The Miseries of Udolpho


No, that’s not a typo! I am two hundred pages short of finishing this book, and I can not continue. Nothing has happened (except lots of crying, fainting, and comma use) or should I say, the same thing keeps happening over and over? I get it. I see the iconic Gothic Heroine, Gothic Hero, and Gothic Villain. I see the circular plot, build up of the uncanny, celebration of the morose, and all of the other things that make this a Seminal Gothic Work. I looked up the end, and I know What Happens (which isn’t much, and not a surprise!).

I don’t think I haven’t finished a book in years. Maybe over a decade! But this is the one that broke me.

I, hope, you’re happy, Ann Radcliffe!     <—- (Radcliffian comma use!)



  1. Juli @ A Universe in Words

    YES, SOMEONE FEELS MY PAIN! Sorry for the shouty capitals, but I tried to read Radcliffe’s ‘The Italian’ and could not finish it! Gothic literature really isn’t my thing if this is it! And I was expecting so much from it as well after reading how excited Catherine Morland got over it in Austen’s ‘Northanger Abbey’!
    Juli @ Universe in Words

  2. Patty

    Oh no! I was waiting for the long w/e to finally pick this book up again… maybe I will leave for a bit later then… thanks for the heads-up!

    • jackiemania

      You just may like it 🙂 I know plenty of people that I respect who like this book. But, if you don’t like it, I give you full permission to put it down indefinitely 😉

  3. Wallace

    Oh wow! So I know which book you WON’T be voting for next week when I put out the voting list for read-a-longs! Haha! I haven’t read this either, but have by heard wonderful things. I’ll probably try it, just to say I did, considering she was an important part of history for female published authors. But of you didn’t like it – I don’t have high hopes.

  4. FleurFisher

    I’m with you. I failed to make it to the end of a Sicilian Romance and that’s way shorter. I’m coming to think that the idea of 17th century gothic is more enjoyable than the reality.

  5. Alex in Leeds

    I prefer the satires of the gothic novels to Radcliffe and the like. Never could find the patience to let her loving explain the same thing for the third time in one chapter. 🙂

  6. kheenand

    Hooray, I have found some soul mates. I tried, I really tried to get through this book because it features in so many reading lists and university syllabi. But it was soooooo slow with all that meandering through the hills in the beginning and terrible poetry and the supposedly nasty Gothic stuff which was no big deal at all. What an insipid heroine.

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  9. Ekaterina

    OMG, I should have read it before starting it a week ago. I’m only 70 pages into it, and I’m totally sick of endless descriptions of nature… I hoped it would become better, but apparently not 😦

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