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|First edition- Otranto as a medival relic.
Written by Mandy N
(1/23/2006 5:21 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, the prefaces, penned by Emmeline
The First edition claimed Otranto to be a translation of an original medieval work.
Possibly, at the time Walpole wrote Otranto in the 1760s' he was taking advantage of a cultural interest in the medieval past and the Continent.
On their return home, English often built neo-Gothic structures inspired by what they had seen on the Continent like follies (including Blaize Castle mentioned in NA as an 'ancient castle' by John Thorpe but really a small C18th building !), faux ruins and Gothic influenced the architecture of some mansions.
Perhaps Walpole thought representing the book as a medieval relic more amusing or trendy with the English public.
Yet I wonder if Walpole, MP was serious when he wrote TCoO.
Maybe many C18th readers took Otranto too seriously! ;)
Just out of interest, JA was acquainted with several buildings in Gothic architectural style including Addlestrop Park (belonging to maternal relations) and Southampton, located near her brother Frank's home.
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