The Castle of Otranto
42 Installments— in English—Entirely free
Horace Walpole’s gothic tale, set in a ghoulish castle, revolves around an inexplicable death and supernatural prophecies. Manfred is the lord of the castle who is about to marry his sickly son Conrad to the princess Isabella. Right before the wedding, though, Conrad is crushed to death by a falling helmet that mysteriously appears from above. Conrad’s death appears to be linked to an ancient prophecy that foretold the day when the castle of Otranto should pass to new owners. Manfred, desperate to keep the castle and the property in the family, decides to marry Isabella himself—ignoring the fact that he already has a wife, Hippolita. Manfred’s disastrous decision provokes a series of chilling consequences involving dangerous, gigantic artifacts and various body-parts. These terrifying, grotesque events associated with the ancient prophecy can only be halted by the arrival of the castle’s true prince and heir, but as the ghostly events continue, we’re not sure when—or if—he will arrive.
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Opening Lines (Experimental)
SONNET TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE LADY MARY COKE.
The gentle maid, whose hapless tale These melancholy pages speak; Say, gracious lady, shall she fail To draw the tear adown thy cheek?
No; never was thy pitying breast Insensible to human woes; Tender, tho' firm, it melts distrest For weaknesses it ...
Reviewed by solarchakra on Feb 10, 2009
Gothic novels are meant to be fun. This one was fun.
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Ratings for 'The Castle of Otranto' by Walpole, Horace