The Mysteries of Udolpho

A Romance

Cover image for


Author: Ann Radcliffe
Published: 1794
Language: English
Wordcount: 294,433 / 832 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 59.4
LoC Category: PR
Downloads: 9,586 5803

Follow the fortunes of Emily St. Aubert who suffers, among other misadventures, the death of her father, supernatural terrors in a gloomy castle, and the machinations of an Italian brigand. Considered by many to be the first "Gothic" novel.

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nimated grace-- The portrait well the lover's voice supplies; Speaks all his heart must feel, his tongue would say: Yet ah! not all his heart must sadly feel! How oft the flow'ret's silken leaves conceal The drug that steals the vital spark away! And who that gazes on that angel-smile, Would fear its charm, or think it could beguile!

These lines were not inscribed to any person; Emily therefore could not apply them to herself, though she was undoubtedly the nymph of these shades. Having glanced round the little circle of her acquaintance without being detained by a suspicion as to whom they could be addressed, she was compelled to rest in uncertainty; an uncertainty which would have been more painful to an idle mind than it was to hers. She had no leisure to suffer this circumstance, trifling at first, to swell into importance by frequent remembrance. The little vanity it had excited (for the incertitude which forbade her to presume upon having inspired the sonnet, forbade her also to disbelieve it) pa


Average Rating of 3.4 from 5 reviews: ****

if you cut off the landscape description, the extra charachter, (there are hundreds of them), the exagerated melodrama, you have a greate reading besides all of the unnesessary characters such as the count of villeroi and family, and the exagerated emotion shown by the leading man, valancourt (remember he is a soldier he should be a toght guy), what keept me reading was the mistery about emili“s dad and the long time dead marchionaise of villeroi, the castle of udolpho itself and its banished owner


I'm a sucker for gothic novels, and among them, Ann Radcliffe is queen, in my mind. If you love gothic novels she's definitely worth checking out.

Sharon Jeter

I loved this book. I too, read it after Jane Austen's mention of it in Northanger Abbey. It was total fun, as only melodrama can be. Historically, it gave many insights into the times.


This is a pretentious, self-indulgent dirge. Readers, such as myself, who waded to the end out of a sense of duty deserve to be awarded a purple heart. A truly labourious read.

Joanne Connor

I decided to read this after reading Northanger Abbey (the wonders of Manybooks). Although it is a little overlong I found it a good read and can understand Catherine Morland's (Northanger Abbey)enthusiasm for the book, though I think Jane Austen may have been a little tounge in cheek.

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