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Ann Radcliffe (1764–1823)

Forfatter af The Mysteries of Udolpho

50+ Works 5,734 Members 113 Reviews 21 Favorited

Om forfatteren

Ann Radcliffe was born Ann Ward in England on July 9, 1764. She was the only child of William Ward and Anne Oates Ward. In 1788 she married William Radcliffe. They had no children. Ann published The Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne in 1789. Other works include A Sicilian Romance, The Romance of the vis mere Forest, The Mysteries of Udolpho, and The Italian. She found much success with The Romance of the Forest and it established her as a Gothic novelist. Her later novels influenced other authors including Jane Austen, Sir Walter Scott, and Mary Wollstonecraft. She died on February 7, 1823 from respiratory problems. (Bowker Author Biography) vis mindre
Image credit: Anne Ward Radcliffe. Wikimedia Commons.

Værker af Ann Radcliffe

The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794) 2,889 eksemplarer
The Italian (1796) 1,218 eksemplarer
The Romance of the Forest (1791) 636 eksemplarer
A Sicilian Romance (1790) 500 eksemplarer
The Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne (1789) 132 eksemplarer
Graphic Classics: Gothic Classics (2007) — Source Author — 63 eksemplarer
Gaston de Blondeville (1826) — Forfatter — 46 eksemplarer
Mysteries of Udolpho, condensed (1962) 5 eksemplarer
O italiano - 2ºVol (1797) 2 eksemplarer
The Mysteries of Udolpho ..; 1 (2021) 1 eksemplar
The Mysteries of Udolpho ..; 2 (2021) 1 eksemplar
[Works] 1 eksemplar
EDWY: A Poem, in Three Parts (2017) 1 eksemplar
Poems (Dodo Press) (2008) 1 eksemplar

Associated Works

Poems Bewitched and Haunted (Everyman's Library Pocket Poets) (2005) — Bidragyder — 188 eksemplarer
Eighteenth Century Women Poets: An Oxford Anthology (1989) — Bidragyder — 118 eksemplarer
Northanger Abbey/Castle of Otranto/Mysteries of Udolpho (1963) — Bidragyder — 56 eksemplarer
A Skeleton At the Helm (2008) — Bidragyder — 26 eksemplarer
Fairy Poems (2023) — Bidragyder — 13 eksemplarer
Witches' Brew: Horror and Supernatural Stories by Women (1984) — Bidragyder — 10 eksemplarer
The Queen’s Story Book — Bidragyder — 2 eksemplarer
The King's Story Book — Bidragyder — 1 eksemplar

Satte nøgleord på

Almen Viden

Kanonisk navn
Radcliffe, Ann
Juridisk navn
Radcliffe, Ann Ward
Andre navne
Mrs. Radcliffe
Fødselsdato
1764-07-09
Dødsdag
1823-02-17
Begravelsessted
St. George's Church, Hanover Square, London, England, UK
Køn
female
Nationalitet
UK
Land (til kort)
England, UK
Fødested
Holborn, London, England, UK
Dødssted
England, UK
Bopæl
London, England, UK
Erhverv
novelist
poet
Relationer
Ward, William (father)
Radcliffe, William (husband)
Lee, Sophia (friend)
Kort biografi
Mrs. Radcliffe was the most popular writer of her day! She was born Ann Ward and in 1787 married journalist William Radcliffe. She created six spooky novels with a blend of the supernatural, morals, romantic descriptions of landscape, and drama that British readers just could not get enough of. Although she was not the first to write Gothic fiction, she's considered a pioneer of the genre and a major influence on many other writers. (See for example, Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey.)

