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The Castle of Otranto

Penguin Classics


This edition corrects the many errors of the W. S. Lewis edition while also explaining why The Castle of Otranto has remained in print since its initial publication in 1764. The Introduction links this foundational gothic romance to the theater, to Walpole's own practices in rebuilding Strawberry Hill, and to eighteenth-century notions of historical forgery, parody, and camp. Appendices provide a full survey of Otranto's reception from its first reviews to Thomas Babington Macaulay's aggressively masculine reassessment of Walpole in the 1830s.