The Castle of Otranto

Horace Walpole

The Castle of Otranto, by Horace Walpole - click to see full size image

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The Castle of Otranto is a book by English author Horace Walpole, first published in 1764. Generally regarded as the first gothic novel, it tells the story of Lord Manfred, whose family is plagued by a prophecy that foretells the end of their rule. When his son Conrad is mysteriously killed on his wedding day, Manfred becomes desperate to secure the family line. He plans to marry the princess, Isabella, while divorcing his wife, Hippolita. However, Isabella escapes with the help of a peasant named Theodore. As Manfred pursues them, a series of events unfold, leading to tragic consequences. The book was first published under a pseudonym, with the claim that the story was a translation of an ancient Italian manuscript, and it was highly praised by critics. When Walpole admitted authorship however, the same critics turned on the book, dismissing it as 'unsavoury' and 'absurd', among other things.

This book has 36,874 words, 63 pages in the PDF version, and was originally published in 1764.

Production notes: This ebook of The Castle of Otranto was published by Global Grey in 2018, and updated on the 23rd June 2023. The artwork used for the cover is 'The Castle seen from the river' by Zygmunt Ajdukiewicz.

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