Read Romance of the Forest by Ann Radcliffe Free Online
Book Title: Romance of the Forest|
The author of the book: Ann Radcliffe
Edition: Nonsuch Publishing
Date of issue: June 1st 2005
ISBN 13: 9781845880736
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 3.74 MB
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Reader ratings: 6.6
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Ann Radcliffe’s 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 by the author in a tale of suspense where danger lurks behind every secret trap-door. Reprinted four times between 1791 and 1795 and satirised as representative of the Gothic genre by Jane Austen in Northanger Abbey, Radcliffe’s tense masterpiece, in which the heroine is afraid even to look in the mirror for fear of what she might see behind her, established her reputation as a writer.
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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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