978-0-9679121-2-7 / 0967912121

The Old English Baron / The Castle of Otranto (Eighteenth-Century Literature Series)

by Reeve, Clara

Publisher:College Publishing



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About the book:

Clara Reeve's early gothic novel, The Old English Baron (1778), is paired with Horace Walpole's The Castle of Otranto (1764), the work that inspired it. Hers is the story of Edmund, the peasant-hero, who discovers his rightful heritage through mysterious portents, and whose loyalty and integrity are put to the test in bringing the villain to justice. With an emphasis on probability and domestic virtue, The Old English Baron plays an important role in the transformation of the gothic genre. While the Castle of Otranto initiates a tradition of horror, with violent deaths, tyrannical power and tragic doom. The Old English Baron redirects the gothic towards homosocial bonding, paternal goodness and, ultimately, sentimental domesticity. The College publishing edition includes a substantial introductory essay on historical and literary contexts, with additional "links" or short essays situated throughout the text, exploring subjects such as chivalry, younger sons, women and law, anti-Catholicism, gothic architecture, and the supernatural. The appendix includes eighteenth-and nineteenth century reviews of both novels.

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