Set in the time of the crusades, The Castle of Otranto (1764) established the Gothic as a literary form in England. With its compelling blend of psychological realism and supernatural terror, guilty secrets and unlawful desires, it has influenced a literary tradition stretching from Ann Radcliffe and Bram Stoker to Daphne Du Maurier and Stephen King.
This Penguin Classics edition includes a full selection of early responses to the novel, as well as a critical introduction, chronology of Walpole's life and works, suggestions for further reading, and full explanatory notes.
'[Walpole] is the father of the first romance and surely worthy of a higher place than any living writer.' (Lord Byron)