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Three Eighteenth Century Romances: The Castle of Otranto; Vathek; The Romance of the Forest
Three Eighteenth Century Romances The Castle of Otranto Vathek The Romance of the Forest Author:Horace Walpole, William Beckford, Ann Radcliffe In THE CASTLE OF OTRANTO (first published in 1764) Manfred is the tyrannical usurper of the princedom of Otranto. On the day his son Conrad is to marry Isabella, Conrad is found dead, crushed by a mammoth helmet. Manfred decides to divorce his wife and marry Isabella in order to produce the heir he needs to retain control of the realm, but Isabe... more »lla escapes with the help of Theodore, a handsome young peasant. Father Jerome then realizes that Theordore is his son, born before he became a priest, back when he was the prince of Falconara. Later, the martyred rightful prince appears, proclaiming Theodore's right of succession. Manfred and his wife enter convents and Theodore marrieS Isabella and rules Otranto as the prince.
VAHTEK, published in 1786, is the story of the caliph Vahtek who constructs a tower so tall that he can survey all the kingdoms of the world. He defies Mohammad up in seventh heaven and thus condemns himself to eternal damnation and expulsion to the netherworld.
ROMANCE OF THE FOREST, first published in 1791, is the epitome of the Gothic novel: a beautiful, orphaned heiress, a dashing hero, a dissolute, aristocratic villain, and a ruined abbey deep in a great forest are combined in a tale of suspense where danger lurks behind every secret trap-door.« less