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Zofloya, or, The Moor

Zofloya, or, The Moor

Dacre, Charlotte, b. 1782; Michasiw, Kim Ian

This is a gothic tale of lust, betrayal and multiple murder set in 15th-century Venice. A minor scandal on its first publication, it contradicts idealised stereotypes in women's writing and challenges the idea of passive victimised women

Paperback, Book. English. Gothic novels.
New ed.]
Published Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008
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Available: Newton Park

  • Newton Park – Three available in Main Collection 823.7 DAC/M

    Barcode Shelfmark Loan type Status
    00336845 Main Collection 823.7 DAC/M Standard Available
    00336846 Main Collection 823.7 DAC/M Standard Available
    00336844 Main Collection 823.7 DAC/M Standard Available


Statement of responsibility: Charlotte Dacre
Edition statement: edited with an introduction and notes by Kim Ian Michasiw.
ISBN: 0199549737, 9780199549733
Note: This ed. originally published: 1997.
Note: Includes bibliographical references (p. xxxii-xxxiii).
Physical Description: xxxv, 280 p. ; 20 cm.
Series: Oxford world's classics
Subject: Gothic revival; Literature


  1. Introduction
  2. Note on the Text
  3. Select Bibliography
  4. A Chronology of Charlotte Dacre
  5. Engraving of Charlotte Dacre as Rosa Matilda
  7. Appendix
  8. A Note on Names
  9. Explanatory Notes

Author note

Kim Ian Michasiw is Associate Professor of English at York University, Ontario.


`Few venture as thou hast in the alarming paths of sin.'

This is the final judgement of Satan on Victoria di Loredani, the heroine of Zofloya, or The Moor (1806), a tale of lust, betrayal, and multiple murder set in Venice in the last days of the fifteenth century. The novel follows Victoria's progress from spoilt daughter of indulgent aristocrats, through a period of abuse and captivity, to a career of deepening criminality conducted under Satan's watchful eye. Charlotte Dacre's narrative deftly displays her heroine's movement from the

vitalized position of Ann Radcliffe's heroines to a fully conscious commitment to vice that goes beyond that of `Monk' Lewis's deluded Ambrosio. The novel's most daring aspect is its anatomy of Victoria's intense sexual attraction to her Moorish servant Zofloya that transgresses taboos both of class and race.

A minor scandal on its first publication, and a significant influence on Byron and Shelley, Zofloya has been unduly neglected. Contradicting idealized stereotypes of women's writing, the novel's portrait of indulged desire, gratuitous cruelty, and monumental self-absorption retains considerable power to disturb.

The introduction to this edition, the first for nearly 200 years, examines why Zofloya deserves to be read alongside established Gothic classics as the highly original work of an intriguing and unconventional writer.

ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.