The Mysteries of Udolpho

Ann Radcliffe
horror > gothic horror
The Mysteries of Udolpho - Ann Radcliffe5.00

Her present life appeared like the dream of a distempered imagination, or like one of those frightful fictions, in which the wild genius of the poets sometimes delighted. Reflection brought only regret, and anticipation terror.

Such is the state of mind of Ann Radcliffe's orphaned heroine Emily St Aubert, who finds herself imprisoned in her evil guardian Count Montoni's gloomy medieval fortress in the remote Appenines. Terror is the order of the day inside the walls of Udolpho, as Emily struggles against Montoni's rapacious schemes and the threat of her own psychological disintegration.

A bestseller in its day and a potent influence on Sade, Poe, and other writers, The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794) is Radcliffe's classic work of Gothic fiction. With its dream-like plot and hallucinatory rendering of its characters' psychological states, the novel remains a profound and fascinating challenge to modern readers.

Cover illustration: detail from Woman on a Balcony by Carl Gustav Carus.

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Release date: 1794
Genres: horrorgothic horror
Average rating: 5.00/10
Total ratings: 6
Updated: October 13, 2020