The Mysteries of Udolpho

The Mysteries of Udolpho

A Romance

Book - 2001
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Presents the late eighteenth-century novel in which the beautiful, orphaned Emily St. Aubert, imprisoned in a medieval castle by her evil guardian Signor Montoni, finds the boundaries between the real and the imaginary becoming frighteningly blurred.
Publisher: London ; New York : Penguin Books, 2001
ISBN: 9780140437591
Characteristics: xxxix, 653 p. ; 20 cm
Additional Contributors: Howard, Jacqueline


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Jan 29, 2017

I rather surprised myself when I ended up enjoying this book. As far as I could tell it was going to be everything I hated; too much description, twelve words when one would do and a rather pathetic heroine. Which of course might make you wonder why I even bothered to pick it up.....the main reason was that it's mentioned in Northanger Abbey and also it's a classic of its gothic genre. And yes, it's highly descriptive and way too wordy, though the heroine wasn't quite as feeble as I was envisioning, despite the multiple fainting episodes. But I got caught up in the story, I wanted to know who would survive and how the rescue would happen and what would happen to the money.

I took me a couple chapters to acclimatize to the writing. I had to do a little rereading before I started to absorb the story. I will also admit that I skimmed through most of the scenery descriptions, I can't envision the setting through words anyway so it is always a bit lost on me.

I did end up really liking all the creepy guys in the story. Montori is greedy and unscrupulous, Count Morano is a super disturbing stalker type and and DuPont, Bertolini & Verezzi are quite the variety of sub par good or bad guys. To my surprise, the hero Valancourt was the pathetic one. Why she ever liked him....

I would definitely say that it must be read with a view to admiring the absurd and enjoying the genre for the fantastic melodrama it is.

Jan 29, 2017

Extremely wordy as most books of that era and genre are.


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