The Old English Gothic

November 19, 2009 § Leave a comment

I’m truly delighted to report Valancourt Book’s publication of The Old English Baron by Clara Reeve. The boys at Valancourt have naturally outdone themselves again with their dedication, professionalism and knowledge of Gothic literature. Also included in their edition of The Baron is the complete text of John Broster’s 1799 dramatic adaptation of the novel, Edmond, Orphan of the Castle, which has never before been republished since 1799. Congratulations and thanks once again to Valancourt Books. This title can be purchased here.

The Old English Baron, first published in 1777, is one of a handful of truly important Gothic works written in the 18th century.  This small collection however was hugely influential on the literature of the period, and for many hundreds of years afterwards. The Castle of Otranto (Warpole 1764), The Champion of Virtue (Reeve, 1777. Reprinted ever after as The Old English Baron), Vathek (Beckford 1786), The Adventures of Caleb Williams (Godwin 1794) and The Mysteries of Udolpho (Radcliffe 1794) were the blueprints for the explosion of Gothic novels in the 1790s, and Jane Austen’s subsequent 1798 satire of the genre, Northanger Abbey.

Posts about the Northanger Canon, the collection of Gothic novels specifically mentioned by Austen in Northanger, can be found here.


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