The Italian by Ann RadcliffeThe Italian by Ann Radcliffe

The Italian

byAnn RadcliffeEditorFrederick GarberIntroduction byE. J. Clery

Paperback | October 11, 2008

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`His figure was striking, but not so from grace ... and as he stalked along, wrapt in the black garments of his order, there was something terrible in its air; something almost super-human.' First published in 1797, The Italian is one of the finest examples of Gothic romance. The fast-paced, narrative centres on Ann Radcliffe's most brilliant creation, the sinister monk Schedoni, whose past is shrouded in mystery. From the novel's opening chapters the reader is ushered into a shadowy world in which crime and religion are mingled. In the church of Santa Maria del Pianto in Naples, Ellena Rosalba and Vincentio di Vivaldi first meet; but their love is ill-omened. Leagued against them are the proud andambitious Marchese di Vivaldi and her confessor Father Schedoni. When Ellena vanishes on the death of her guardian, Vivaldi sets out in pursuit of her across the mountainous regions of southern Italy before himself falling prey to the Holy Inquisition. This revised and expanded edition explores the novel in the context of British attitudes to Italy and Roman Catholicism in the late eighteenth century with close attention to the novel's style and form.
E. J. Clery is Research Fellow in English at Sheffield Hallam University and author of The Rise of Supernatural Fiction 1762-1800 (1995). She has edited Horace Walpole's The Castle of Otranto in Oxford World's Classics.
Title:The ItalianFormat:PaperbackDimensions:464 pages, 7.72 × 5.08 × 0.75 inPublished:October 11, 2008Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199537402

ISBN - 13:9780199537402

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Rated 3 out of 5 by from Classic Gothic Horror The Italian had the typical Gothic horror feel so there wasn't anything disappointing in that regard however I did wish I had a better sense of where things were heading as the plot progressed. It went on quite a bit longer than I felt it should've but at least it mostly kept me entertained. I found myself wondering why the story went the way it did because on so many occasions it didn't feel quite unified (especially when Vincentio was being tried). It was interesting to follow Ellena yet I didn't quite see the point of it until her parentage came into play (although the struggle of their love because of her perceived low-birth felt pointless at the end) and by then it felt too late despite how relevant it was. I think I would have enjoyed the story more were the viewpoints not so separate but I understand why they were like that - I just wish it didn't stay so long with one person. I'm glad for yet another good example of Gothic horror but I don't think I'd read this again - it's not completely out of the question but it wasn't as strong an example because of the weird journeys the plot went on. At least it wasn't a tragic end but it felt like too long a read and the POVs were too broken up for me to find it an enjoyable read outside of research. #plumreview
Date published: 2016-11-17