Medlemmer

Discussions

Mrs. Radcliffe i Gothic Literature (februar 2022)
The Mysteries of Udolpho i Gothic Literature (september 2018)
The Italian by Ann Radcliffe - lyzard tutoring SqueakyChu i 75 Books Challenge for 2014 (maj 2016)
1001 Group Read May, 2012: The Mysteries of Udolpho i 1001 Books to read before you die (september 2012)

Anmeldelser

The Mysteries of Udolpho is probably now the best-known of Ann Radcliffe's novels, and holds an important place as one of the earliest works in what came to be known as the Gothic genre. If, like me, you're interested in the history and development of Gothic literature, I would say this is a must-read. However, I probably wouldn't recommend it to the average reader. I think a lot of the criticism directed at this book is based on something of a cultural disconnect - the literary style of the late 1700s, as well as reader expectations around storytelling and prose, were quite different from what we're accustomed to now. For the modern reader, The Mysteries of Udolpho probably comes across as tediously long, there are grammatical choices that seem odd (so many commas!) and the characters lack the psychological nuance that we usually expect. That said, I think the story itself is compelling. It takes a long time to get going, but the middle part of the book in particular is very tense and atmospheric. I also thought the gender dynamics at play were fascinating - a lot of readers nowadays likely find Emily annoying and weak, but I think that ignores the facts of the time when this book was written and set (it's supposed to take place vaguely in the 1500s). Emily truly has no power in the situations in which she finds herself, and in my opinion that adds to the terror. At one point I found myself thinking "why doesn't she just run away?" and then I remembered that not only are they in the middle of the wilderness, but Emily as a minor noblewoman has no survival skills. She can't hunt food, she can barely light a fire, she's been kept in a state of learned helplessness that renders her particularly vulnerable. That said, she's also consistently shown to be logical and practical, even more so than the male protagonists (Valancourt in particular is an emotional mess most of the time), and resilient in the face of suffering. She does faint a lot, yes, albeit usually in situations where she's just seen a corpse or has witnessed a man being shot or is being kidnapped - situations of high stress in which I think fainting is maybe a forgivable, if dated, response. Furthermore Ann Radcliffe seems very aware of the sexist dynamics at play - Montoni in particular both compliments and berates Emily on the basis of her gender at various points, threatens her with sexual harm, and has a history of violence towards women.
Ultimately, I enjoyed this book (save for the last hundred pages or so, which were unnecessary and largely boring), despite its many imperfections and dated style of writing. I'd recommend it for readers passionate about Gothic literature - it's essential for an understanding of the history of the genre. But if you know you don't like classic literature, lots of description, or the tropes that have come to define Gothic literature (many originated with this book and Radcliffe's other novels), then I'd suggest giving this one a pass.
… (mere)
 
Markeret
jaspersbookshelf | 61 andre anmeldelser | Feb 1, 2024 |
The Mysteries of Udolpho came within pages of being the third book off one of my reading lists that was left unfinished. Ann Radcliffe's novel relating the ordeals of Emily St. Aubert is an exasperating slog which taxes your patience through the tedious repetition of mundane details intended to elicit sympathy for her melancholy protagonist and multiple ineffective attempts to create mystery by the withholding of crucial facts by an otherwise intrusive narrator.

The first hundred pages of the book see Emily lose both parents in a manner more akin to batteries draining than the effects of disease, as well as losing Valancourt, the man who wins her lifelong affection despite the lack of meaningful interaction between them leading up to her infatuation. Her tearful brooding over these tragedies occupies all her spare time during this period.

After fulfilling her father's dying wish by burning his secret letters, Emily is placed in the care of her aunt, the first of several characters masquerading as wealthy while seeking to enrich themselves through favorable marriages to someone of actual wealth. Forced to travel from her native France to Venice, Emily is stalked by Count Morano, another charlatan who is so besotted with Emily that he forgets he is royalty and she nothing. His repeated proposals are enthusiastically supported by her aunt's villainous husband Montoni, who conceives to force Emily to wed the Count despite her strenuous objections. In the first but not last unbelievable turn of events, Emily unwittingly agrees to wed Morano while believing she is discussing a different topic.

On the morning before her coerced nuptials, Emily is again forced to flee in the company of her aunt and uncle, this time to Udolpho castle, where she and her aunt are held prisoner by Montoni and his despicable henchmen. During her captivity, she sees a sight so horrible she faints but tells no one what it is, including the reader and alternates between brooding over her lost love Valancourt, investigating the mysterious music and singing outside her window, and vacillating whether to sign over her birth right to Montoni in exchange for her freedom.

Unfortunately, you are only halfway through the novel at this point, and have another three hundred pages of—among myriad other nuisances—Emily's constant tears, tiresome references to her father's mysterious letters and the sight at Udolpho that caused Emily to faint, a chateau haunted by mysterious music and singing (yes, again) and a dying, disreputable nun with a secret upon which the whole novel turns.

