The Old English Baron

Clara Reeve

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The Old English Baron

The Old English Baron When Sir Philip Harclay returns to England after a long abscence he finds that his childhood friend Arthur Lord Lovel is no longer alive and that the castle and estates of the Lovel family have t

  • Title: The Old English Baron
  • Author: Clara Reeve
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 286
  • Format: ebook
  • When Sir Philip Harclay returns to England after a long abscence, he finds that his childhood friend, Arthur, Lord Lovel, is no longer alive, and that the castle and estates of the Lovel family have twice changed hands But a mysteriously abandoned set of rooms in the castle of Lovel promises to disclose the secrets of the past After a series of frantic episodes and surprWhen Sir Philip Harclay returns to England after a long abscence, he finds that his childhood friend, Arthur, Lord Lovel, is no longer alive, and that the castle and estates of the Lovel family have twice changed hands But a mysteriously abandoned set of rooms in the castle of Lovel promises to disclose the secrets of the past After a series of frantic episodes and surprising revelations, culminating in a trial by combat, the crimes of the usurper and the legitimacy of the true heir are finally discovered.

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      Published :2018-06-02T20:19:31+00:00

    One thought on “The Old English Baron

    1. BillKerwin on said:

      Not appreciating the pre-camp sensibility of "Otranto," Reeve toned down the supernatural element in the gothic in order to fashion a fiction less baroque and ridiculous than Walpole's. She succeeded, but produced something far inferior: a gothic narrative so staid and so filled with courteous, well-bred characters (even the murderer!) that the reader is completely bored by the time he reaches the end of this very short novel. The denouement (featuring a detailed description of an ad hoc commiss [...]

    2. Alex on said:

      "A ghost," sniffs Clara Reeve, "must keep within certain limits of credibility." She's complaining about The Castle of Otranto (1764), the original Gothic novel. Giant death helmets and moving paintings, she argues, "instead of attention, excite laughter." Which is true, and Castle of Otranto is silly - but it's also entertaining, unlike The Old English Baron (1778).The story in this slim and forgettable book is a watered-down Hamlet. Ghosts cry out for vengeance; etc. Along the way we hit many [...]

    3. Kim on said:

      The Old English Baron is a novel written in 1777 by Clara Reeve. Our story begins with Sir Philip Harclay, he has just returned to England after many years abroad. In his youth, Sir Philip had developed a life-long friendship for the Lord Lovel, military duties had seperated them and Sir Philip had stopped receiving answers to his letters to Lord Lovel. As soon as he returns to his home in England he sets about to discover what has happened to his friend. He travels to the home of Lord Lovel onl [...]

    4. Sotiris Karaiskos on said:

      It is commonly accepted that his first gothic novel it's the The Castle of Otranto , after reading, however, this book I now have the impression that this is the first REAL gothic novel, a book that has all the elements which will dominate over the next few decades in gothic literature. The story is typical of the genre, with its predominant element being the effort of a young man to correct injustices of past years, which came from people without ethical principles. At the end, naturally, throu [...]

    5. Darke Conteur on said:

      In my quest to read more classic novels, I came across this book on Kobo under their public domain section. First published in 1778, it is not an original piece, but rather a re-write of another book; The Castle of Otranto which was written twenty years prior. I found this very interesting, as now a days, such an undertaking would be nothing short of plagiarism. Curious, I looked up and downloaded the original book as well. An English Baron is the tale of a young man, a peasant by birth (or so w [...]

    6. Jayaprakash Satyamurthy on said:

      A riposte to Otranto, in much the same way as Radcliffe's 'The Italian' was a riposte to Lewis' 'The Monk'. Not very good; the plot is entirely predictable and there is no real sense of danger to the virtuous hero and his allies. The best bit of writing here is the preface where Reeve craves the reader's indulgence in prose that shows a verve and intelligence that is sadly missing elsewhere. Significant to the history of the gothic genre, but not really as gripping as a lot of those novels still [...]

