The Old English Baron: A Gothic Story

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J. C. Nimmo and Bain, 1883 - English fiction - 405 pages

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User Review  - JBD1 - LibraryThing

Probably one that only need be read by the most committed fans of gothic fiction. Basically a toned-down "Castle of Otranto" with the setting changed and the outcome pretty obvious from the get-go. Read full review


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Page 251 - It was an attempt to blend the two kinds of romance, the ancient and the modern. In the former, all was imagination and improbability: in the latter, nature is always intended to be, and sometimes has been, copied with success.
Page 13 - Otranto ; a work which, as already has been observed, is an attempt to unite the various merits and graces of the ancient Romance and modern Novel. To attain this end, there is required a sufficient degree of the marvellous to excite attention ; enough of the manners of real life to give an air of probability to the work ; and enough of the pathetic to engage the heart in its behalf.
Page 224 - I was very glad to think of anything, rather than politics. In short, I was so engrossed with my tale, which I completed in less than two months, that one evening, I wrote from the time I had drunk my tea, about six o'clock, till half an hour after one in the morning, when my hand and fingers were so weary, that I could not hold the pen to finish the sentence, but left Matilda and Isabella talking, in the middle of a paragraph.
Page 262 - ... reflections on her own sterility, who had given him but one heir. His tenants and subjects were less cautious in their discourses: they attributed this hasty wedding to the prince's dread of seeing accomplished an ancient prophecy, which was said to have pronounced, that the Castle and Lordship of Otranto should pass from the present family whenever the real owner should be grown too large to inhabit it.
Page 228 - I do not remember his common gait; he always entered a room in that style of affected delicacy, which fashion had then made almost natural ; thapeau bras between his hands, as if he wished to compress it, or under his arm ; knees bent, and feet on tiptoe, as if afraid of a wet floor.
Page 245 - THE following work was found in the library of an ancient Catholic family in the north of England. It was printed at Naples, in the black letter, in the year 1529.
Page 241 - Otranto is pure and correct English of the earlier and more classical standard. Mr Walpole rejected, upon taste and principle, those heavy though powerful auxiliaries which Dr Johnson imported from the Latin language, and which have since proved to many a luckless wight, who has essayed to use them, as unmanageable as the gauntlets of Eryx...
Page 224 - I sat down and began to write, without knowing in the least what I intended to say or relate. The work grew on my hands, and I grew fond of it — add that I was very glad to think of anything rather than politics — In short I was so engrossed with my tale, which I completed in less than two months...
Page 259 - Peace! blockhead, said the prince angrily; if he was going to escape, how should he come on this side? I will know from his own mouth what noise it was I heard. Tell me truly; thy life depends on thy veracity. My veracity is dearer to me than my life, said the peasant; nor would I purchase the one by forfeiting the other.

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