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The Castle of Otranto (Anglais) Cassette – Version coupée, Livre audio

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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

with each volume having an introduction by an acknowledged expert, and exhaustive notes, the World's Classics are surely the most desirable series and, all-round, the best value for money (Oxford Times) --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .

Présentation de l'éditeur

On the day of his wedding, Conrad, heir to the house of Otranto, is killed in mysterious circumstances. His calculating father Manfred fears that his dynasty will now come to an end and determines to marry his son's bride himself - despite the fact he is already married. But a series of terrifying supernatural omens soon threaten this unlawful union, as the curse placed on Manfred's ancestor, who usurped the lawful Prince of Otranto, begins to unfold. First published pseudonymously in 1764, purporting to be an ancient Italian text from the time of the crusades, The Castle of Otranto is a founding work of Gothic fiction. With its compelling blend of sinister portents, tempestuous passions and ghostly visitations, it spawned an entire literary tradition and influenced such writers as Ann Radcliffe and Bram Stoker. --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .

Détails sur le produit

  • Cassette
  • Editeur : Naxos AudioBooks; Édition : abridged edition (avril 1995)
  • Collection : Classic Fiction
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 9626345349
  • ISBN-13: 978-9626345344
  • Dimensions du produit: 13,8 x 10,7 x 1,7 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)
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Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Pour entamer ce nouveau genre, Walpole a fait fort en associé plusieurs style de romans. Par moment, on se croirait même dans une pièce de théâtre grotesque ! L'histoire est cependant sympathique même si, parfois, abracadabrantesque (surtout au début).
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Par Di Renzo le 11 avril 2012
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Ce petit livre est le premier roman gothique, Walpole a initié le genre et se laisse lire avec plaisir. Un classique pour qui veut découvrir et se divertir.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 69 commentaires
75 internautes sur 79 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
The original Gothic novel 25 juin 2001
Par Guillermo Maynez - Publié sur
Format: Broché
Manfred is an usurpator who wants to consolidate his reign over Otranto. So he tries to marry his weak son to Isabella, heir to a more legitimate prince. But there is an old prophecy which warns against such moves, and the day of the wedding a gigantic iron helmet falls over Manfred's son's head. Then, a creepy -mostly funnily creepy- tale develops. But the plot, though wild and entertaining, is the least important thing about this 1764's novel.
The really attractive, entertaining and literarily important thing is the creation of stereotypes: the foul weather; an ancient, dark castle full of closed halls, secret passages, corridors and doors; frightening apparitions; wicked tyrants desperate for fertile women; virtuous and pure ladies; heroic lads; dark and cold forests where ghosts appear, etc. Walpole, who seems to have been an interesting man, must have had enormous fun writing this tone-setting book, which has had plenty of children in literature. When I read it I kept imagining the scenes, the settings and the weather, and it was great to imagine it come alive. Literarily imperfect, it is fun to read and to discover where many of the commonplaces in Gothic literature come from. Well worth it.
45 internautes sur 49 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
The Broadview Edition of Horace Walpole's Castle of Otranto 9 avril 2003
Par Frederick S. Frank - Publié sur
Format: Broché
Prospective buyers and users should take note that the Customer Reviews posted on are erroneous. They pertain to previous
editions of Walpole's Gothic novel and do not apply to the Broadview edition. A unique feature of the Broadview edition is the inclusion of Walpole's drama, The Mysterious Mother, sometimes mentioned by literary historians as the first Gothic drama. Thus, the user has at his disposal two important prototypes of the Gothic novel. Appendices include excerpts from Burke's treatise on the sublime, Hurd's Letters on Chivalry and Romance, the Graveyard poets, Hervey's Meditations Among the Tombs, Walpole's correspondence, and the eccentric architectural splendors of Strawberry Hill, Walpole's Gothicized villa on the Thames. I am the edition's editor, Frederick S. Frank, another fact omitted from the descriptor.
41 internautes sur 45 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A strangely epitomizing expression of gothic literature 8 décembre 2005
Par James M. Jensen II - Publié sur
Format: Broché
I read this book back in May, 2005, as part of my Gothic Lit. class. It's not a book I'd read again strictly for pleasure, but there is a strange quality to it that beckons me to read it again.

While a fairly absurd and not-very-frightening book (at least to modern readers), this book is worth reading as it seems to contain every element that is a staple of gothic fiction -- and why not? It's the first, after all.

After the class and a little thought, I lean toward considering the following elements to be the staples of "true" gothic stories:

1. Numinous (frightening and awe-inspiring) supernatural elements (one could say that should be drawn loosely from real-world beliefs, but I won't make that stipulation myself)

2. Excessive violence (not necessarily blood/guts/gore, but something that leaves you thinking "that wasn't called for")

3. Sexual perversion (not necessarily anything explicit, just hints at something "not right" -- this element makes things both more exciting and more menacing)

4. Madness

5. Helpless hero (necessarily useless, but overwhelmed, unable to accomplish everything and/or take an active approach to the problem)

6. Social injustice (a challenge to "life as usual")

6. Religion gone wrong (a bleaker, maybe questioning look at religion and religious beliefs)

The surprising thing is that it does this while remaining a fairly tame book. It's excessive violence is performed off-camera, as does the majority of its supernatural elements. Manfred's desire to leave his wife on the basis that their marriage is actually incestuous in order to marry his late son's fiance was sufficiently disturbing to me but far even from X-rated. Manfred is flighty and prone to a kind of mania. The hero is vastly overwhelmed, stays on the defense, and is unable to save the one thing most important to him. At the heart of the novel are pointed social and religious questions/commentary.

