The Castle of Otranto

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Author: Horace Walpole
Published: 1764
Language: English
Wordcount: 36,231 / 111 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 49.9
LoC Category: PR
Audiobook: www.archive.org
Downloads: 11,562
mnybks.net#: 7218
Origin: gutenberg.org

Transcribed from the 1901 Cassell and Company edition.

Show Excerpt

which stood near the castle, and came back open- mouthed, declaring that the helmet was missing from Alfonso's statue. Manfred, at this news, grew perfectly frantic; and, as if he sought a subject on which to vent the tempest within him, he rushed again on the young peasant, crying -

"Villain! Monster! Sorcerer! 'tis thou hast done this! 'tis thou hast slain my son!"

The mob, who wanted some object within the scope of their capacities, on whom they might discharge their bewildered reasoning, caught the words from the mouth of their lord, and re- echoed -

"Ay, ay; 'tis he, 'tis he: he has stolen the helmet from good Alfonso's tomb, and dashed out the brains of our young Prince with it," never reflecting how enormous the disproportion was between the marble helmet that had been in the church, and that of steel before their eyes; nor how impossible it was for a youth seemingly not twenty, to wield a piece of armour of so prodigious a weight

The folly of these ejaculations brought Manfred to himself

Reviews

Average Rating of 3.3 from 4 reviews: ****
2009.04.30
Shawnee
*****

I read this book for an English project and, although it was very hard to read, I really enjoyed this book. Of course, the "scary" parts were hardly frightening but I'm sure that they were considered so back when it was written. One problem I had was that there was almost no punctuation in the book I had. Other than that, it was a good book. Definitely not a beach side read though - this takes some serious thought to understand.

2007.05.15
Joe Romaninsky
**...

Utterly forgetable, laughable (not humorous). Of interest only because
it is credited as being the first gothic
novel. I finished it only because the book
is short and I was curious how the author would get himself out of the mess he had
made.

2007.05.12
Sid
***..

Well, it is the first gothic novel. So if you're a gothic buff/nerd take a read. Although it might have been a scary read back in the 18th century, modern readers would probably ridicule these events. In fact, you can probably spot a foreshadowing of a Monty Python gag. It's a bad book, but I enjoyed it for what it was worth.

2007.02.08
Jeff Edwards
***..

This is an important work: the first Gothic novel. But note H.P. Lovecraft's apt description of THE CASTLE OF OTRANTO: "tedious, artificial, and melodramatic."


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