Ann Radcliffe: The Mysteries of Udolpho (2022 words)

Caroline Webber (Independent Scholar - Australia)
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Radcliffe’s best-known work – and a bestseller in its day – The Mysteries of Udolpho, was first published in 1794 and it earned her £500. Even today at least six different publishers currently have a version of The Mysteries of Udolpho in print, testament to its long-lasting appeal. The Mysteries of Udolpho tells the story of Emily, an orphaned heroine, who struggles against her oppressive and tyrannical captor Montini. Talfourd writes:

This splendid series of fictions became immediately popular with the numerous class of readers, who seek principally for amusement, and soon attracted the attention of the finer spirits of the age. Dr. Joseph Warton, the Head Master of Winchester …

Citation: Webber, Caroline. "The Mysteries of Udolpho". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 11 October 2008 [, accessed 11 April 2021.]

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