston murdered his kinsman. Henry is forced to hold a trial to determine the validity of the claims. The plot is further

complicated by the machinations of an abbot who tries to suppress the truth, and by ghosts who want to expose the truth.[1] Review The book is described as a "drawn out and sometimes rambling, the plot lacking in impetus",[2] but is notable as being the last novel to be both written (circa 1802) and published (in 1826, posthumously) by Mrs Radcliffe. The book is noteworthy for its detailed descriptions of locations.[3]