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The old English baron: a Gothic story Paperback – September 7, 2010
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The story is set entirely in England during the reign of Henry VI in the mid-15th century. In the Castle of Lovel lives the family of Baron Fitz-Owen, a righteous gentleman. He purchased the castle when his brother-in-law unexpectedly inherited it after the mysterious death of Lord Lovel and the disappearance of Lovel's pregnant wife. The brother-in-law, now Lord Lovel, had only just settled in to the castle when he abruptly decided to sell it and move a great distance away. Rumors among the servants said the castle was haunted. Indeed, one wing of it had been sealed off entirely.
The good Baron, in addition to his three sons and lovely daughter, had taken into his household a young man named Edmund who was only a peasant, but who had displayed remarkable character and intelligence despite being cruelly abused by his father. Edmund's success in his every endeavor earned the devotion of some members of the Baron's family, but the envious enmity of others. It would fall to Edmund to be the one to enter the haunted chamber, endure its terrors, and discover its secrets.
There is no suspense in this novel. A few pages into it you know exactly what's going to happen. The climax occurs barely halfway through the story, leaving a long denouement chiefly concerned with the distribution of estates and marriageable daughters. The book's principal message is that noble blood will always prevail and earn its due. Perhaps its strongest point is in its depiction of examples friendship, generosity and devotion. I would recommend The Old English Baron chiefly to those looking for specimens of the early Gothic novel.