6 episodes

"The Castle of Otranto" (1765) is considered the first "gothic" novel, a genre that loves melodrama, mystery, hidden places, ancestral curses, and fainting heroines. Its roots are the "romance," which was a tale of heroism (not love as it is now known), and the Romantic movement in literature, which focused on emotion and the sublimity of nature. When The Castle of Otranto was first published, it was said to be a translation of a lost medieval transcript, and received positive attention. But when it was next published, the truth was revealed--that the story was quite modern and written by a priviledged author. Critics then panned it, but it survives today as the seminal Gothic literary novel.


This work is a part of the Lit2Go collection, a collaboration between the Florida Department of Education and the University of South Florida College of Education. Lit2Go is dedicated to supporting literacy teaching and learning by providing access to historically and culturally significant literature in K-12 schools.

The Castle of Otranto University of South Florida

    • Books

"The Castle of Otranto" (1765) is considered the first "gothic" novel, a genre that loves melodrama, mystery, hidden places, ancestral curses, and fainting heroines. Its roots are the "romance," which was a tale of heroism (not love as it is now known), and the Romantic movement in literature, which focused on emotion and the sublimity of nature. When The Castle of Otranto was first published, it was said to be a translation of a lost medieval transcript, and received positive attention. But when it was next published, the truth was revealed--that the story was quite modern and written by a priviledged author. Critics then panned it, but it survives today as the seminal Gothic literary novel.


This work is a part of the Lit2Go collection, a collaboration between the Florida Department of Education and the University of South Florida College of Education. Lit2Go is dedicated to supporting literacy teaching and learning by providing access to historically and culturally significant literature in K-12 schools.

    Preface to the First Edition

    Preface to the First Edition

    • 9 min
    Chapter I

    Chapter I

    • 53 min
    Chapter II

    Chapter II

    • 51 min
    Chapter III

    Chapter III

    • 49 min
    Chapter IV

    Chapter IV

    • 45 min
    Chapter V

    Chapter V

    • 41 min

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