Northanger Horrid Novels

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The Northanger Horrid Novels are seven early works of Gothic fiction recommended by Isabella Thorpe to Catherine Morland in Jane Austen's novel Northanger Abbey (1818):

“Dear creature! how much I am obliged to you; and when you have finished Udolpho, we will read The Italian together; and I have made out a list of ten or twelve more of the same kind for you.”
“Have you, indeed! How glad I am! — What are they all?”
“I will read you their names directly; here they are, in my pocket-book. Castle of Wolfenbach, Clermont, Mysterious Warnings, Necromancer of the Black Forest, Midnight Bell, Orphan of the Rhine, and Horrid Mysteries. Those will last us some time.”
“Yes, pretty well; but are they all horrid, are you sure they are all horrid?”
“Yes, quite sure; for a particular friend of mine, a Miss Andrews, a sweet girl, one of the sweetest creatures in the world, has read every one of them.”

The complete titles and authors of these books are:

These novels, with their lurid titles, were once thought to be the creations of Austen's imagination, but research in the first half of the 20th century by Michael Sadleir and Montague Summers confirmed that they did actually exist, and stimulated renewed interest in Gothic fiction. All seven were republished by the Folio Society in London in 1968, and starting in 2005 Valancourt Books has released new editions of the first six titles, with Horrid Mysteries due out in 2015.[1]


  • Sadleir, Michael (1944). Things Past. 
  • Summers, Montague (1938). The Gothic Quest: A History of the Gothic Novel. 

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