The Italian (3rd edition)

ISBN : 9780198704430

Radcliffe, Ann; Groom, Nick
560 Pages
129 x 196 mm
Pub date
Mar 2017
Oxford World's Classics
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  • A new edition of one of the finest Gothic novels, and Radcliffe's most powerful example of 'terror' writing.
  • In the monk Schedoni, Radcliffe creates one of her most sinister characters, and her fast-paced narrative ushers the reader into a shadowy world of mystery and mayhem and the horrors of the Inquisition.
  • Nick Groom's fascinating introduction shows how Radcliffe blends contemporary debates on the status of women with issues of national identity in the wake of the French Revolution. It explores in detail the literary and historical contexts of the novel.
  • Includes Radcliffe's important essay 'On the Supernatural in Poetry'.
  • Up-to-date bibliography, fully contextualized chronology, extensive explanatory notes using contemporary sources and providing information on cultural sources, Shakespearean allusion, travel writing, theology, and contemporary reception.

New to this Edition:

  • New introduction by Nick Groom, an expert on all things Gothic.
  • Up-to-date bibliography.
  • Fully contextualized biographical, historical, and cultural chronology.
  • Extensive Explanatory Notes.
  • New Appendix that reprints Radcliffe's important essay 'On the Supernatural in Poetry'.

'Among his associates no one loved him, many disliked him, and more feared him.' 
Father Schedoni is enlisted by the imperious Marchesa di Vivaldi to prevent her son from marrying the beautiful Ellena. Schedoni has no scruples in kidnapping Ellena and in undertaking whatever villainy will further his own ends. His menacing presence dominates a gripping tale of love and betrayal, abduction and assassination, and incarceration in the dreadful dungeons of the Inquisition. Uncertainty and doubt lie everywhere, in Radcliffe's last and most unnerving novel. 
Ann Radcliffe defined the 'terror' genre of writing and helped to establish the Gothic novel, thrilling readers with her mysterious plots and eerie effects. In The Italian she rejects the rational certainties of the Enlightenment for a more ambiguous and unsettling account of what it is to be an individual - particularly a woman - in a culture haunted by history and dominated by institutional power. This new edition includes Radcliffe's important essay 'On the Supernatural in Poetry', in which she distinguishes terror writing from horror.


Note on the Text
Select Bibliography
The Italian
Explanatory Notes

About the author: 

Ann Radcliffe
Edited by Nick Groom, University of Exeter
Nick Groom has published widely for both academic and popular readerships, with particular interest in questions of authenticity and the emergence of national and regional identity. His books include The Gothic (2012) for the Very Short Introductions series, The Union Jack: the Story of the British Flag (Atlantic, 2006), and The Seasons: an Elegy for the Passing of the Year (Atlantic, 2013). For Oxford World's Classics he has edited Walpole's The Castle of Otranto and Matthew Lewis's The Monk.

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