Most disappointing about The Mysteries of Udolpho is that it is actually an entertaining and ultimately redeeming story ruined by the way Radcliffe goes about supposedly building mystery and suspense through tiresome repetition of known and uninteresting facts (which adds a significant number of unnecessary pages) and summarizing events she should have instead spent time narrating, as well as swooping in like Agatha Christie's Poirot to reveal—in two unsatisfying pages near the very end of the book—the mystery of Emily's father's letters and the horrid sight at Udolpho. If that is typical of the gothic style, this will be my only venture into the genre.

If you keep in mind the era this novel was written in, the level of sophistication of readers of the time and perhaps the lack of entertainment alternatives that would leave readers no choice but to tolerate writing of this nature, you might enjoy this book more than I did.
… (mere)
 
Markeret
skavlanj | 61 andre anmeldelser | Nov 17, 2023 |
Read for a graduate seminar on Romantic Era Women Writers at CU Boulder.

I'd give this novel 3.5 stars, if such an option existed. As is, I'm rounding up!

I love how intricate the plot of this Gothic romance is - there really isn't a dull moment and the foreshadowing is not at all as obvious as it appears. That said - I could do without the excessive exclamation points (Perhaps Jay Anson was an avid reader of Radcliffe!) or the excessive exultations of the numerous servants/guides throughout the novel to which the main characters frequently failed to listen. As a plot device, I found that pretty weak - admittedly because my 21st Century sentiments were a bit vexed at the prospect of action moving forward because the rich guy ignored the poor guy.

That said - I'd recommend giving this one a read at some point in your life.
… (mere)
 
Markeret
BreePye | 13 andre anmeldelser | Oct 6, 2023 |
Read for a graduate seminar on Romantic Era Women Writers at CU Boulder.

I'd give this novel 3.5 stars, if such an option existed. As is, I'm rounding up!

I love how intricate the plot of this Gothic romance is - there really isn't a dull moment and the foreshadowing is not at all as obvious as it appears. That said - I could do without the excessive exclamation points (Perhaps Jay Anson was an avid reader of Radcliffe!) or the excessive exultations of the numerous servants/guides throughout the novel to which the main characters frequently failed to listen. As a plot device, I found that pretty weak - admittedly because my 21st Century sentiments were a bit vexed at the prospect of action moving forward because the rich guy ignored the poor guy.

That said - I'd recommend giving this one a read at some point in your life.
… (mere)
 
Markeret
BreePye | 13 andre anmeldelser | Oct 6, 2023 |

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Associated Authors

Jane Austen Contributor, Source Author
Carlo Vergara Illustrator
Molly Kiely Illustrator
Rod Lott Adaptor
Lisa K. Weber Illustrator, Cover Artist
Edgar Allan Poe Source Author
Trina Robbins Adaptor, Cover Artist
Anne Timmons Illustrator
Myla Jo Closser Source Author
Leong Wan Kok Illustrator
Shary Flenniken Illustrator
J. Sheridan Le Fanu Source Author
Maria Weber Editor, Translator
Jacqueline Howard Introduction, Editor
Frederick Garber Contributor, Editor
Devendra P. Varma Introduction
Karen Cass Narrator
Catherine LaPointe Illustrator
Jaroslav Hornát Translator
Nicolas Fournier Translator
S. W. Reynolds Cover artist
Lisa M. Dresner Introduction
Roman Cieślewicz Illustrator
Vittoria Sanna Translator
Hannes Riffel Herausgeber
Laura McDonald Introduction
Edward Bawden Cover artist
Terry Castle Introduction
Joseph Farington Cover artist
Darrell Schweitzer Introduction
R. Austin Freeman Introduction
Alison Larkin Narrator
Sarah van Niekerk Illustrator
Barbauld Editor
E. J. Clery Introduction
Nick Groom Editor

Statistikker

Værker
50
Also by
13
Medlemmer
5,734
Popularitet
#4,305
Vurdering
½ 3.4
Anmeldelser
113
ISBN
333
Sprog
12
Udvalgt
21

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