Ann Radcliffe's The Romance of the Forest, first published in 1791, is the epitome of the Gothic novel: a beautiful, orphaned heiress, a dashing hero, a dissolute, aristocratic villain and a ruined abbey deep in a great forest are combined by the author in a tale of suspense where danger lurks behind every secret trap-door. Reprinted four times between 1791 and 1795 and satirised as represented of the Gothic genre by Jane Austen in Northanger Abbey, Radcliffe's tense masterpiece, in which the heroine is afraid even to look in the mirror for fear of what she might see behind her, established her reputation as a writer and her brilliant descriptions of both characters and scenes serve to create the perfect atmosphere for a novel packed with emotional intensity.
Acerca de Ann Radcliffe
Ann Radcliffe (1764-1823) was the leading exponent of Gothic fiction. During her lifetime she published five novels including A Sicilian Romance (1790), The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794) and The Italian (1797), as well as a collection of European travel writings. Her novels were immensely popular and much imitated.