One of the things that has fascinated me with this book is the retellings it has inspired in The Old English Baron and The Castles of Athlin & Dunbayne. Both of those are significantly less gothic than Otranto (especially Castles, which is not gothic at all), but are better retellings of the core romance between the hero and his love.

All in all, I'd recommend this work to anyone interested in gothic literature. I'd also recommend The Old English Baron and The Castles of Athlin & Dunbayne (especially the latter) as better retellings of the romance in the book.
12 internautes sur 12 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Setting the Tone 9 juin 2007
Par RCM - Publié sur
Format: Broché
"The Castle of Otranto" by Horace Walpole, is regarded as the first novel of the gothic genre. Indeed its short and simple story is filled with the supernatural, and what must nowadays count as caricatures for characters. The charm of the story lies within its historical relevance and what it brought to future stories within that genre, not in the story itself.

Immediately the reader is introduced to the tyrannical prince of Otranto, Manfred, as he is about to marry his sickly son to the princess Isabella in a quest to secure his claim to the throne he may not be entitled to. When Manfred's son Conrad is struck dead, with no witnesses to his ghastly death, Manfred is at a total loss. He strikes upon the idea of marrying the young princess Isabella for himself; when he proposes the notion to Isabella, she is frightened and repulsed and runs away, seeking sanctuary within the castle's monastery. Then ensues Manfred's stalking of Isabella while trying to get out of his marriage to his extremely pious wife Hippolita, while all about the castle the servants and ruling family keep having dreadful visions.

In the end these supernatural visions serve to bring justice to the rightful heir, a young man who unwittingly helps Isabella escape from Manfred's clutches only to fall in love with Manfred's daughter, Matilda. The theme is that of the sins of the father being visited upon the children (even generations later) and is not a new theme in modern literature, but an interesting choice and one that works with the supernatural means Walpole employs to bring it about. While "The Castle of Otranto" is a watershed in the gothic genre, it is by far not the best or most notable work of that period; yet without the blueprint laid meticulously out by Walpole, such greater stories may never have been written.
10 internautes sur 11 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A Gothic classic and a darn good read 12 octobre 2001
Par Daniel Jolley - Publié sur
Format: Broché
Setting aside this work's importance as the first Gothic novel, it is also a terrific read. Some critics disparage the quality of the writing, but I find it eloquent and enthralling. Certainly, the style is antiquated and the milieu is one quite distant from that of the modern reader, but never have I read such long paragraphs so quickly and energetically. I can appreciate the sentiments of its first readers who reportedly could not put the book down and longed for more after they turned the final page. There is action aplenty to be found in these pages. The characters are prone to make long, drawn-out speeches, but these never slow the pace of the story itself.
The characters are revealed quite poignantly through their speech and action, a fact which somewhat surprised me. There was a deep complexity to Manfred that seemed to speak volumes; while he is surely tyrannical and, to some degree, evil, one can often sense an internal battle within his soul at moments of tragic importance. While he cannot be liked, he can certainly be understood. The young hero Theodore is truly a remarkable lad, the very model of a virtuous, noble gentleman--most importantly, he is just as noble in peasant's rags as he is in princely attire. The two young princesses, Matilda and Isabella, were marvelously portrayed--beautiful, kind, and virtuous to a fault. Their mistreatment by their fathers is the great tragedy of the story. They will gladly sacrifice their own virtue in acquiescence to the wishes of the men controlling their lives. Such devotion is a symbol of the virtual prison that women were forced by society to dwell in for far too long. They, much more than Theodore, are the true heroic figures to be found in the Castle of Otranto.
The servants were delightful in the naivete they evoked in conversation with their "betters." They were not truly naïve, of course, and spoke the way they did primarily in order to protect themselves and their masters or mistresses. Reading the conversations between Manfred and Bianca was akin to hearing the old "who's on first" skit. While some may view it as tiresome, I found it quite funny, and I admired the wiles of Bianca in forcing such consternation in the evil Manfred.
I must point out that the conversations between characters can be somewhat trying to understand at times because the author does not begin a new paragraph each time a different character speaks. There were times when I got lost and had to go back and reread several lines in order to figure out just who was speaking when. All in all, this is a quick, entertaining read. While it is the first real Gothic novel, modern readers should not pick this up and expect a horror story--the castle is not so dank, the labyrinths are not so gloomy, and the woods are not so dark and mysterious as to cause anyone in this day and age to sleep with the lights on. Do not look with dismay at the long paragraphs and the antiquated modes of speaking; this is a short novel packed with action, told in a compelling manner. Old it may be, but it is just a darn good read.
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