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Book Title: The Italian|
The size of the: 9.73 MB
Edition: Oxford University Press
Date of issue: 1998
ISBN: No data
The author of the book: Ann Radcliffe
Format files: PDF
ISBN 13: No data
Read full description of the books The Italian:Conventional wisdom declares that Radcliffe was both dismayed and inspired by Lewis's The Monk into making The Italian her finest book. I disagree.
The Italian is certainly her best constructed and most tightly plotted novel and the concentrated Italianate atmosphere is extremely effective, particularly in the descriptions of landscapes. I think, though, that Mrs. Radcliffe's horror at Lewis's excesses of taste and immorality caused her to be too cautious toward her own genius, and that in The Italian she produced a novel that is sometimes as plodding and dreary as the work of Clara Reeve, both in its detailed litigiousness (the Inquisition scenes, which one would expect to be exciting, are particularly boring in their concentration on legal procedure) and its scrupulosity in assigning appropriate punishments and rewards.
Udolpho is more unruly but also much more inspired.
Read information about the authorAnn Radcliffe was an English author, a pioneer of the gothic novel.
Radcliffe was born Ann Ward in Holborn. At the age of 22, she married journalist William Radcliffe, owner and editor of the English Chronicle, in Bath in 1788. The couple was childless and, to amuse herself, she began to write fiction, which her husband encouraged.
She published The Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne in 1789. It set the tone for the majority of her work, which tended to involve innocent, but heroic young women who find themselves in gloomy, mysterious castles ruled by even more mysterious barons with dark pasts.
Her works were extremely popular among the upper class and the growing middle class, especially among young women. Her works included A Sicilian Romance (1790), The Romance of the Forest (1791), The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794), and The Italian (1796). She published a travelogue, A Journey Through Holland and the Western Frontier of Germany in 1795.
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 Mysteries of Udolpho in Northanger Abbey, as well as influencing the works of Sir Walter Scott.
Stylistically, Radcliffe was noted for her vivid descriptions of exotic and sinister locales, though in reality the author had rarely or never visited the actual locations. Shy by nature, she did not encourage her fame and abandoned literature as a pursuit.
She died on February 7, 1823 from respiratory problems probably caused by pneumonia. She was buried in Saint George's Church, Hanover Square in London.
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