Rosemary's Baby (novel)

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Rosemary's Baby
Cover of 1967 1st Edition Hard Cover
Cover of 1967 first edition
Author Ira Levin
Country United States United States
Language English
Genre Horror novel
Publisher Random House
Publication date
March 12, 1967
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback) & Audio book

Rosemary's Baby is a 1967 best-selling horror novel by Ira Levin, his second published book. It sold over 4 million copies "making it the top bestselling horror novel of the 1960s." [1]

Plot summary[edit]

The book centers on Rosemary Woodhouse, a young woman who has just moved into the Bramford, an old Gothic Revival style New York City apartment building with her husband, Guy, a struggling actor. The pair is warned that the Bramford has a disturbing history involving witchcraft and murder, but they choose to overlook this. Rosemary has wanted children for some time, but Guy wants to wait until he is more established.

Rosemary and Guy are quickly welcomed to Bramford by neighbors Minnie and Roman Castevet, an eccentric elderly couple. Rosemary finds them meddlesome and absurd, but Guy begins paying them frequent visits.

After a theatrical rival suddenly goes blind, Guy is given an important part in a stage play. Immediately afterward, Guy unexpectedly agrees with Rosemary that it is time to conceive their first child.

Guy's performance in the stage play brings him favorable notice and he is subsequently cast in other, increasingly important roles; he begins to talk about a career in Hollywood.

After receiving a warning from a friend, who also becomes mysteriously ill, Rosemary discovers that her neighbors are the leaders of a Satanic coven, and she suspects they intend to steal her child and use it as a sacrifice to the Devil. Despite her growing conviction, she is unable to convince anyone else and soon becomes certain that there is no one actually on her side, least of all her own husband. Ultimately, Rosemary finds that she is wrong about the coven's reason for wanting the baby — the baby is the Antichrist and Guy is not actually the father.

Critical reception[edit]

Horror scholar Gary Crawford described Rosemary's Baby as "a genuine masterpiece".[2]

Adaptation[edit]

In 1968, the novel was adapted into a movie starring Mia Farrow, with John Cassavetes as Guy. Ruth Gordon, who played Minnie Castevet, won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Roman Polanski, who wrote and directed the film, was nominated for Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium. The movie was filmed partially on location at the Dakota, off Central Park West in New York City.[3]

In 2014 it was announced the novel will be adapted again, this time as a television mini-series with Zoe Saldana as Rosemary.[4]

Sequel[edit]

Levin published a sequel to the novel, titled Son of Rosemary in 1997.[5] Levin dedicated it to Mia Farrow. A made-for-TV movie sequel to the Polanski film, Look What's Happened to Rosemary's Baby, was produced in 1976 but is unrelated to the book's sequel.

Editions[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Harry Edwin Eiss (editor), Images of the Child, page 38 (Bowling Green State University Press, 1994). ISBN 0-87972-653-9
  2. ^ Gary Crawford, "Ira Levin" in Jack Sullivan (ed) (1986) The Penguin Encyclopedia of Horror and the Supernatural Viking Press, 1986, ISBN 0-670-80902-0 (p.264).
  3. ^ Fran Capo, Myths and Mysteries of New York: True Stories of the Unsolved and Unexplained, page 25 (Morris Book Publishing, 2011). ISBN 978-0-7627-6107-4
  4. ^ Miniseries 'Rosemary's Baby' To Air May 11 and May 15 on NBC
  5. ^ Christopher Bonanos, "No Rest For The Wicked", New York Magazine, page 135 (8 September 1997).

External links[edit]