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Ann Radcliffe was born in 1764, the daughter of a London tradesman. In 1786 she married William Radcliffe, later the manager of The English Chronicle. She set her first novel, The Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne (1789), in Scotland, and it received little critical or public attention. Using more exotic locations in Europe, notably the 'sublime' landscapes of the Alps and Pyrenees, she wrote four more novels within ten years: A Sicilian Romance (1790), The Romance of the Forest (1791), The Mysteries of Udolfo (1794) and The Italian (1797), as well as a volume of descriptions of her travels in Holland, Germany and the Lake District.
The success of The Romance of the Forest established Radcliffe as the leading exponent of the historical Gothic Romance. Her later novels met with even greater attention, and produced many imitators (and, famously, Jane Austen's burlesque of The Romance of the Forest in Northanger Abbey), and influenced the work of Sir Walter Scott and Mary Wollstonecraft.
The Italian was the last book she published in her lifetime; a novel, Gaston de Blondeville, and St. Albans Abbey: A Metrical Tale were published posthumously. Despite the sensational nature of her romances and their enormous success, Radcliffe and her husband lived quietlyshe made only one foreign journey and barely glimpsed the Alps that she wrote about so vividly. She died in 1823 from respiratory problems probably caused by pneumonia.
Because I was spending 3 months teaching in Italy, I decided to read a number of books set there. Before choosing The Italian, I read about it, and about its author, Ann Radcliffe. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Stephanie Newman
"Optimized for Kindle?" Hardly. First of all, this version is missing the opening sequence. Second, it is missing Chapter 5, Volume 1. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Erica Henson
Yea! Enjoyed - with these old classics I commit to the lengthy character and plot development and I am always rewarded ! Read morePublished 18 months ago by Jacisam
The book is so-so in my opinion, not as good as Radcliffe's other works, but the main reason I'm writing this review is to say that the "Optimized for Kindle" version is hardly... Read morePublished 18 months ago by K. Bartoszynska
This classic novel is similar to Charlotte Bronte's famous Gothic Romance Literature Jane Eyre. From professional literary criticism I've read surrounding Ann Radcliffe, The... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Jana Gifford
Ann Radcliffe started gothic romance. It was thought that her death was caused from her ghosts' in her stories that made her mad. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Michelle
This book was unreadable due to many errors in the digital process. Don't purchase any books that have the plain cover with print only as there are numerous errors.Published on June 28, 2011 by Linda R. Larson
This version has so many errors from the conversion that it is nearly unreadable. Significantly, the scan kept all of the "f"s in the text rather than converting them to "s"s. Read morePublished on April 21, 2011 by Karalyne S. Lowery