THE CASTLE OF ALTENHEIM; OR, THE MYSTERIOUS MONK. A TALE. Philadelphia: Published by A. I. Dickinson, No. 223, Arch Street, 1836. 12mo, pp. [1-3] 4-173 [174: blank] [1]-5: ads] [6: blank], original drab boards with green cloth shelf back, printed paper label affixed to spine panel. First edition. "In its earliest phase, the Gothic novel and the historical romance of an imaginary middle ages were one in the same genre. Thomas Leland's LONGSWORD, THE EARLY OF SALISBURY (1762) and Sophia Lee's THE RECESS: A TALE OF OTHER TIMES (1783) startled and excited their audiences by bleeding frantic female victims, dark medieval settings, hidden rooms and secret passageways, fiendish pursuers, ghastly death, supernatural incident, and timely rescue with real events and personages of a violent and remote epoch. This anonymous American specimen of Gothified history used the early days of the Holy Roman Empire as a backdrop for its garish action. The castle of Altenheim holds many secrets, not the least of which is the imperial identity of the castle's mysterious monk. The American readership remained susceptible to this early type of Gothic romance throughout the nineteenth century, and, looking at the abundance of twentieth century Gothic titles which incorporate history or pseudo-history, it might be argued that this kind of Gothic has never lost its popularity." - Frank, Through the Pale Door: A Guide To and Through the American Gothic 085. Wright (I) 496a. Boards rubbed, most of the spine label perished, heavy foxing throughout, a very good copy. A rare early American Gothic novel. (#156817).

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