Gothic fiction, sometimes called Gothic horror in the 20th century, is a loose literary aesthetic of fear and haunting. The name is a reference to Gothic architecture of the European Middle Ages, which was characteristic of the settings of early Gothic novels.
The first work to call itself Gothic was Horace Walpole’s 1764 novel The Castle of Otranto, later subtitled “A Gothic Story”. Subsequent 18th century contributors included Clara Reeve, Ann Radcliffe, William Thomas Beckford, and Matthew Lewis. The Gothic influence continued into the early 19th century, works by the Romantic poets, and novelists such as Mary Shelley, Charles Maturin, Walter Scott and E. T. A. Hoffmann frequently drew upon gothic motifs in their works.
On the day of his wedding, Conrad, heir to the house of Otranto, is killed in mysterious circumstances. Fearing the end of his dynasty, his father, Manfred, determines to marry Conrad's betrothed, Isabella, until a series of supernatural events stands in his way. . . .
Set in the time of the crusades, The Castle of Otranto established the Gothic as a literary form in England. With its compelling blend of psychological realism and supernatural terror, guilty secrets and unlawful desires, it has influenced a literary tradition stretching from Ann Radcliffe and Bram Stoker to Daphne Du Maurier and Stephen King.
This Penguin Classics edition includes a full selection of early responses to the novel, as well as a critical introduction, chronology of Walpole's life and works, suggestions for further reading, and full explanatory notes.
What I think
The story is cute, but nothing special. The version I read is a bit difficult to read, as they adopt an old-fashioned style and don’t use the right direct speech signs. And there are some typos.
The story is obviously dated and it is noted that at the time women were subjected to the will of their father first and then their husband, but I’m happy with how the book ended.
Every night at the Palais Garnier, hundreds of guests sit on the edge of velvet-covered seats, waiting for prima donna La Carlotta to take the stage. But when her voice fails her, La Carlotta is replaced with unknown understudy Christine Daaé, a young soprano whose vibrant singing fills every corner of the house and wins her a slew of admirers, including an old childhood friend who soon professes his love for her. But unknown to Christine is another man, who lurks out of sight behind the heavy curtains of the opera, who can move about the building undetected, who will do anything to make sure Christine will keep singing just for him…
This curated edition of The Phantom of the Opera, based on the original 1911 English translation by Alexander Teixeira de Mattos, brings an iconic story of love and obsession to today's readers and illuminates the timeless appeal of Leroux's masterpiece.
About the book
First book of the year. As a first reading, I decided to immerse myself in the classics and read The Phantom of the Opera. For various reasons. First of all my favorite skater played this music and since I can’t find the movie, I decided to read the story. Second is the favorite book of a booktuber that I follow and I wanted to see why.
Poor unfortunate Erik! Should we feel sorry for him? Should we curse him? He was just asking to be someone, like everyone else! He had a heart capable of holding the whole world, but he had to settle for a cave.
All my book reviews are and will be 100% honest. I don’t get paid to write them and I don’t get “gifts” to write a good review so what I write is what I think. If I love a book, I’m going to say that, if I don’t like a book, I will write why I don’t. My critics aren’t an attack to the author, they are just how I feel about a subject or a style. See more in my Review Policy.