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The Mysteries of Udolpho (Oxford World's Classics) 1st Edition
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Emily is one of the most memorable characters in all of fiction. To be frank, I simply fell in love with her. Through her, I was able to not only see but to better appreciate life itself and the simple beauties it manifests. When she was hurt or pained, I shared her sorrow; many times, I felt compelled to jump up and somehow defend her against the monstrous injustices inflicted upon her. I admired her morality and deep commitment to honor, a commitment so deep that she sacrificed in deference to it her own deep love for Valancourt, a love so deep that it alone allowed her to withstand the horrors of Count Montoni and the castle of Udolpho. Certainly, Emily is very sensitive and overdramatic, and she does tend to faint a lot, but she is a pure angel to someone like myself who is a Victorian at heart.
The Gothic horror is very well done, but it does not take up nearly as much of the novel as I had anticipated. Radcliffe can bring chills to readers even today.Read more ›
The Oxford World's Classics edition with the introduction by Terry Castle is the only edition I've read, but I recommend it particularly because of the introduction, which I found very interesting and insightful after finishing the novel. One point that Castle makes is that despite the novel's Gothic label, Udolpho is more like "a disconcerting textual hybrid." The multi-generic nature of the novel is one of the features that most surprised me; it takes quite a while for Emily to become imprisoned in Udolpho and what precedes her time there is almost anti-Gothic. Emily has perfect parents and the perfect upbringing, though she begins to suffer relatively early on when her mother dies.Read more ›
There is no question that the sweet, suffering, intelligent, compassionate, level-headed, courageous Emily St. Aubuert of the story is the author's other self, the self she imagines herself to be. The trials she faces as her other self, she faces with courage and intelligence and outstanding patience: the loss of parents, the awful tyranny of her aunt with whom she has been placed as a ward, the terror of the Archvillain Montoni who kept her captive in the remote, ghostly castle of Udolpho and her daring escape -- all were most likely Ms. Radcliffe's day dreams set to paper. Afterall, she was childless and well-bred and in those times, there was little for a well-educated lady of her class do but to read and dream and write.
And she developed her craft grandly. Her descriptions of scenery, the locations of each set-piece of her novel are vivid and memorable. She had an eye for the sweep of detail of a landscape, a forest, a plain, a mountain and she had the talent of painting her scenes under shrouds of mystery and melancholy.
Emily's love affair with the chevalier Valancourt to whom she gave her entire capacity for love, and his betrayal of it and proof of his unworthiness, comes as a disappointment. But then, at the end there is a reconciliation and appropriate romantic solution of the problem, however unlikely.
The novel is long, too long, really.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The author's prose flow nicely and the book is full of surprises; in my opinion, in our time this novel has become a great period piece.Published 4 days ago by Stan Mach
"The Mysteries of Udolpho" is a quintessential Gothic romance, replete with incidents of physical and psychological terror; remote, crumbling castles; seemingly... Read morePublished 3 months ago by HH
This is regarded as one of the most influential novels in gothic literature. Unfortunately, I struggled through every page. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Marcus
Too much to do about nothing !! The whole story could been told in five minutes !! Enough year to feel a bucket ! And too much swooning away !!Published 5 months ago by Kindle Customer
I enjoyed this book very much. Over 600 pages went by fast because the book is so interesting.Published 6 months ago by Me
Thanks to Guillermo del Toro who directed wonderful fantasy and horror films such as 'Pan's Labyrinth', 'The Devil's Backbone' and the recent gothic-romance, 'Crimson Peak'... Read morePublished 7 months ago by susi079
It took me about three weeks to read this novel in its entirety, and those three weeks were generally very long ones. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Joshua Valin
Very interesting and rich plot. Obviously, a must-read in the genre of Victorian Gothic and a precursor of many future writers.Published 9 months ago by rafael figueroa