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The Italian, or, The confessional of the black penitents: a romance

The Italian, or, The confessional of the black penitents: a romance

Radcliffe, Ann Ward, 1764-1823; Clery, E. J; Garber, Frederick

This novel introduces Schedoni, the villainous scheming monk, and tells of the romance between a young Neapolitan nobleman and his lover, a match opposed by his mother, who enlists the help of Schedoni to stop the affair

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

  • Newton Park – One available in Main Collection 823.6/RAD

    Barcode Shelfmark Loan type Status
    00313506 Main Collection 823.6/RAD Standard Available


Statement of responsibility: Ann Radcliffe
Edition statement: edited by Frederick Garber.
ISBN: 0199537402, 9780199537402
Note: Includes bibliographical references (p. xxxiii-xxxvi).
Note: This ed. originally published: 1998.
Physical Description: xxxviii, 423 p. ; 20 cm.
Series: Oxford world's classics
Subject: Monks Italy Fiction.; English literature; 18th Century; Criticism


`His figure was striking, but not so from grace ... and as he stalked along, wrapt in the black garments of his order, there was something terrible in its air; something almost super-human.'

First published in 1797, The Italian is one of the finest examples of Gothic romance. The fast-paced, narrative centres on Ann Radcliffe's most brilliant creation, the sinister monk Schedoni, whose past is shrouded in mystery.

From the novel's opening chapters the reader is ushered into a shadowy world in which crime and religion are mingled. In the church of Santa Maria del Pianto in Naples, Ellena Rosalba and Vincentio di Vivaldi first meet; but their love is ill-omened. Leagued against them are the proud and ambitious Marchese di Vivaldi and her confessor Father Schedoni. When Ellena vanishes on the death of her guardian, Vivaldi sets out in pursuit of her across the mountainous regions of southern Italy before

himself falling prey to the Holy Inquisition.

This revised and expanded edition explores the novel in the context of British attitudes to Italy and Roman Catholicism in the late eighteenth century with close attention to the novel's style and form.

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