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Gaston de Blondeville (Valancourt Classics) Paperback – April 17, 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Valancourt Books; 1st Valancourt Books Ed edition (April 17, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 097778410X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0977784103
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.7 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,260,499 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

A scholarly edition with a selection of contemporary reviews and extracts from various key reformist players, Gaston de Blondeville supports the recent opinion that Radcliffe's narrative politics are more radical than has previously been considered. -- Times Literary Supplement, June 1, 2007

About the Author

Ann Radcliffe was born Ann Ward. She married William Radcliffe. They had no children, and with her husband's encouragement, she wrote fiction to amuse herself. Her ""Gothic"" novels, which were extremely popular, tend to involve innocent but heroic young women who find themselves in gloomy, mysterious castles at the mercy of complicated men. They influenced Sir Walter Scott and were parodied by Jane Austen. Radcliffe died in 1823 pneumonia. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Tyler R. Tichelaar on July 11, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Valancourt Books' recent publication of Mrs. Radcliffe's Gaston de Blondeville is a publication long overdue. The novel, originally published in 1826, three years after the mistress of the Gothic's death, was actually written by her in 1803, but then suppressed by her from publication. The general belief is that she disowned the novel, thinking it inferior to her other work; literary historians have also claimed that readers agreed and greeted its publication with little enthusiasm. The primary reason usually given for why it is inferior is that it is the only one of Radcliffe's Gothic novels where she chose to use a real ghost rather than explain what appeared to be supernatural occurrences. The general reader, and especially the student of Gothic and historical fiction, should be allowed to judge the matter for himself and now that Valancourt Books has republished Gaston de Blondeville, that decision can be made.

Gaston de Blondeville, while admittedly not as full of chills and suspense as The Mysteries of Udolpho or The Italian, is a remarkable novel in Radcliffe's canon. It marks a noted departure from her earlier novels, and in many ways, it displays her growth and restraint as an author. Considering all her previous novels were published between the time she was twenty-five and thirty-three, a remarkably young age for someone to write three of the greatest Gothic novels of all time, as well as a couple inferior ones, it is not surprising that Radcliffe sought to move in a new direction in her work. Gaston de Blondeville was the beginning of her growth in that new direction, and had she written another like it, readers may have had a real treat in an even greater Radcliffe.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By James D. Jenkins on June 1, 2006
Format: Paperback
I am with the publisher, Valancourt Books, and wanted to post this description from the book's back cover, since Amazon has not done so:

King Henry III is holding court at Kenilworth. Festivities abound, wine flows copiously, and spirits are high as the King and his subjects prepare to celebrate the nuptials of Sir Gaston de Blondeville. But the joyous mood is interrupted when a merchant, Hugh Woodreeve, comes distraught before the King to demand justice. His kinsman, he claims, was murdered, by the very man the King has come to honour -- Gaston de Blondeville!

Suspecting a conspiracy against Gaston, yet obliged to hold a trial to determine the truth of the allegations, Henry imprisons Woodreeve in a tower while awaiting a hearing. Meanwhile, sinister forces are at work, represented by an evil abbot, who will stop at nothing to ensure the truth behind Woodreeve's claims is never revealed.

As the trial unfolds and the danger mounts for both Woodreeve and Gaston, a mysterious figure will come from beyond the grave to elucidate the horrible mystery!

The only one of Radcliffe's novels to feature a real ghost, Gaston de Blondeville was published posthumously in 1826. This edition, the first-ever scholarly edition of the novel, features a new introduction by Frances Chiu, uncoding the novel's long-hidden political, historical, and religious contexts. A wealth of supplementary materials, including excerpts from other primary texts and the complete text of contemporary reviews, is also provided to enhance modern readers' understanding of the novel's themes.
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By Paul Collins on September 19, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A King is honoring a nobleman, yet an accuser comes forward and accuses the nobleman of murder. The accuser is put into jail. They plan to execute the accuser. The King has a supporter, a crooked abbot, who plots against the accuser. A ghost of the murder victim appears here and there to somehow explain the injustice and that leads the accuser to be thought to be involved in sorcery. That is the book in a nut shell! A Medieval Murder Trial. Not the usual Ann Radcliffe but the book is interesting and I recommend it!
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