The Castle of Otranto is regarded as the first Gothic novel. The son of Manfred, Prince of Otranto, is mysteriously killed on his wedding day by a huge helmet. The event leads to a fast-paced story of jealous passion, intrigue, murder, and supernatural phenomena unfolding in an atmosphere of thunderclaps, moonlight, and dark castle walls, mirroring the inner turmoils of the characters themselves. Horace Walpole's tale, an immediate success when it first appeared in 1764, is a classic of its genre.
The accomplished English actor Neville Jason brings his superb dramatic skills to this classic Gothic novel, generally regarded as the first of its kind. A supernatural gloom hangs over the tale of a haunted castle, a fateful prophecy, a forbidden romance (complete with trysts near a tomb), a secret prince, and more than one murder. This is an abridged version, and a perfect way to experience the deservedly famous title that established so many conventions of the genre. Jason's narration is subtle and smooth, dramatic when called for in moments of passion, but otherwise understated and calm.
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