    7. Michelle on said:

      First published in 1777, this was an ambitious re-write of Walpole's The Castle of Otranto. Since I've read Walpole's gothic novel, I was curious to know what the re-write has to offer. And to be honest, despite the negative reviews, I liked The Old English Baron much more than I did The Castle of Otranto.Edmund, the hero, was a pious, good, noble and all the other good qualities that can be found in this world. The Baron even favored him over everyone although blood relationships made him discr [...]

    8. Juan David on said:

      A work of Gothic Literature, this novel was inspired directly from Horace Walpole's "The Castle of Otranto". Clara Reeve wanted to create a work of Gothic Literature much more realistic. While Walpole's novel dealt with an armored giant and fantastic ghostly events, Reeve's novel focused on the relation between characters, lineage, and ultimately a stark presentation of the homoerotic relationship between Edmund and William. It is also a novel important not only to Queer studies but also Feminis [...]

    9. Sean on said:

      I went into this knowing the story of, "The Castle of Otranto" and this was a great introduction to the early gothic novels for me.Basically it is about a man trying to prove he is of higher stature and honestly I was not bored at any part of it.It was easy to follow, the language was not too 'flowery' and it was a fast paced story. The only thing I didn't like was I would have had more of a scare with the ghost, at one point theres only 2 lines describing how Edmund basically gets to meet his p [...]

    10. Lawrence on said:

      Didn't have any of the things I expected, but did have a truly beautiful love between William and Edmund, and some particularly obvious avoidance of legal authority. Also a hilarious genealogy of an ending, and some not-explained supernatural.

    11. Janez Hońćevar on said:

      Together with the Castle of Otranto, it represents quite an introduction to the genre of Gothic novel. I would certainly recommend to start with these two books than reading straight away Ann Radcliffe's novels!!

    12. Mika on said:

      Watch as Edmund makes friends, enemies, and finds out the truth about his birth. All while battling his acute separation anxiety.

    13. Charles on said:

      The Castle of Otranto was so popular that it spawned imitators almost at once. This was one of those, but also stands as a decent story and a very early story in the gothic genre.

    14. Lee Foust on said:

      The second English "Gothic Story" after Horace Walpole's Castle of Otranto, The Old English Baron is a bit like Ann Radcliffe's re-write and domestication of Lewis's The Monk with her own romance The Italian. It's an interesting fact that female as much or even more than male authors were first attracted to Walpole's combination of medieval setting, Shakespearean motifs and form, and the supernatural which soon came to be known as the Gothic. Female authors, however, shied away from the violent [...]

    15. Helen on said:

      I really loved it. All first Gothics are enchanting, even though they may have the same characteristics, stock characters, similar plots, but they are really worth reading!

    16. Ellie Lloyd on said:

      Not the most riveting plot line. In fact its rather cliche. But not entirely unenjoyable either

    17. Rees Malwin on said:

      A response to 'The Castle of Otranto' in a sense, this novel also added many elements to the nature of gothic literature. Doors swinging open, paintings revealing resemblances of ancestry (per se royalty), ghosts walking around in armor, etc. I enjoyed the ending and the style of this writing. Although Old English, it sounds like something that'd come right out of the Bible.

    18. Richard on said:

      Reviews of this book have been rather negative, and I'd say somewhat unfairly so. Reeve intended the book to be a response and critique of Walpole's The Castle of Otranto. That led Walpole himself and Walter Scott to dismiss the work as derivative, which it most certainly is not, except in the most superficial respects. Yes, there is a castle, yes, there is an unjust loss of an inheritance. But that amounts to saying Reeve wrote another work in the genre, and their arguments suggesting more than [...]

    19. Judy on said:

      Not the most engaging narrative - rather than showing readers what happens or revealing character through deed and word (which would stimulate readers to actively analyse and judge for themselves) Reeve instead lapses into telling them, over lengthy passages, what has happened and how virtuous or despicable one or other protagonist is.The result is a fairly sketchy story with little suspense or character interest.Moreover, the moral lessons (virtue triumphs - yes, Reeve was the daugther of a cle [...]

