Horace Walpole: The Castle of Otranto

(1976 words)
  • Paul Baines (University of Liverpool)

On Christmas Eve 1764, a small book appeared in London with the title: The Castle of Otranto, A Story, translated by William Marshall, Gent. From the original Italian of Onuphrio Muralto, Canon of the Church of St. Nicholas at Otranto. The Preface explained that the book, which had been printed in black letter at Naples in 1529, had been found “in the library of an ancient catholic family in the north of England”. The events were dated to the period of the crusades but the Italian was of a kind current in about 1500, and it was suggested that it had been published as a Catholic riposte to the attack on superstition mounted by the proponents of the Reformation.

This much was obfuscation, though of an interesting kind,…

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Baines, Paul. "The Castle of Otranto". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 07 March 2003
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=1356, accessed 26 September 2016.]

Related Groups

  1. English Romanticism
  2. Gothic, Grotesque & Supernatural Fiction