    20. Kristen Chavis on said:

      The Old English Baron is typical Gothic literature. Clara Reeves essentially writes a how-to book on being a good Christian. The characters in this book are extremely flat and one-sided. Also, I find that they are disgustingly sweet. The only interesting character in this book is the antagonist. Even then everyone in this book lives happily ever after and the "villain" is just sent away and never learns a lesson. Reeves fails even have her characters change in anyway. The villain is actually ref [...]

    21. Sarada on said:

      I have the paperback copy shown, but as with everything else at the moment I'm reading it on the nook since my books are all in storage. I never really knew what this was about until I read about it in Tales of Terror and realized it sounded like a jolly good ghost story. As with most early gothic novels it centers around an inheritance denied to one who does not know, or cannot prove, his ancestry, until a grim spectre emerges to point the way to the clues that will confirm him in his title. Th [...]

    22. Drew on said:

      The challenges to noble society that Horace Walpole explored in The Castle of Otranto are crushed somewhat by Clara Reeve's The Old English Baron. By articulating a desire to hold to traditional norms, Reeve wraps up things too nicely and everyone is happy and lives onward. Perhaps she was prescient of a Hollywood adaptation of her novel? But, I enjoyed reading the story to its proper conclusion. Further, Reeve continues to develop the gothic form that would reach its height with Ann Radcliffe.

    23. Just A. Bean on said:

      This is supposedly a rewrite of Castle of Otranto, aimed at making it more plausible, but it doesn't really work as a rewrite, and on its own, it's a little dull.Basically, Reeve looked at the chaotic lunacy that is Otranto, and said, "you know what bothers me, the peasant boy turning out to be of noble birth. I'm going to write a whole book about how that would work." Possibly unfair, as other elements are mixed in, including the unexplained magic armour, and various family dynamics, but the re [...]

    24. Joseph on said:

      Even though this is the typical Buildings-Roman there is something a little special about it, which is the fact that the novel takes place in England. Hardly any other terror fiction (even the best) dares to stand within the realm of the Royal throne. Yet this novel is Walpole's offspring, and is published in the same manner. However, Reeve tries to do the best of the novel rather than trying to spook people out. Indeed at least worth a study!

    25. Alwiyia on said:

      I listened to the Librivox audiobook of this after struggling to get past the firs 10 pages of the novel.While I admit I listened to the story in it's entirety, this was extremely boring. So many characters but absolutely no character development. The good characters were perfect and even the antagonists were boring. Predictable from the start.

    26. Beholderess on said:

      Not an engaging or exiting read, and the characters are way, way too verbose, yet somehow I've found myself to be unable to be annoyed with then. A horribly antiquated example of what it is to be a perfect friend, father, son, servant and lord - oddly endearing. Of, and there is a literal skeleton in the closet, which is probably the only gothic element there is

    27. Edith Paton on said:

      There's a lot to hate about this book. The overly sentimental characters and the useless rambling of the final 50 pages are almost unbearable, however upon a second reading I found myself enjoying the atmosphere and the characters much more than the first time round. So I guess if you're only going to read it once, don't bother.

    28. Sidney Horton on said:

      This novel is the demonstration of Clara Reeve's critique of the original gothic novel, "The Castle of Otranto". Her primary complaint regarding the novel was that supernatural phenomena was overemphasized and made the story too unrealistic. I enjoyed this novel a bit less than "The Castle of Otranto", and it is a tad too religious for my liking.

    29. Droid on said:

      If I hadn't had the misfortune to read "The Corpse That Sang", this would be a one star review. No laughs and certainly no surprises. It's basically a worn-out fairytale with the author foreshadowing every event to point where reading on actually becomes unnecessary. You'll know how this one ends before it's barely started. Yawn.

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